How to become an expert in 90 days and get more business
If you are in business, then you will understand that being knowledgeable in your field is absolutely essential for people to want to do business with you. The most common mistake people make when positioning themselves as an expert is that they have a mindset that they have to know everything. However, you really don’t. Do you think that in one lifetime a doctor has had first hand experience of every illness and disease in the world?
You just need to know MORE about it than the average client that comes to you does.
Jo is an interior designer. And she loves her role because she gets to be creative and work with a variety of people. She has an eye for what “looks good” and likes to keep up to date with trends when it comes to modern living. When it came to helping her clients, she was always happy to give them one on one attention. She got some great referrals but really struggled to generate new business. So together we looked at ways that we could build on what she had been doing already. One of the strategies she took on for the next 90 days was to develop and position herself as an expert.
Know the habits of your clients
This makes the next few points easy if you can get this point right. How well do you know your clients? In other words, how well do you know what they do in their day-to-day life in order for you to get to them first?
Think about everything – their hobbies, their past times, what they like to read, what they like to listen to and what they like to watch.
For Jo, her clients were mostly the wives and mothers. She knew them well. They would often tell her stories about their children and talk to her about their dreams of creating a beautiful sanctuary for their families to enjoy. She knew they liked to read magazines. She knew that often, women gave referrals to other women they knew through various parent nights, sporting events and work-related functions. She knew what online groups they joined and what they liked to discuss on public forums. This was just some of the things she knew about her clients. And slowly we started to piece together a very targeted campaign to reach out to them and become “their interior design expert”.
Download whatever information you can on your subject. Find the names of the authors with fantastic information and assuming it’s available online, start following their other content. Comment on their blogs and start to build relationships by adding great value comments that link back to your website and ideas.
Buy the Top 10 books aligned to your specialty and highlight the key points. Then summarize the content. Take the point of difference for those books. Start to base your knowledge in filling in the gaps.
If you are willing, take it one step further and take the complicated information of your area of specialty and build a simple step-by-step strategy to get the results your clients are looking for. Oh, and don’t forget to give it a sexy name. Jo’s was “Seven Simple Steps to Style your Sanctuary – for the busy Mum”. And don’t forget to copyright it. For every contact you make later, you can refer to this model as your intellectual property. And even use it as part of your introduction to any speaking gig you have or article you have published.
Write and Publish – blog on other blogs, magazines related, publishers, interviews
Unfortunately, not everyone has access to a publisher that loves his or her idea. Fortunately there is the Internet.
If you are one of those lucky ones that have the money to self-publish or have a publisher ready to print your work, I suggest you do this as soon as possible. By writing a book, it gives you instant credibility in social circles.
Much more cost-effective ways comes in the form of offering your articles and work to magazines that you know your clients will be reading. A lot of networking groups offer their own magazine. Present your articles professionally and offer multiple ones to editors. Editors see this as a goldmine in terms of content. Rather than chasing up content, they now have a source of a dozen article items. And rest assured, there is always the Internet.
Start your own blog and create a following. It’s easy to follow people’s work and it costs nothing so this is the easiest and cheapest way of publishing so there is absolutely no excuse for leaving it to late! Interviews are also a great way to get your name known.
Interviewers through their introductions and questions have the ability to say things about you that you can’t say for yourself. An interview can say, “I have the great opportunity of talking to award-winning home stylist Jo.” If you introduced yourself that way, your audience would instantly perceive this as conceited. Jo got one of her successful colleagues to interview her in a podcast-like style casual interview. She added it to her site and also offered the interview to prospective clients as a way of getting to know her. Having someone interview you will unconsciously suggest to your prospective client that you are someone worth interviewing and hence, you have great knowledge to share – and you have.
There are many great events that are looking for great speakers. And there is a lot to be said for those who genuinely want to speak in order to help their audience out. Whether it is speaking for free or speaking to plug your business, anything in front of groups will promote your expertise in your area.
As I said to Jo, “You could be the best interior designer in Australia and nobody would know.” People make their decisions on whether you have something worth listening to and in turn, whether their problems will be solved from doing business with you. It’s as simple as that.
Network with your Clientele
Before you even think of selling, give prospective clients great advice and expect nothing in return. If they believe you are good and match their needs, they will come to you. Join online groups and regularly participate in discussions. There are people you can help online that twenty years ago, you would not have had access to. And for every contact, there are a number of new connections that you can help. There are also many trade organizations relevant to your industry that you can associate your name and business to which can add a lot of credibility to your business cards, website and any introductions for your published work.
Create your own groups on Facebook and LinkedIn and look after your current clients this way. Offer links to your articles and new events and to encourage sharing, offer competitions and share good news stories of your current work. Do it well and you are sure to have more fans regularly hearing from you. Jo did this in Week One. 30 clients turned into 150 connections within two months. Being an expert is all about fast tracking the results your clients are looking for. In any business, you have to develop and manage it to continue to be profitable. So continue to develop yourself and your expertise will follow.