10 Ways Membership Owners Can Become The “Go To” Person In Your Industry
If you’re trying to level up or learn something, the first person you’ll look for is the person at the top of their game – the big name, the leading voice, in a given subject area.
As a membership site owner, your focus should be on becoming that person!
But simply knowing your stuff isn’t enough.
It’s all well and good having knowledge and expertise, but people need to know about it!
You need to make sure that you’re taking steps to position yourself as the go-to person in your industry.
So… how do you do it?
Here are my top 10 ways to market yourself and your membership site so that you become known as the go-to person in your industry:
Refining and focusing on your niche
Generalists are a dime a dozen, specialists are like gold dust.
There are a million and one digital marketing experts out there. There are only a few membership site experts out there
(…and only two worth listening to, of course!)
When you’re crystal clear in your niche, it’s clearer to your audience what you do and which problems you solve.
They won’t have to trawl every page of your website to work out what you do or whether you’re a good fit for what they need.
It’s a tough pill to swallow but, if you could be anyone, you might as well be no one.
Decide the role you want to perform for your audience
There are three main roles you can take up to become an authority figure in the online space and the go-to person in your niche.
Be the expert
The person with all the knowledge, expertise, and advice. You position yourself as being the #1 and communicate your expertise wherever you can.
e.g. Well… The Membership Guys!
Be the peer
Someone who is in the trenches, learning as you go alongside your members, not claiming to be an expert but sharing your journey and all the lessons and insights that go with it.
e.g. Pat Flynn, of Smart Passive Income.
Be the curator
The one who pulls together resources and experts, creates a platform, populates it with big thinkers and ideas, and hosts it for their members.
e.g. Carrie Green, of Female Entrepreneur Association.
Get clear on your message and mission
- What are you doing?
- Why are you doing it?
- What are you aiming to achieve?
- What change are you looking to affect?
Clarity in yourself begets clarity for your members and audience.
If you can answer those four questions, you’re going to know exactly how to communicate with your audience in a way that is authoritative and assured.
Share free content
We’re huge advocates of content marketing at The Membership Guys.
At one end, it will get you leads and sales but, at the other, it will establish your position as an expert in your field.
We would 100% recommend that you start a blog or, even better, a podcast or video series.
Audio and video are the most effective means of content marketing, as they help your audience to really know ‘the person’ behind the content and learn your voice – literally!
For us, this has been proven time and time again.
When we meet members, they so often say that our podcast is one of the main reasons they joined our membership.
Create a signature resource
On top of your ‘usual’ content, create something that elevates you above others in your market. The kind of thing that even your competitors might want to link to!
A brilliant example of this comes from Social Media Examiner.
SME publish an annual industry report, based on a survey of thousands of social media marketers.
This report receives tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of downloads and helped turn SME from just another voice to the voice in their niche.
This is where we got our idea for the Online Membership Industry Report!
Write a book
It’s easier than ever to publish a book.
No more hoping and praying for a book deal, if you’ve got a message you want to get out there, write it up and self-publish it!
This is next-level content marketing because, though it might now be easier to publish a book, it remains one of the most authoritative forms of content.
For us, we leveraged our existing content and went into far greater detail, reworking and reinforcing a lot of it to produce the two books we’ve published.
This is the best approach – using content that you’ve already published but supercharging it so your book has greater value.
Start public speaking
Public speaking will put you in front of a captive audience of hundreds of people, all from different walks of life and with the potential to be new members.
Your talk is time dedicated to you proving your expertise to them.
But there are only so many events and so many speaking slots at them.
It can be hard to break through the old guard and same old faces, so I would recommend working your way up to bigger stages by getting started at smaller events, like Chamber of Commerce events, Toastmasters, and LinkedIn Locals.
Make sure you have a clear structure and outline for your talk.
Don’t be vague, sending out lists of the 100 topics you can speak on.
Know what you’re going to say, how you’re going to say it, and what the audience will take away from your talk.
This will make the organizer’s life infinitely easier and put you at the top of the pecking order.
Contributing to other platforms
Guest blogging, providing quotes for articles, guesting on podcasts, participating in online summits – this comes in many forms but, whichever you go for, the effect is the same.
You can reach a whole new audience with your message, supported (implicitly or explicitly) by the person or platform you are contributing to.
I’d recommend searching for quality creators who cover satellite topics or offer a complimentary service to yours.
It’s unlikely a direct competitor is going to let you on their podcast, but someone working in your wider area will probably be very receptive.
And, if it works well, take things a step further and look at joint ventures – producing a specific product or service or running a referral promotion with a partner.
These joint ventures can really elevate you quickly.
They let you access larger audiences with great social proof.
It’s tricky to get these going early on, so save trying this until you’re a bit further down the line in your membership site ownership journey.
Leverage social proof
Calling yourself an expert is fine – anyone can do it.
If other people are saying it… you’re on to a winner.
Obviously, you think you’re awesome but other people confirming it will make it real and believable to your members.
As a membership site owner, you have a continued involvement and relationship with your members.
You become a part of their life in a way and keep in regular contact with them.
You have far more opportunities to generate social proof because of this.
Reach out to successful members and ask if you can showcase their journeys.
Really, you’re also showcasing yourself in doing so.
As our good friend Chris Ducker always says: You need to be seen to sell.
Having a signature product or ecosystem of sales will show that you are genuinely involved in your field, not just commentating from the sidelines.
You’re backing up all the stuff you’re saying in your free content with active work in your field.
Making money and showing that people are willing to pay for your expertise makes it abundantly clear that your knowledge is valuable.
Start your journey
So now that you know what it takes to truly stand out in your market as the go to person, it's time to get to work.
And “work” is the operative word – it won't happen overnight; but trust me, if you're the first name that comes to your audience's mind when they're looking for someone they can trust to solve their problems, someone they know has the knowledge and expertise to get them to where they want to go, then they won't even consider going elsewhere.