To stand out in a cluttered world, you need to be slightly famous.
There are over 22 million home businesses in this country vying for our attention. Yet, the marketplace is more discriminating and skeptical than ever. To get the greatest return on your marketing efforts, you need to rise above the crowd. You need an edge over the competition. In short, you need to be seen as an expert.
Establishing an expert reputation distinguishes you as the right person to address your clients’ and customers’ needs. And, unlike most businesses that are virtually unknown, expertise lifts you from anonymity and positions you as the authority in your field.
According to Paul and Sarah Edwards, authors of Getting Business To Come To You, cultivating an expert reputation creates “top of the mind” awareness among the right people. “You need to become so well-known in the right circles that when someone needs what you have to offer, your name will either immediately come to mind or be the first one mentioned whenever they turn to others to find what they need.”
Experts are sought after, get more business with less effort, and command higher fees. They also possess credibility that makes selling themselves easier. Experts also leverage their reputations to spread outward in new directions, packaging expertise into articles, books, speeches, seminars and workshops and information products.
Become an Expert through Publishing
Publishing articles, columns and books are powerful techniques to establish your expertise. Publishing pre-sells others of your abilities and exposes you to thousands of prospects. And reprints of published articles make excellent, low cost sales literature, easily replacing expensive brochures, mailers, and newsletters.
Kimberly Stansell says publishing has created tremendous name recognition for Research Done Write, her Los Angeles-based consulting and training firm. Her syndicated column “Bootstrapper’s Success Secrets” appears in dozens of entrepreneurial publications, association newsletters and business web sites.
“The name recognition my column gives me is tremendous,” says Stansell. “I get invitations to participate in events and other business opportunities. And I can automatically charge higher fees because people assume I’m expensive.”
There are endless opportunities to publish. Thousands of business, trade and Internet publications covering every imaginable industry and audience are fairly easy to break into, even for beginners. If you have a good idea, tailored to a specific readership, there are thousands of publications hungry for articles from business professionals.
Find a Podium
On any day, there are more than nine thousand speaking opportunities in this country. To find your podium, begin by contacting clubs and groups in your community that conduct speeches and workshops.
When Robert Middleton moved his marketing consulting practice to Palo Alto, California six years ago, he had to develop strategies to generate new clients. He contacted local chambers of commerce, business groups, and organizations likely to be interested in his three-hour marketing workshop. Within months, Middleton not only had plenty of clients but also made a name for himself in Silicon Valley as a marketing expert for professional firms.
Middleton sends groups an introductory package, including a cover letter that names other groups that have sponsored his presentations, a biography, a short description of his suggested talk, and comments from those who have attended his seminars. Middleton conducts three to five such presentations a month, tailored to individual audiences.
Virtualize Your Expertise
Have you noticed that many high paid, respected professionals publish information materials? You can establish expertise and generate additional income by developing books, booklets, e-books, audiocassettes, special reports and other information products based on what you already know.
CJ Hayden began as a professional coach ten years ago in San Francisco. After years of delivering her “Get Clients Now” program to local audiences, she franchised her ideas and took them national. “I trademarked the name, taped a workshop, and wrote a 50 page workbook. I created an “out of the box” package so others could produce my program on their own.” The program also helped Hayden land a book deal for Get Clients Now: A 28-Day Marketing Program For Professionals and Consultants (Amacom).”
Success breeds success–your goal is synergy between your products, services, and reputation so that each compliments the others.
Send information products to prospects. Use them for “back of the room” sales at speeches and workshops. Boost your profile by promoting products in articles, press releases, and at networking events and trade shows. Also, list your products in the catalogues and directories of trade associations, book clubs and business groups.
Keep It Going
Investors know that the best returns go to those who are patient. Not every article, speech or workshop or information product will make your phone ring off the hook. But, if you are consistent, you will develop an expert reputation that will help you land new clients and customers and make your business a recognized and reputable name in your marketplace.
Recommended Books on How to Become a Recognized Expert:
- The Expert’s Edge: Become the Go-To Authority People Turn to Every Time
- Author Expert Marketing Machines: The Ultimate 5-Step, Push-Button, Automated System to Become the Expert, Authority and Star in Your Niche (Volume 1)
- Be The Expert: How To Market Your Services To Become The Authority In Your Field
- See Jane Grow: How To Establish Yourself as an Industry Expert and Give Your Customers the Confidence to Make a Buying Decision (See Jane Grow Series for Women Business Owners Book 1)
- Becoming THE Expert: Enhancing Your Business Reputation through Thought Leadership Marketing
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