The decision to pursue the calling of an expert takes courage. Change is always intimidating, and it can elicit fear about what is to come. There are five ways to control this fear:
- Acknowledging the feelings and emotions.
- Not wasting energy focusing on failure.
- Sharing the fears and asking for support.
- Uncovering inspiration from many sources.
- Accepting that fear exists and moving forward in spite of it.
Both enthusiasm and negative energy are contagious. Experts must embrace the former. Being positive will promote self-esteem and move a fledgling expert along the path to success. This success requires a mindset that is disciplined, systemized, creative, resilient, ethical, and responsible.
Being an expert is a dynamic proposition. The most successful experts are always improving, growing, and adapting to new surroundings and information. Effective experts also rely on the support and guidance of other experts. Advice from other experts helps with solving problems, placing value on the services and programs offered, and acquiring more clients.
A true expert ties a message to his or her area of expertise. He or she is honest and ethical in the business setting. There is a responsibility that comes with being an expert–namely, standing by a program or service and offering real and lasting results.
BUILDING THE BRAND
A solid, clearly defined brand sets the tone for an expert’s image and outlook. It should help to connect the expert with potential clients. People want to invest in a brand that they trust and that offers them enthusiasm and hope. An effective brand toolbox includes business cards, a logo, a website, the use of social media, video and other marketing materials, and a target market.
Experts should ask themselves several important questions when establishing a brand:
*What sets the business and expertise apart from competitors?
*What are the top three goals for the business?
*What are some of the challenges to growing the business?
*What is the long-term vision for the business?
Brand-storming is the process by which an expert’s unique message augments the products and services offered. A mission statement, or brand promise, should set any type of expert apart from the competition. It should establish the benefits an expert brings to customers that competitors do not, and indicate what makes the expert’s program or system more innovative than any other. Analyzing the established competition is a key step in moving forward as an expert.
A highly paid expert usually moves through the following stages:
*Novice: Someone completely new to the expert business.
*Skilled: A person with more experienced and developed skills.
*Specialist: Someone who has reached a level where a reputation has been developed in a specific field.
*Authority: An expert who is generating steady streams of income and charging higher prices.
*Highly paid expert: A person offering the highest level of brand quality and perceived value.
An expert must understand that self-promotion is crucial. A brand is about a person–marketing strategies merely enhance the expertise and knowledge that the person already has. When self-promoting, an expert should illustrate a unique style, be resilient, and establish proper market position. Resisting or resenting self-promotion will be a huge obstacle to success.
There are six steps for effective self-promotion:
- Always be marketing.
- Get serious about the business.
- Develop time-saving systems.
- Be productive.
- Stay focused on goals.
- Ask for help if needed.
Effective marketing involves researching the competition, duplicating ideas, and tweaking them for success (the RD&T method). The Internet can serve as a tremendous help, as it offers an unlimited potential customer base, a fast way to develop and expand expertise, and an effective networking tool to get the word out about a business. Effective use of the Internet can result in becoming the go-to person in a given marketplace. Today’s consumer uses the Internet to find answers to almost any question. Therefore, Internet domination is essential to building a brand and reaching clients. Choosing the right domain name for a website is the first step to achieving Internet success and saturating the online marketplace, while using Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google, and video promotions is key to creating a market niche.