It’s hard to get ahead with today’s tough competition. To position yourself as an industry leader, you need a solid online presence to prove that you’re knowledgeable.
Here are some ways to increase your exposure and earn your place as an authority figure in your field.
Get a Well-Rounded Education
If you don’t already have a college degree, consider earning a bachelor’s degree in a field that interests you. If you already have a bachelor’s degree, you might go a step further and work toward a master’s degree. However, don’t worry if a formal education isn’t in the cards. There are many options to further educate yourself using online resources.
For example, you can create accounts with popular websites such as Udemy, Coursera, and Udacity and take courses on almost any subject. Many courses are free, while some charge a fee. Instructors from reputable universities such as Columbia, MIT, and Harvard often teach the courses, lending credibility to your transcript and broadening your knowledge base.
Join an Industry Organization
Professional organizations are great resources for networking, education, and publicity. Membership often provides access to publications, webinars, conferences, and directories. Use the organization to stay on top of best practices, key influencers, business trends, and tools to advance your career.
One key benefit of joining a professional organization is the networking potential.
Local chapters often sponsor social events to unite members who live in the same city. There are usually national events for all chapters to meet and attend workshops. Local and national events are great places to network with other industry leaders and gain useful information on current industry trends.
Start a Professional Blog
Though many skeptics believe blogging is dead, a professional blog is a fantastic marketing tool. Your blog is a forum for you to provide industry insights, suggest tips for making the industry better, recommend products and educational tools to others in your field and offer a unique voice that sets you apart from your competition.
Your blog isn’t just about writing articles, however. If you have any professional accomplishments, such as certifications or publications, list them all on your website and provide corresponding links as proof. Also, add a contact page so interested clients, peers, and other business professionals can easily contact you.
Guest Write for Other Websites
Once you establish your blog, consider branching out and writing for other industry-related websites. You typically won’t get paid as a guest writer, but you usually get a byline at the end of your articles with links pointing to your website.
The byline allows you to leverage other blogger audiences and attract more readers to your site. Plus, you can reference anything you publish on your website’s publication list.
Guest writing is an easy way to get your name out and connect with other leaders.
The more you expose yourself and share your knowledge with the online community, the more you’ll stake your claim as an authority figure and establish yourself as a key influencer within your industry.
Publicize Praise From Your Biggest Fans
As your following grows, you’ll receive comments and emails from loyal followers, fellow employees and aspiring professionals. Make sure the positive feedback you receive is clearly visible on your site. You might include a testimonials page, add a sidebar with client feedback, or insert quote graphics on your biography page. By highlighting these testimonials, you lend credibility to your brand.
If you’re a business owner, be aware of online reviews from employees and clients. They can work to your advantage—or disadvantage—depending on the website’s purpose.
As an example, Fisher Investments reviews from employees can lend insight for possible hiring new candidates. ConsumerAffairs is another type of review site specifically for a corporations and whether they work in their client’s best interest or not. .
Present Yourself Confidently
Above all, hold your head up high and offer a firm handshake whenever you introduce yourself. You are your best marketing tool, and sharing your expertise is a positive when appropriate.
Create a strong online presence and share your industry knowledge on a variety of industry-related websites. Confidently help others in your field, and you’ll soon be viewed as an industry leader and expert.
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