As a speaker, credibility is key. It’s your lifeblood. If you’ve got it, you’re in great shape. If not? Well, that can be a killer.
That’s because credibility makes you believable. It makes people buy into what you’re saying. It gives them confidence that they can trust the information you’re sharing.
And clients book speakers for gigs based on their expertise and thought leadership. Because they believe that what a speaker has to say will bring value to their audience.
But how do you build credibility and position yourself as a thought leader in your field? How do you ensure that when a prospect is doing their research, you stand out as the obvious choice?
#1: Hyper-Focus on Your Area of Expertise
When you’re trying to establish credibility as a thought leader, it’s important that you know your area of expertise, focus on it, and commit to it. You need to understand why it’s relevant and how it will help your audience navigate challenges and create new opportunities.
It’s also important that you don’t try to do too much.
Trying to be an expert in too many things means you run the risk of convoluting your core messaging and value proposition. You need to live and breathe your area of expertise, speaking to it consistently, so that your audience identifies you as a go-to resource for that specific subject matter.
#2. Consistently Publishing Content
There’s never been a better time to be establishing yourself as a thought leader. The digital age has created virtually endless opportunities for growing your profile organically.
To do so, you should be working to publish quality content about your field of expertise consistently. All content that you create and share on any platform should be:
- Useful – Your audience needs to find your content useful or they simply won’t bother with it
- Original and interesting – You should strive to create content that conveys a new spin on a traditional idea or a brand new and innovative idea
- Actionable – The best content gives your audience something they can take and put into action, such as useful tips
- Shareable – If you want to grow your profile, your content needs to be worth your audience sharing with their networks
There are a ton of great ways to share content, including:
- Your own blog – Having a blog is one of the easiest ways to demonstrate your expertise through original content. You use this as a platform to share your expertise, and you can disseminate this content across your other platforms, such as social media and email marketing.
- Guest contributing – You can look to track down relevant blogs or publications and pitch guest content to them. This should be content that aligns with their mission and adds value for their audience. Doing so helps increase your searchability, grows your credibility by being accepted by third party publications, and exposes an entirely new audience to your name and ideas.
- Writing a book – While it’s a significant endeavor, you can consider writing and publishing a book on your area of expertise.
- Social media – Social media is the new consumer marketplace, even for prospects researching potential guest speakers. So, it’s imperative to establish and maintain an engaging presence across relevant platforms like Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
At karmaSpeaker, we’re always looking for speakers to share their expertise through guest posts or our blog. If you’ve got insights and ideas you think that professional speakers would find value in, check out our guest post submission guidelines and then get in touch with us.
#3. Taking on Smaller Events to Build Up Your Profile
It’s only natural that you want to land high-profile speaking gigs. But it’s also a great strategy to take on smaller events as well in order to build up your profile.
Every gig that you take on is another opportunity to refine and perfect your message. And these gigs also give you opportunities for shareable content, such as video clips you can add to your website, use as reference points for prospective clients, or share across social media platforms and digital marketing initiatives.
For instance, you could use karmaSpeaker to distribute marketing emails to past clients and new prospects highlighting new insights and clips from recent speaking gigs. This will help reinforce your value and keep you top of mind.
Showing prospects that you’re frequently booked also helps raise your credibility as a high-quality speaker.
#4. Getting Your Face and Voice Out There
One of the most important things you can do when you’re working to build credibility and establish yourself as a thought leader is to simply get your face and your voice out there. This can include things like:
- Podcasts – A whopping 32% of Americans listen to podcasts at least once a month, 54% of podcast consumers say they think about buying advertised products, and brands that advertise their products and services on business podcasts see an average of 14% rise in purchase intent. To capitalize on this potential, you can create your own podcast to share your insights or pitch existing podcasts to feature you for interviews.
- Video – Did you know 85% of all internet users in the U.S. watch online video content on a monthly basis and that by 2022, it’s projected that 82% of all global internet traffic will come from video streaming and downloads? This means that sharing video content – whether past speaking gigs, social media videos, or expert videos on your blog – is a necessity for growing your profile and connecting with your prospects.
- Public relations – Being featured in mainstream media outlets is a great way to grow your credibility and thought leadership. Think of unique facts about your field of expertise that could be useful and engaging on a mass scale, and submit your ideas to magazines, newspapers, radio stations, and TV stations. Finding ways to capitalize on topical current events is a great way to bolster your odds of being featured.
As a professional speaker, your credibility and thought leadership are vital to your ability to book more gigs and grow your business. And there are ample great ways in which you can establish it. But remember that whichever tactics you choose to implement as you work towards building credibility and thought leadership, the key is to be consistent. Making yourself a dependable source of expertise for your audience will help engrain your value to them.