Consultants: Promote your expertise instead of your practice [Training May 12 in Madison, Wis.]

11 WaysConsultantsPromoteTheir Expertise2

Photo by Viktor Hanacek,


You’re a whiz at organizational development. Or strategic planning. Or time management. Or the topic that’s your passion.

But unless your specialty is marketing, you might not know the first thing about how to promote your consulting business.  

You’re not alone. 

During the more than 15 years I’ve worked as a consultant with the Milwaukee-based Summit Group, I’ve been in awe at the hundreds of smart, savvy consultants who we’ve met at our monthly breakfast meetings and at networking events around town. Except for business cards, a few brochures and their LinkedIn connections, many consultants don’t realize the wide variety of ways they can market their practice.

My best advice: Don’t market your practice. Market your expertise. 

When I lead a three-hour workshop for the Madison Area Business Consultants on May 12 at MG&E Innovation Center on How to Build Your Expertise, Promote It and Attract Your Best Clients, I’ll explain exactly what constitutes expertise, how to achieve it, keep building on it, and how to promote it. 

Here are 11 promotion ideas you might not have considered:

1. Refer to yourself as an expert—everywhere.

That includes in your professional bio, on business cards, marketing materials, proposals, invoices and packing slips. (This assumes that you have a respectable level of expertise in your field.) 

I typically begin my bios with the phrase “Publicity expert Joan Stewart…” It lets readers know immediately that I’m at the top of my game. “Publicity expert” also appears in my social media profiles.

You're the Expert Spread the Word business card stack

2. In content you publish content—everywhere.

The best way to publish is by blogging because you own the property. If that’s an impossible commitment for whatever reason, offer to guest blog for others, as long as they reach the same target audience as you do. It’s also smart to publish on your LinkedIn profile. (More on LinkedIn in #8 below.) 

If your topic is difficult to illustrate, consider a collection of how-to tips that you create in PowerPoint and upload to Pinterest. My board on 50 Tips for Free Publicity has 3,142 followers and it isn’t even complete.  

3. In a short tagline after your name.

Use this instead of your job title. You’d be amazed at all the places this will appear: under your photo in newspapers and magazines, in industry directories and in articles others are writing about you.   

4. In your 15-second elevator pitch.

At many events where I speak, audience members sometimes introduce themselves with their 15-second elevator pitches before the meeting planner introduces me. Almost no one refers to themselves as an expert! I know because I’m listening carefully.  

5. On your nametag at events.

I’ve seen this several times, and it’s a always conversation starter. “Exactly what do you do?” Chances are good the guy asking it won’t remember your name. But he’ll remember you’re the privacy expert who can keep his company’s computers from being hacked. 

Privacy Expert nametag

6. At your website—everywhere.

Use the word expert or expertise on your homepage, in your bios, on your Contact page and anywhere else you can slip it in.

7. In the titles of your YouTube videos.

If you create talking head videos, put “John Smith, Privacy Expert” in the headline. Your video will appear in search results when someone searches for “privacy expert.”

8. On LinkedIn—everywhere.

Include the word expert in your headline and throughout your profile. Use it in the “Experience” section and when you invite others to connect with you.  

Refer to yourself as an expert when you start or participate in discussions within groups. Journalists and bloggers are trolling groups looking for story ideas, sources and experts.

9. In Comments at other people’s blogs.

This is an excellent place to flaunt your expertise and get a link back to your website. Yet most people never consider this.  If readers have taken the time to read the entire post and they’ve made it to the Comments sections, they’re interested in the topic. And many of those readers might be looking for solutions to problems. Who better to help solve them than you?  

10. In anything you’ve written.

This includes blog posts, guest blog posts, articles, White Papers, your own newsletter, status updates on social media,  letters, print books, ebooks, special reports and email.

11. In your email signature.

During a typical week, how many people see your emails? If you don’t use the word “expert,” you’re missing the chance to let them know you stand above many of your competitors.

