Being a sector authority opens new doors

Become a sector authority and expand your horizons

Become a sector authority and expand your horizons

One of the best ways for women advance their careers is to establish credibility and become known as a sector authority or specialist.  This is particularly important in male dominated sectors where conference organizers frequently complain about the lack of women and willingness to take center stage.

Sarah Arrow, the UK’s leading blogger with a top international blog Birds on the Blog designed to meet the needs of business women says the main focus should be:

“Persistence. You cannot give up the first time you are ignored / not heard / or your is work “lifted” by someone else. You have to choose where to focus your attention wisely or you won’t grow your authority. You can’t chase the ‘shiny’ if it’s not part of your strategy. You need to form alliances and lift others up importantly, you need to listen. Without listening to what your industry needs, you won’t be able to meet that need!”

5 tips to become a sector authority

1. Know your stuff

sector authority

Know your stuff and be confident talking about it

You really have to know your stuff and be on top of your game to be a sector expert. This is one area where faking it until you make it won’t work. Staying ahead of industry or sector trends is vital so you are always up to date and even ahead of any curves.

2. Create Good Content

If you know your stuff you should be willing to share it. Creating and sharing good content is one of the best and most efficient ways to enhance your reputation. Whether you are a corporate employee or an entrepreneur, extend your reach within your sphere of influence. You can create a departmental newsletter, a company blog or write on the corporate intranets sharing your knowledge and expertise. Corporate employees may have some compliance restrictions so best to check with your HR department. For entrepreneurs start your own blog and offer guest posts for others. The better your content, the higher your credibility and authority rating.

3. Leverage  Social Media

Social media can be a great tool

Social media can be a great tool

Women are the most active users on the internet and social media. Instead of sharing pictures of your kids and cats include some professional content. It could be something you have written yourself or you recommend by another author.  Monitor what works and what doesn’t. Write guest posts for other platforms or blogs to extend your reach.  Use LinkedIn, status updates or publish a post on LinkedIn Pulse to reach a wider professional network.
You can even join the live streaming trend and post live video updates. Personally these can be a bit hit and miss for many with inside views of a person’s nose being a major turn off. I would advise some training beforehand.

4. Become A Public Speaker

One of the best ways of becoming a sector authority is by accepting speaking engagements. Anyone who wants to extend their reach to become a sector authority should consider investing in public speaking coaching and then putting themselves forward for speaking gigs. This can be in-house or externally. Event organizers are starting to get massive flak for not having any woman on stage. So establish the major conferences in your sector or function and put your name forward.  If you are reluctant to do that, ask someone to refer you.

5.  Webinars and Podcasts

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This is a good way to get your message out there especially for entrepreneurs. A well branded podcast or webinar whether done with a live audience or just recorded is a great resource for your sector. Avoid gratuitous publicity stunts and offer something of value for the listener. Once again this is a specialised skill and training is recommended. You want to enhance your reputation for the right reasons. Increasingly corporates are offering You Tube soundbites and once again it’s making yourself visible.

The 3Bs

Ali Meehan who launched one of the biggest women’s networks in Europe, Costa Women a business network for women in Spain, advises:
“ Use the Three B’s:
• Be helpful – join in and answer questions within your sector (whether on LinkedIn or Facebook, Twitter etc.).
•  Be prepared to share your network and connect people (the days of a salesman’s black book are long gone – collaboration is the key).
• Be outgoing – Contact magazines, websites, and social media accounts within your sector and offer your blogging services. You may all be within the same sector but everyone has a unique view on the services and products you offer as well as a story to tell.“
So what’s holding you back?

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