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3 key areas You need to master to be visible as an Expert

Experts need to master these 3 key areas to showcase their expertise

 

In How to Convince People You’re An Expert With Integrity, I’ve shared guidance to discover, develop and convey your expert status to others.

The rules apply whether you’re a career professional or have ventured into the world of self-employment and business.

While an employee will use Executive Presence as a tool to market themselves within their organization and LinkedIn to showcase their knowledge via group discussions, updates and posts, a self-employed professional or small business owner will need to market their services not only to establish their expert status but do it like an expert.

In this post, I’m sharing some tips based on my own experience of marketing my coaching practice which helped me transition from the 9 to 5 workforce (on paper of course) to running my own business.

I’ve broken it down to 3 sections which are required in that very order if you want to become proficient at showcasing yourself to the right audience and potential referral partners.

 

Shift your Mindset to that of a successful business person

 

Your mindset is your most important weapon for success. Without it, your visibility and credibility efforts will go for a toss.

It’s also an area where many of us fall short. The point to remember is the rules that applied to us as employees change.

For sure we still need to deliver results and services but we also need to see our business for what it is, a business that requires us to create a vision of our end goals what we want our new venture to be like and take the risks of applying different approaches to achieve our end objective while staying in integrity and delivering on our promise.

You have to start thinking like a winner and use whatever technique or modality works for you to keep you going on the journey of entrepreneurship. My favorites include affirmations, creative visualization and tapping.

Make sure you exude confidence. Not the fake it till you make it kind but genuine confidence because when you’re sure of yourself, people are inclined to trust your professionalism more than someone who seems timid and unsure of himself.

This means presenting yourself with poise, professionalism, and ease. Always maintain confidence in the offerings of your business and your ability to succeed as an independent professional.

A friendly word of caution is required here. Flying solo is not quite as glamorous as it sound. There are going to be days when one feels alone and disappointed when the pitches we make don’t get us a project or a prospect decides they ‘can’t afford us’ and we’ll start to wonder where our head space was to venture out into self-employment.

I’ll never forget one incident from my early days that led to my deciding never to offer free coaching again. It marked my deciding that I wanted to run a business from a place of service but without undermining the value I brought to the table.

I had to get my hours for my certification and asked a former colleague if he could get me some prospects to help build my hours. One of the referrals loved my work and a few months later, contacted me because she wanted to speak to me urgently.

By that time Karmic Ally Coaching had come into existence and I was booking paying clients. Our chat turned into an hour of her gushing about how I had inspired her to get out of her comfort zone – so far so good.

Then she told me about how she had invested in a coach and how wonderful that coach was. Of course there were some problems that she now wanted to discuss with me for free since I did free sessions!

Stumped as I was, I explained it would not be fair to professionals who were investing in my services or to me and guided her to my website, offered my services and shared the cost. I left the decision to hire me to her.

After the call, I decided on the spot never to allow my services to be perceived as low value by offering free coaching even though there are coaching gurus who preach otherwise and it seems to work for some.

The decision was furthered strengthened by my realization that many of my coaching calls that followed this ‘free, give them a taste to whet their appetite’ model never brought me any business and even if they agreed to a coaching engagement, my emails went unanswered.

I know of others who’ve had the same experience and while it is comforting to know I’m not alone, it is not acceptable.

Learn to own your worth!

I can laugh about it now and in a recent challenge, was brave enough to load a video about it to my Facebook Business Page which was well received (you can watch it below).

 

 

It was a major mindset shift for me but taking ownership of my value made a difference in how I approached my business and the quality of clients who came to me after that.

This is all part of the journey to becoming an authentic business owner who offers their expert services to people who need and want it. It is temporary and to complete the shift from an employee to a business owner. With time you will hit your stride and find you have more work than you bargained for.

Need inspiration? Think of Disney, Ford and read up on successful business people who faced challenges before getting it right.

 

Business Mindset Assessment

5 Basic Marketing Strategies to show you know your stuff on the back of your hand

Once you’ve got the mindset piece sorted out, it’s time to claim your sacred space under the sun. This requires taking strategic decisions so your actions and tactics are not a waste of time or random acts of marketing.

 

Strategy 1 – Create a 1 sentence introduction that gives the listener a clear message about what you do

It’s called an Elevator Speech or Pitch.