Free Publicity Tip 48--Consultant Promote ExpertiseIf you can join me in Madison May 12, you’ll be able to participate in a fun activity that really gets people thinking. I’ll be asking for volunteers for several “hot seats.” One by one, consultants will take turns sitting on a chair in the front of the room. They’ll explain their business and their goals. Audience members join me in throwing out ideas on what the consultant can do to perfect or promote their expertise. At an easel nearby, a volunteer note-taker is busy recording all the ideas. The person on the hot seat leaves with a long list of suggestions.

And audience members realize that even though they might be too close to their own business to market it, it’s a blast helping someone  else market theirs. Hope you can join me on May 12! To register, contact Kathy Watson. You can get her contact info and other details here.

How do you promote your consulting practice? What clever ways have you seen other consultants use to promote theirs?

Dog Tweets–14 Ways to Increase Your Clickthrough Rate on Twitter

Here are my Top 10 tweets from this past week, great for retweeting! If you missed these, follow The Publicity Hound on Twitter.

twitter bird14 Ways to Increase Your #Clickthrough Rate on #Twitter

How to Leverage Mean #Tweets And Other Negative Feedback #crisismanagement

5 Ways to Get 10x More #Retweets on #Twitter | @WordStream

#Twitter #Marketing: 7 Ways to Use Twitter You May Not Have Thought Of

#Twitter Reveals ‘Retweet With Comment’ for Added Engagement | @CarlyPage_

Everything You Need To Know About #Twitter’s New #Video Feature via @B2Community

The #Twitter Response Guide For #Business: 10 Research-Backed Ways To Improve Your Twitter Customer Engagement

New Research: Who Follows #Brands on #Twitter? | @simplymeasured #SEO

5 Do’s And Don’ts For #Twitter In 2015 via @altrinchamhq

7 Tips for Consistent #Branding on #Twitter | SocialTimes




Dog Tweets–4 Mega Factors to Consider When Branding (or Rebranding) Your Blog

Here are my Top 10 tweets from this past week, great for retweeting! If you missed these, follow The Publicity Hound on Twitter.

twitter bird4 Mega Factors to Consider When #Branding (or Rebranding) Your #Blog via @B2Community

Learn important best practices for publishing content that promotes your expertise on #LinkedIn #Webinar

#Social selling and the #social enterprise: From fantasy to reality – via @markwschaefer

How to Guest Post and Rock Your Pitch via @Ileane by @SueAnneDunlevie via #sbzclub

Discover how to properly use hashtags to increase your brand on Twitter! via @charlenerhall via #sbzclub

10 things you should never do when #pitchingajournalist via @PRDaily

How to Create #Content That Builds Your #Business & Attracts #Clients

RT @StratCommun: RT @Canary_Wood: 52 #ContentMarketing Experts Share Their Top 100 Content Tips

How to Write an Email Newsletter Bio via @Patsiblogsquad #contentmarketing

RT @MTilburyAuthor: Top 10 Resources for Self-Publishing Authors @thecreativepenn @PublicityHound and @annerallen




Why publishing content on LinkedIn can be confusing if you blog

10 LinkedIn Changes,  Workarounds & Apps 2


When LinkedIn rolled out its publishing platform a year ago this week, giving you the ability to publish helpful content to your profile, bloggers rejoiced.

Finally, they could take all those posts and republish them on LinkedIn.

Not so fast. 

Google doesn’t like duplicate content, and republishing all your content to LinkedIn is as bad as spamming. If Google sees two articles online—one at your blog and one on your LinkedIn profile—it might rank your profile higher in search results, and not rank your blog post at all. 

The workaround for that problem is to rewrite the post just enough so it’s different, and then publish it to LinkedIn.

Hubspot, the experts in inbound marketing, suggest a few other options. In its post Linkedin’s Publishing for All” Raises Duplicate Content Questions, it suggests that you might go so far as to republish only one out of five articles from your blog on LinkedIn, but only if you feel it’s adding value by getting the content in front of a new audience who would benefit from it. 

