How to position yourself as an expert?

by 102 replies
This is both an online and an offline marketing question, but I think it really applies to both realms so I'm asking it here. When trying to sell your services or promote your business, how can you effectively position yourself as a winning option and a leader in your industry? If you've ever walked into an establishment to offer services for SEO, web design or some other type of marketer, you probably had to sell yourself one way or another.

You can sell yourself based on your past experiences - "I was the head of marketing at a big company for some time and based on my experience I can get these results for you" but you can also sell them your services based on their actual problems, which requires doing a bit of homework but pays dividends when the prospect realizes that you really understand what problems they face on a daily basis.

What other strategies can you use to sell yourself on the spot to a prospective client? Doing homework or research in their niche works great but is there a better way that I'm missing that could help me show even more credibility? Any ideas or input would be appreciated.
#offline marketing #expert #position
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  • Profile picture of the author DABK
    Write a book.

    Have the best known person in your industry say/write something to the effect that you're awesome. At least have your picture taken with a celebrity in the world of your prospects.

    Publish an article in some magazine your prospects read.

    Originally Posted by Will Iam View Post

    This is both an online and an offline marketing question, but I think it really applies to both realms so I'm asking it here. When trying to sell your services or promote your business, how can you effectively position yourself as a winning option and a leader in your industry? If you've ever walked into an establishment to offer services for SEO, web design or some other type of marketer, you probably had to sell yourself one way or another.

    You can sell yourself based on your past experiences - "I was the head of marketing at a big company for some time and based on my experience I can get these results for you" but you can also sell them your services based on their actual problems, which requires doing a bit of homework but pays dividends when the prospect realizes that you really understand what problems they face on a daily basis.

    What other strategies can you use to sell yourself on the spot to a prospective client? Doing homework or research in their niche works great but is there a better way that I'm missing that could help me show even more credibility? Any ideas or input would be appreciated.
  • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
    I know this is going to sound strange, but my observation is that many clients don't give a hoot about whether or not you are an expert or a leader in your industry. Instead, they simply want to know whether or not you are competent, reasonably easy to work with and will get the job done on time and within budget.

    Indeed, I once ran a survey in which I was surprised to learn that many respondents strongly preferred to hire someone who was not prominent in the industry or famous because they felt they would get better service that way.

    Does this change your idea of the key question to ask here?

    Marcia Yudkin
    • Profile picture of the author PaulintheSticks
      Originally Posted by marciayudkin View Post

      I know this is going to sound strange, but my observation is that many clients don't give a hoot about whether or not you are an expert or a leader in your industry. Instead, they simply want to know whether or not you are competent, reasonably easy to work with and will get the job done on time and within budget.
      Most of my business has been gotten because the prospect believed I was an expert. When I started, I had no proof that I was competent, could get the job done within budget or anything else. But the prospect always believed I was an expert.
  • Profile picture of the author tryinhere
    Your position with the title of expert in your field is not something you can bestow upon yourself, but is awarded to you by those who you have worked for in the past and have now recognised you for the work you have done and they now see you as the leader / expert in your chosen field.

    In short only others can truly judge you, and any self judgement is delusional at best and belongs up there with a good fairy tale.

    In general, most people who sit there and waffle how good they are are mostly full of ....
    • Profile picture of the author BigFrank
      Banned
      Originally Posted by tryinhere View Post

      Your position with the title of expert in your field is not something you can bestow upon yourself, but is awarded to you by those who you have worked for in the past and have now recognised you for the work you have done and they now see you as the leader / expert in your chosen field.

      In short only others can truly judge you, and any self judgement is delusional at best and belongs up there with a good fairy tale.

      In general, most people who sit there and waffle how good they are are mostly full of ....
      That's ridiculous. All of it. I became 'The Answer Man of Life' simply by declaring myself to be so. I guess in your mind I should have waited for someone else to bestow the title upon me. Excuse me for trying to shave a few days off the wait.

