Liana Zavo, the CEO presents a guide on how to become a recognized expert and authority in your field
Subtitle: The media mogul is helping entrepreneurs, individuals and small businesses thrive in today’s digital world through the power of storytelling.
Liana Zavo is the founder & CEO of ZavoMedia Group, an NYC-based full-service public relations and digital marketing agency.
People tend to listen to those who know best. When asking for advice, where do they usually go? The experts of their respective industries. One has to be creative, persuasive and well informed to become a figure of authority, expertise and influence.
While the traditional pathway demands degrees and certifications that cost valuable time and money, there are a few alternatives worth trying:
- Specialize and niche down.
Rather than trying to be a jack of all trades, zero in on a specific skill you excel in. You cannot please everybody. It takes twice the work, money and time if you choose to serve everyone. As you narrow down your prospects, you can better understand and focus on your chosen field. As a result, you gain more knowledge and expertise in dealing with every nook and cranny of your industry.
When your sink is broken or a pipe is leaking, who do you call for help? It’s likely the plumber, not the electrician, who comes to the rescue. It is the same for every business. You must stand out with your skill set by specializing and micro-niching. The clients who sought my services knew that I could deliver what they needed for their business. They wanted someone reliable to do the job, and I knew I could provide solutions to their problems. Clients will not hesitate to consult and take advantage of your service once they learn you are an expert.
- Be a source of valuable content.
How do you stick out in a sea of competition? You have to position yourself as a professional who can provide essential information. This is because people flock to where they can benefit best. You establish your authority and expand your coverage as people begin to rely upon what you say. You can offer free courses or webinars relevant to your field to entice more curious minds. In this way, people will start discussing the value you provide. And as a result, your reputation as an expert will increase.
Before creating groundbreaking content, you have to ensure the validity of your sources. Doing extensive research first is crucial to keeping your material valid. Remember that, as an expert, the thoughts and opinions you state should be authentic. To make sure I obtained trustworthy information, I conducted interviews and explored various sources before publishing. I could then use this data to inform and pique the interests of my followers.
- Stay relevant and move alongside the trends.
Press conferences, conventions and expos used to be excellent platforms for aspiring experts. But when the pandemic struck, they became a thing of the past. Everyone shifted to digitizing their efforts by taking advantage of social media. Why stay stuck in the old days when you can do the same thing? If you cannot adapt to the changing times, you risk becoming an outdated expert.
People find it difficult to trust a specialist who thinks backward. Nowadays, strict health measures prevent social gatherings and large-scale events. It is more challenging to reach your target audience. In my case, I took down notes and looked at what the pioneers and renowned brands of my niche are doing. Now that most people depend on social media, I changed my business model to adjust to the situation. I seized opportunities and presented myself as an expert by riding the tide.
- Join virtual events or create your own.
How do you share your knowledge with a bigger audience? Podcasts are great avenues for introducing yourself to the public. You can pass down your wisdom to those who thirst for it. Being a public speaker adds credibility and secures trust from your audience. Connect with notable podcasters, influencers and thought leaders — they already have a large number of followers who help boost your publicity. Aligning with forerunners enables you to gain valuable information and expand your network.
Partaking in virtual conferences and seminars can be another useful approach. Giving speeches at large events cements your credentials as a reputable expert. Or you can create your own virtual events on social media to maintain your online presence. When I started my podcast years ago, I encountered different challenges. The most important aspect is to keep exploring other options and trying new ideas. For me, it was about finding the right people for my team. They help me create concepts that pave more opportunities for me to get recognized as an expert.
- Get featured in prominent publications.
A tried-and-true way of gaining the public’s trust is having your name featured in a reputable magazine or newspaper. These brands have years of backing and integrity, which is hard to contest. Thus, readers expect nothing but quality content from these publications. Build connections with editors, reporters and journalists, which can lead to securing a foothold in publishing companies. Your value as an expert in your industry increases as soon as you get published.
Writing professional articles requires meticulous research and study. It is also another method of showing off your expertise and knowledge of your niche. Choose relevant topics that stimulate interest and contain valuable information. Maximize this opportunity to engage and connect with your audience. In creating my content, I make sure to provide tips and pointers that readers can easily apply. By doing so, you position yourself as a thought leader and a figure of authority.
These steps are only the tip of the iceberg. There are other techniques to amplify your identity as an expert. The bottom line is to remain consistent and steadfast in honing your craft. When people see how authentic and genuine you are, they will always keep coming back for more. That is what an “expert” should be.