Just saying you’re an expert doesn’t make you an expert. The fact is that the customers you’re going after won’t take your word for it. They won’t automatically trust you just because you tell them they should. They need to hear it from an unbiased source, and one of the best ways to do that is to get your name in print. When you’re the guy or gal reporters turn to for quotes on news stories in your field, your audience starts to trust you and also see you as an expert. That means they’ll be likelier to do business with you. But before you can get to that point, you have to become the trusted source reporters turn to. And before you can do that, you have to pitch yourself to them as an expert.
Look, promoting yourself kind of sucks. It’s awkward to reach out to reporters, telling them how awesome and knowledgeable you are, but it’s an essential part of getting your name and your message out there. You have to be willing to pump yourself up a little bit and to confidently present yourself as the person worth talking to in your field.
The tricky part is there’s a thin line between confidently pitching yourself as an expert and coming across as a pompous ass. Yes, you want the reporter to see your credentials, to understand why you’re perfectly qualified to speak on a particular subject, and to trust you to be the authoritative voice for your niche. But in an effort to paint yourself in such a light, it’s easy to take things a little too far, coming across as arrogant or overly self-promotional.
So, how do you find the balance?
Not only do you need to be professional, you need to be likeable. The fact is that a journalist or producer doesn’t just need to like your expertise, he or she needs to like you as a person. If you’re rude, presumptuous, or too self-promotional, you won’t be liked and you won’t become the go-to source you’re trying to be, no matter how smart or well-credentialed you might be.
So, before you hit “Send” on that pitch, take another look at it. Would you like you?
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download your free copy of 7 Cheap PR Tactics for Success in Any Economy here: http://www.ereleases.com/offer/7cheaptactics.html