Experts are sought after, are well known, command higher fees and get more business with less effort. The media takes the time to contact experts to get quotes for articles. Associations call them to speak at their events. People remember them. And, better yet – the more you enhance your position as an expert, the more referrals you will get.
Becoming an expert is no accident – it takes hard work that follows strategic planning and ongoing effort, but it is a crucial part of your marketing if you want to customers to seek YOU out. Get known as the go-to guy or gal in your field. The more well you are known, the more prospects will trust you before they even talk to you. And your customers are proud to work with you because you are the authority.
Here are a few things that can help you to position yourself as an expert:
– Write articles for industry magazines and online directories.
– Start a blog and update it regularly.
– Write a book.
– Begin podcasting to your audience.
– Ask for customer testimonials to include with your marketing materials.
– Become a public speaker.
– Give radio interviews.
– Send press releases to your local media.
– Write a page on your website explaining what you have done to become an expert.
Remember, the first step is to believe in your own expertise. People will perceive you in alignment with the way that you present yourself. And, it starts in your own mind. When you believe in yourself as a capable, valuable provider of a service, your audience will also perceive you as an expert. Are you confident in your own values and abilities? If not, what can you do to grow your skills and your self-esteem?
Then, make sure you are walking the walk of an expert. Everything you do should reflect your expertise. Make sure you dress well. Don’t show up to at a meeting late. All of your marketing materials should be professionally designed and consistent. Be professional in the way you act with prospects and customers – provide excellent customer service always. If you have employees, they are also an extension of your expertise so make sure everyone and everything that represents your company shines.
When you speak to your prospects, remember you are not “selling” them. You don’t have to be overbearing to be perceived as an expert. In fact, less is more. Position your statements to offer people with solutions to their problems. Ask plenty of questions to make sure you understand what your client needs. Then speak back to them in a manner that expresses your understanding of their issues. All of this will demonstrate your authority in a soft manner.
In all of your marketing materials, keep the focus on the benefits to your prospect or customer. Be honest, show integrity, and express a sincere desire to help them. If you are not authentic, this will come across to your audience. The more you do to understand and create remedies for your customers’ unique problems, the more of an expert you become. And people will be delighted to spread the word about how you helped them.
ACTION ITEM: Have you positioned yourself as an expert in your industry? What will help you do this? What can you do in the next year to accelerate your learning? What events can you attend? What new information do you want to attain?