Andy Falco Jimenez shared in our interview for The Courageous Entrepreneur podcast how he struggled with owning his expertise and the problems that led to for him, his business, and his family when he first started Falco K9 Academy.
I did a big blog post about this whole of idea of “owning your expertise” which is such an important element in positioning and pre-selling yourself as an independent professional.
Andy struggled with admitting to himself that he was an expert. That led him to under-price his offerings.
I’ll bet you can relate — especially if you’re an introverted person who’s always played a behind-the-scenes role.
We were taught not to toot our own horn because we didn’t want to come across as too big for our britches (does that sound familiar?).
Some of us even heard hurtful statements like we’re stupid….or we’re worthless…or we’re never going to amount to anything.
That old adage, “sticks and stones may break my bones but names can never hurt me” was a lie frankly.
Words hurt much more than “sticks and stones.”
Andy was right though; you don’t want to call yourself an expert because you know how you roll your eyes when someone else calls themselves an expert.
The key is to demonstrate your expertise so others see it and they call you an expert.
This strategy works because…
You give people a sample of what it would be like to work with you. Andrea J. Lee, who’s considered the coach’s coach, coined the phrase “pink spoon marketing” to describe this idea. She equates sharing useful content this way to how an ice cream parlor will give you a little taste of a flavor knowing you’ll then order a cone, a pint, or even a half-gallon. And if you really like what they offer you’ll continue to come back for more, making that little sample they gave a way a great investment.
You communicate your POV or point of view. Sharing your beliefs, values, philosophy, and approach helps you and your message really resonate with those you want to serve while gently repelling those who don’t get you. If you hate having sales conversations this is a great way to start having fewer but hearing more yeses. I love hearing “I watched your show and know you’re the only person who can help me.”
It makes it easy for people to do your marketing for you. When you produce great, targeted content and distribute it on platforms that your best audience is likely to find and consume it, you also make it easy for them to share with others in their community. Of course you need to include a request to do that as a way to help them remember. Good potential clients are likely to know other good potential clients. I recently got a new client who initially found me from a shared video on Facebook.
Ways you can demonstrate your expertise include:
Use Video (my preferred method because it’s so powerful) – Record videos where you share tips, answer questions you’re frequently asked, etc.
Be interviewed – You can and should look for opportunities to appear on podcasts, livestream shows, get quoted in traditional as well as digital media, etc. Create a list of potential topics and post them on a Media page on your site.
Write a book – I know. It seems like just about everyone is self-publishing these days. And many do a bad job. But that’s not a reason for you to not do it. Writing a book is one of those things that nearly everyone dreams of doing but a small percentage actually do. And when it’s done well, it really does position you as an authority and makes it easy for others to see that about you.
Blog or Vlog – One of the most powerful ways to clarify your message – while building an audience – is to regularly produce articles or posts where you share those ideas. I know that can be hard. You’re afraid of making mistakes or saying the wrong thing; but it’s the only way to fine tune that message and understand your own beliefs and POV.
Host a show yourself. This is a big commitment but when you do it, few things position you as an expert as fast. One reason is because you’re consistently putting out high value information.
Speak. I can hear you groaning. Whether you’re starting out speaking at rubber chicken dinners or you’re ready to do bigger events like conferences, this instantly positions you as an expert because no group is going to invite (or pay) a dope to get up and speak in front of their audience. I have a broad definition of speaking though and I include “being interviewed” in here too.
Teach. Considering it takes about 8 hours of preparation time for every single hour of teaching time, you’re going to become an expert in your subject through preparing for your workshop. Teaching is a fantastic way to quickly position and pre-sell yourself as an authority, and you don’t need to have a big list to do it. You can do free or low-cost workshops locally. This is actually how I got started. It’s also a great confidence builder.
If you’re a mission-driven, introverted expert looking for ways to get your message to a bigger audience and ultimately to attract more clients for your services or buyers for your books and programs then demonstrating your expertise is a great way to reduce the feeling that it’s all about you.
Remember, it’s really all about the audience. Sharing great, useful content is a powerful way to educate them while elevating yourself in their eyes. This makes it easier to inspire them to take action and invite them to work with you. And that’s all sales really is.
How are you demonstrating your expertise? And what’s holding you back from doing it if you’re not currently sharing great content. Share your thoughts below.