I wouldn’t take that chance. I’d simply rewrite it. Or pay someone to rewrite it for me.

LinkedIn expert Wayne Breitbarth, author of the best-selling book The Power Formula for LinkedIn Succcess, will discuss other important things to keep in mind while publishing to LinkedIn when he’s my guest for an online training session from 4 to 5 p.m. Eastern on Thursday, April 9. ” The webinar on 10 LinkedIn Changes, Workarounds & Apps will walk you through the new features introduced in the last year by the world’s largest social networking site and explain how to use them to your advantage. 

5 Reasons to Publish on LinkedIn

Publishing has many advantages. Here are just a few:

  1. Published posts enhance your expertise and let people know that you know your topic.
  2. They become part of your profile, the first thing someone sees when they land on your page.
  3. The content can be seen by people who aren’t connected to you at the first, second or third levels.
  4. It’s an alternative to creating your own blog, a task some people stiff refuse to consider. The danger in relying on LinkedIn as a showcase for your content is the same as it is on other sites like Facebook and Twitter. You don’t own the property. The content can be here one day and gone the next.
  5. Your compelling content could be the deciding factor that gives you a consulting assignment, or a new job.

Checklists & Cheat Sheets

Everyone who registers for Thursday’s webinar will receive five bonuses. My Publicity Hounds love those easy-to-use checklists and cheat sheets. Here’s what you’ll get: 

  1. The video replay, which you can watch again whenever you wish if you need a quick refresher. 
  2. A self-evaluation, written by Wayne, that lets you score yourself so you can see how well you’re doing on LinkedIn.
  3. Wayne’s list of list of “10 Ways to Promote Your Events on LinkedIn.” I always forget about these when I’m speaking at an event, or hosting a virtual event.
  4. Wayne’s checklist of “10 Ways to Get More Company Page Followers.” I don’t use my Company Page nearly enough.
  5. Wayne and I also use a fast, incredibly easy trick for growing our email lists when we connect with others on LinkedIn. We’ll tell you what it is and even give you a cheat sheet with the exact copy we use so you can steal our idea.

Hope to see you on Thursday’s call. Register here.

If we’re not connected on LinkedIn, let’s do it. You can find me here.  Connect with Wayne here.

Dog Tweets–Press Release Grader – Make it Better

Here are my Top 10 tweets from this past week, great for retweeting! If you missed these, follow The Publicity Hound on Twitter.

twitter birdPress Release Grader – Make it Better – @prweb #pressreleasegrader #pressrelease

#MobileResponsive, It’s not just flicking a switch! via @JSaeler

Simple Cures for #BusinessBlog Writer’s Block #bloggingforbusiness #bloggingtips

How to Write & Publish a #1 Bestselling Children’s Book to Amazon in a Weekend #bookpublishing

Radio #publicitytip: Call talk shows and comment via @PublicityHound

Five ideas to discover your #marketing niche from @SMExaminer @markwschaefer

8 Steps to #Instagram Enlightenment! #infographic #smm @Louise_Myers via #sbzclub

50 things to tweet about from @Bookgal #bookmarketing

Join my friend Jeff Goins, author of “The Art of Work”, as shares how you can discover your calling. via #sbzclub

Boost Recognition, Get New #Readers, and Increase Sales




9 ways corporate sponsors can help authors, speakers, experts

Brendon Burchard--9 things Canva poster2

Here’s one of the secrets to partnering with a large company or nonprofit that can pay your PR costs and give you exposure far beyond what you could create yourself:

Your audience—which consists of people who already know, like and trust you—needs exactly what the company or nonprofit is offering. 

Hooking one of these big sponsors means you can use their giant marketing budgets, their lengthy email lists, consumer research you don’t have at your fingertips, and savvy marketing staffs.  And if you’re an author, speaker or expert, you  probably have a ready-made audience—or the beginnings of one—that will be enticing to a sponsor. 