This precious 30 second introduction should answer the essential questions of who you serve, what you do and how you achieve the results or goals for your client.

You’re going to need this in every bit of marketing you do to demonstrate you’re an expert in your craft. You’ll need it in your networking, social media marketing, your website and in fact anywhere you intend to share your services.

Before someone can decide if they may need your product or service they must first understand what you’re saying. It’s so important I created a full fledged self-study course on the subject.

 

7 simple steps to a powerful introduction

 

Tip: Nobody gets it perfect the first time round so don’t be hard on yourself. Instead, run it past a trusted friend or colleague and ask them for an honest evaluation of your description. If it doesn’t, work on this as a priority before you work on any marketing activity.

 

Strategy 2 – Create a Vision and Mission Statement that is authentic and from your heart, not a cut and paste from someone else’s website or LinkedIn Profile to guide your Marketing Message

 

It has to be your vision and what you want to achieve through your business that matters. All the fluffy words and good copy writing will come later when you know the message you want to convey.

Getting the Mission Statement right is important because once you know the message you want to convey to your right audience, you’ll find there is a whole universe of marketing tactics that you can use to achieve your goals.

Some of those tactics won’t work for your business or might not appeal to your intended audience.

For example, if you want to work with mid-career women professionals returning to work after a career break, your marketing message must appeal to this intended audience and repel those who are not the right fit.

The marketing tactics and tools you would use will be ones that will help you reach your intended audience where they hang out instead of spreading your message all over the place and not getting heard.

For example, they might be more comfortable in a Facebook Group at the moment than on LinkedIn or other platform.

 

Strategy 3 – Zero in on your Unique Selling Proposition and share it with consistency

 

Let me be honest, there are lots of other professionals doing the same work that you do and just like in the job market we are advised to stand out from the noise, you need to do it as a business person.

You know you are the expert on your subject and can get your client the results they crave for but before that, your client has to find you and feel you are the go to person for their problem.

This requires you to use your unique selling proposition (USP) to make your business memorable and take consistent action that establishes your own brand.

It means conveying your USP in your marketing material, whether your website, tagline, logo, lead magnet, blog, social media activity and offline activities with consistency.

 

For example, if your website name, tagline and content convey you are a website developer extraordinaire, use that theme in your business cards and social media profiles too.

When people Google your name, they should see a consistent image and brand being portrayed across all channels for a unique website developer, not a tarot reader (even if you do possess that skill).

Have you ever done a self-google to see what shows up for you?

 

Strategy 4 – Create one solid marketing plan and stick to it

 

If all you do is dream up marketing schemes, you’ll miss the opportunities to implement them. Instead, create one solid marketing plan and stick to it. Tweak your tactics according to your results.

 A marketing plan generally includes several marketing techniques, so choose several of your best ideas and start implementing them today. The faster you get out there and start peddling your business, the sooner you’ll begin to increase your revenue.

Test different techniques. Spread your marketing efforts across a number of different strategies. If one or two tactics are less successful, the success of other marketing efforts will keep your business afloat while you determine what gives you the best results.

 

Does your business content marketing demonstrate the core problem you solve?

 

 

Strategy 5 – Network like a pro

 

Jump at the opportunity to attend networking events related to your industry. It’s one of the best ways to find clients and make industry contacts that may hire you at a later date or recommend you to their colleagues.

You may have to pay a fee to attend conventions or events, but they are often well worth the price. You’re paying to chat with a roomful of your target clientele.

Before I started my coaching business, I worked as an independent consultant for an area of finance where I was a specialist.

A wise friend told me to go to events and set up meetings. In his experience, 10 meetings could result in 1 of them giving me a project. That’s a solid 10% conversion rate which could be improved with practice!

Remember Even one new customer may enable you to earn back the cost and then some.

Always bring a large stack of business cards and prepare an elevator speech. Sometimes, you’ll only get a few minutes to chat with potential big-budget clients. So leave a lasting impression by displaying professionalism and confidence.

Tip: Use the back of your business card to give a link to a free offer that demonstrates your expert status. This 1 action has added numerous new connections to my mailing list.

Post the networking event, invite your new contact to connect with you on LinkedIn and engage further. I’ve often discovered mutual connections that have acted as good referrals for confirming the expert status of my new contact or even my expertise!

