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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Want to Become Known as an Industry Expert? 3 Tips to Get You Started

Forbes

1/18/2012 @ 1:33PM

Cari Sommer, Contributor

…For those of you who’ve decided that this is the year to up your visibility, you may be asking yourself “how?’’  How will you become known as the one to go to for relevant press stories, speaking events or other high profile events?  How will you make yourself and your brand stand out in your space?

It starts with building your reputation as an expert. You may be thinking, “Well that’s easy, I AM an expert.”  … It’s great that you feel confident about your knowledge base, but now your focus should turn to getting others to see you in the same light.

Here are a few tips for doing so.
  1. Call yourself an expert. … We fear that others will perceive us as bragging or that there’s some magical threshold we must pass before we can TRULY be considered an expert. Wrong! If you feel confident enough to put your name out there and speak about a particular market segment or industry, feel confident enough to tell people that you’re doing so. Be on the lookout for opportunities to contribute to conversations—whether through social media or relevant industry groups.  You can also start to build relationships with a targeted group of bloggers or journalists by letting them know your specific areas of expertise and your willingness to chime in if and when they need a specific quote, facts or data.
  2. Share Generously. …  As you have interesting industry news to share—whether it’s about a particular trend you’re seeing or up-to-the-minute data you’ve gathered, let people know about it. Blog about it, email industry influencers about it—maybe even think about putting together a press release.    Sometimes business owners question whether and how much they should share—they think that their knowledge is their ‘special sauce’. When it comes to brand building, application of that knowledge is what counts.  …
  3. Stay Focused: While the ability to appoint oneself an expert opens up a world of possibility in terms of business and personal brand-building, the flip side is the worry that the title doesn’t mean anything anymore.  … Maybe, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid the dialogue. Instead, it’s an incentive to be really clear on your skill set and what you want to be known as.   …
Making yourself known to industry influencers (media and beyond) is an ongoing effort.  It takes time and constant attention. But in today’s noisy world, there’s no short cut in making yourself and your business visible in your space.

Cari Sommer Cari Sommer Contributor
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I am the Principal of Cari Sommer Media + Communications (www.carisommer.com), a consulting firm that works with high growth companies to stand out from the crowd through powerful content, thought leadership and top notch publicity. I developed this expertise first- hand through my role as the co-founder and the head of press relations of the angel funded company
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 Urban Interns (www.urbaninterns.com), which has been widely publicized in outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, Crains, Inc, Tech Crunch, Entrepreneur, Mashable and Reuters. Prior to becoming and entrepreneur, I was a litigator for seven years at an international law firm, where I first learned how to convincingly convey a point of view-- a much needed skill for any entrepreneur. I am a graduate of
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Cornell University and Brooklyn Law School. I am a mentor-advisor to Cornell students in e-Lab, the Cornell undergraduate incubator program, and a member of the President’s Council of Cornell Women.
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