Clients will sometimes tell me that they want to build an expert reputation by becoming visible through speaking, writing articles, being in the media, etc.; however, they believe that these things can only be accomplished if they are already seen as an expert. A real Catch-22!
How can you get famous, if you’re not already famous? Build your credibility (and your fame) a step at a time. If you haven’t done much speaking, and don’t yet have an expert reputation in your industry, you probably won’t get asked to speak at a national convention. But you can speak to a local chapter of your professional organization. You can start attracting customers and building your reputation locally.
Be patient. Even if you can’t get on “Oprah” today, or get your articles in national publications right now, you can get media attention and you can get published. Target your efforts to the organizations and media where you are most likely to have success, then expand outward from that core. Use each success as a stepping stone to the next level.
Where can you start? Offer to speak to the organizations to which you belong and other local and regional organizations. Provide articles for their newsletters. (Most newsletter editors are starved for submissions. They will appreciate your articles.) Start sending press releases to local media about your speaking appearances and other events. Publish your own ezine (like this one) on the Internet, and/or provide content to other ezine publishers. Get active in your professional associations to be seen as a leader in your industry. Do a project as a volunteer (or barter your services) to build your portfolio and get a customer reference.
Put together a booklet or audio tape related to your topic. When you are published, you have more credibility (yes, even if you publish yourself). Be sure to mention in your bio sheet and other materials that you are the author of (name of booklet and/or audio tape), along with your other accomplishments.
Now, use the fact that you have done these things to get to the next level. Write an article proposal for a major magazine, get paying speaking appearances, solicit that big client and keep building until you can go after Oprah–or better yet, ‘til she comes after you!
There is a Chinese proverb that says, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” It may seem that credibility and fame as an expert are a thousand miles from you, but in reality they are only a few steps away. Start today with your single step.