Street Smart Marketers know that one of the best lead generators is the free publicity generated when you are perceived to be a recognized expert in your industry.

It doesn’t matter what field of business you are in. It can be in carpet cleaning, auto repair, gardening or quantum physics. If your clients and the media perceive you to be an expert, they will seek you out for advice, your perspective on stories they are researching or even to offer you business.

In order to be an expert, you must study your subject thoroughly. It is said that with a 1000 hours of practice you become an expert. Most of us work around 2000 hours per year, so you can see it doesn’t take long to acquire the knowledge you need. If you have been working on your specialty for a while, you are already an expert. Your job is to become known as an expert.

Street Smart Marketers don’t have to appear on the top TV shows or on recognized best-seller lists to become a recognized expert in their field or industry, although that helps.

Here are nine Business Pros Marketing suggestions for anyone wanting to become a recognized
expert in their field:

Write articles on your specialty for trade publications and business magazines in your industry. Most publishers are looking for good articles to fill their magazines and will welcome your contributions. If you want to get published make sure your articles are educational and not simply self-serving.

Write informative and educational letters to the editor of your industry’s trade publications or your local newspaper. Try to be a little controversial without being over the top, this creates interesting perspectives and sets you apart from everyone else. Street Smart Marketers know experts have opinions, so they share theirs regularly.

Develop your website so it is filled with useful free content covering your area of expertise. If, for example, your specialty is carpet cleaning, create a website loaded with useful ideas on how to select a carpet cleaner, the health benefits of regular carpet cleaning, tips on how to remove stains and ideas on how to care for carpets.

Publish a free online newsletter with short tips on your specialty. Distribute it to your e-mail list of customers and prospects at least monthly, more frequently if you can manage it. Make sure you have a prominent sign-up box for your free newsletter on the home page of your website, so interested visitors’ names are captured. This will give you a steady flow of new prospects at the same time.

Write and self-publish, useful special reports on your area of expertise which you give away free at every opportunity. For example if you are a print broker, you might offer an executive briefing on “The 5 Most Common Mistakes People Make When Buying Printing.” Send copies of your report to suitable trade magazines along with a suitable press release and at the same time advertise your report in media that reaches your target audience.

Giving free talks on your area of expertise to groups and associations that have members who are potential clients for your product or service, will quickly position you as an expert and will create a steady stream of leads. For instance, if your specialty is installing new kitchens, you might offer to run a workshop on “How to Design a Kitchen That Makes Entertaining a Breeze” at a local chamber of commerce show or meeting.

Make a point of asking for testimonials. Other people’s opinions of you are more effective in establishing you as an expert than what you say about yourself.

Teach courses at local community colleges, adult-education centres, chambers of commerce or boards of trade or run “webinars” that you advertise to your own clients and prospects. Make sure you advertise all your public appearances on
your website.

Write a book. It doesn’t have to be long and you don’t have to write it yourself. Most people hesitate before writing a book because of the time commitment. There are ways around this, for example, you can hire a ghost writer. Best of all, books give you instant credibility.

Once you have a book, turn it into an audio book. This will help you get to the people who don’t read or don’t have time to read.

The more of these activities you do on a regular basis, the quicker your reputation as an expert will spread. Street Smart Marketers do all of these things, understanding that this kind of marketing is one of the quickest and cheapest ways of building their business.