No matter what industry you are in, your competition is stronger than ever. How do you stand out and get that sale when people are not as loyal to brands as they once were. How do you get their attention when people are often swayed by price rather than quality? One way is to become recognized as an expert in your industry, someone other people seek out for answers.
Everybody has the opportunity to position yourself as a thought leader or an industry leader and be the “go to” person in their field. Long gone are the days where you could approach someone and say, stop, listen and buy from me.
We are in an era of permission marketing or relationship marketing. Which is ‘let me understand you and your needs.’ Let me speak to that and deliver value to you. It may take as many as 5 – 10 touch points before you can really do business together.
The currency of thought in today’s business world is content….meaning who is out there in the most visible and loud manner talking to your potential customers not about your business but we are talking about anything that solves the challenge that consumer is having. The one thing you want to have in your business is a deep empathy and the ability to articulate the challenges of our target market. The entrepreneur who will win will be the one who has the most understanding of the situation and will work to find a solution for the customer.
Meaning we need to know what they need to know. For example if we are talking about a personal training business we not talking about us as a business and how credible we are, our trainers certified or whatever.. We are talking about the 7 things you can do this summer to lose more fat or gain more muscle or live with greater energy, whatever it is that speaks to your target market in a way that educates them on what they need to know.
Regardless of what business you are in, you are in the business of education.
There is one thing you can do right now to position yourself to be the leader in your industry and it is this:
Stop selling to consumers and start educating them.
Simon Reynolds is a successful advertising entrepreneur who has the 15th largest marketing company worldwide and has in excess of 6,000 staff with revenues generating five hundred million dollars annually. He spoke about a principle he used which I will share with you.
Recency and frequency.
This is when a consumer makes a buying decision; the company that they go with is the one that has communicated with them most recently and the most frequently.
Now you may say we cannot keep contacting them every week that would be spamming them. Wrong. We are not marketing to our audience, we are now educating them. What you should ask yourself is what can you send to your target market on a weekly basis to have them open their emails in anticipation.
What would you need to be talking about? Solutions to their problems.
Let me share another story. A friend of mine was in a position where she needed to find employment and she was at an age where the pickings were slim and she could not find anything that really would suit her. Lori did not know anything about social media, she had resisted the whole idea of connecting on Facebook, but more and more she knew her friends would be on there and she decided to take a stand and learn as much as she could through some adult classes and workshops. Next she was participating in webinars and really enjoying herself. Lori took it on herself to learn everything there was so she could help others in similar situations. Volunteering at the adult classes and other centres, she became known as the ‘go to’ person. The ‘go to’ person is that person who everyone needs to consult with because they are great at that one thing and it is a valuable commodity which can help you attain a higher position within your company or help you take on a leadership role.
Being the ‘go to’ person is not always easy. You have to be willing to study market trends and how they affect your industry. You have to be prepared for every possible question. Go to workshops, read, know your ‘stuff’.
What actions can you take to position yourself as the GO TO PERSON in your industry?