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Free Marketing: 101 Low and No-Cost Ways to Grow Your Business, Online and Off by Jim Cockrum

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PART 19

WE LIKE TO BUY FROM EXPERTS—So BECOME AN EXPERT

Conversations about you and your business are already happening online. You have three choices: You can ignore it, you can engage and join in, or you can become an expert and shape the conversation.

I've probably convinced you by now that people want to do business with experts they know they can trust. How will you adjust your efforts accordingly?

When you imagine an expert, what comes to mind? Is it an old stuffy professor leaning on a chalkboard struggling to communicate deep and difficult concepts in simple enough terms that his young eager students can grasp? Maybe it's a clean-cut motivational speaker onstage with a $200 haircut and a smile to match delivering his latest amazing insights with a flowing style. If any of these images, or any elite feeling pops into your mind when I say expert, then you've become a bit out of touch with how the Internet works.

Whether we like it or not, the perception of who is and isn't an expert has now shifted dramatically thanks to search engines, online video, and the ease of distribution of all types of information around the world. You don't have to wait for a mega-news corporation or major publisher to come along and anoint you an expert any longer. The first step to becoming an expert is to call yourself one, and the second (a bit harder) step is to earn it every day by staying up-to-date on your content, and by creating and managing the conversations around your niche. Join forums ...

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