How to Position Yourself as an Expert

From thought leadership to specialized
knowledge, sharing your expertise can
benefit your business.

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Business leaders typically hold a lot of titles: Entrepreneur, innovator, impromptu juggler. But what about thought leader?

Sharing subject matter expertise, industry insights and even personal experiences in thought-provoking, value-driven ways can help position a business leader as an expert in their field. These are especially powerful opportunities for leaders who have built a loyal following or established credibility in their industry through a proven track record of success and business acumen. There are several avenues for positioning oneself as an industry expert, including magazines, newspapers, radio, television stations and podcasts. Learn more about leaders can share expertise with a broad audience below.

A Closer Look at Positioning
Yourself as an Expert.

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Thought leader. Expert contributor. Subject matter expert. These are three important ways that leaders can distinguish themselves as an authority in their field of study or business. Let’s take a closer look at the differences and similarities between these three titles to assess which may hold the most potential for you. 

Thought Leaders: Sharing Stories and Personal Experience.

Thought leadership is a broad topic that refers to sharing original, authentic insights and content based on one’s own lived experience. Though not limited to a specific topic, examples of thought leadership can often be found covering specific industries, career trajectories, leadership development, methodologies, management styles and motivation. Thought leaders share their knowledge and perspectives through engaging content that provides value to others. This can take the form of long-form content, such as LinkedIn articles and op-eds, inspirational stories drawing on personal experience or contributions to a wide range of media, such as print and digital publications, podcasts, radio and television.

Expert Contributors: Sharing Business and Industry-Specific Knowledge.

Magazines, blogs and other publications turn to expert contributors to provide editorial content centered around a specific topic. This may take the form of a deep dive, a how-to instructional piece or a a roundup article. For example, retail store owners could do segments about the perfect gifts to give during the holiday season, financial institution advisors could share advice for first-time investors or homebuyers and tech companies could offer top industry trends for the year ahead.

Subject Matter Experts: Sharing Highly Specialized Industry Knowledge.

Subject matter experts are professionals with highly specialized knowledge in a particular field. As the name implies, these individuals have an advanced knowledge of a particular subject, which can range from career and training process to technical skill and qualifications. Publications, authors or media outlets may turn to subject matter experts to help review content for accuracy or to provide in-depth information for a particular project

Where to Share Your Expertise.

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Once you’re ready to share your insights, where do you go? From general interest newspapers to niche industry publications, there are numerous platforms to share your expertise with the public. In fact, there are so many avenues that narrowing the options down can feel like a daunting task in and of itself. That’s where a PR firm or outsourced marketing agency, like Design At Work, can step in to help.

An agency can serve as a guide, helping you identify unique opportunities that are best suited to your knowledge. Agencies can also help you prepare by brainstorming ideas and outlining strategic messages, so that you feel confident and are more likely to be asked to contribute again the future. Here is a quick overview of some of the most common outlets for contributing:

Iconography representing business journals, newspapers, industry magazines, books and publications, online publications, podcasts and paid opportunities.
From print publications to podcasts, there are several avenues for sharing your expertise.

  • Business Journals. These publications tend to target business leaders and higher-level decision makers, meaning they are a great way to reach peers with insights into both broad topics like leadership and targeted topics related to your industry.
  • Newspapers. By casting a wide net, local, national and international newspapers offer the opportunity to reach audiences you may not typically connect with. Better yet, many newspapers offer both print and digital distribution options.
  • Industry Magazines. Trade journals, magazines and papers help connect with leaders in your specific industry. These are typically ideal for in-depth content, analysis and exploration.  
  • Books and Publications. Authors, editors and proofreaders may seek out subject matter experts to help answer specific questions for editorial content they are working on. These projects may provide a more long-term opportunity to collaborate on a piece.
  • Online Publications. This a broad category that can include both general interest and incredibly niche publications. The key is finding the right fit for your message and brand, whether that’s a Q&A feature in a community digital publication or editorial published on Medium, for example.
  • Podcasts. With over 460 million listeners worldwide, the majority of whom are in the U.S.,1 podcasts are a formidable force. Sharing your expertise as a featured guest or contributor can help you reach a wide range of listeners.
  • Paid Opportunities. Avenues such as PR Newswire, which can be described as “pay to play” opportunities, guarantee that your story will be picked up by other publications. This means you have more control in terms of audience reach and industry — and that you can trust that your voice will be heard. 

Why Serving as an Expert Benefits
Your Business.

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Sharing your expertise positions you as an authority in your field and it opens the door to opportunities for interviews, quotes and dedicated article spotlights. While you aren’t directly promoting your brand, you are indirectly boosting brand awareness and strengthening the perception of your company. What customer wouldn’t want to go with a business that understands the ins and outs of the industry? Your business is also more likely to stay top of mind for potential customers, meaning they are more apt to think of your offerings in the future when they may be closer to making a purchase.

Ready to share your knowledge, expertise and experience with others? We’re here to help. As a full-service marketing and branding agency, Design At Work can help you position yourself as an expert in your field. You have the chops; now it’s just about showing them off. Reach out and let’s develop a plan.

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  1. 40+ Podcast Statistics for 2023, Demand Sage