Since it’s a new year, setting business resolutions, intentions and goals for 2015 gives us an opportunity to focus our efforts.

The next level. Small business owners, freelancers and consultants always have their eye on it. As women in business, how do we establish ourselves as experts? The simple answer: Influence. To expand on our achievements and increase influence, utilize your accomplishments and make them work for you. With the specific, achievable and encouraging suggestions below, you can elevate your status - if you follow through. 

  1. Apply for Awards: Celebrate your hard work by giving yourself a chance to be recognized for it. Look for the win, but get your name on that list of nominees. No matter what, you’ll be considered an expert in your field and make people curious about your vision. Positive reinforcement, for the win.
  2. Record Your Wins: Every product or service you send out to the world, find something noteworthy about it. Write down what makes it unique, how it will better the lives of people receiving it, or what you loved about creating it. This serves two purposes. One: it keeps you in touch with your “why,” which motivates. Two: you just created the bones of a blog or post. Not Congratulations!
  3. Venture New Markets: Traveling refreshes the mind, but have you considered how it could expand your reach? Wherever you go, for whatever reason, try to attend a conference, event, or networking function. Even if it’s one client, one relationship, that comes from the experience, your business will be more fruitful because of it. Building an audience that expands from your current market takes your influence to the next level. 
  4. Seek Bylines: Create buzz for yourself and your product. You deserve it. Find a publication or website within your area of expertise and contribute regularly. Can you imagine the credibility and leads one weekly pitch could generate? Yes, yes you can. Now go for it.
  5. Civic Leadership: Find and serve a cause that aligns with your values. In addition to service being a righteous thing to do, it also enhances your network, improves your leadership skills and demonstrates your talent. All of that on top of making the community better? That’s what is called a win-win.

Entrepreneurs need more sales, more leads, and more attention. Always. The key ingredient to managing these pieces like a leader is influence. Strategy is the game. Play it wisely.