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How to Become an Authority as a Project Manager in Your Industry

Leadership

Many people still don’t put much weight on being active on social media, especially if they are not trying to market themselves or a business. Social proof is more important than ever today, especially when someone has questions or wants to know who is the expert in a topic or area of interest. We all turn to the internet for answers. Are you the one people turn to? IS your knowledge and expertise findable when people are searching?

Recently, I met with an investor who wanted to help us scale our business, and the first thing I did was “Google him.” Nothing came up. No LinkedIn profile, no articles on past projects he had worked on. Nothing. This shot up all kinds of red flags for me. 

If you want to become an authority in your industry and become the go-to resource for your area of expertise, you can’t just do good work. You have to make sure you have a record of your knowledge somewhere online, especially if you want more than your immediate coworkers to know you are a great resource. 

Here are 5 steps to build authority:

  1. Be a lifelong learner in your area of expertise. Are you reading all you can find on your topic? Do you subscribe to podcasts in this area? Commit to learning more than the average person in your space, and others will want to learn from you.



  2. Talk about what you are learning. Many fear sharing on social media because they are not yet an expert or perhaps they just fear others saying they are not an expert. Don’t let “imposter syndrome” stop you from talking about a topic you are passionate about or a topic you are diving into. You don’t have to be an expert to share what you are learning. You can share on panels you volunteer to participate in or on platforms like Clubhouse or Spaces (Twitter’s version of Clubhouse). You can talk about what you are learning on a podcast you start or simply as a guest on someone else’s podcast.

      
  3. Connect with others interested in this area. Get on social media and search for people using hashtags in your area of interest. Find the authors of books on your topics and connect with them, telling them you are interested in learning more about this topic; perhaps you can even interview him or her.

       
  4. Write about this topic. Can you write a whitepaper or start a blog to highlight your knowledge and expertise? If you feel a blog is just too formal, keep in mind the word BLOG is short for WEB LOG, and if you use it as a space to log your progress and findings, you may not feel so intimidated to begin.



    Through your LinkedIn profile, share about projects you are involved in. There are sections for you to feature projects, articles, and more. Be sure to update your profile often. While you are there on your LinkedIn profile, why not post an article? (From the Home tab, go to the Post area and select Article.) The Article feature will allow you to post blog-style pieces of content. Many use this feature instead of starting a blog somewhere else.

       
  5. Be consistent. One post or article does not make you an authority in an area. Show up regularly on your favorite social channels to share something about your expertise. You can also share something from others creating content in this area and add a comment or an opinion to it. Don’t be afraid to voice an opinion that is different from other experts in the field. People have all kinds of opinions, so you are sure to find someone who feels the same way, and as long as you are being respectful, you can always disagree. 

So where do you begin? Do a Google search today on your topic. Subscribe to a few blogs, and connect with a few people creating lots of content in your area of interest. Make a list of hashtags you see on the posts you read, if any. After a few days of doing this, you will feel the urge to start chiming in and joining the conversations. Before you know it, others will be finding and following you!

About the Author

Gina Schreck has been in the content marketing space for over 15 years and has been ranked by LinkedIn as one of the top 24 people to follow in the B2B Marketing Space. Gina owns a digital marketing agency, SocialKNX, as well as several coworking spaces for entrepreneurs in the Denver area. She is also the author of Social Media Doesn’t Work… unless you do! Gina is a long-time support of PMI Mile Hi Chapter and has spoken at PMI events.

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