People have questions. You have answers. That makes you, to them, an expert. What do you want to be known for? Here’s some help on figuring out how to be the “know it all” go-to resource in your area of expertise.
Today it doesn’t take a website or a blog to connect with a community online, but it does take some strategic planning and effort. Before you begin answering questions on a site, take some time to think about who you want to be known by and for what do you want to be known.
Who Do You Want to Reach?
Answering questions on a site like LinkedIn puts you in front of millions –if they’re searching for your topic. But, maybe smaller is better, especially if having local connections will help you meet your business goals. If you don’t need international influence, then look for smaller centers of influence in forums and LinkedIn groups. Keep in mind that you’ll need a broad reach on a wide platform if writing a book is one of your goals.
Professional Industry or Client-Centered Comments?
Joining in with a professional industry group will keep you up-to-date and allow you to get feedback. Because you are all providing the same professional service, joining a group where your customers are will bring you more business. Look for groups where you can easily rank as one of the five top experts or better yet, own the category. Watch out for forums where you’ll be saying the same thing as dozens of other people. Even in these situations, adding a personal touch such as a reference to website of the person who asked the question or a story from your experience will set you apart.
How Should You Keep Track of Your Answers?
Compose your answers in Word and save a copy to use in your newsletter, blog or file. Drop in the URL or topic so you can go back and track the follow-up conversation. Be on the lookout for partnerships and connect with people you’d like to know better.
How Much Time Should You Spend?
Budget a specific amount of time and don’t go over. It’s easy to get carried away with comments. Resist the urge to become an annoying know-it-all. Even though you may know the answer to every question, give others a turn. Start out by setting aside an hour at the beginning or end of the day to answer comments. Scanning questions takes less time. On some days, you may not have any questions to answer at all.
So, what are you an expert at?
Image credit Shutterstock . Thanks to shutterstock for the complimentary usage in exchange for a mention.