Being an authority and thought leader is a great way to promote your business, making you the go-to person for clients in need of your knowledge for solutions. The bottom line is that when you know a lot and you can serve your clients in the best way possible, it can lead to business being swung in your direction and increased profitability.
So how do you wow your peers and become the go-to-guy of your industry? There are seven steps you can take to develop your rep:
Become a business guru today!
- Think like a leader. Sounds obvious enough, especially when you think of the great entrepreneurs of the last few decades. Leaders aren’t interested in maintaining the status quo, they’re resolved to change it. Thinking like a leader therefore requires you to focus on doing what needs to be done to ensure growth, profitability and innovation.
- Innovate. Another no-brainer but requires some degree of risk to your reputation and ego. You can’t be afraid to present something new to your market. This can be a variation, an addition or an entirely new product or service. Innovation doesn’t guarantee success though, but the more you learn from the risks you take, the better understanding you gain of your customers’ needs and areas for improvement/change.
- Stay in touch with customers. While you’re in the R&D lab innovating, keep in mind that clients are critical to your business and success, meaning it’s important to keep the lines of communication open and clear. Make a friendly call or email on a regular basis to see how your clients are doing and engage with your employees who interact with your clients often. If you lose touch of your clients, it’s game over.
- Get out in the public space. This means speak at industry conferences, write for industry publications and engage with clients and the public on an online platform like your business’s blog or Facebook page. When there’s a change in the industry, address these changes, detail your opinion along with ways to make the most of it. Firstly it will increase traffic to your site as people search information about the changes, but it will also present you as an industry leader on the ball with current trends and developments.
- Value your time. Be careful of how you spend your time as you develop your reputation. Being an authority or subject expert doesn’t mean you must solve everyone’s problems. While you should want to assist people with their problems, it shouldn’t be at the expense of losing your edge in the innovation department because you’re distracted.
- Develop your spidey-sense. Also known as your intuition, most successful leaders have learnt to both trust and follow their gut. It takes time and concentration to block out all the other noise that can pass as intuition – like pride or fear – especially when it requires you make difficult decisions and sacrifices.
- Never. Stop. Learning. In order to be a subject expert you should know the past and present in order to ponder the future. Industry leaders know the great successes and failures of their own industry, but also learn from other industries in the search for transferrable skills. A thought leader never assumes that they have learnt all there is to learn.