I’ve been making money from my expertise since I was 17. For many of those years, I fell for the following two beliefs:
“When you build it, they will come.”
“When you’re the best at what you do, people will flock to you.”
I was wrong.
Building something is great. Creating content and developing courses, presentations, keynotes, training, or even books is something enjoyable. But just because you created it doesn’t mean anyone knows about it.
Becoming the best at what you do is fantastic. It’s a huge drive for me. I want to be the very best, so I wake up every morning obsessed with learning, practicing, reading, and developing my skills and knowledge accordingly. But just being the best doesn’t mean anyone knows (or cares) that you are.
To succeed as a thought leader, whether you’re a coach, therapist, consultant, speaker or trainer…. you need to master the art of articulating your message and brand story. To help you do that, I’ve found a few concepts that really help me.
Spend some time nailing the following concepts for the work that you do, and it will help immeasurably in positioning yourself in the marketplace. It will close the gap between what you know you can do and what the world knows you can do. I call it the ‘Expert’s Clarity Audit’.
First, what kind of work do you do?
Speaking – inspiring them with a new idea
Education – teaching them knowledge
Training – teaching them skills
Coaching – helping them achieve their goals
Consultant – helping them understand their problems and what to do about them
Second, who do you help?
Industry – The area you work in (financial services, spiritual development etc.)
Category – What do you do? The space you are in. (executive coaching, stress management training etc.)
Target Market – The market you are helping. (B2C, B2B)
Third, what do you help them with, and why does that matter?
Problem – The challenge they are having
Context – The areas where they struggle with this
Past Pain – The pain that it has caused
Pain – The pain that is causing
Possible Pain – The pain that they will experience if they don’t fix it
Finally, what do you do for them, and what results do they get?
Offering – Your solution
Deliverable – What you are going to do
Skills / Knowledge – What they will be able to do
Features – What makes this high quality (you/approach)
Benefits – What results will they get
Experience – What this will mean for their life or business
Value – What this is worth to them
The more you can answer these questions clearly, the easier your marketing is, the easier your copywriting, the easier you can optimize your website, and the better you can articulate your elevator pitch. These are the foundations for a solid marketing strategy.
This leads me to my updated understanding of business as a thought leader.
Being great at what you do and being great at building a business around promoting what you do are two separate things.
If you build and implement a solid marketing and sales strategy, then you will reach them.
If you do yourself justice in how you present yourself online, you will succeed.
Take a few minutes and answer the questions above. Worst case scenario, you will be much more clued in as to how you need to come across in your marketing collateral.