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How to Establish Yourself as a Subject Matter Expert (SME)

success tips Feb 17, 2019

As part of the 2019 HUBZone Chamber 'Live Webinar' series, over 80 members joined Neil McDonnell to discuss How to Differentiate Yourself as a SME Subject Matter Expert.

 In this webinar, Neil shows how to determine your core SME status and how strategic marketing can get your own expert content in front of the right audiences.

SME Status Gets You 'Found'

More than 200,000 businesses jockeying for attention in the government contracting  marketplace. How can you make your company stand out?

When buyer are searching for experts in your subject matter, how can you make sure they find you?

The best way to stand apart is to raise your SME profile as a leading vocal expert and become recognized as the go-to Subject Matter Expert in your field.

Choose a Single SME Topic

While its tempting to showcase the range of your competencies, in the beginning it is important to distinguish your expertise in a single core competency.


Developing a reputation requires time and a long-term commitment. Fortunately, the path to being recognized as a SME is ‘just a process’ – just like everything else in government contracting. 

Plan a Full Year of Social Media Content

The process begins by brainstorming an entire year's worth of expert content. A long-range planning calendar can help you track your content creation and distribution across various industry and social media channels.

Next, you must identify the strategic keywords that differentiate your expertise. Consistency between your social media and marketing, DSBS profile and capability statement raises your overall visibility.

While this sounds overwhelming, it really is manageable because you are already the subject matter expert. You are just trying to showcase what you already know!

Elements of a Planning Calendar

Using his own company as an example, Neil outlines how to plan a year’s worth of content by breaking the year down into 10 week ‘seasons’.

Each year includes five seasons with ten episodes each and each week has specific daily content.

Content then cycles through a sequence typically including blog posts, articles, podcasts, videos which are distributed via LinkedIn personal and company pages,Twitter, Facebook, your YouTube channels 

Over time, your potential customers will come to see you as the expert who can keep them up to date with whatever is going on in your industry.

Save Time with Automation

Whether you automate the process with free or paid tools like Hootsuite or Buffer or post content manually, a consistent flow of original content releasing every week is required.

Tools like Hootsuite and Buffer enable companies to schedule posts, analyze performance, and manage multiple social media profiles in one place. 

Throughout your marketing, it is important to monitor your results and engagement. Tools like Union Metrics enable clients to analyze brand and industry conversations in real time, identify key content and influencers and analyze the social activity of the competition.

Many enable you to search and track by keyword, hashtag, phrase or username to analyze recent Twitter activity.

Most services also provide free tutorials. For example, YouTube teaches you how to ‘Brand your channel’. Hootsuite shows ‘How to Use Hootsuite in 13 Minutes’ and Buffer offers a series of guides and resources.

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