How to Brand Your Expertise for Maximum Profit

Article by Loretta Love HuffI’ve been helping many of my clients lately figure out how to position themselves so they stand out in their marketplace like the true expert they are. It can be quite a challenge, particularly when there are a lot of people who know much of what you know and do basically what you do.

The key to success is having the right people recognize that you are the undisputed expert. The “right” people include your prospects, your colleagues, your clients, and your referral partners. When all of those people see your true brilliance, your value goes up dramatically.

Here are some simple steps you can take to make yourself stand out, get seen, and get recognized as an expert.

1. Know your audience
Resist the urge to try to be everything to everybody. Pick the people or groups you’re best suited to serve and focus on getting to know everything you can about them. Be particularly focused on the problems they encounter on a regular basis.

2. Speak their language
When you’re an expert, it’s easy to default to using jargon, technical, or quasi-technical terms that perfectly capture the nuance of the issue for you and other “geeks” like you, but may not resonate with the people you’re trying to help. Talk to them with words they use themselves.

3. Know your strengths
It’s tempting to believe that you are multifaceted and brilliant in every dimension. You might even be brilliant in many dimensions, but being a jack or jill of all trades will minimize the impression that you are an expert and lower the perceived value of your worth. Pick a few things you’re masterful at and that you enjoy doing, and focus on those.

4. Articulate your process
Whether you know it or not, you have a particular approach to solving problems. When you can explain it in simple terms, you’ll seem like more of an expert than people who don’t have their process spelled out and look like they’re “winging it.”

5. Understand their goals
When I attended coach training school over 15 years ago (how can that be?!), our trainer would often say, “People are always on their way someplace.” What he meant was that most people are working on a goal, whether it’s a short-term to-do, an errand, a duty of some sort, a project, or a much longer-term aspiration. Unless they’re couch potatoes, they’re trying to get somewhere, even if their “where” isn’t entirely clear to them.

When you help clients see where their “where” is, and position yourself as a key ingredient to getting there, you’ve just raised your value dramatically.

When you implement these 5 keys, you’ll stand out as an expert eligible for — and worthy of — higher fees and bigger projects.

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