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Becoming an Expert, Part 3

Business Development Comments Off

Being an expert coach in your niche does not necessarily mean you have to be a technical expert in the industry you operate. Obviously, industry knowledge is very important. But your clients already have good industry knowledge and they are not able to solve their own problems!

In the previous two parts we reviewed eight strategies that can assist you in becoming an expert in your niche. Below we conclude this series by looking at another six strategies:

Develop educational products. In today’s technological environment it’s no longer expensive or complicated to develop educational products such as CDs/DVDs, eBooks, or electronic newsletters (e-zines).

It’s very cost effective to develop a range of niche specific products that you can brand and use for various promotional and commercial purposes. For instance, follow this very simple, cost effective process and you will quickly have a range of specialist, branded products to use with your niche:

  • Develop a special tool, checklist or process to assist solve a niche problem;
  • Promote the product on your and other websites (affiliates);
  • Deliver a paid-for or free TeleClass to your niche on the product;
  • Record the TeleClass and package the CD and process together for sale (or as a product give-away/promotion);
  • Expand the product/CD into a seminar or bootcamp;
  • Video the seminar and sell as a DVD.

Maintain constant (educational) communication with your niche prospects in order to build your business brand and image. As an expert you will add value and educate through maintaining REGULAR high value, non-intrusive communication with prospects and your niche generally.

The best way to attain this balance is to deliver high value educational content will real applicable value to your niche. Delivering information via IT and the internet is generally the most cost efficient and leveraged manner to achieve this (if done correctly!).

Become known. Go where the action is and network with well known and regarded people in your niche. To be an expert you not only have to have knowledge and commercially viable products and services, you have to be seen and heard! One of the most powerful marketing processes is the power of recency.

The more recently you hear something, the better you remember it. This stands to reason. And so it is with branding and marketing. If you want to be perceived as an expert you must be seen and heard as frequently as possible.

For example: Some of the countries top ‘Dating Coaches’ will hang out in web forums that are targeted to their dating niche. Someone will post a question about finding a partner, getting a date, overcoming nerves, achieving more intimacy and the ‘Date Coach’ may offer a suggestion, perhaps quote some research and provide a link to a site where the person can get more information and help – which may well be linked to the coaches website.     

Be an Authority in your niche. Get endorsement from well known people in the niche. If you are endorsed by people of authority in your niche you’ll automatically gain higher credibility. You can gain endorsement by various means including:

  • Hold educational teleclasses and invite niche leaders as specialist advisers. By association you’ll gain significant credibility.
  • Deliver educational services on behalf of the niche leader or their business. 
  • Deliver discounted services to niche leaders and ask for testimonials.
  • Joint Venture with leaders to use their name with yours.
  • Affiliate your products with well entrenched leaders.

Be an advocate for yourself. Experts are not shy of letting people know about their specialist knowledge. Regardless of whether this is through vanity or necessity, it’s a powerful tool.

You can’t sit around and wait for people to advocate your expertise. If you think of people you consider experts in their field you’ll quickly realise that most of them are outspoken. If you feel uncomfortable doing this you’ll have to learn how or accept that it may detrimentally impact on your perception as an expert.

Use IT to propagate word of your expertise in a leveraged manner. You can very easily use the following IT systems to build awareness and gain credibility:

  • Your website.
  • Blogs (Weblogs).
  • Online publishing houses, where you can post articles you write.  
  • Electronic newsletters (eZines) – your own or others such as affiliates (viral marketing).
  • Podcasting.

Becoming an Expert, Part 2

Business Development Comments Off

Being an expert coach in your niche does not necessarily mean you have to be a technical expert in the industry you operate. Obviously, industry knowledge is very important. But your clients already have good industry knowledge and they are not able to solve their own problems!

In Part 1 we explored four strategies that can assist you in becoming an expert in your niche. Below we look at another four strategies:

Explain the significant research, discovery, processes you went through to identify and develop your niche solutions. To add value to your niche solutions, and build your credibility as an expert, you should explain in as much (applicable) detail as possible your story of how your identified the needs of the niche, what affinity you have with them that led to you wanting to help, and the detailed process by which you developed solutions to their problems.

For example: The best ‘Date Coaches’ have themselves walked the talk and been on hundreds of dates to refine, develop and prove their dating systems. If you read about a ‘Date Coach’ who has worked with over 250 clients across 4 continents, conducting research for the last 12 years as to why certain behaviours have measured and predicable ‘dating outcomes’ you would be interested to ‘read on’ wouldn’t you?

Associate yourself (name, qualifications etc) regularly with your brand and niche. In order to align your brand and your expertise with your niche you must consistently refer to yourself, your skills, expertise and quals when communicating your marketing message.

For example: Dr Rosie King is a relationship specialist and ‘Intimacy Coach’ who has done an excellent job over the last 10 years of associating her name with the relationship and intimacy niche.

Have a Positioning Statement. A positioning statement is a branding strategy to associate your prospective client’s needs with your product and to create a shortcut to peoples thinking and perception. A positioning statement is a short and powerful statement (preferably a few words or a single sentence) about how your service relates to your niche.

Ideally it’ll be related to the specific problems/solutions offered to your niche. Your positioning statement should be used on all stationary, in all marketing and advertising, signage and communications (like your email signature). When your prospects read your positioning statement it should be immediately apparent what your service is and how you can assist them overcome their niche related problems.

For example: Patti Feinstein is one of the Western worlds leading ‘Date Coaches’. She has a brilliant positioning statement as ‘America’s Dating Coach’.  She is interviewed weekly on TV and radio around North and South America and is introduced as ‘America’s Dating Coach’ – Patti Feinstein. Her positioning statement defines clearly what she does and using ‘America’ gives her instant credibility and national appeal.    

Develop educational services so that you become an ‘educator’ rather than a ‘salesperson’ in the field of your niche. Experts educate and generalists prospect. To position yourself as an expert you must establish yourself as an educator, not just a salesperson, in your niche. To achieve this you should offer educational products and services, of high perceived value, to your niche. These could include:

  1. Teleclasses;
  2. eBooks;
  3. Seminars and public speaking engagements;
  4. Newsletters;
  5. Electronic communications that include emails and e-Zines;
  6. Online opt-in programs;
  7. ‘Educational’ 3 to 5 minute audio recordings (stored in MP3 format on web);
  8. Mediated On-line chat forum. 

In Part 3 we will discuss further strategies…