How to Become an Expert in Your Field in 2020

Share With Friends:
img

Many business owners and entrepreneurs, regardless of the industry and geography, often struggle building up their companies to a level where they no longer need to compete on price, chase after customers, defend their credibility and constantly persuade consumers that they are better than their competitors.

At the same time, in every industry, market and parallel, there is always that one or few businesses that crush it. They seem to simply not have all those major struggles that majority of other companies face.

How is that possible that overwhelming majority constantly fight for business and get beat down on price while a few companies. in the same industry and with same market conditions, make customers almost beg to take their business and charge substantially higher fees?

What do these companies do differently to achieve such extraordinary results?

Long story short, the answer is – all these ultra successful companies leverage in their business one of the most powerful marketing strategies – POSITIONING!

In simple words, positioning is the place a company/brand occupies in the minds of the consumers and how it is distinguished from the competitors’ products/services.

All those successful companies effectively and predictably utilize the power of positioning to establish an expert status for themselves in the industry. That earned, and often strategically manufactured, expert status is essential for everyone who’s wanting to dominate their market.

The power and influence one gains in the marketplace from the authority figure status is immense. Companies or individuals who have been able to successfully position themselves as sought-after experts in their field, get to enjoy significant benefits unlike their competitors.

In his book No B.S. Marketing to the Affluent, Dan S. Kennedy, a marketing legend, author, speaker and serial multi-millionaire entrepreneur, demonstrates the power of expert positioning status through his Hierarchy Pyramid of Income and Power concept.

Dan’s concept showcases distribution of income according to one’s perceived status in the marketplace. The higher up the pyramid’s status ladder you climb, the more you are likely to earn in premium income than any of your competitors that are positioned lower than you are.

Even though being an expert in your field gains you numerous advantages, below I’ve listed the most remarkable four:

  • Freedom of choiceAbility to pick and choose who to do business with as opposed to a necessity to work with everyone due to the lack of business.
  • Expertise factorHaving customers come directly to you to seek your expertise as opposed to chase after them to get their business.
  • Price flexibility – Ability to command higher prices due to effective de-commoditization of your products and services in the marketplace.
  • Talent attractionHaving top talent constantly seek employment in your company due to solid reputation and lucrative career opportunities.

Now, let’s get to the bottom line. How in the world can you position yourself as a sought-after expert in your industry in order to enjoy all these goodies?

Below I listed 12 the most effective strategies that will help you position yourself and your company as an authority figure in your field.

 

12 Robust Strategies to Position Yourself as a Go-to Industry Expert

#1 Pick a Niche

First and foremost, when planning to build your expert status, you must lay down a solid foundation. A strong foundation in the journey to becoming an industry expert is to choose a specific target audience to go after.

Trying to be all things to everyone, won’t get you very far. It is way easier, cost-effective and quicker to establish yourself as an expert in a specific niche than to try and be an expert of the entire industry.

For instance, let’s say you are a Realtor. As a real estate agent you really have wide range of target audiences you can pursue. You can start marketing to home buyers, sellers, renters, investors, builders, and the list goes on.

However, if you stop for a moment and think carefully about every one of these segments, you will realize that they all have completely different needs, concerns and objectives. Trying to become a go-to expert for all of them is virtually impossible or at best, will take enormous amount of time, money and other resources.

Instead of trying to appeal to everyone, pick a specific niche. For example, concentrate only on real estate investors. Learn everything about them. Understand their pain points. Master all the ins and outs of their business. Start speaking to them in their language.

Only then you will get noticed. Only then you will stand out from all the generalist realtors that try to serve everyone out there. Only then you will be considered as a valuable resource and your target audience will come to you to seek your advice; not the other way.

 

#2 Get on ‘Top 10’ Lists

It is not a secret that people love lists, especially top 10 ranked lists. Top 10 lists give consumers sense of relief in terms of decision making. In particular, such lists help consumers overcome major objections like uncertainty, indecisiveness, fear of making a bad choice that usually occur during the product/service research phase.

In fact, top 10 lists not only help alleviate mentioned above objections, but they also help establish three major favorable conditions under which consumers are more likely to make a purchase or hire.

a. Easy Choice

Top 10 lists provide limited amount of options. Yes, ten options still can sound as too many but it is not if you think about it. All the ten choices given on the list are technically good. Otherwise they wouldn’t made it to the Top 10 list.

Therefore, regardless what a consumer picks, it could be considered as a safe choice, which make the decision making easy and stress-free.

b. Instant Trust

The power of Top 10 lists is significant! Even though the criteria based on which certain lists have been created could be questionable and completely unreliable, for the end consumers, the Top 10 concept will still be very influential. The impact of that influence, however, will be determined by the referral or the source that led a consumer to that Top 10 list.

For instance, let’s say a consumer uses Google’s search engine to research top real estate brokerages in Houston TX. He/she types “best real estate brokerages in Houston” and looks at the results. One of the first results is a Top 10 list. It just happened to be our result 🙂

Top 10 list example

In this case, the search engine, or more precisely – Google – is the referral. Do you think Google search engine’s users trust Google? You bet they do.

