Many business owners overlook the value of becoming a subject-matter expert and cultivating a credible presence on the Internet. Being a recognized leader in your field yields many benefits for the business owner, including an easier sales cycle, increased credibility, and the capability to charge higher fees.
A recent study by the independent research firm Luxury Institute finds that nearly all wealthy consumers (99 percent) use the Internet to do research before they buy. There is no escaping it; the Google search results for your name or business must convey an air of expertise and authority.
Thanks to the Internet, becoming an authority and building respect for your business has become much easier. A convincing online presence is merely a result of publishing your ideas and spreading your name around the Internet.
The Benefits of Becoming a Published Writer
Everybody who has ever read a newspaper, magazine, or book already knows it: The most influential, powerful trendsetters in the history of our world are writers. People naturally consider an author as the authority on a subject. After all, the word "author" is the root of the word "authority".
Being a published author and a recognized leader in your field is a good idea for many reasons:
- Your reputation will precede you. A recent survey of 1,006 people showed that 76 percent of Americans admit to judging individuals solely based on their material online. Since most people do research online, you must make a first impression of authority, expertise, and credibility. Further studies show that once you make a first impression, it is nearly irreversible. It works like this:
- If you appear to be of higher business or social status, then the researcher will admire and cultivate you as a valuable contact.
- If you appear to be of comparable business or social level, the researcher will consider you suitable for further interaction.
- If you appear to be of lower business or social standing, the researcher will tolerate but keep you at arm's length.
- Increased competitiveness. Leveraging your experience and knowledge across the Internet will secure that competitive edge needed to increase your business. When a potential client must choose between someone who is a published author, a well-known authority in the field, and somebody without those credentials...who do you think the client is going to choose?
- Increased credibility. Authority = credibility. If you are an authority on a subject, few people will differ on your viewpoint. Others must respect your viewpoints, even if they don't agree.
- Higher fees. If you provide a service (like a consultant, coach, graphic artist, doctor, therapist, financial advisor, accountant, or other service professional), a history of published material gives you license to charge higher rates. Many people want to work with "the best of the best," and are more than willing to pay top dollar for the peace-of-mind that an expert brings. If you are a published professional, your rates should be higher.
How to Get Published on the Internet
The Internet has made it easy for just about anyone to be an author. However, to be a credible and influential author, your articles must appear where people are searching—and that means Google, Yahoo, and MSN. Furthermore, your article or press release gains more respect if it's published by a third party.
The following is a simple checklist for becoming published on the internet:
- You write an Article in your field of knowledge or a press release about your company.
- Submit the Article or Press Release (along with proper attribution and links back to your own website) to free Article Directories and Press Release distribution services around the Internet.
- Webmasters publish your content on their sites. There are millions of webmasters around the Internet that need good content for their websites. They often use the copyright-free Articles and Press Releases found on these directories.
- Google indexes your Articles in directories and websites and then displays those links in its search results.
- The Key Secret - Repeat! Establishing a pattern of publishing is the secret key to this entire process. Both Google and consumers will ignore just one published Article or Press Release. But a consistent history is impressive to them both.
The following resources can help you submit articles and press releases to internet publishers, as well as help those articles achieve good internet search rankings.
PR Stream by Small Business Victory
PR Stream submits your Articles and Press Releases to web publishers to create authority. They also offer a professional writing service to help you write the articles. PR Stream offers a 21 Day Free Trial for both the self-directed and automated service.
PRWeb is a Press Release syndication service used by organizations of all sizes to increase the visibility of their news releases. The cost is $80 for a standard visibility Press Release.