HOW TO BECOME AN SME (SUBJECT MATTER EXPERT) ON LINKEDIN
LinkedIn has become the leading B2B social media platform around the globe. In order to compete for the attention of your audience on such a big scale, you need to be a recognized Subject Matter Expert or SME. Here are just a few things to keep in mind as you build your reputation as a reliable expert on your subject matter.
Use Your Network to Understand Your Niche Better
Networking on LinkedIn connects you with as many professionals in your niche as possible. Join several of the professional groups available who specialize in your particular branch of industry. Engage with them on a regular basis. Offer advice, answer questions, and take the time to “listen” to what they need. Not only will this help you communicate better, it just may give you some new ideas about your own business.
Keep your contact information up to date on your profile so you can respond to any messages quickly. This presents you and your company as an industry participant that takes the needs of others seriously. Research your network contacts to ensure your information for them is current and you have the correct information to maintain reliable communications.
Provide Proof of Expertise to Your Audience
Clients want the assurance that the people they are interacting with have the skills and knowledge they claim to possess. Prominently display any of your certifications, diplomas, degrees, and professional awards on your website as proof of your expertise. This goes a long way to demonstrate your professionalism and dedication to the industry.
You have worked hard to achieve the success you have so show off all those awards, certifications, and degrees. It is not really tooting your horn; it is supplying your audience proof of your story. It shows them the path you took to achieve the level of expertise and a strong work ethic to get there. These documents provide security and reliability to customers looking for someone within your niche.
Become a Recognized Voice for Your Niche
Get involved in a variety of professional groups and industry trade organizations related to your business. This will increase your network strength and help you become a recognized expert in your field. Include these organizations to your profile and keep it up-to-date for validation of your proficiency.
Once you are established within your niche, other industry followers will start to recognize your personal brand. Use this expertise to help others in the field. Answer questions, post responses and be available to help others when necessary. This goes a long way towards lending credibility and authority to your business.
Share Your Journey
Use your personal journey to explain how you got to this point in your career. Everyone likes a good success story but do not overdramatize. Make it relatable and real to your audience. Explain how it is possible for them to achieve the same success if it fits into your situation. Many companies and individuals put this on the About page and it gets just as many hits as their products or services. If you had a particularly bad experience during your rise up the ladder, explain how your audience could avoid this step. Not only will you be seen as compassionate, but it also provides a little more information and background towards your growth.
Dedicate Time to Engage, Inform, and Respond to Your Audience
Engagement, response, and interaction needs to be present every step of the way in order for you to achieve success as an SME, regardless of your particular niche. Clients want to have questions answered and problems solved quickly and with a high degree of accuracy. Make this your goal from day one and it becomes part of your brand reputation.
And finally – have fun.
Yes, times are weird, businesses these days are all figuring out how to function differently but people still like to have a little fun and meet nice new people. Be one of those people. Reach out on LinkedIn and I look forward to connecting with you.
If you need help on LinkedIn feel free to reach out to us at Black Ink PR. We have easy packages to assist you with.
Go forth and shine bright! To your success, Margot Black
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