Building your online reputation as an expert in your field can dramatically benefit your freelance business. In an increasingly crowded marketplace where competition is rife, buyers will often choose price over quality. One way to combat this is by cultivating an online reputation that establishes you as an expert in your field and raises your profile as a service provider. As well as increasing the likelihood of your name appearing in search results above your rivals using SEO or PPC campaigns, a well established online persona can help build trust with new clients and encourage sales. Here's how to raise your profile without spending thousands on PR.

To become an expert in a field one must first be highly skilled in a specific area and constantly be up to speed with changing technology, techniques and news. With innovation in multiple fields occurring everyday, the process of learning new skills never stops. Subscribe to blogs by leading practitioners in your field, follow experts on twitter, attend meet-ups, exhibitions and conventions and seek out courses to further develop your skills. Of course an industry expert requires vast experience that takes time but there are many things you can do to expedite this process and position yourself in the right areas to achieve them. Here are a few tips to get you started:

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  • Establish a voice. Producing original content that shows an advanced level of knowledge will provide you with a strong platform to build a reputation as an expert. Should you work in a visual environment then your portfolio should show off your level of ability. Submit work for publication (make sure to get remunerated for your work) and start to increase your level of exposure. 
  • Establish a presence. Online communities such as YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook have their own celebrities and 'experts'. There is a perception that the more likes or followers you have, the more authoritative you must be. Is Zoella (YouTube sensation with over 11 million subscribers) the foremost expert in her field? Not necessarily but many look to her for advice and to hear her opinion. 
  • Use celebrities or public figures in your work. Association with other high achievers improves your reputation as a leader in your field. It's a lot easier than you might think to attract a celeb when you're going to produce something positive about them. Equally you can look to influencers in your community to collaborate or share content. 
  • Speak publicly. It may sound daunting, but sharing what you have learned by offering to speak at meet-ups, public forums or colleges/universities is one of the best ways to build your reputation and increase your confidence in your own skills. Make sure to put together an engaging and polished presentation or talk from the start. There are hundreds of platforms in desperate need for speakers and if your talk gets well received, it can grow fast.  

By becoming an expert and growing your personal brand you'll attract more opportunities to your brand and develop your business at a rapid rate. If you think you could be an expert in your industry, The Freelancer Club provides freelancers with the perfect platform to launch your brand. Create a profile and showcase your work, start conversations and offer your professional insights on the Discussion Board or host an event, masterclass or workshop by organising an online or offline session using our Masterclass tool. 



Photo credit: Henri Mathieu-Saint-Laurent