Building Up Your Expert Status Through Strategic Communications

Credibility is crucial for marketing efforts, whether B2B or B2C. Just as a consumer needs to be able to trust the business selling a product or service, business partnerships need to be built on trust as well. A great way to build this credibility is to be seen as an expert on a particular subject or in a particular field. A world-renowned heart surgeon who spends time as a medical professor, for example, is likely to be much sought after by those in need of heart surgery. The difference is personal branding.

Even in a large organization like Tesla, one individual’s personal expertise can be a huge boost to the brand. Consider Elon Musk. In an article for Entrepreneur titled “Every Entrepreneur Can Learn From These 5 Leadership Traits of Elon Musk,” Sunny Bonnell discusses Tesla brand fans’ obsession with the inventor. “A consumer generated video called ‘Fireflies’ proves how passionate Tesla’s fans are,” she writes. “The video depicts a future devoid of fossil fuels with Tesla at the forefront of a clean energy revolution. More effective than any paid campaign, user-generated content is a symbol of love and loyalty.” Part of Tesla’s draw is Musk’s undeniable passion for clean energy technology. But he’s also widely seen as an expert, giving numerous TED talks for example.

While we all can’t rise to the level of celebrity status that Musk has achieved, we can all build reputations as thought leaders.

In fact, there’s an entire industry around enhancing or even creating an individual’s perceived expertise. Andrew Medal, in an article for Entrepreneur titled “10 Personal Branding Experts to Follow This Year,” gives an overview of — you guessed it — 10 personal branding experts who specialize in, among other things, developing thought leaders. But it’s not necessary to spend money on these so-called personal branding experts — who are seeking to brand themselves as experts.

Writing for INC in an article titled “10 Ways to Establish Yourself (or Your Brand) as a Thought Leader,” Drew Hendricks offers numerous strategies that are free, easy and open to anyone wishing to establish some thought leadership and expertise.

Of course to do this effectively, your communications need to be both high quality and consistently aligned with the brand image you wish to convey.

Whether you’re a one-person shop or the head of a multi-national corporation, being seen by the industry and the market as an expert in your field is a great way to not only get your name out in the market, but also build credibility with your audience.

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