There’s an intriguing paradox in this age of digital media. The best way to establish yourself as a professional, is to give away your insights for free.
Confused? Don’t be. All the articles you read on LinkedIn? They are full of advice. “How to establish your personal brand”, “Ten secrets of powerful presentations”, “How to make the most of meetings” — it’s all advice, and most of us are quite keen to review it and incorporate any new information. What we may not realise, however, is that our enthusiasm for this information has created a tremendous demand for content. And the paradox is that by being willing to give away advice, you have the opportunity to establish yourself as an authority in your field.
In the old days of PR, when people read newspapers and listened to the radio, one of the best ways to get exposure was for your client to write an advice column or be a guest on a phone-in show. This format is perfect for people in professions — and in particular, accountants, financial planners, and solicitors. They have the expertise, and typically know their stuff inside-out. “Year-end tax tips”, “Ten ways to reduce inheritance tax”, “What you need to know about Power of Attorney” — these are the sort of topics that have a wide audience in a local newspaper. By authoring the piece, the accountant or solicitor would get some exposure. With each monthly column, she would establish herself as an authority in her field. When a new piece of legislation came along, who did the local paper turn to for insight? Their own local expert.
Fast-forward to 2014. Has anything changed? Not really. We are all still looking for ways to be successful, to make more money, to save more money, to be more effective in our roles, and to have a bigger impact. Which means there is still a role for advice columns and sharing professional tips and suggestions. The only thing that has changed, is how this advice is dispensed.
Today, you don’t need the regional editor of the local paper to agree to publish your monthly column. You publish it yourself. On your website, on your blog, in your e-newsletter to clients, on LinkedIn — there are now more outlets for your “content” than ever. The only proviso? Your advice must be sound, and ideally, well-written.
And keep in mind — you don’t have to be a professional to have valuable advice. Not everyone is focussed on business. Some people are interested in their gardens. Or their homes. Or baking. Or electronics. If you have a specialism, you can bet there is an audience for your advice.
So whatever your business, if you want to raise your or your company’s profile, start sharing your insights. Before you know it, you may find out you’re an expert in your field.
If you’d like to become better known in your field, contact Bruce Public Relations in Inverness. We have a wealth of expertise in this area, and we would be happy to share it with you.