Back in the pre-Internet days, business was secretive.
People tried to prevent others from learning too much about how their business worked. They carefully guarded their processes and procedures. Their trade secrets.
But things are shifting. Business building is done in public now.
What it means to be an expert
There are probably thousands—or millions—of people doing the exact same work you do. And a lot of them are probably just as good as you. If not better.
That means there are a lot of people out there who can serve your clients just as good as you can.
To be clear; it’s important to be an expert. You have to be good at what you do.
As an expert you’re continually learning. Keeping up with industry trends. Investing in education and training.
But being an expert isn’t a selling point. It’s a feature, not a benefit. And great marketing focuses on benefits.
Being an expert is just the minimum barrier to entry into business.
Think about it.
You probably wouldn’t buy a car that was marketed with selling points like;
- The engine starts when you turn the key
- It stops when you press the brake pedal
- The doors lock when you push the button
Because those are bare-minimum features of a functioning car. They’re expected. They’re never even mentioned.
That’s the equivalent of expertise.
I’ve spent thousands of dollars, and countless hours educating myself, and improving my skills. And I continually read tutorials, and take courses to stay current.
And I almost never tell anyone. Because I think it’s a basic requirement for staying in business.
Why being an expert isn’t enough
To rise above other experts, you have to be an authority.
Being an authority isn’t about power or control; it’s about influence.
Being an authority is about being of service. Helping make peoples lives easier. Sharing access to unknown or hard-to-find resources.
Authorities freely share their knowledge, and can charge higher rates because they’re perceived as more valuable.
When you’re an authority, your name is the one that immediately comes to mind when someone thinks about your business. You’re the go-to trusted person. The obvious choice.
- Make themselves visible
- Are in-demand
- Have clients coming to them
- Have high-quality, low-maintenance clients
- Charge higher rates
- Work in obscurity
- Aren’t in-demand because nobody knows about them
- Have to chase clients down
- Have low-quality, high-maintenance clients
- Settle for lower rates
So ask yourself; do you want to be seen as a go-to trusted authority, or someone who does the bare minimum?
I know which one I choose!