How to position yourself as an expert?

by Will Iam 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
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    Check out Marcia Yudkin's No-Hype Marketing Academy for courses on copywriting, publicity, infomarketing, marketing plans, naming, and branding - not to mention the popular "Marketing for Introverts" course.
    • 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 ....
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    Why are people posting stupid articles everywhere? reminds me of the backlink farms of yesterday, Don't start me on the spammers. What drugs are people on?

    • Profile picture of the author BigFrank
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      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...
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  • 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.
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  • 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
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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
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    • 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.

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