Brendon Burchard finally figured out how to partner with corporate or nonprofit sponsors and tap into their huge marketing budgets, giant email lists, consumer research, marketing staffs and their easily recognizable names.

Want to know how he does it?

Join Steve Harrison as he interviews Brendon during a free teleseminar at your choice of times—2 or 7 p.m. Eastern—on Thursday, April 9, 2015.  You’ll learn “How to Get Major Companies And Nonprofits To Sponsor The Promotion of Your Book, Product or Service.” Register here.

Burchard says there are nine things that major sponsors can help you promote to millions of people, while also paying for your PR campaign.

1. Live events. 

This is perfect for professional speakers and trainers. And the event doesn’t have to be big. Burchard knows a corporate sponsor who came through with $300,000 to promote an event that pulled only 14 people, and was a success.

2. Educational programs.

Let’s say you’re an expert in finance, and you want to to each children and teens how to save money and be smart shoppers. The best way to do that is to get into schools. And the easiest way to do that is to partner with a company or nonprofit that already has contacts within lots of schools.

3. Corporate programs.

You’ve created an innovative program that’s perfect for CEOs and others in the executive suite. Let’s say it’s on the topic of ethics. Major companies and nonprofits would LOVE to partner with you and spread the word to their audiences because it shows they’re good corporate citizens. They already have the connections, the database and the inside track on other organizations and audiences that would welcome you. And when it comes to marketing, they’ll do all the heavy lifting for you!

4. Product launches.

You might have a new book or video series that’s perfect for staff members at nonprofits all over the world. And a big nonprofit might love let their branches and field offices know about it. You have the how-to info, and they have a huge, ready audience.

5. Contests and sweepstakes.

For a really successful contest, you need big prizes. And who better to give them to you for free than companies like hotels that offer free rooms, and airlines that can supply free tickets? Burchard arranged a deal like that and gave the winner of one of his sweepstakes a trip around the world.

6. A website launch.

If you’re going to build an online community, big partners can help you drive traffic, give you products that you can give away, and provide “borrowed credibility” that will make you look more reputable when visitors see their logos on your website.

7. Coaching or Similar Services.

This is perfect for life coaches, or anyone who provides services for those in need. During Hurricane Katrina, a major corporation paid the tab to send life coaches to New Orleans to work with hurricane victims and help them get their lives back on track. The “Doctors Without Borders” program is another example of a successful program made possible through corporate partners.

8. Worthy Causes

If you can help disadvantaged youth, battered women or cancer survivors, there’s probably a Fortune 500 company or global nonprofit that would love to give you its stamp of approval, a budget to help, and their logo to use in your PR campaign, particularly if they care deeply about social responsibility.

9. Book or Concert Tours

You might be a rock band that wants to do a major tour but can’t afford it. Or an author who wants to tour the country to promote your new book. Burchard recruited enough sponsors to pay for a 41-city tour to promote his book, Life’s Golden Ticket.

Now that you know just some of the possibilities, learn other techniques for recruiting sponsors and partners. Attend the free teleseminar at 2 and 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 9. Brendon will explain how to use the template he has created for recruiting corporate sponsors. 

The call is free. (Full disclosure: I’m a compensated affiliate and I’m promoting this because it offers opportunities galore for Publicity Hounds who have a message to share. I might get a commission if you buy something from Steve down the road.

Radio publicity tip: Call talk shows and comment

Calling a Talk Radio Show--Tips to Get on the Air

Savvy Publicity Hounds know how to use talk radio to their advantage, even if they’re only calling the show to comment on an issue the host is discussing.

The first hoop you must jump through is to get past the call screener, particularly if it’s a big talk show. Be ready to tell the screener exactly what you’ll say to the host.   