      Frank
  • Profile picture of the author shaqsquash
    Here's one idea: Before you do a book, do a TED talk.

    They do these events in hundreds of cities around the world, and they have several going at any given time. If you have a interesting, unique idea it's super easy to get into one of these talks, you don't need to be a author or public figure. Being seen on stage in front of hundreds of people with your ideas lends a lot of credibility and press. Pretty easy to position yourself from there.
  • Profile picture of the author animal44
    I'd agree with Marcia.

    Writing a book is old hat. Most people see past that these days...

    I like the TED talk idea, however, I thought those were invitation only... Unfortunately, many people are terrible at public speaking, so might just be easier to get a few referrals and build on that...
  • Profile picture of the author Oziboomer
    Sometimes you just have to be an expert.

    If you've ever looked at what Brendan Bouchard espouses as part of his "Experts Academy" it is basically about becoming an expert.

    People often come to me via referral.

    Sometimes it is difficult to live up to the picture someone has painted in their mind because someone else has said "You are a genius" or "You have the gift".

    It is hard to perform to these expectations but easy to charge accordingly to the reputation others have supported.

    Personally I rather "WOW" a new client who I'm unknown to rather than try to perform to the "LOFTY" vision someone else has created for me.

    Sure I LOVE working with my group of trusted and trust giving clients as often I can perform my best when I'm just building on what has been done before.

    Unfortunately there is a downside to being an EXPERT and that is you are often expected to perform at a level which is significantly higher than others.

    With those expectations comes stress and the negative impacts that follow.

    Just today I got a call from a PR company requesting my expertise.

    NOW I'm excited (but also worried) because I have to perform again.

    The added pressure is the time limit imposed and the fact that the people I'm supposed to perform for are in the film industry and flying in from LA later next week.

    I'm cool about what I have to do but the butterflies and self-doubt never go away regardless of how high a pedestal others put you on.

    As Brendan says "Just be an expert"

    Positioning yourself as one generally takes longer than you think and requires a humility and modesty coupled with a small dose of self promotion when required.

    Once you are considered an expert you need to exude that confidence publicly on a consistent basis.

    As others have said it is better that someone else says you are an expert than proclaiming it yourself.

    Best regards,

    Ozi
  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    How to position yourself as an expert?
    It's actually not difficult.

    The more you drill down to a sub-niche the less competition and the easier it is to focus on the subject.

    Real example, I create downloadable files for my traffic. I'm not the best and I don't need to be the best but I still have a large organic sub-niche following (email list, niche forums, blog post, etc...).

    By sub-niche I mean something like say for instance your overall subject is classic cars but your main skills might be classic car interior restoration and nothing else. So, you focus strictly on classic car interior restoration (example) and traffic will perceive you as an authority in the sub-niche. Assumes you know what you're doing.

    Even though you only target classic car interior restoration (example), you can easily advertise/promote across thousands of car sites and still be relevant, whether you're advertising on a classic Mustang forum, Camaro blog, SEO keywords or social media.

    My point is you can be laser focused on one subject and still drive a large amount of relevant traffic from the overall niche.
  • Profile picture of the author iwillbeontop
    Although he was banned ...... AP and Dex had a great thread going a few years ago about this.... Write books, podcast, radio, etc.... I'll find my notes if I get a chance and post...
  • Profile picture of the author Pankaj Chandel
    Banned
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  • Profile picture of the author eccj
    There actually is a formula you can use if you so desire....

    Now the formula is not so much meant to make you an "expert" but rather a leader and influential.

    I would say that leadership and influence are far more valuable than expertise.

    An expert gets paid a salary at a university or think tank.

    A leader builds companies, leads armies, starts revolutions.

    See the difference?

    So the formula is something like;

    1. Take a stand - here you need to say something that other people think but are afraid to say.

    2. Bring out your haters - there is a reason why people are afraid to say what they think because of the social consequences. But the haters will make you famous which is important.

    3. Call out your people - these are the people who decide "hey this guy makes sense and those haters are acting crazy. I support this guy."

