Business professionals are always looking for new ways to showcase their expertise because ultimately they know it positions them — and their business — as a trusted, go-to resource for consumers. While there many opportunities to position business professionals as thought leaders, sticking with the basics can help you create a solid foundation of credibility within your experts’ sphere of influence.
The team at Scooter Media has pulled together a list of best practices that can help you position your internal experts as industry thought leaders:
Tapping Into Current Events to Position Spokespeople
Industry experts are called that for a reason. Not only are they knowledgeable about the ins and outs of their business, they also ensure that they are always up-to-date on industry trends and policy changes that might impact them and their customers. Having experts prepared in advance to speak on any breaking news or industry changes that could impact consumers at the drop of a hat can help position them as a reliable source for your media contacts.
Start by designating your internal experts and media training them. When one of those real-time triggers occurs, you’ll be ready to pitch them as a resource on the subject. For news that isn’t quite as immediate, you can leverage your expert to write an opinion piece explaining shifts in industry trends and how they could potentially impact various stakeholders.
Establish a Presence on Social Media
Social media can be another platform for experts to showcase their expertise. To maximize your expert’s social media presence, do some research on which social platforms your target audience uses the most. It’s best to meet your audience where they are. Also, ensure that your experts’ profiles are up-to-par; an incomplete profile doesn’t say “thought leader.” Your experts’ profiles should be complete with a recognizable, professional headshot. Profiles should showcase training and education, career highlights, and industry associations they are members to help establish credibility.
In addition to the profile being well thought out, your expert should be sharing and posting relevant, industry content. Some platforms even provide more long-form opportunities to share their expertise. For example, LinkedIn Publishing is an excellent way to proactively showcase an expert’s knowledge base.
Training your experts on basic social media best practices can help ensure that they’re remaining active and sharing meaningful content with their networks to help solidify their expertise. There’s also an added bonus of having your experts active on social media – you now have a whole new bank of content to share from your brand page!
Harness the Power of Events
Speaking engagements at industry events and trade shows are excellent opportunities for added visibility and a platform to be seen as the expert. These events can also help experts build their credibility among peers. Research relevant industry trade shows, conventions, and events for the year. From there, take a look at the topics that are being covered and find one that makes sense for your expert to speak to. In many cases, a strong submission will be required for consideration, so ensure that you align their areas of expertise with the right opportunities.
Once you secure the right mix of speaking opportunities, be sure to train your expert on various talking points and presenting skills. Your media training can also come in handy at events — you never know when a reporter or journalist could be in attendance, looking for the next big story to cover.
Positioning business experts as thought leaders takes some work, but when done properly, it helps the leader become more visible in the community and makes the business a solid resource in the eyes of the public.
About Scooter Media
Scooter Media is a full-service communications agency in greater Cincinnati specializing in public relations and social media. If you’re a PR pro looking for more advice, be sure to check out our other articles including “10 Trade Show Tips to Make an Impact on the Media” and “Tips for Building a Media Kit That Will Make Your Brand Stand Out.”