Like many in your profession, you may find yourself at a crossroads in the event industry.
Perhaps you’re a seasoned veteran and are eager to increase awareness for your brand on the national stage. Maybe you’re seeing an influx of competitors in the region and you’re looking to leverage your experience to stand out from the rest. Or you’re tired of the wealth of invitations to coffee so others can pick your brain, and you’re ready to monetize your mentoring capabilities.
It’s at this point, that it’s time to consider building your reputation in the market as a thought leader, that is, an expert in their field that is widely recognized as such.
First, you’ll want to answer the age-old question: what exactly am I an expert in? And it’s not enough to simply say “weddings” or “events.”
Next, it’s a matter of sharing your expertise - first through your own channels, such as your blog or social media platforms, and then through public relations efforts.
So what are some of the best opportunities out there to build on your reputation as a thought leader?
Guest blogging: Serving as a guest writer for a media outlet can be a significant step towards becoming a noted expert. You’ll want to first set goals and decide what time you can carve out in your schedule to make it happen. From there, begin researching media outlets to begin gauging opportunities, deadlines and how you can submit for consideration.
Event submissions: It’s one thing to showcase a gorgeous event on your own site, but it’s another to have a third party, such as an editor, feature it. Suddenly, you’re the benefactor of additional credibility because an authority figure gave your event two (often virtual!) thumbs up. Start pouring through your events over the last year to see which have the most editorially strong details. Review regional and national magazines and blogs to determine what may be the best fit and consider signing up for a program to help streamline the process, such as Two Bright Lights.
Speaking: Public speaking is a great way to increase brand awareness for your company while also building your reputation as an expert in your field. Take time develop your platform- determining what topics are the best fit for your expertise. From there, start small- look into area associations and workshops that may be a fit. Be mindful of industry conferences and make sure to mark any deadlines on your calendar. And above all- practice, practice, practice.
And like we’ve discussed before, mapping out media pitches will increase your chances of being quoted by reporters for relevant articles in your field.
Thought leadership can often seem like an intimidating endeavor but if your consider embracing some of the above strategies, you'll find your efforts will be rewarded.
Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding marketing and wedding PR firm OFD Consulting, which specializes in getting wedding professionals their brides. She is a highly sought after industry speaker and serves as a Public Relations adjunct professor for Virginia Commonwealth University.