As I explained in my extensive real estate SEO guide, consumers trust organic search results of reputable search engines. Google is undeniably a very reputable search engine. In fact, according to Forbes, Google is world’s 2nd most valuable brand!

So we, as consumers, subconsciously trust Google’s results as if they were expert’s recommendation or endorsement. In other words, if Google lists (recommends) a website on the top of its search results, then it must be a reputable source of information.

So if consumers find a Top 10 list through Google and you or your company is on that list, such powerful endorsement instantly positions you as a credible industry expert in your market making your potential customers trust your business.

c. Higher Conversions

This has been proven numerous times by our company as well as by others that consumers convert in much higher rates after they got exposed to a Top 10 list. This behavior can be attributed to a commonly used marketing tactic called – pre-selling.

Basically, in our case, the Top 10 list becomes a powerful pre-sale layer between the consumer and the items listed on the list (can be products or service providers). This is an extremely powerful strategy that works very effectively in virtually every industry.

It is very common, in internet marketing, to utilize pre-sale pages when running a marketing campaign. In other words, instead of driving the traffic (visitors) directly to a product/service page, a marketer directs visitors to a intermediate page that pre-sells the product/service offered on the final page.

Very often, pre-sale pages can significantly increase conversion rates for a certain product or service. In our instance, the Top 10 list is a pre-sale page on steroids because adding to it the borrowed authority and trust from a referral source (in our case Google) makes it that much more effective!

If you your business is in one way or another relates to real estate, I welcome you to join our extensive community of real estate professionals and start positioning yourself as a go-to industry expert by utilizing the power of the Top 10 list.

 

#3 Publish a Book

Becoming an author of a book that provides in-depth insights about the subject matter your target audience is seeking advice in, is an incredible way to secure that coveted expert status.

You see, when you write a book on your subject of expertise, you suddenly transform from an ordinary product/service provider to an authority figure in your industry.

As I mentioned already, it is all positioning! If you haven’t authored a book yet, you are just like your competitors. However, if you have published a book, now you stand out – you are an expert that can advise and prescribe.

Dan S. Kennedy, a marketing legend and the author of more than 25 books, puts it this way, “as an authority, you must publish or perish”.

It is imperative to author a book on your subject of expertise if you want to be perceived as an expert on that subject.

 

#4 Become a Speaker

Public speaking is one of the most effective strategies to get your message across to a larger audience, at the right time and in a more impactful way. Participating in speaking events helps you boost your reputation as an expert by raising awareness about your expertise and extensive knowledge in your industry.

Of course, all of the well-known speakers one day were unknown. Some already did well before speaking while others were broke. Nonetheless, after starting speaking engagements, especially on large stages, it usually takes one’s career to a whole different level.

When people hear you speak on the stage on a certain topic, they automatically perceive you as a subject matter expert. This is how most peoples’ brains work by default. For instance, if we see a person in a white coat, we think they must be a doctor or a scientist and therefore can be trusted.

The same way people look at speakers. If a speaker discusses a certain subject on the stage, they must be a credible source. Otherwise, who would let them speak on that topic if they were not qualified, right? This is how we are conditioned to think. We are wired to think in certain patterns, for better or worse.

That being said, not all the speakers are created equal. Take for example Tom Ferry, perhaps one of the most sought-after and high-paid coaches and speakers in the real estate industry today. The authority, influence and credibility that Tom possesses in the marketplace is enormous.

Thousands of real estate agents and brokers from all over the world attend Tom’s evens every year and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on this educational products.

On the Dan S. Kennedy’s Hierarchy Pyramid of Income and Power chart, which I referenced in the intro of this article, Tom would be placed on the very top of the pyramid with a Celebrity status.

Yep, I said a CELEBRITY instead of a speaker. In fact, he is considered a celebrity speaker. It is a fact that many speakers in every industry literally turn celebrities. Celebrity speakers are much more rare but their influence is immense and this is where you want to end up in the end of the day!

The question is: can anyone become a celebrity speaker? The short answer is – YES. These days the technology and the access to a mass media channels definitely make it more attainable.

It doesn’t mean it will be easy. No! It will require a strategically-planned and diligently-executed series of actions over long period of time. If you have all it takes, you’ll eventually be able to reach that status of celebrity speaker. It is possible these day more than ever before.

Anyway, before you can think about becoming a celebrity speaker, you first need to adopt the fundamentals that will give you a fast start in your long journey.

As a speaker, you can only keep your audience captive if you give them the right reasons to trust you. Your goal is not to sell but to share your mastery of the subject. Connecting with your audience on a deep, emotional level allows you to build and nurture connections that have a huge potential of turning into strong and long-lasting relationships.

You’ll have to prepare your materials, perfect your content, and learn throughout the process. All your hard work will pay off in the end. Not only will you be able to expand your network and advance your career, but you’ll also gain more confidence and experience while speaking to different audiences.

