Positioning Yourself as the Expert
Do you have a hobby or passion? I’m talking outside of work. Do you love tinkering with old cars? Are you a competitive mountain biker? Do you spend your free time scuba diving or ballroom dancing?
What do you do to learn more about this passion? How do you get better? Certainly, you practice or spend time “doing” it. But, what else? Do you read blogs or magazines about the topic? Do you go to trade shows or conferences to stay on top of the latest trends surrounding your passion? Are there certain “experts” who are the go-to people when comes to everything related to the category?
Can you be that expert to your prospects and customers?
I have a friend and client named LeCharles Bentley. He is a former NFL and Pro Bowl offensive lineman who was one of my very first clients when I started JoltCMS in 2009. At the time, there was no one in the offensive line community who had really become the stand-out expert in the field.
LeCharles saw an opportunity to become that expert. It did not happen overnight. When he started, he couldn’t even get high school coaches to return his calls. But, he stuck to it. We built an online platform called O-Line World where members could watch educational videos and read articles all about the offensive line.
Today, LeCharles runs an exclusive, invitation-only offensive line training camp for NFL players; he’s got a partnership deal with Nike; he has developed several products for offensive line training; and we recently helped him launch www.lbolineperformance.com, a website that’s become THE authority for everything related to the O-line.
It took several years, but LeCharles is the perfect example of positioning yourself as the expert. And, you can do it, too.
CH 12 Why You Shouldn't Worry About The Competition
There are a lot of great companies out there in your industry, and they’re doing really good work for their clients. How much do you pay attention to them?
Whatever it is, that’s too much! (Unless you said none at all.)
When I get asked about our competition, I always struggle to answer. I guess, ultimately, we do “compete” with other content marketing, website design or SEO companies, but rarely do we consider who we’re “up against.” That’s not to sound cocky, but rather just confident, I suppose.
It’s all about finding the right fit.
Let me explain. When I meet with someone to discuss their online marketing (or even general business) challenges, my goal is NOT to sell them our services. My goal is to find out if their problem is a good fit for our solution.
There’s a bit of wordplay in that last phrase, but it’s crucial to notice – I’m not trying to figure out if they can use our services; instead, I know what we do works in a few specific situations, so I’m listening for THAT particular problem/situation to come up in conversation, and then we can talk through what we do and how it can address that specific problem.
In my business, it may come up in a variety of ways, but the “problem” we’re ultimately looking for sounds something like this:
“We’re struggling to use the web to drive sales.”
This is the problem that’s a perfect fit for our solution: a content marketing plan and the tactical implementation to fulfill that plan.
It could be that they struggle with driving traffic to their website; it could be a concern about online engagement and ongoing communication with prospects and leads; or it could be an issue with converting those leads into sales. Any of those “triggers” will lead a prospect right into the arms of our solution.
And, at this point, the competition doesn’t matter. I have uncovered the specific pain/challenge/issue the prospect is dealing with; I’ve revealed it’s impact on the company, and on the prospect herself; and I’ve helped her understand that what she’s struggling with is the EXACT thing that we are awesome at addressing. Competition? What competition?
What is that phrase/pain point you’re looking for? What is the perfect problem that fits just right with what you’re great at?
Many times, we’re not a good fit, and that’s okay. We only want to do business with people who truly need what we offer, who see the value in what we do and can help them with. We’re not trying to “sell” anything; rather we’re trying to determine if we can help.
And THAT is why we don’t worry about the competition. If we can help, that’s great. If someone else would be a better fit, then that’s better for the prospect, and that’s great, too.