Do a bit of legwork to find out the proper dress code. Obviously, it’s best to be overdressed than under-dressed, but you’ll feel silly sitting in a room full of people in cardigans and khakis while you’re in a black Armani business suit.

 

Tactics to establish yourself as an expert in your field

Once you have your mindset and marketing plan worked out, we get to the really fun part of trying new tactic to achieve our marketing and business goals as well as establish ourselves as an expert in our field.

There are different mediums and the ones you choose should play to your strengths and not follow the latest fad.

I remember when Blab and Periscope were suddenly declared the next best thing since sliced bread. They disappeared shortly thereafter.

Google Plus appeared around the same time but didn’t quite catch on for the intended purpose and is now being closed in the coming weeks.

Then Facebook Live was touted as the only marketing tool you needed until Social Media Examiner and others realized that the return on investment of doing live videos on Facebook wasn’t quite what it was cranked out to be.

So the latest advice is to head back to YouTube and get some Google love in the process.

Call me conservative but we are trying to establish our credentials as experts in our subject matter and not earn doctorates in marketing and communications.

Marketing is our tool to get the message out that we are here to serve.

Avoid following the herd for the latest fad and take actions that are aligned with your goals, values and skills. Rest assured, you will be seen as an expert.

 

My pick of tactics to follow consistently to establish expert credentials as part of your marketing plan

 

Create a website as home base to invite visitors to learn about your work and engage with you. Your website must show the visitor within 10 seconds what you have to offer and if it is relevant to them.

Add a few bells and whistles like videos, live chats and downloads in exchange for their email address to share more information about the problem you solve.

Start a blog with weekly posts on your subject. Blogging will not only keep your website active but also help you get found via search engines. Blogging has the power to showcase your expert status provided you write relevant content on topics that are of interest to your audience.

 

Do you blog to showcase your expertise?

 

Blogs are a form of content marketing and this can be expanded to include creating content such white papers, e-books, free reports, tutorials or social media to educate new and existing clients in your area of expertise. Creating content also gives you an opportunity to mention the services you offer to meet those needs.

Once you’ve created your content, you need to make sure you distribute this content at the places that you had identified while doing the strategy work to showcase yourself as the expert.

Speaking engagements, publication articles and volunteer leadership roles can all help label you as an expert in your field.

Marketing your business is an ongoing task that should be addressed regularly throughout the year. The more you market your business, the more you increase your exposure, make a name for yourself in the local community, and meet your financial goals.

Whichever tactics you decide to apply, remember you have to do it consistently with a focus on the target market where you want to be seen as an expert. It takes time but the results are worth it.

Marketing is to your business what food is to the human body; without it, it’s impossible to survive. Begin implementing these tips today to find success in your marketing and increase your revenue to new heights.

How are you creating visibility and credibility as an expert?

 

Additional Resource to Get More Clients

Once you’ve established yourself as the go to person, you need to still work at getting clients. Here’s a cool resource.

 

 

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Meet your coach

I believe the world would be a better place if high achieving professionals accepted setbacks and challenges to their careers as Wake Up Calls to embark on a Journey where their empowered course correcting actions create a New World Order that encompasses achieving their career aspirations & potential with authentic life balance.

I work with driven, passionate, talented and ambitious professionals who’ve hit a speed breaker in their business or career create their desired breakthrough reclaiming control of their situation with customized strategies and tactics that deliver results.

When my clients first reach out to me, they are not in a very happy place, needing clarity about themselves, their desires, chosen vocation and what will give them peace of mind. They are drawn to me for the very reasons that I highlight in Who Is Karmic Ally Coaching.

Their professional problems are playing havoc with other areas of their life. They know they need to take radical steps to change the status quo but they also know they need support and accountability to get them their desired result.

I really get it, because I’ve experienced that dark night of the Soul. I know firsthand the outcome of getting lost in my work rationalizing decisions that were detrimental to other aspects of my life.

I’ve struggled with and won battles of stress management, corporate politics, life balance and career decisions to emerge in a place where I can confidently say that I live my desired life according to my personal Manifesto and have created a business that provides me with a platform for my desired lifestyle and self-expression for myself. I want that for you too!

I adhere to the Certified Coaches Alliance Code of Ethics and Standards. A copy is available on request.
1st place BCB 2012
Email: Vatsala(at)karmicallycoaching(dot)com Phone:91 9818517664
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