You can substantially expand your small business by becoming recognized online as an authority, influencer, or expert in your chosen field. Accomplishing this also elevates your overall online profile, thereby expanding your reach and ability to connect with a much larger potential customer base. Being a recognized authority in association with your business goes a long way in establishing and maintaining trust with your target customers or clients, a key element in building and maintaining strong customer relationships. In a time when fewer people connect face to face or know each other personally, while more and more people research others’ social media profiles, it is more important than ever to build an online presence that advances your position, and that of your small business, in your industry.
Connect Online With Established Authority Figures
One of the easiest and most effective ways to develop an authoritative presence online is to develop network social media connections with already-recognized experts or authorities in your industry. Follow influencers and prominent people in your industry on Facebook and Twitter. By commenting on their posts, you may gain some credibility by association. If you succeed in catching their attention, you may also reap the benefits of having another recognized expert share or positively comment on your posts.
Niche-Focused Blog Posts
Publish blog posts specifically aimed at a niche related to ideal customers, a niche that you and your business are uniquely qualified to serve. Try to keep content evergreen; trends sell, but only so much. Keep in mind that the surest path to developing an authoritative presence is to present readers with clear, accurate, and tailored information that can be regularly updated and optimized to address the niche you targeted.
Get Associates or Clients to Endorse You on LinkedIn
A good way to enhance your professional status is to obtain endorsements of your expertise from business associates or customers. If you reach out and provide endorsements to connections on your LinkedIn network, many often return the favor without even being asked. However, also feel free to ask connections outright to endorse your key skills. Such professional recognition from others can go a long way toward establishing you as an online authority and expert in your field.
Developing Authority Offline
To develop authority offline, consider submitting articles to local and regional trade magazines that are relative to your business or industry. As with any content put forth under your business brand, make sure it is informative, accurate, and as evergreen as possible.
Another option is getting involved in local charity events. There are a number of ways to participate to this end. Hosting your own charity function can be a great way to introduce your business to the public market if your company is relatively new or an outright startup. You might also consider sponsoring a charitable event held by a highly regarded nonprofit organization. While this may not directly establish you as an expert in your field, it lends general credibility to your business and raises your public profile.