Developing new business can be frustrating for any firm, especially when your competitors seem to attract all the attention as experts in their field. But are you hiding in plain sight?
You’re often left in the dark, seemingly invisible to prospects. It’s understandable, after all, when prospects have a choice, why not choose to work with a recognized expert?
Here’s a little-known secret, though: many of those industry experts are probably no more knowledgeable, experienced, or charismatic than you are – they’re just more visible. They’ve figured out the trick to shining a light on their expertise and attracting all the attention. Moreover, it appear as if you’re basically hiding from your prospects.
Becoming a High Visibility Expert
Now that you know visibility of your expertise is the key to winning new business, you can take advantage of a proven process to help you become visible as a recognized and trusted industry expert. There are many benefits to becoming a Visible Expert, including:
Building your firm’s brand value
Attracting more referrals
Developing new partnerships and other relationships
Significantly increasing business and revenue
So, you ask, how do I get started on becoming a Visible Expert? Here are some tips:
1. Narrow your focus. Choose a specific target market that you want to focus on. Perhaps it’s an industry or a type of service. Don’t attempt to be an expert on everything.
2. Know your stuff. To be recognized as an expert you need to first focus on an area of expertise and know what you’re talking about. Stay current with your target industry developments, read the latest studies, and attend conferences and other industry events.
3. Share that knowledge. People look for experts to explain complicated subjects and make them understandable. Share what you know every chance you get to be more visible and build a loyal base that will refer you to others. Sharpen your skills as a communicator by taking some writing or presentation-skills courses. Hire a consultant, if necessary, to help you hone your capabilities.
4. Appear where your prospects are looking. The power of the internet enables you to take advantage of multiple channels simultaneously. Publish blog posts and articles, produce short topical videos, and host webinars; network, pursue speaking engagements, and build partnerships to diversify your visibility. Be active where they are looking for advice and insight.
5. Commit to the long haul. Gaining professional visibility takes time, patience, and effort. Don’t be afraid to ask for help with building your skills along the way and sharing the work of creating an effective visibility program for yourself and your firm. The right help at the right time can make all the difference in the world.
Becoming a Visible Expert takes some time and commitment, but the payoff can be substantial. Remember that most of the experts you know didn’t become one overnight. Most achieved their prominence in stages, achieving their visibility first locally, then regionally, and finally, for some, nationally.
The tips provided here will help jumpstart your own visibility so that you, too, can be recognized as a Visible Expert in the accounting field, boosting both your value and your career.
Lee W. Frederiksen, PhD, is managing partner at Hinge, a marketing firm that specializes in branding and marketing for professional services. Hinge conducts groundbreaking research into high-growth firms and offers a complete suite of services for firms that want to...