At some point, it may start to feel like you’ve exhausted every PR trick in the book. You’ve attended events, distributed press releases, made friends with key journalists, and created more social media platforms than you can count. But in all of that noise, you may have forgotten about your brand’s biggest asset: Yourself.
You are an expert on your brand—and more than likely on your industry, too—and you can leverage that expertise to help your brand further its reach. When you share what you know, you’ll start to gain visibility in your industry and build a community around you—and when a big product announcement comes along, that community will be ready to engage with you on your news.
Here are four easy ways to position yourself as an authority in your industry, and promote your brand in the process:
1. Teach a Class
Before you panic: it’s easier than it sounds! Check out Skillshare, a startup focused on connecting experts in any field with people interested in learning about them. Classes can be taught locally or online, and topics range from “Financial Modeling for Entrepreneurs” to “Learn to Knit with Kollabora.” It’s a great way to position yourself as an expert and immerse yourself within a growing community of entrepreneurs that are eager to learn about what you know.
2. Guest Blog
Media outlets are always looking for industry advice and insight from experts—and why shouldn’t that expert be you? Pitch a few publications and offer to write a series of guest blogs related to your industry. For example, if your brand is a nutrition consultancy, pitch a health blog with a series of articles focused on helping women stay fit in the winter months. If your brand builds websites, pitch a technology outlet with a blog series focused on developing APIs. Remember that the content should be focused on educating your audience on a topic—not a sales pitch for your brand.
3. Join the Speaking Circuit
You’re likely already familiar with the conferences and events that take place within your industry. But have you spoken at any of them yet? If not, now is the time! Research the panels taking place and pitch yourself for the one most relevant to your industry (and most likely to engage your target audience). If an agenda isn’t available yet, contact the event organizer and pitch your expertise, including the topics you can speak to. Keep in mind that event organizers are always looking for fresh new voices, so don’t be intimidated by the roster of previous speakers.
4. Get Out and About
In addition to these more organized tactics, it’s just as important to meet and get connected with people in your industry. A great way to begin is by looking for local Meetups. For example, if you’re a technology startup in NYC, you should join New York Tech Meetup. If you’re a beverage brand in San Francisco, check out the Bay Area Beer Socials. This allows you to network in-person, with a ready-made community eager to learn more about the industry. And who better to teach them than you!
There are many powerful aspects to positioning yourself as an authority for your brand. Remember, by raising your own profile, you will, in turn, raise the profile of your company. You’ll also significantly widen your reach (think about how many people read your last press releases vs. how many people could read your guest blog on the Huffington Post!). The bottom line is, people buy products from brands that they know and trust. And they’ll trust you—once they know where to find you.
Photo of public speaking courtesy of Shutterstock.