Just my 2 cents worth
No matter what business you’re in, you are the expert in something. Establishing yourself as an authority gives you a coveted status that places you head and shoulders above your competition. It also builds loyalty with your client base and generates interest from prospects. But how do you establish expert status? Here are a few ideas.
Believe you are an expert, then claim it. You don’t have to have all of the answers to be an expert. No one does. So claim your status and give yourself a title such as process specialist, systems consultant, or subject matter expert.
Narrow your focus to a specific industry, demographic or topic. For example, instead of promoting yourself as a general marketing guru, focus on a specific market segment, such as the manufacturing industry or technology users.
Develop a press kit. A two-pocket folder can work wonders. Insert a letter describing your role as a media contact or guest speaker. Include your biography and a fact sheet tailored to showcase your knowledge. Keep sales literature to a minimum here. Establish yourself as a serious, credible authority, not as a peddler of a particular product or service.
Establish credibility with print. People believe what they read. Showcase your expertise with newsletters, white papers, and special reports. Educate, don’t sell. Send kits to media outlets and industry publications so you are top of mind when they are doing coverage in your area of expertise.
Join the speaker’s circuit. Give lectures, host seminars, hold workshops, or teach a class. Start local, then look for regional and national opportunities. Host a session at the annual meeting of your trade association.
Host a blog. Most experts have blogs these days. Blogs also give you entry into the world of social media and boost your SEO.
There is work involved in expert positioning, but it can be a powerful element of a comprehensive marketing and strategic communications plan. Expert status also gives you a unique selling proposition, a reason for customers to choose your company over your competitor.
I wish I had a buck for every hand tool, every office piece of equipment, every production machine, every car I’ve bought in my lifetime that broke down and died before I figured it should have.
I understand that a pencil sharpener is not exactly high-tech. Pretty much on a par with two cans and a string. But this particular pencil sharpener must be – let me ponder this – about 94 years old! It still puts a fine sharp tip on all the pencils I feed into it. It has a revolving plate on the front to accept different diameter pencils, and is powered by good old fashioned arm rotation.
I inherited it from my Grandfather who was a carpenter and I gotta guess sharpened many a point on it over his lifespan. And I and our 4 kids always sought it out at our home when necessary.
OK – there’s not much to go wrong with it, I admit. But it sure is a comfort knowing at least one item in my tool shop won’t breakdown, short-out or need batteries.
Kinda like Wheeler’s Printing – we won’t let you down either!
….suppose you came into our shop and asked for a price on some type of printed project – let’s say it’s a book. After discussing the project thoroughly with you I come back with a price of $17.00/book. As you go over my pricing, I detect some resistance from you and offer to discount my initial price by 28%.
1) give me the order and think nothing at how easily I was willing to drop my price. Then, from that moment on would you figure that all my pricing on future work I did for you, was negotiable, and without hesitation I’d give you a lower price?
2) give the order to me but probably never return for future orders because you figure I’m a gouger?
3) not give me the project to print because you feel my business ethics are questionable?
It would be interesting to know how people feel about this, and I’ll share the results of this survey with all that respond. Simply email me which answer NUMBER (1, 2 or3) you choose. Email me.