    Boom . You are now a leader.

    You will notice this same formula taking shape in the lives of people like Jesus, Martin Luther, MLK, and many more.

    Also, a little someone by the name of Donald Trump.

    No one considered him an "expert" politician but that didn't keep him from becoming the first person never in politics to win the presidency.

    There are a whole lot of experts still crying tears over that.

    So maybe look pass being an expert and go for leadership.
    • Profile picture of the author DABK
      Problem with leader vs expert?

      When I want my warehouse appraised, I'm going to hire an appraiser who I perceive is an expert in warehouse appraising.

      The warehouse appraising leader comes in when I want to shoot the breeze about what's coming to the warehouse world 5 to 10 years from now.

      Some people might need to hire the leader. But they will only hire him/her if he/she is also an expert in the warehouse appraising part of the world.

      Originally Posted by eccj View Post

      There actually is a formula you can use if you so desire....

      Now the formula is not so much meant to make you an "expert" but rather a leader and influential.

      I would say that leadership and influence are far more valuable than expertise.

      An expert gets paid a salary at a university or think tank.

      A leader builds companies, leads armies, starts revolutions.

      See the difference?

      So the formula is something like;

      1. Take a stand - here you need to say something that other people think but are afraid to say.

      2. Bring out your haters - there is a reason why people are afraid to say what they think because of the social consequences. But the haters will make you famous which is important.

      3. Call out your people - these are the people who decide "hey this guy makes sense and those haters are acting crazy. I support this guy."

      Boom . You are now a leader.

      You will notice this same formula taking shape in the lives of people like Jesus, Martin Luther, MLK, and many more.

      Also, a little someone by the name of Donald Trump.

      No one considered him an "expert" politician but that didn't keep him from becoming the first person never in politics to win the presidency.

      There are a whole lot of experts still crying tears over that.

      So maybe look pass being an expert and go for leadership.
    • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
      Originally Posted by eccj View Post

      There actually is a formula you can use if you so desire....

      Now the formula is not so much meant to make you an "expert" but rather a leader and influential.

      I would say that leadership and influence are far more valuable than expertise.

      An expert gets paid a salary at a university or think tank.

      A leader builds companies, leads armies, starts revolutions.

      See the difference?

      So the formula is something like;

      1. Take a stand - here you need to say something that other people think but are afraid to say.

      2. Bring out your haters - there is a reason why people are afraid to say what they think because of the social consequences. But the haters will make you famous which is important.

      3. Call out your people - these are the people who decide "hey this guy makes sense and those haters are acting crazy. I support this guy."

      Boom . You are now a leader.

      You will notice this same formula taking shape in the lives of people like Jesus, Martin Luther, MLK, and many more.

      Also, a little someone by the name of Donald Trump.

      No one considered him an "expert" politician but that didn't keep him from becoming the first person never in politics to win the presidency.

      There are a whole lot of experts still crying tears over that.

      So maybe look pass being an expert and go for leadership.
      Yes. Right about NOT the way to expertise, but then, maybe some of you should question whether you want to make money or be an expert.

      Consider this: Radio show millionaires, from Rush, to Howard, to Glenn Beck all built their empires on CONTROVERSY.

      Getting rocks thrown at you is (or can be) a very good, effective way of finding followers.

      I just wanted to point out an idea, in a thread which will soon get buried, this is gold for those who want to make a lot of money, probably not the best reply or idea for those who would rather be called an expert

      GordonJ
    • Profile picture of the author DABK
      As to Trump, and a few others, it's what Gordon says: controversial attracts attention. Requires cojones, stomach. But it pays off big time... And, by the way, it doesn't seem to matter what controversy you get yourself involved in, you get attention that transfers to whatever you do next.

      There's a woman going around showing her crutch to photgraphers every time she gets out of a car... Seems to be all she does is that and things like that. But she's making millions of dollars a year because of that... And there are the Kardashians... Imagine one of them being an expert on top of being a whatever-a-Kardashian is.

