- Choose the one thing that you do best and are passionate about and build on that strength. If you are a marketer and your passion is branding, focus on that. If your business is local, start by targeting your efforts close to home.
- Talk about your passion to everyone who will listen. Okay, this should not be the only thing you talk about at holiday parties, but have an elevator speech ready to use when someone asks what you do!
- Participate in online conversations related to your topic. Follow other bloggers or news sources and comment on their stories (make sure you include your website URL in your response); contact local radio and TV stations and offer to comment on news stories; submit commentary or offer to be interviewed by reporters. Check out the website HARO.com (Help a Reporter Out); this is a good way to get quoted as an expert.
- What is your Google "footprint"? Will people find you when they search? Press releases and social media like LinkedIn (a business must), Facebook, Twitter, Picassa, Flickr, having a website URL with your name (even if it redirects to your bio page on your business site), and creating a Google Profile all increase your footprint and make it easier for others to find you online.
- Start a blog. Make sure you add new content at least a couple times a week. Even if no one reads the blog at first, it helps get you “found” by the search engines and gives you another place to post relevant content. If you don’t feel you have time to blog, guest blog for others. Note that it makes sense to secure a URL related to your passion and use this on your materials.
- Write a book or produce a video. Both are great ways to add credibility and position you as an expert.
Building yourself as an expert in the eyes of the public is not an overnight process. It does take time and effort, but keep at it and you will be surprised at the results! Let us know what you have done to distinguish yourself and become more visible to colleagues and the public.