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You've Got It, Flaunt It: Technology Is Hot and You Can Be, Too

You know who you are. You were tech before tech was cool. There have been a few rough patches over the years, and it hasn't always been easy to be a Microsoft partner. But technology has gone mainstream and there is no one better qualified to help people understand what it means to them than you.

As the cloud changes your business model, your value as an expert becomes more important to your survival. You can make the renewed interest in tech work for your business. Knowledge is the value that you offer, so share that knowledge to become the go-to expert in your community.

Define Your Community
First, you need to define the community that serves your potential customers and will value your expertise. Your target audience can be geographically defined, like your local business community, or vertically defined, such as an industry special-interest group. Your community should be clearly defined and reachable -- meaning that you need to have some way to regularly interact with the members of the group. 

Share Your Knowledge
By sharing your knowledge freely, you will establish yourself as an expert and go-to resource. There are many ways to get in front of your community. A few ideas include:

  • Community Connections. If your target market is the local business community and you are not tapped in the Community Connections program, you are missing out on a tremendous benefit of your MPN membership. You can connect with Chambers of Commerce and other business groups with the branding power of Microsoft behind you.

  • Local newspaper or TV station. Local media outlets are cutting costs, but still need to deliver content to their readers. Offer to write a weekly tech column or deliver a weekly tech report on the morning show.

  • Start up a networking group. Create your own community if it doesn't exist and there is an interest. The SharePoint Community is a great example of filling a niche for a global special interest group.  

  • Professional organizations. Websites that serve professional organizations need a continuous flow of content to keep their members coming back. Offer to write a monthly column focused on your specialty. 

Make It Relevant to Their Business
To build your audience, share your expertise in the context that people can understand and use it. They probably don't care about the technology behind virtual machines, but they do care that they can pay a lot less for backup. When you need inspiration, ask your current customers what tech topics they don't understand or would like to know more about. 

This is such a great time to be in the tech industry. Share your passion and business will follow.  

How are you becoming the expert in your community? Add a comment below or send me an e-mail and let's share the knowledge.

Posted by Barb Levisay on July 03, 2013