 

#5 Become Industry Resource

Being a go-to resource for information and education in your industry is an incredibly effective way to introduce yourself and your brand to your target audience throughout various stages of their purchasing cycle.

Similarly to a public speaking and other strategies, this strategy is also built around the same fundamentals:

He/she who provides a valuable information by answering consumers’ questions and/or teaching them something they want to learn – is automatically perceived a subject matter expert!

However, there is a caveat to it. In order for this and other strategies that utilize the same fundamentals to work, the following two prerequisites must be in place:

  1. Trustworthy Medium
  2. Quality Content

 

Trustworthy Medium

You are probably asking what I mean by trustworthy medium. Well, here I’m referring to a channel or medium through which target audience consumes the information.

Let me explain. Let’s take public speaking strategy. The medium or a channel, in this case, will be a physical event at which speakers communicate their message to the audience.

Wait, but what about the ‘trustworthy’ part? This is critical. The medium must be trustworthy for this concept to work. Let’s get back to the public speaking example.

Does anybody go to events that they consider NOT trustworthy? Have you ever gone to such events? Of course not.

We only go to events or seminars that we trust and we want to hear from the featured speakers.

So, by default, the events and seminars we attend can be considered as a ‘trustworthy’ medium. Therefore, speakers participating at these events automatically assume the intrinsic trust naturally created by the medium itself.

Ok, as far as public speaking is concerned, it is clear now. But what about the ‘Become Industry Resource’ strategy?

The same principle applies here too. Only the medium is different. There are number of possible mediums available for this strategy. However, here I want to discuss the major one – online medium.

It is important to understand that online medium also must meet certain criteria for consumers to consider it trustworthy. Just creating content and posting it online doesn’t make it trustworthy.

Similarly to events and seminars that we were not aware of before but got recommended to us by our friend, colleague or other trustworthy source, online medium functions according to a similar recommendation system.

In other words, it matters how your target audience get exposed to your content. For instance, let’s say your potential customer finds your offer on Craiglist.

How trusting do you think they will feel towards your company? Not very trusting. Craiglist doesn’t have very good reputation. Does it?

Let’s look at another example. What if your potential customer reads about your company on Forbse.com. How do you think they will feel about you?

I’m sure you will agree with me that Forbes is a highly credible brand and if they decided to mention your company on their website, it means public can trust you too.

So, as you can see, it is imperative that your target audience get exposed to your content through a trustworthy source.  Only then this strategy will work and work very effectively.

Just in case you missed my second strategy “Get on ‘Top 10’ Lists”, Google is also considered to be a highly trustworthy source. In particular I’m referring to its organic results (not the ads).

So if consumers find a Top 10 list through Google and you or your company is on that list, such powerful endorsement instantly positions you as a credible industry expert in your market making your potential customers trust your business.

So if you believe there is no way for you to get featured on Forbes.com or similar publications (which is very possible btw), then investing in search engine optimization services for your website is something for you to consider.

 

Quality Content

This one is pretty straight forward. You should have a high quality content for your target audience to consume. This part of the equation must meet the quality standards or this strategy will fail.

If you have the first part – trustworthy medium – figured out, but your content is average, forget about it. It won’t work.

Your content MUST be of highest quality and in-depth. Take a close look at this guide you are reading. It took me few weeks to create it and I keep constantly updating it as time passes.

Does this guide answer your question on how to become an expert in your field in detail? I hope it does. In fact, I myself was searching for similar content few years ago and all I could find is some generic, regurgitated advice.

Not to sound braggy, I haven’t seen anything so detailed, in-depth and with so many actionable points like in this guide. Honestly, this was exactly my motivation to create something of value since I wasn’t able to find anything substantial on the web.

I hope you find it helpful too 🙂 If so, please share it with your friends and colleagues through any social media channels of your choice. I will really appreciate your support!

 

How to Become Industry Resource in Your Field

After understanding the two essential prerequisites for this strategy to be effective, now let’s get to the bottom line. What can you do to become a go-to resource in your industry?

I want to remind you that here I’m only covering the online aspect of it. Just want to make sure we are on the same page.

Well, generally speaking, you need to be the one providing the answers (as many and as often as possible) to your target audience’s questions throughout their entire purchasing cycle. The more you can get in front of your audience addressing their needs in detail during their buying process, the better.

Now let’s get to some examples to get it all sink in.

Let’s say you are a real estate agent who targets home buyers. As a professional realtor, you know your target customer’s purchasing cycle (also known as buyer journey). Don’t you?

Awareness

Research

Intent

Consideration

Purchase

Never Miss a Post
Recent Posts
How to Become an Expert in Your Field in 2020
Many business owners and entrepreneurs, regardless of the industry and geography, often struggle building up t
How to Choose the Right Real Estate Brokerage to Work For as a New Agent in 2020
Starting a career in real estate is full of challenges. After working hard on receiving your license, your nex
25+ Cool Real Estate Investor Logo Design Ideas 2020
If you're about to start a real estate investing company, you will most likely think about designing a nice-lo
Our Partners & Clients