Being considered an expert in your niche is one of the keys to driving traffic to your web site and ultimately increasing sales for your product or service. The reason is very simple: you need to give people a reason to buy from you. The Internet is a very busy place, to say the least, and a potential customer has many options available to them. Establishing yourself as an expert is a way to distinguish yourself from the rest of the pack.
Why Should a Customer Buy From You?
The decision to buy is one that many people consider carefully. Your potential customers are careful with their money and want to make sure they are getting good value when they decide to part with it. If the tables were turned, wouldn’t you rather buy from an authoritative source than one that you don’t have as much confidence in? Of course you would! Here are five ways that you can position yourself as an expert in your niche.
1. Put quality content on your web site.
If you want to be considered an expert in your niche, you need to start by putting only quality content on your web site. Your site is a marketing tool that is working for you 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Many potential customers will make a point of checking out a business by doing an Internet search, even if it has a brick-and-mortar location they can visit.
Your web site gives a potential customer their first impression of your business. If your site is easy to navigate and offers quality content that is relevant to your market, then you are on your way to being considered an authority. Ideally, your content should help your potential customer solve a problem or educate them about your niche topic. If you present information in a way that they haven’t considered before, site visitors will appreciate that fact. Invite them to bookmark your site or sign up for your mailing list and you are on your way to becoming a trusted source for information.
2. Write an e-book.
Putting your name on an e-book is another way to establish yourself as an expert in your niche. It doesn’t have to be hundreds of pages to be a good vehicle for you; there is a market for short reports of 10 pages or less that focus on a specific issue or problem that your potential customers are looking to solve.
If your main business is not selling information products (or even if it is), you may want to consider giving away a report or an e-book to people on your mailing list or your site visitors. When someone reads the material and finds it helpful, they are going to remember you were the person who provided them with information they needed, and help to establish you as the “go to” person in that niche market.
3. Participate in discussion boards.
Another way you can get a reputation as being an expert is to find some discussion boards or blogs where your target market is likely to visit and do the same. You may want to lurk in the background for a while until you get a feel for the place, and then you can start participating in discussions.
Rather than jumping in and telling the readers to head to your web site, you will want to take a more subtle approach when you are participating in discussion forums. Answer questions that you feel comfortable dealing with or share your opinion with other readers as you see fit. Over time, the other participants will start to see you as a leader and may even start discussion threads where they are specifically asking for your opinion on certain topics. Of course, you will want to include a link to your web site in your signature line to promote your online venture.
4. Start a blog.
A blog is a way for you to reach out to your customer base in a more personal way than by posting content on your web site. The writing is more conversational, and you are free to post solutions to problems your readers may be having, news items, Top 10 lists, and tips to help them live better.
Since the blog is written as a way to connect with your readers, it becomes the “voice” for your business. Potential customers get to know your company’s personality through the posts, and the comments section gives them a chance to ask questions or share their opinions with you.
As you share what you know with your readers, you are definitely establishing yourself as an expert in your niche market. Once you create an online presence for yourself in this way, you may start getting readers e-mailing you with their questions or asking you to address certain topics on your blog. You can deal with your readers’ queries and highlight the fact that they are looking to you for expertise by mentioning this fact in your posts.
Don’t be shy about mentioning the fact that your readers think enough of your expertise to consult you. This fact will help your reputation as an expert to grow.
5. Write guest posts on other blogs.
Another way to establish yourself as an expert in your niche area is to write guest posts on other blogs. Once your own blog is established, you can invite fellow bloggers to contribute to it and do the same on other people’s blogs. The fact that you are participating on another blog in this way gives you more exposure for your ideas, as well as helps to further establish your reputation as an expert.
When you are a guest blogger for someone else, you can add a link to your blog or web site to the post, which also serves to drive traffic to your own site.
By carefully positioning yourself as an expert in your niche, you will reap the benefits of more traffic and increased sales for your business. People want to buy from someone they know, even if the relationship is a virtual one. Step out and show your market why they can trust you, and watch your business grow.