How To Become A Recognized Expert: Business Branding

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I think that most of us want to be well known for what we do. At some level we’d like to be a business celebrity or thought leader in of our field.

And the good news is that it really isn’t all that difficult to do (as long as you keep a couple of things in mind). Hopefully, by sharing with you a little bit about my journey, I can make your road to business celebrity status a bit easier.

As you may know, I left Kraft Foods back in the early ’90s and joined the approximately 1,200 other marketing consultants who also called Atlanta home.

Now before I go much further, I have a confession to make.

I’ll be the first to admit that the lessons I’m going to share with you are probably things you’ve heard before. Lord knows, I must have heard the same messages I-don’t-know-how many times before they finally sunk in.

I suppose that’s the case with lots of things.

For example, when I first took up golf I had a hard time transitioning from the backswing. My instructor repeatedly said “Start the downswing easy.” I must have heard that over 3 dozen times before it finally sunk in and I implemented her suggestion.

The reason I’m sharing that with you is that we all have a tendency to say, “I’ve heard that before.”, and start to dismiss the message.

However, “Having heard it before” isn’t the point.

What’s really important is, “Have you taken action?”

It’s one thing to have actually tried something and found that for whatever reason, it didn’t work for you. It’s an entirely different matter if all you did was “hear” the message but never actually tried it.

As my mentor Dan Kennedy says, “There’s no equity in coming up with the 200 possible reasons for why this might not work for you. Any idiot can do that. The only value is in doing some mental-heavy lifting and determining how you can apply what you ‘hear’ to your own situation.”

So let’s return to marketing and branding yourself.

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The first question one needs to ask, if you seriously want to get famous (or at least well-known) to a certain audience, is WHO exactly do you want to target?

This is where a lot of people make a huge mistake, and I was certainly one of them.

The problem I had was that I didn’t want to eliminate anyone. My fear was that if I tried to niche my marketing, there would be lots of people who wouldn’t do business with me because I said I specialized in someone different.

I suppose this is an issue we all go through.

Thus I defined my market as “Those who could hire me.” Sounds pretty silly in retrospect, but that summed up my “targeted marketing” approach.

The problem is that when you try to appeal to everyone, you wind up appealing to no-one.

Thus my marketing message focused exclusively on WHAT I DID, with no mention about WHO I was best prepared to help. This is when I learned a very valuable lesson that I carry with me to this day.

“Everyone thinks their problems are unique.”

The reality is that they usually aren’t. However, since our prospective clients believe that they are, it’s crucial that we recognize it.

This is why it is SO IMPORTANT to target very specific markets with your message. Granted, it would be a whole heck of a lot easier if we could just prepare one universal message and be done with it, but that’s not the way the world works.

But I’m probably not telling you anything you haven’t heard before.

So let me ask you…what’s your niche market?

And if you just said, small businesses, CEOs, corporations or baby boomers…you really don’t have a niche market.

All of those are way too broad. Defining your niche that way is a bit like saying, “Let’s go eat American food.”

The key to becoming the recognized expert in your field is first about defining the field. It’s going to be much easier for you to get extremely well known, very quickly, if your market is defined very specifically and as narrowly as you can.

The next part of the equation is WHAT you are communicating, and I’ll be covering that tomorrow.

Talk with you then.
Mark
OTHER ARTICLES OF INTEREST
Branding Your Expertise
How To Use Emotional Triggers To Get More New Clients
A Contrarian Approach To Business Branding

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Mark Satterfield, Gentle Rain Marketing — Author , Marketing Consulting Expert, Lead Generation, Business Development, Marketing Strategy, Get More Clients, Increase Revenue — Click here for his Facebook Twitter LinkedIn YouTube

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