The brand halo effect: How becoming a known expert can impact your marketing

6 min read

The brand halo effect: How becoming a known expert can impact your marketing

Becoming an expert in your field can positively impact your marketing efforts in many ways. More qualified leads, more reach, more sales, more understanding and generally if you nail it on the head - more business all round. Need I go on?

But becoming a Known Expert isn’t as easy as snapping your red heels together and wishing on a star - it takes work, effort, strategy, and a whole lot of knowing what you’re talking about.

That’s why it melds so well for professional service firms.

We’ve put this post together to share some tips on you how can use the Halo Effect to help earn Known Expert status in your industry, and in return, reap the rewards.

Trust us - your bottom line will thank you.

So let’s get to it.

First things first, what is a Known Expert?

Known Experts are those people who everyone goes to for the answers. The media might seek them out for comment - or industry professionals might just have that one person that can do no wrong in their books. Their years of experience, or envy-worthy proven track-record, have set them apart from the rest.

If you’re in the marketing world - a well Known Expert is Seth Godin. If you’re into investment, Guy Kawasaki might float your boat. Or if personal development is your favourite, Tony Robbins might be a name that rings a few bells.

Get the idea? These guys have incredible influence on other people in their areas of expertise. If any of these Known Experts release a book, course, seminar etc, you know it’ll be snapped up quicker than you can blink.

We are not saying you need to be a Known Expert on a global scale. We understand it’s not for everyone.

But you could definitely start smaller. Become a local expert - or even your company’s internal go-to guru. All of this is going to bump up your credibility. And, when you’re a Known Expert, people come to you for the solutions. The trust you receive as a Known Expert is something that can’t really be brought. It takes a lot of worthwhile wisdom and proving yourself to get there.

That’s where the Halo Effect comes in.

What is the Halo Effect and how can it help you become a Known Expert?

The Halo Effect is the phenomenon where we assume that because people are good at doing A, they will also be good at doing B, C and D. It is a well-researched area of psychology, but it is not a concept that is spoken about nearly enough in business.

In business terms, it is largely synonymous with the idea of brand equity: we can use brand equity and trust in a brand that is already well-known and leverage it to build trust in another.

Apple’s iPod was its Halo product. When the iPod was released, computer, software and services sales for Apple dramatically increased as well. Car companies have been known to release their halo car, which drives foot traffic and creates positive association with other models too.

In marketing, we use the Halo Effect to describe the benefits of becoming a Known Expert. This means the individual expands their sphere of influence to other topics of expertise, but also to positively impact the perception of their teams and organisations as well.

Understanding the Halo Effect means that leaders can follow a defined process to become a Known Expert, with an eye to ultimately improving the performance of their organisation in highly commercial ways: reputation, sales, potential partnerships, diversification, commercial rates and more.

This process works particularly well in the marketing of professional services businesses, but let’s face it, there is a service component to most businesses today, so this is an effect you probably want to get your head around.

I’ve actually covered this more in a recent LinkedIn post, I go into more detail about finding your halo and what to do with it once you’ve found it. So ensure you check that article out to get a better understanding.

What are some of the positive effects of building up your Known Expert status?

The positive impact is two-fold:

1. You’re developing some trust in your abilities - some brand equity. This takes a little time and you may need to stay in this space for a little while and prove yourself for the brand equity to build. The better you become known for your area of expertise, and the more credibility you hold in the space, the greater your Halo Effect on the people around you. Your team may start to be perceived internally as a tip-top implementer, or clients who have worked with you will positively associate your organisation with your expertise as well. You may build your profile externally and start to attract clients to the fold who are looking for your particular brand of expertise. And so it goes...

2. Longer term, this trust in your abilities enables you to spread your wings to adjacent topics of specialty, or to further refine and specialise more tightly within your theme. Thus is the power of your Halo Effect - you become the trusted brand, and you can then carefully refine, spin-off or diversify.

How far will you take it?

Becoming a Known Expert is a process, so really, you get to choose how far you take it.

If you choose to be an internal expert, you can use your influence to get more work in an area you’re passionate about, and you can inspire employees and clients to achieve their goals.

Or you can choose to expand your influence outside of your organisation.

For professional services firms this is a no-brainer. Speaking at conferences, posting to your organisation’s blog or on LinkedIn, and getting quoted in relevant media is where you can raise visibility and strengthen your creds. Your Halo Effect will position your organisation as a specialist in your area of expertise, and you’ll start to see some impact on your organisation’s performance. In fact, in some cases, organisations start relying on their industry experts for sales.

Or, maybe by then, your message is gaining enough momentum to really kick it in the National or Global Expert stakes - where you’re actually getting paid for speaking and writing, your blog and social media channels are expanding your reach, you firm can charge top fees for consulting in your space.

A savvy content or inbound marketing agency can help you develop the appropriate content strategies that build up your profile as a Known Expert. We’ve put together a guide to help you pick the best one. Download your 7-step checklist to choosing the right inbound marketing agency to make the most informed choice.The 7-step checklist to choosing your inbound agency - Brand chemistry

Brand chemistry is a strategic brand agency. With more than 10 years experience building brands, we know what it takes to stand out amongst your competitors. Take a look at our client case studies to find out more.

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