One way to develop some word of mouth for your business is to position yourself as an expert in your field. You don’t think you’re an expert? Of course you are: you’re an expert about your own business.
Do your customers come to you for advice about what you’re selling? If they do…you’re an expert. Think about taking this a step farther and position yourself so others in your local community and in the online community to come to you for advice.
With a little effort, you can position yourself as an expert in your field, provide information to others about your field, and get coverage for your business in the local news and on the Internet.
This is great for word of mouth because people you don’t even know will take the information they hear and read and use it to make purchase decisions and share with others. People who already talk about your store will be excited that they were the first to be ‘in the know’ and will likely tell their friends about the coverage you get.
How do you position yourself as an expert?
First, figure out what your area of expertise will be. You know a lot about your specific business, but the next step is finding out what people are interested in hearing about. This specific area is probably a subset of your general knowledge.
Here’s an example: I consider my mechanic EuroAsian automotive an expert. Not only does his shop do a great job of fixing my car, the shop has undertaken many improvements and upgrades to make it environmentally friendly. I don’t really care how my car works. I do care how the mechanic recycles their oil and is a certified green business.
So if I was a reporter, or another business owner interested in going green, I would go to my mechanic to learn more about environmentally friendly businesses. And in the meantime, the shop gets some good publicity.
If your expertise covers several different areas, get your staff to become experts in the different areas. In the mechanic example above, the shop owner is probably the go-to guy for information about the environmentally friendly practices, and the shop manager is the one to go to for information about how cars work (which as I mentioned doesn’t interest me, but it may interest others).
Reporters are always looking for good sources. You might want to write a quick letter or email to your local newspaper and television stations offering your expertise to them. In order to become an expert in cyberspace, consider writing a blog that addresses industry issues.
Join a website called Help a Reporter. This site is a database of experts that is used by reporters who want specific information for their stories.. When you join, you’ll get a daily email with reporters looking for sources. If you have something to offer, contact the reporter. If you’re too busy that day, just delete the email: they’ll be more opportunities down the pike.
Sharing your expertise is a great way to start the word of mouth process: give it a try!
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