Holland Cooke, a talk radio consultant, cautions call screeners to prep callers before they go to the host on-air. Here’s what you can learn from his article Have You Hugged Your call Screener Today?:

  • Sound as though you know the host and you’re happy to be on the air.
  • Get to the pointy quickly. No rambling.
  • Don’t say, “Hi, how are you? It’s so great to be on your show.” Just launch into your opening statement that summarizes your key point succinctly.
  • Stay on topic.

He also recommends call screeners audition callers off the air and actually help them boil down their opinion to a concise opening statement. Be ready for this. Practice before you call the station.

And My Own Tips….

I’m a talk radio junkie. Three things bug me—and radio hosts—to no end:

  • Callers who won’t turn off their radios, hoping to hear themselves. They don’t understand there’s a seven-second delay.
  • Those who refuse to stop talking, especially when the host responds.
  • Callers who say to the host, “As I was telling your call screener….”

Free Publicity Tip 47--Call Talk Radio ShowsFinally, smart Publicity Hounds know how to generate publicity for themselves when they’re calling a talk radio show.

One way to do that is to weave into your comment, if it’s pertinent, your occupation and the name of your company: “I own Buddy’s Pizza at the corner of Main Street and Eighth Avenue, and the road repairs will bring more customers to my pizza shop.”

You can also refer to yourself as an expert, if you indeed are, like this: “I’m a publicity expert and the publicity storm surrounding Hillary Clinton’s emails won’t subside anytime soon. Here’s why…”

The Heavy Hundred Talk Radio Shows

Earlier this week, in my free email tips, I wrote about the 2015’s Talkers Heavy Hundred, the annual list of the top 100 radio talk shows in the United States and the Top Weekly Topics this week. Remember that many of the shows can be heard around the world via podcasts and iHeartRadio.

If you’re a guest on radio shows big or small, read my 5 tips for selling books or products on radio.


Dog Tweets–Story Telling for Blogs

Here are my Top 10 tweets from this past week, great for retweeting! If you missed these, follow The Publicity Hound on Twitter.

twitter birdStory Telling for Blogs #contentmarketing via @Patsiblogsquad

11 ways to rule #Twitterchats via @PRDaily

RT @MyDigitalAgent: A Funny Thing Happened During the 30-Day Blogging Challenge by @Synnovatia

Use Book Trailers in #MediaKits…You’ll love this collection of seven brilliant book trailers. #bookmarketing

Writing a Blog? 51 Ways to Revive A Lifeless Business Blog #bloggingforbusiness #bloggingtips

Big News: Google Loves Press Releases Now | @PRNewser @PatrickCoffee

9 #LinkedIn Publishing Tips That Can Build Your Visibility and Audience via @DeniseWakeman via #sbzclub

How to Survive a Public Embarrassment with Smart #Publicity via @PublicityHound @webmoves_net

@Bookgal brings us tip 47 in a series of 52 ways to market your book! #bookmarketing

From @JaneFriedman How 7 Literary #Authors Collaborated to Launch a Box Set




How to Survive a Public Embarrassment with Smart Publicity

Boy with hands over eyes

By Jen Thames

The world is moving faster than ever. Everything is online.

Smartphones make it possible to record every seemingly private moment. And news travels as fast a tweet.

The odds of bad behavior going unnoticed are slimmer than ever.

You’ve seen seen those press conferences where a politician or professional athlete delivers a statement after being caught doing something embarrassing. You’ve watched brands go down in flames on social media over something an employee posted. And you felt relieved that you weren’t in that position.

But whether you represent a company worth billions of dollars, or just yourself, there’s always a chance something could happen to damage your reputation. Here’s how to deal with it when it does.

1. Plan Before You Speak

The moment something humiliating or negative happens to you (or your company or your brand—sometimes all three at once) address it publicly. Your first instinct may be to write and distribute a press release, or shoot off a tweet or a status update on social media.

All three are fine. But you also must be willing to face reporters, bloggers and others who have questions.

