Expert Positioning with Kick-Butt Content: The 6-Step System
Business is pretty competitive these days, whether you’re a professional speaker, a lawyer or a software company. What are you doing to get noticed by meeting planners, industry leaders and your clients? Making tons of cold calls and broadcasting FAXes all over the world? Buying email lists to total strangers? Puhleeze! The secret word is positioning. I consult 90% of the time and only speak 10% of the time for my daily bread, so I have no time to cold call and plead with meeting planners or worse, total strangers from a call sheet. I position myself as a subject-matter expert through articles and blog posts that I write to create business opportunities coming at me, and so can you.
Follow this 6-Step System to expert positioning with words:
Have something worthwhile to say
This one is a gimme. It’s pretty easy for professional speakers, you’d think, but you’d be surprised how they and business leaders at large cannot really define what that is. Quick Answer: Something readers can use right away that doesn’t require (key word there) that they call you to fill in the blanks. Of course, a percentage will because they don’t have the time to do what you whatever it is you just taught them but love it all the same. Cha-ching!
Write good stuff
They have to be informative and easy to read. Your stuff has a better shot at publication if it tickles the funny bone, so bring in humor that supports your points (not just jokes). Your topic’s not funny? Hey, with a little creativity and half a bottle of barbecue sauce, you can make a burning hen-house full of baby chicks enjoyable. (Try to get that image out of your head, go ahead)
Find your outlet
Years ago you could find Ulrich’s Guide to Periodical Literature at the library and spend the day looking up publications, sorted by subscription and subject matter, that support your topics. Now of course you can go online and register to use their service.
This is print periodical stuff, but blogs are even more important if you get in the right ones. Just Google your topic and the really big blogs (translation, big audience) will show up, or Google blog rankings and the top websites with blogs by category like Technoratti will show up. Click on the blogs you like and find their submission policy or editorial contact to find out if they accept external content (some don’t, some do). Now create your database of publications and blog sites by the topics you write about. Every time you write on that subject, you have a list of probables that might take it (with some tweaking to get it in their format).
Entice them to your sales funnel
Provide a byline at the end of your article that allows the reader to contact you by phone, email, and whatever you do include your website URL (or a landing page on it) as a hyperlink. That hyperlink is one more backlink to your website which not only provides an avenue in for the reader, but it boosts your website page rank for your SEO efforts.
You can even provide a bounceback or lead magnet in the byline where the reader can contact you to get a top ten list or something else they may want for free. Of course, link directly to that freebee so they don’t have to work very hard to find it. Then make them enter their email addresses to get it, and that puts them into your sales funnel. Prospects galore.
Submit again and again
Every week I write one to two articles that today we call blog posts. I post them on my website. I quickly build up a library of content that I have created that demonstrates my expertise. It takes a little work, but you can then create versions of your original blog pieces, either segments with only a part of the content or the entire content, re-written so that it is original in the Internet world.
I can write an entire article (in fact I think I will) on making original content from your really original content the right way. There are plenty of article spinning tools out there that can help you rewrite things, but be careful with these. Unedited even the best spinning programs will create a load of unreadable garbage that is neither enjoyable and gets you the Google slap. I pay a virtual assistant (VA) every week to re-create 2-3 of my library articles with the same concepts but totally different titles, subtitles, and body content, and then submit for me to my top 10 outlets.
Socially Promote Your Success
You can promote your blog posts via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn Groups and the like. Most bloggers do. It’s just as big a deal to promote the links of the blogs that publish your stuff. Your byline will provide a means of getting to your site, as will well-placed text hyperlinks within the article, but by promoting the other guy’s blog, it extends your credibility as a subject matter expert. It’s not only you that published this piece on a site you control, but now a noted authority site thinks enough of you to publish your material. That makes a big difference on your clickthrus from the byline to your site and on your ultimate conversion rate.
Keep sending and if you followed these steps, the law of averages (my hit rate is about 75%) says your name will be in print or online. The phone starts ringing or the contact page starts producing and you’re in business.