Become an Online Expert, and Have the Customers Come to You
Copyright 2006 Mark Nenadic
No matter what the product or service of your website may
be, by establishing yourself as an online expert, you will
draw a substantially higher number of visitors – and
potential customers – to your website than you would being
"just another online business".
After all, credibility is everything when you're an online
business. There really is no way to tell two different
companies apart when all you have is their websites to look
at. However, if you have established yourself as an expert
online, your website, even if it is extremely similar to
that of your competition, suddenly holds a great deal more
perceived value, and is much more likely to make a sale.
By establishing yourself as an online expert in your field,
you will accomplish the following:
- helps to build trust for you, your product, and your
advice among your prospective and current customers.
- encourages the people who have benefited from the
knowledge that you have shared to spread the word about
you, creating referrals about you, your website, your
business, and your products and services.
- assists in creating a long-term relationship among your
customers and prospective customers.
Perhaps most beneficial of all, by sharing your knowledge
and establishing yourself as an online expert, you can do a
great deal of marketing for yourself without spending any
money at all. It takes a little bit of time and effort,
but this is well worth it when you see the return on this
investment. Soon you will be considered the most important
source of information, advice, and products in your
So how do you obtain this level of trust and respect
online? There are several techniques. Some of them
- Create your own informative e-zine or e-newsletter.
Write about fresh topics that are interesting to you and
your current and prospective clients. This should not at
all involve a hard-sell about your products, but should
instead be about related topics that will indirectly
encourage people to be interested in your product or
service, and recognize you as being the most knowledgeable
person to consult – and shop from.
- Write articles that will be posted in other websites,
e-zines, and e-newsletters. Don't forget to include copies
of these articles on your own website so that people
visiting your website will benefit from the same
information that they'd see at the sites where you post.
- Take part in message boards, forums, e-mail discussion
groups, and other posting arenas online. Be helpful with
other group members and participate regularly in their
discussions. This will help you to build relationships
with prospective customers who are directly interested in
what you have to say. This can include posting boards that
you have found elsewhere, or ones that you create yourself.
- Offer online workshops that provide informational
seminars related to the products and services that you
sell. Make sure that once your workshops are being offered,
you send out personal invitations to any of your contacts
that you believe may be interested in attending. You
should encourage them to bring their friends and family, as
well. To add to the success rate of bringing friends and
family, offer a small gift to those who bring a guest who
is not on the invite list.
- Hold informative and creative online parties – online
parties are increasing in their popularity. Therefore, if
you are building your reputation as an online expert, a
personal invitation to your current and prospective clients
whose contact information you have can go a long way. Don't
forget to encourage them to bring guests to the party by
enticing them with small free gifts. Remember that free
gifts needn't be products that will cost you money. You can
always offer your expertise. After all, you're
establishing yourself as an expert, so offering your
advice, counseling, or other consultations has value in
- Send out a press release that clearly demonstrates the
knowledge that you hold in your part of your industry.
Send this press release to the local media and to the many
free distribution centers online.
After these efforts, you cannot expect an instant reaction.
Remember, establishing a reputation in expertise does
require some time. However, as long as you continue
sharing good quality information and spreading the word as
much as you can among your target market, you'll find that
people will start coming to you to buy, because you're the
person and the company that they know they can trust.
About the Author:
Mark is the director and face behind 15Degrees-North
www.15dn.com where you will find articles and
resources to help with Search Engine Optimisation, Internet
Marketing and Web Design.