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A New Year’s resolution you should be making

A New Year’s resolution you should be making

By Fred Thompson

Most of us make a personal New Year’s resolutions.

Maybe you’ve decided to drink less and exercise more like me. (Well I will try to anyway!)

If you have made a personal resolution then why not create a business one too. It’s not too late. The New Year is an ideal time to make a fresh start, so I’ve come up with this one just for you.

‘To be perceived as an expert by the end of 2016’

Many people/companies claim to be experts just because they have been doing what they do for a long period of time. Experience can be irrelevant if what you have been doing for so long is generalising.

Take a closer look. Are you offering lots of services to a large audience? I know most of you are, in fact as high a 99%. Therefore only 1% of professional services firms can boast they are actually experts at what they do.

Here are five key points to help your new, New Year’s resolution come to fruition.

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1. Determine your area of expertise.

 Before you can establish or develop your expertise, you have to decide what you want to be known for. The professional services world of personal branding is flooded with competing generalists. You need a niche focus to have more opportunities to prove you know what you’re talking about, and while your potential audience will be smaller, it will also be that much more relevant.

If you are like everyone else in the market, you are a commodity, and you look the same to the customer as all the other options. If your target market discerns nothing special about you, then you are no different from the next firm.

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2. Companies are not experts, people are.

Stop promoting your firm as an expert firm. It’s the people that are the experts and they need to be highly visible and be communicating correctly.

Personal branding is becoming increasingly important because audiences these days trust people more than firms. Personal branding allows you to establish a reputation and an identity while still maintaining a personal level of trust and interaction.

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3. Emotionally connect to your target audience

Personal branding success requires communicating your message to the right people – not to the entire world. And it requires communicating in a way that creates emotional connections with your target audience. You simply cannot build a solid brand without building relationships, which are based on emotional connections.

Building a strong personal brand helps you interact with your target audience in a clear, consistent way that quickly becomes familiar. That consistency builds trust which allows emotional connections to form.

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4. Become a trusted adviser through content marketing.

Content marketing is the best way to build a brand and reputation online; when people look for information, they tend to go back to sources that were helpful to them. If you can become a trusted source of valuable information through your content and create a voice, over time you’ll become collectively known as the expert of your specific field.

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5. Speak at events. 

Speaking at events gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your expertise while connecting with new and targeted audiences. Have you ever been to a seminar and listened to someone speak who you didn’t think was an expert in their field? If you have, you probably didn’t pay for it.

Make this your New Year’s resolution and become an expert in 2016.

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