Be known

Image representing Gist as depicted in CrunchBase

I had an interesting opportunity to sit on a panel of ‘experts’ yesterday and advise website development students on how they should develop a portfolio of their work and present it to prospective hiring authorities or clients. To be honest, I don’t know how I got on the panel; the others were truly experts — I’m just a lowly WordPress developer who creates websites out of necessity because of their role in ‘thought leadership’ marketing…

As I thought about it in hindsight there’s an important piece of advice that I left out but it’s a good one for all of us. When it comes to displaying a ‘portfolio’ [btw, to me a blog is a kind of a portfolio of thoughts so bear with me] of your life’s work I think there are only two activities that matter:

  • Deepening your understanding of your craft [or continuous ongoing education]
  • Letting people know you have deepened your understanding of your craft

I think all of ‘thought leadership’ marketing can be summed up in this statement: become and be known as the expert.

In order to do this you need a system that will help you effectively manage the content you need to master in order to become an actual expert. I wrote just last week about the tools I use to accomplish this. They are:

As it applies to this particular topic, the two most important tools in this process are Google Reader and Gist. Google Reader allows me to create a virtual newspaper of the sites and searches that I need to track in order to stay on top of my craft — my areas of ‘subject matter expertise’. Gist is like Google Reader but for people and companies. In an easy to use dashboard I can see everything that someone has produced on the internet for the past 24 hours so I never miss a thing that someone who is important to me has said. The two go together like peanut butter and chocolate to help me become more of an expert…

Getting smarter is only half the battle — letting the world know you have gotten smarter is the other part. Blogging and social media are perfect for this! As Chris Brogan said in Trust AgentsAs you now know, if you have no Google results, in a sense you don’t exist.” Active blogging on your area of expertise is a great way to let the world know you are an expert. Does it work? Well, are you reading this? Sharing your ideas in a public forum like the internet gets you a share of the voice which may get you share of mind if your ideas are good enough and may eventually lead to share of market. My tools of choice for getting found are:

  • WordPress
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Google+

The order here is intentional and they tools are stack ranked in order of priority. Master one and move on to the next.I’ve written often about homebases and outposts — blogging should be the first priority because it is OWNED media — everything else should be evaluated based on the audience you’re trying to reach. Here in Northeast Wisconsin, LinkedIn rules — things might be different in your world…

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