Regardless of your role in your organization, establishing a solid expert platform achieves two purposes. It promotes your visibility in the new field, and it also forces you to become more knowledgeable about current trends and more skilled in relevant areas. Most people who seek to become experts do so out of a genuine desire to help others and foster new business relationships, and once others begin to trust and rely upon their advice, demand for your expertise increases.
Expert platforms grow organically because once your name is out there a few times, you are called on to consult and provide feedback until you are eventually known as the go-to person in a specific area.
So what’s the best way to get started? The first stage is to learn as much as you can about your field – above and beyond what is expected of the average employee. Read everything you can get your hands on and meet with individuals inside and outside your organization who are more seasoned than you.
Communicating your ideas in writing – via an internal or external blog or other publication – is a terrific way to organize your own thoughts and share your expertise with your target audience. General and industry-specific social networks, too, are important vehicles for conversing about your topics of interest and building your following.
While it’s helpful to have your own website, you can also take advantage of platform-enhancing communities like LinkedIn and Squidoo, a site that allows you to create a topic-specific page.
Also, take an active role in the industry conferences and association meetings happening in your field. Speaking at these events will expose groups of potential followers to your messages and may lead to paid opportunities for your organization. Shoot video of your sessions and host it on your website and/or social networks so that prospective audiences can see what you’re like in action.
Finally, show that you’re media savvy by meeting with your PR department about what you can offer to the press and/or signing up for journalist source repositories like Help a Reporter Out and responding to queries related to your expertise. When you’re quoted in a piece or featured in a television, web, or radio interview, send the clips around your company and showcase them online!