No matter what industry you’re in, being good enough is never really “good enough.â€ If you really want to make a big impact in business, consider raising the stakes by positioning yourself as an expert. Yes, you heard me correctly–I said expert. Harvard Business Review refers to an expert’s skill set as “deep smartsâ€ and notes that “[d]eeply smart people are unique–a product of their particular mind-set, education, and experience.â€ Sound like you? Keep reading.
And, a recent Nielsen study cites the impact of expert influence in all 3 areas of the purchase cycle: brand familiarity, brand affinity, and purchase intent. This study revealed that credibility and unbiased content are the hallmarks of expert influence and drive economic decision-making by consumers–key takeaways for big business.
Want toÂ learn how to become an expert? Check out my latest article in Success Magazine, where I share five key steps to expert positioning. But, for now, let’s just focus on the “why.â€
Take your career to “next levelâ€ success with three majorÂ benefits of expert positioning:
1. Credibility. For experts, reputation is everything and credibility drives a rock-solid reputation. As industry leaders who possess “deep smartsâ€–experts have knowledge, skills, and experience that others don’t. This expert “toolbox,” if you will, provides a fundamental kind of credibility that symbolically leaps from the page.
By virtue of their “positioning,â€ experts inspire trust–which is the foundation for credibility. People trust that experts will have top-tier credentials, be competent, and deliver superior results. Therefore, experts are generally hired over the “Average Joe,â€ when money is no object, but results are critical to the bottom line.
High standards increase expert credibility. An expert’s work will generally speak for itself–and encourages others to speak about it, too. Referrals anyone? Happy clients equal tons of new referrals. Unhappy clients simply don’t make referrals.
Credibility is a scarce commodity–you can’t pay for it–but your clients will. Remember that.
2. Fee Power. Expert advice doesn’t come cheap. But, when clients are interested in topnotch results, they’re happy to pay the piper. As an expert, you can claim your fee based on the value you provide to your client. That’s right–you can name your own price–as long as you’re providing first-class results.
That being said, experts don’t negotiate fees. They know that engaging in ridiculous pricing schemes will only compromise their value. Instead, they simply convey value—the ROI to their clients. Who can argue with that? Your clients won’t, especially when you can articulate how working with you adds incredible value and helps them to achieve critical goals. For example, what’s $250, 000 in fees when your expert advice will increase annual revenue by $5,000,000? That’s exactly the point.
3. Power of Position. Experts are known for being the red hammer in the haystack. They stand out. Distinguished amongst their peers, experts enjoy a kind of professional celebrity that can be leveraged throughout their careers. Experts are cited as credible authorities in every major industry; they are profiled by media for valuable insight and comment; they are asked to participate in high-profile events where they can leverage their insight and mingle amongst other power players.
Considered “thought leadersâ€— cutting edge practitioners for sure—experts have the power to influence, initiate change, direct policy, and produce solutions that would otherwise be difficult to accomplish by non-experts. How?Â Remember our discussion about trust and credibility? Well, trust is the power behind the position. It’s just that simple.
Go ahead … embrace your inner red hammer!
Expert positioning certainly has incredible benefits. So, take a moment to ask yourself where you’re headed in your career. Do you want to make a bigger impact? Do you want to deliver greater value? You can do both by positioning yourself as an expert.
Will you be the next red hammer in the haystack?
Karima Mariama-Arthur, Esq. is the founder and CEO of WordSmithRapport, an international consulting firm specializing in professional development. Follow her on Twitter: @wsrapport or visit her Website, WordSmithRapport.com.