how to establish yourself as a leader in your niche (and why you must!)

be a leader.jpg

what are your goals for your little biz? where do you see your biz in a year? 5 years?

from the simplest goals (raise your rates, gain more clients, sell ad space on your site…) to the more complex ones (get your product onto the shelves of a major retailer, set up franchises in other cities, publish a book…) there is one thing you will need to do: establish yourself as a leader.

by leader i do not necessarily mean “you lead, they follow”. (though in regards to dealing with your competition, that is an awesome goal!) i mean that you need to stand out in front, head and shoulders above the rest, as someone who is credible, reliable, successful and an expert in your field.

it is not enough to set up shop with a website, put something on it to sell and hope that the customers will take care of the rest. depending on your goals, there are actions you should start taking right now to ensure that you can achieve them.

what establishes someone as a leader?

  • qualifications
  • skill set
  • experience
  • portfolio
  • awards
  • achievements
  • traffic/sats/numbers
  • testimonials/social proof
  • recognition by others
  • influence on others
  • exposure & reach

get out a pen and paper to do some brainstorming. consider:

what do you have right now? 

make a list of anything and everything that you already have under your belt. this can be from areas outside your biz too (say from previous jobs/careers/training, from interests/hobbies you have, from activities you participate in with your family/kids/on own such as committees, volunteering.) take your list and jot down how each of these things relates to what you do in your biz.

(for instance i am a teacher. though i do not have a job in that profession anymore i know the qualifications, skills, experience, awards etc i achieved as a teacher are a huge asset to what i am doing now.)

where do you need to be?

make a list of what you would need to have in place to reach the goals you have set for yourself. what would you need to show that you have accomplished? what would establish YOU as the leader?

(for instance if your goal is to raise your rates to be on par with the best in your niche, what would you need to demonstrate in order to show that you are in the same league as those leaders in your field?)

what do you need to do?

between where you are right now and where you need to be, how will you fill that gap? what are specific actions you can take that will work towards reaching your goals. how will you begin to build up your standing?

  • applying for awards
  • submitting articles to blogs & publications
  • increasing traffic to your website & tracking analytics/stats
  • collecting testimonials
  • expanding your portfolio
  • doing courses/ training programs
  • being mentored by leaders in your niche
  • mentoring/teaching/assisting others
  • finding speaking engagements
  • creating your own products
  • holding webinars/seminars
  • supporting charities or non-profit organizations
  • joining committees
  • volunteering
  • sponsorship of other sites, groups, organizations
  • expanding social media presence/following
  • connecting with leaders in niche, getting link backs, reviews, accolades

as you gain standing in your niche share your accomplishments! display awards, share ‘as seen in’ links, state the number of subscribers, post the most powerful testimonials, share your qualifications, describe your skill set and how it makes you stand out.

you are your own boss, so if you are waiting for someone else to come a long and pat you on the back, you might be waiting awhile! start building yourself up now.

what do you think establishes someone as a leader? what are ways that you could build up your own standing? i would love to hear your suggestions!