Saturday, January 26, 2008

Q&A a la Ann Landers: Becoming Known As an Expert

Question:

Publicist Mindy Phillips Lawrence asks:

I have a client who is an academic. Do you have any suggestions to help him with being viewed as an expert by the press and others in the publishing world?

Answer: You client's website should tout him as an expert in specific fields, areas of study, etc. Authors can do that by being sure that their awards are listed and that they have a media room and that they have a page that lists seminar and workshop topics. Check out my site and snoof (yes, I make up words!) around. I'm serious. I'd direct you to one page but I've used methods of doing this throughout the site. Endorsements. Places where I've already served as an expert. There's even a video so people who might use me can see that I'm full of information but also pretty casual. So your job is to analyze those things and see how they might apply to anyone who wants to position himself as an expert.

And then there is our new Authors' Coalition speakers' bureau and others (far more expensive) where he can become listed. Once listed, tell him to include his URL in his signature, etc. to let everyone he knows (all those academics as an example!) that he is featured on a speakers' bureau. He should even do that on his letterheads and business cards. Maybe his older contacts haven't thought of him as a speaker! This cards might read "expert" but also might include "specializing in" "consulting on" etc., all of which connote "expert." He could even add a motto like "Sharing his expertise on the world of XXXX."

Hey, what about a newsletter or blog that does the same thing? Whatever he does, though, his credentials should be upfront and center. I have a client who is an MD. In an effort to be modest, she didn't those initials in her byline for her book. Next time she will! But remember, credentials aren't only about a string of neat letters behind your name. They're also about experience.

He can also get himself listed on sites where people go to find expert. Sites like: http://www.experts.com/
http://www.expertclick.com/
http://www.refdesk.com/expert.html

Sites like these are used by editors and program directors much as speakers' bureaus are. Each one operates differently. Use a search engine to find others in any given field.

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Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author THIS IS THE PLACE; HARKENING: A COLLECTION OF STORIES REMEMBERED; TRACINGS, a chapbook of poetry; and two how to books, THE FRUGAL BOOK PROMOTER: HOW TO DO WHAT YOUR PUBLISHER WON'T; and THE FRUGAL EDITOR: PUT YOUR BEST BOOK FORWARD TO AVOID HUMILIATION AND ENSURE SUCCESS.
Her other blogs include TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com and AuthorsCoalition.blogspot.com, a blog that helps writers and publishers turn a ho-hum book fair booth into a sizzler.

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