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21 Tactics to Position Yourself as a Subject-Matter Expert [SME]

Updated: Aug 6, 2021

You’ve done the deep work to understand and master your chosen niche. Now it’s time to showcase your expertise so others can call upon your knowledge and skills when it matters most.

Becoming a go-to expert in any field requires strategic brand positioning. There are certain characteristics we all expect from subject-matter experts (SMEs). If you want to position yourself as an authority in your field, you must publish ideas, share resources, and make it look like the whole world is talking about you or your services.

Even if you have the best knowledge in the world, if you don’t market yourself, no one is going to notice.

Becoming an SME is about getting yourself noticed.

When it comes to authoritative positioning, each new media hit, published article, or speaking engagement makes it easier to get the next. Subject authority snowballs as more people recognize your brand.

This requires a lot of initial investment. Put in the effort upfront so that things get simpler and simpler for the future.

Here are 21 tactics to help you generate good publicity for your personal brand:

1. Subscribe to HARO or Muck Rack

There are several websites that specialize in connecting subject-matter experts with journalists looking for expert opinions. These services tend to cost money — but with the right pitch, you can get your name published in some of the top trade and consumer publications in the world.

Click here to check out HARO or Muck Rack.

2. Begin writing for publications in your industry

Getting quoted in articles is one thing. Authoring the article is even better. If you’re an adept communicator, many trade magazines and blogs may be interested to hear your opinion or story.

Case in point: Leon Brown is a developer and the founder of Nextpoint. He used his personal story to get featured in one of the top publications in the world. He says, “Be genuine and make sure to communicate your story. People like to hear the story behind the person. This worked well for me when it was picked up by the Guardian for one of their features.”

The key is formulating the right pitch, which we’ll discuss in point 17.

3. Show-off media exposure on your website