      Note: they're not leaders, though.

      Originally Posted by eccj View Post

      There actually is a formula you can use if you so desire....

      Now the formula is not so much meant to make you an "expert" but rather a leader and influential.

      I would say that leadership and influence are far more valuable than expertise.

      An expert gets paid a salary at a university or think tank.

      A leader builds companies, leads armies, starts revolutions.

      See the difference?

      So the formula is something like;

      1. Take a stand - here you need to say something that other people think but are afraid to say.

      2. Bring out your haters - there is a reason why people are afraid to say what they think because of the social consequences. But the haters will make you famous which is important.

      3. Call out your people - these are the people who decide "hey this guy makes sense and those haters are acting crazy. I support this guy."

      Boom . You are now a leader.

      You will notice this same formula taking shape in the lives of people like Jesus, Martin Luther, MLK, and many more.

      Also, a little someone by the name of Donald Trump.

      No one considered him an "expert" politician but that didn't keep him from becoming the first person never in politics to win the presidency.

      There are a whole lot of experts still crying tears over that.

      So maybe look pass being an expert and go for leadership.
  • Profile picture of the author socialentry
    Originally Posted by eccj


    An expert gets paid a salary at a university or think tank.

    A leader builds companies, leads armies, starts revolutions.
    ...

    No one considered him an "expert" politician but that didn't keep him from becoming the first person never in politics to win the presidency.

    There are a whole lot of experts still crying tears over that.

    So maybe look pass being an expert and go for leadership.
    Experts don't lead armies? I think Douglas MacArthur (former superintendent of West Point) would beg to differ. So would Zhou Enlai and Chiang Kai-Chek who both taught at the Whampoa military academy. To name but a few examples.

    They don't build companies? Of course they do. Charles Ives is an early example in the insurance industry. His success would not have been possible without his innovations in the actuarial field. He was also (believe it or not) the main sales trainer in his organization.

    The two are not mutually exclusive.
    • Profile picture of the author eccj
      Originally Posted by socialentry View Post

      Experts don't lead armies? I think Douglas MacArthur (former superintendent of West Point) would beg to differ. So would Zhou Enlai and Chiang Kai-Chek who both taught at the Whampoa military academy. To name but a few examples.

      They don't build companies? Of course they do. Charles Ives is an early example in the insurance industry. His success would not have been possible without his innovations in the actuarial field. He was also (believe it or not) the main sales trainer in his organization.

      The two are not mutually exclusive.
      Okay

      The highest levels of warfare is not tactical or operational, according to Clausewitz, but rather strategic.

      Strategy does not require the intimate information that the operational level of war does.

      Going beyond that, John Boyd declared that there was another "trinity" in war; Mental, physical, and moral.

      It does not take an expert on the particulars, such as marching, to take the moral aspect of war.

      Look at the peasants in Vietnam who couldn't even read. They played Kissinger like a fool when they tore at the fabric of America. They understood that if they gave the Americans some kind of peace it would heal some of the divisions in American life at that time, thus hurting their advantage at the moral level.

      So even the great theorist of war disagree with you.

      Sure, knowing you stuff helps. We all get that. But it is not the highest level one can achieve.

      In war. In business. In relationships.

      We also are now talking about many different things here.

      We started at expertise. I suggested look at leadership and influence.

      Then we went to celebrity.

      Now we are talking about visionaries - in war of all things.
  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    I don't know why I keep being tempted to reply here, and then don't...

    For what it's worth... Here is a metaphor...

    It's like "content". You can have all the traffic in the world, and a guy with ten percent of your traffic can have 100 times the customers you have , because he converts, because he is convincing, and his words carry their own merit.

