No matter what industry you’re working in, there’s probably a handful of people who are experts. They’re each seen as a go-to resource and unquestioned thought leader, a royal of the industry.
There are countless benefits to leading the industry, like increased visibility for your business, expert status, and even a bump in sales. Do you ever wonder how those leaders got to be king or queen? Or how you can get there?
We’ve pulled together seven tricks you can use to help you become the reigning king or queen of your industry!
1. Engage With Industry Leaders
It makes sense that becoming prominent in your industry involves a lot of learning from the people who are already influential. Generally, these are the people who have big ideas and plenty of know-how, so they have a lot to offer you.
Learning from current thought leaders starts with finding them and following what they’re saying and doing. You can find industry specific blogs and websites with tools like Technorati and by searching LinkedIn Influencers.
Once you’ve found the big guys, you want to try to engage with them. Start out by commenting on articles, blogs, and posts. Show that you have valuable insight to contribute through your comments and you’ll likely find yourself in pretty lively discussions.
_Now that you’re engaging with other influencers and thought leaders, you’re starting to build a valuable network of influential people in your industry._Leaders who can give you a lot of credibility with their endorsement.
2. Create And Share Content
As king or queen of your industry, you simply must be putting out content. Whether you’re churning out original stuff or pulling together content from other influencers to share, it’s important that you’re contributing.
You don’t have to spend hours a week writing original content. A good rule of thumb is to generate about 20% original content and curate the other 80% from outside sources.
Once you have your content, be it original or shared, you want it to reach as many people as possible. If you have a blog, start there. You should post on your website and social media, especially LinkedIn, too.
You can also try to get others to share your content. Getting syndicated by other websites or blogs can lead to huge gains for your potential readership. Another option is to publish articles in trade magazines related to your industry.
3. Be A Resource
A huge part of becoming influential is just being available as a resource. You’ve got valuable insight, and people are gonna want a piece of it.
There are lots of websites where people are looking for qualified, knowledgeable answers. Being active on sites like HelpAReporter.com (HARO), Quora, and StackExchange can lead to all kinds of additional exposure and publicity.
Another way to be a resource is to volunteer for various speaking gigs. From conferences to meetups and hangouts, people, organizations, and associations are constantly on the hunt for knowledgeable peeps to speak at their events.
You can find out about events like these through your local Chamber of Commerce, Meetup.com, and trade-specific associations.
4. Address Your Customers’ Pain Points
Becoming industry royalty isn’t just about your colleagues and peers. You also want to be valuable to your current and potential customers.
_When it comes to developing your content, your main goal should be to provide information and tips that will be helpful to your customers._What do they want to know? What are they struggling with?
In order to know what kind of content will be useful for your customers, there are some awesome customer feedback tools available to you. Websites like SurveyMonkey and Wufoo can help you get answers and keep them organized. They’re usually super affordable or even free! You can also use your regular email to talk to customers.
5. Strengthen Your Expertise
It’s one thing to become known as an expert in your industry, but it’s even more important to maintain the expertise that got you noticed in the first place.
Half of this one involves staying up to date on new and changing trends in the industry. Depending on your industry, things can change almost daily, so it’s absolutely key that you’re knowledgeable on the industry of today and tomorrow.
You can use tools like Google Alerts to stay current on industry news and trends, and follow prominent blogs to see what others are talking about. Attending tradeshows, conferences, and meet-ups is another great way to follow what’s going on in your industry.
Another important aspect of strengthening your expertise is building upon it. You don’t have to go back to school for this, just look into some online educational resources.
The U.S. Small Business Administration offers free online resources for small business owners. You can find industry-specific resources from the big guys, too. HubSpot has lots of free resources for marketers, for example.
6. Get Together And Get Involved
Getting together with other key influencers in your industry doesn’t just help you stay up to date. It also helps to get your name out there and get recognized.
Being a frequent attendee of meet-ups and conferences is a great way to stay top of mind for other important industry leaders.
You can find industry events through Meetup.com, Upcoming.org, and your local Chamber of Commerce.
To take it one step further, don’t just attend events: take on speaking gigs, head up committees, develop programs, etc. Getting involved in your industry community is a great way to be seen as knowledgeable and relevant.
7. Find Your Niche
Just like your business itself, it’s hard to be successful when you’re up against a huge pool of competitors. There are probably a whole lot of smart people in the global tech industry, but what about tech in your city? Or wearable device tech?
Narrowing the field of your expertise helps to find a niche where you can more easily stand out and be prominent.
Luckily for you, there are already lots of groups within big industries, like Young Women in Digital and SEO SEM Social Media. LinkedIn is a great resource for finding these groups.
Once you find the right niche for you, the path to becoming king or queen of the industry gets a whole lot easier.
...And We’ll Be Royals
So those are the tricks! Following these will help get you well on your way to becoming industry royalty. All that’s left is to pick out your crown!
Your Turn: Are you considered a leader in your industry? What tricks helped you get there?