Small Business Blogging: 8 Ways to Demonstrate Expertise Through Your Company Blog [feedly]05 Aug 2013
However, there is another common reason for hesitance towards small business blogging. Business owners and marketers don't feel they are credible enough to consider themselves "experts" in their field. So question their abilities to create consistently "expert" content for their small business blog.
Am I really an expert?
The Oxford Dictionary defines an expert as:
"a person who is very knowledgeable about or skilful in a particular area"
Note the crucial part of this sentence: in a particular area.
Many small business owners and marketers would be reluctant to call themselves experts, because it implies some kind of overarching knowledge in absolutely everything even remotely related to your industry. But let's face it – nobody knows everything. If you have significant skills, knowledge and experience in one particular area (which you undoubtedly will, in virtue of running your own small business) to many, you will be considered an expert.
As Sarah Santacroce observes in her post here, perhaps the word specialist is more appropriate when referring to skills or knowledge in a particular industry:
"…if someone calls themselves a specialist, it tells me that they specialize in this topic, and have valuable knowledge and skills in this area. You don't have to know absolutely everything, because of course there's always room for improvement."
Similarly, in this post, Sean Ogle distinguishes between two ways in which you can be an expert:
- Absolute expert – who knows their skill, craft or topic inside out.
- Relative expert – who has a perceived level of credibility due to the fact they know more about their skill, topic or craft than most.
To succeed in small business blogging, being a relative expert is more than sufficient.
Your business presumably exists because you have a particular service or product you are knowledgeable or experienced in, which you want to impart onto your customers. As such, you will undoubtedly know more about your industry than your potential customer who is coming to you.
As long as you are honest about your level of expertise, and don't make claims you cannot justify, then the nudging fear you are not "expert" enough for blog-writing is wrong. And should not be a reason to abstain from small business blogging.
Ways to show you are an expert through small business blogging:
A small business blog is a perfect way to demonstrate your expertise through informing, educating and engaging your leads and customers – and there are many ways in which this can be done:
1. Ask your customers questions, and answer them
Give them the knowledge and information that they are really looking for.
2. Write about common questions you receive from customers, or difficulties they are facing
Do you hear the same questions from customers day in, day out? Position yourself an authoritative thought-leader with the answers through your small business blog.
3. Create how-to guides and videos
Share your expertise through many forms of content to give yourself the edge over competitors.
4. Comment on recent industry news
Show how you have your finger on the pulse when it comes to new developments in your industry, and give your expert opinion to demonstrate your insight.
5. Write about recent general news and explain implications for your industry
Show how you and your business are switched on to relevant goings on not just in your industry, but in the news more broadly.
6. Debunk common myths and misconceptions about your industry
Use your small business blog to become a trusted source for accurate information, and distinguish yourself from less esteemed competitors in your field.
7. Be specific
If there is a niche or particularly specialist topic that really interests you or you know a lot about, share it with your followers. And prove you have more than just a surface knowledge of your industry.
8. Write about your own industry experiences
Share successes and failures, and what you have learnt from them.
With all the content being produced out there, establishing yourself as a credible authority in your industry couldn't be more important. But demonstrating your expertise through small business blogging doesn't have to be the challenge it may seem to be.
(And in fact, a simple tool like passle can make it a whole lot easier.)