    If you want to position yourself as an expert, the best route is to just BE one... If you are, then go out ANYWHERE that your market is... then just open your mouth and talk.
  • Profile picture of the author IPhoneAppDeveloper
    Everyone wants to be seen as the Expert in their field, especially now on social media. So the question is, how do you position yourself as an expert on social media? For established brick and mortar businesses it would appear to be easy, or at least the possibility of it seems very plausible. You are experienced, you have been around for a long time; you even have a consistent and even sizeable customer base. You extensively know about your product or service and you know about customer service for your brand. You are an EXPERT.
  • Profile picture of the author Robert Bridgen
    I would give out free information to solve problems in your market. Be yourself but give information that is yours It will take time but you will build trust. Robert
  • Profile picture of the author Robert Bridgen
    [DELETED]
  • Profile picture of the author The FindIt Network
    Some really great advice here!!! Thanks everyone for sharing, as I took a lot from this thread!
  • Profile picture of the author Robert Bridgen
    Find the problem Solve the problem put in front of the people that have the problem is all you have to do Rtobert
  • Profile picture of the author savidge4
    one word, "Confidence"
  • Profile picture of the author animal44
    Originally Posted by DABK View Post

    You are correct, someone bad at sales with a great offer can do well.
    So, what? It doesn't take away (or add) to this: "the best informed salesmen who is a lousy salesman will under perform a great salesman who knows next to nothing about his product." But you're right.
    Well, OP asks:
    Originally Posted by Will Iam View Post

    When trying to sell your services or promote your business, how can you effectively position yourself as a winning option and a leader in your industry?
    You don't need to be an expert

    You don't need to be a great salesman

    You don't need to plaster your name all over the internet.

    You simply need a good offer... to the right audience. The rest follows naturally...
    • Profile picture of the author Oziboomer
      Originally Posted by animal44 View Post

      You simply need a good offer... to the right audience. The rest follows naturally...
      As long as you also remember a few simple things.

      People like to buy but they don't like to be sold to.

      The best performers let people buy easily and ease the process rather than inhibit it.

      Recently I watched a great sale come undone (but not totally lost) by one of my better sales people by including additional services and products they thought the customer would value.

      Once the customer had extracted what the value was for those services they promptly requested for those services be removed and the price be adjusted accordingly.

      The sales person had offered the additional benefits with their compliments and in most situations this wouldn't have caused any issue but in this circumstance they got caught in a negotiation where the purchaser was more experienced at negotiation and knew how to leverage the situation.

      It was a great lesson to watch unfold.

      The sale was made and the sales person immediately discussed how they were "roped in ' to offering a concession having had the upper hand and being apparently in control of the sale at each stage.

      There are some things you can't teach people unless they have experienced it for themselves.

      Experts may not end up in these situations or they may have encountered them on their journey but it is good to see future star performers challenged knowing they have learned the lesson and improved their own abilities.

      Best regards,

      Ozi
    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      Originally Posted by animal44 View Post


      You simply need a good offer... to the right audience. The rest follows naturally...
      Helps if the timing is right too.

      Example: Woman sees a great offer for a weight loss program.
      Not interested.

      4 weeks later she buys it..

      Why now?

      Because it's her sisters wedding and her ex is going to be there
      so she wants to look hot and make him feel what he's missed out on.

      True story by the way, as told to me by her.

      Something triggers self motivation to take action in a person's life.

      Why does a married man suddenly buy a king sized bed now
      when that great bed offer been in front of him before?

      It had very little to do with the offer but everything to do with timing.

      He just got back travelling and staying in nice hotels.

      He never realized how a good bed can give him an extra hours sleep and wake up refreshed.
      So off he goes and buy a hotel like bed.

      Great product/service + right message + right person + right time.

      I've also added the great product/service too because
      it gives more opportunities to create a great message.

      Best,
      Ewen
  • Profile picture of the author socialentry
    If you compare a ferrari to a lada for the same price. Well, yes, I don't think even Crassus would be able to do anything with it.

    What is missing in the discussion is that it is usually not 100% obvious which is the better product.

    But even in B2C, pricing is not always readily available else the selling company would have no negotiating room. No one has perfect information.

    With equal offers (sometimes not even),the better salesman win.

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