One of the best books that guides business owners and others in bad-news situations is Winning with the News Media: a Self-Defense Manual When You’re the Story by Clarence Jones. It covers print and broadcast publicity in addition to new media and offers step-by-step recommendations on how to respond. 

2. Control the Story

When a scandal or humiliating incident happens, the people telling the story have the power to control it.

If others are telling your story, you have no control. Just look what happened with Hillary Clinton’s email scandal. She addressed the issued in just one tweet, thus fueling a media frenzy that centered on speculation and a lot of unanswered questions. She eventually held a press conference but not until a week later.   


Hillary email tweet


Take control of your story as soon as you can.

Let’s say a pilot falls asleep in the cockpit and loses control of his plane. Just in the nick of time, he wakes up. He regains control and makes a water landing, with no injuries or casualties.

That story could play one of two ways. The first is that the pilot put everyone on the plane in danger and almost killed them. The second is that the pilot’s quick thinking and reflexes saved everyone that day. Both are technically true but only one makes the pilot look good.

3. Take Responsibility

The worst thing you can do when going through a public crisis is fail to take responsibility for your actions. Blaming others for things that happened on your watch is the quickest way to make your audience turn on you.

When Amazon customers found that their copies of George Orwell’s 1984 were deleted from their Kindle devices without notice or warning, CEO Jeff Bezos posted a message in the Kindle forums with an apology:

“This is an apology for the way we previously handled illegally sold copies of 1984 and other novels on Kindle. Our ‘solution’ to the problem was stupid, thoughtless, and painfully out of line with our principles. It is wholly self-inflicted, and we deserve the criticism we’ve received. We will use the scar tissue from this painful mistake to help make better decisions going forward, ones that match our mission.

With deep apology to our customers,

Jeff Bezos
Founder & CEO 

But what about something your company didn’t do? Maybe it was something an employee did. In that case, you might not necessarily be apologizing for the problem, but for not catching it sooner or preventing it altogether.

Or perhaps you’re taking responsibility for not vetting staff properly. 

4. Move On

When all is said and done, remember that the more you talk about the incident, the more others will too.

After you’ve taken responsibility, it’s time to take a step back from the situation. Don’t respond to every new seed of the story. Get back to work. If you’re an actor, go make another movie. If your company makes dog toys, it’s time for another product launch.

A great example of this is Domino’s. In 2009, it was hit with a flood of bad PR after two employees filmed themselves violating public health laws by sticking cheese up a nose and blowing mucous on a sandwich. The video went viral, and Domino’s found itself unwillingly rebranded as the pizza company that does nasty things to your food. 

But instead of closing up shop and slinking into the shadows, Domino’s rebranded, changed its recipes, and launched a new ordering tracker that connected customers with the workers actually preparing and delivering the food.

Positive news like that can push the bad publicity further behind you.

Dog Tweets–A Book Marketing Truth Few Experts Will Admit

Here are my Top 10 tweets from this past week, great for retweeting! If you missed these, follow The Publicity Hound on Twitter.

twitter birdA Book Marketing Truth Few Experts Will Admit #bookmarketing

RT @RachelintheOC: The Dark Side of Selling Books

You have until April 21 to make sure your website is mobile-friendly

RT @HeatherLutze: #PR Tips From The Blacklist: How to Accomplish Your Media Mission | @Cision

Free tool for radio show gigs, Radio Guest List. #publicitytip

New Research: Content Marketing Performance #contentmarketing #contentmarketingstrategy

Business Blog Writing: How to Avoid Time-Suck via @Patsiblogsquad #businessblogging #bloggingtips

10 Ways to Get Your Book “Review Ready #bookmarketing #authormarketing

RT @NinaAmir: Resource for #writers based on The Author Training Manual. 57 items to help #authors succeed! #pubtip

#Authors: Detailed list of what your #Author #MediaKit must include. Free #tips today at 4 Eastern. #authormarketing