positioning yourself as an expert
There are strategic advantages to positioning yourself as an expert in your industry. It changes the scale of your income, the level of your personal satisfaction and, most importantly for entrepreneurs, it radically overhauls your Sales and Marketing approach. When you, or your organization, are seen as the industry guru, they start coming to you.
Are you keen on positioning yourself as an expert in your industry? One of the most effective techniques is to become a Constant Producer.
I work as a professional speaker. It’s surprising to see how many professionals working in my industry are simply not producers. They are performers, yes, with a single keynote presentation, and perhaps a single book, but they tend to get stuck in time and cease to produce. They don’t create articles. They don’t write the next book. They don’t come up with new ideas on purpose and they don’t design or conceive of anything new.
They may very well be specialists in their field, but people tend to forget them, because they are not constantly innovating, not constantly putting out into the world; and this changes their role from thought-leaders to mere performers.
These closed factories generally do not prosper to the same extent as the experts whose mental factory lights are always blazing, whose idea-production lines are always running, who are ruthlessly industrious and constantly ‘putting out into the world.’
Their Laziness is your Strategic Advantage
There is a phrase written by an author from the previous century, James A. Michener, that I find inspiring. He recalls a period in his life in which he was writing over 7,000 words per day, an act which he described as an ‘almost indecent display of industry.’ The phrasing of that statement just hits the spot for me.
James A. Michener was seen, worldwide, as the foremost author of historical fiction, and a mind to be reckoned with. And just like Stephen King, who is often lauded as the best selling living author today, he ascribed his astonishingly high-level reputation to honest hard work. Lots of it. He was a Constant Producer.
Imagine if James A. Michener, or Stephen King, had written what they considered to be their ‘one great novel,’ and then stopped there. Picture Stephen King writing Carrie, and then sitting back in his seat declaring, “Right! I’m done. People should give me a career now.”
That approach may even have worked. For a year. After that, no one would remember who Stephen King was. And yet, forty years later, he remains at the top of the bestseller lists. Because he is a producer.
That ‘one great novel’ approach would be equivalent to what many so-called experts are trying to do today. It just doesn’t work that way. You have to go on to novel number two. You have to (in Stephen King terms) get started with your ‘Salem’s Lot.
And these days, experts also express themselves through a plethora of channels: books; CD’s; DVD’s; manuals; articles; tweets and more.
Authors understand that one great literary achievement means very little, and we need to as well. It’s a constant gradient of productive output that ultimately becomes a significant career and has people recognizing you as someone at the top of your game.
So, if you are the expert in Flowers, when will you write a book on the topic? And what will the second book be about? And the third? What new things can you do around flowers? Is there some novel new way to present them to your market? Is there a TV show that you could do on them (and preferably something a little cleverer and quirkier than just a gardening show), or perhaps a road show? What’s the next big thing in Flowers? Have you stamped your intellectual mark on the topic? When people think about flowers, why should they think about you? Your job is to actively create the reasons why they should think about you. And to keep on doing so through constant production.
Constant output is the key. Be a producer. It’s one of the most important elements in positioning yourself as an expert. If you’re a financial adviser, write a small guide. When you’re done, think of the next thing.
It stands to reason that the more you produce, the more instances of visibility you will achieve. Each new article is an advert for you. Each presentation, interview or television appearance is a marketing campaign. Each new book is a quantum leap forward for your credibility. And every new idea positions you as a thinker and a leader and, quite simply, someone interesting within your sphere.
Go ahead; switch on those factory lights. Keep them blazing. You have an industry to conquer.
Douglas Kruger is a professional speaker and author of three books, including ‘50 Ways to Position Yourself as an Expert.’ See him in action at www.douglaskruger.co.za, connect with him on Linked In or Twitter @douglaskruger. Email firstname.lastname@example.org