Tag Archives: Branding

How to Brand Your Expertise for Maximum Profit or Pay

I’ve been helping many of my clients lately figure out how to position themselves so they stand out in their marketplace or workplace 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 though is having the right people recognize that YOU are the undisputed expert. The ‘right’ people include your boss, your prospects, your colleagues, your clients and your referral partners.

When any 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.

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 sense that you are an expert and lower the perceived value of your worth. Pick a few things you’re masterful at 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 coach and trainer would often say “People are always on their way someplace”. What he meant was that most people are working on some 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 a couch potato, they’re trying to get somewhere even if their ‘where’ isn’t entirely clear to them.
We show up like some intrusion into their daily life and the things that fill it. When you help them see where ‘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 and worthy of higher fees and bigger paychecks.

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Turn the “Scorching Hot Sweet Spot™” in Your Business or Career into Cold Hard Cash

One of the biggest complaints I hear today is that people aren’t getting the recognition they deserve. Whether they are a corporate professional looking to move up the ranks in their career or a business owner looking to land more lucrative clients and contracts, they’re struggling to distinguish themselves in an authentic and profitable way.

Recently, I’ve honed in on what it takes to turn what I call “The Scorching Hot Sweet Spot™” in your career or business into cold, hard cash! Once you’ve mastered that process, you’ll attract better clients, gain more recognition in the office, feel way more confident, set yourself apart from the herd, stop worrying about the competition and earn more money.

It’s a simple model. Think back to your high school algebra or logic class to the phrase “Venn Diagram”. The Scorching Hot Sweet Spot is at the intersection of 3 concepts:

1) Your expertise and passions
2) Your customers needs
3) Your offer, well-timed



Your expertise and passions
It’s critical you know what you’re really good at and it’s likely that you don’t. If you’re like most people, you undervalue what you know. When something somes naturally to you, it’s easy to assume that everyone is good at it too. Nothing could be stronger from the truth.

Take a trip down memory lane and ask yourself what you loved to do as a child or teenager. Recall the kinds of things people have asked your advice on over the years. When you’re clear about your expertise and focus your business or career around the expression of that expertise, you’ll be effective and experience less struggle. Work will feel graceful and full of ease. If you aren’t aware of and don’t effectively market the value of your skills, you’ll sound like everyone else when competing for clients or jobs. You’ll seem like a commodity and be easily replaced by someone with a lower bid.

When you focus on what you’re passionate about, you’ll also experience a feeling of fulfillment and joy. Time will fly by because you’re doing what you love.

Your customers’ needs
People will pay good money to someone who is perceived as being someone who can help them solve their most urgent issues. You have to know what keeps them awake at night and how your ‘magic’ will let them rest more peacefully. If you aren’t aware of their problems, your marketing messages to them will sound like that Charlie Brown teacher “Wah, wah, wah, wah, wah, wah, wah”. They don’t care how cool your process is. They only care about their pain and getting rid of it.

Your offer, well-timed
You must have a specific methodology you use to help solve those problems. That’s your “offer”. Having a trademark system in place gives you more credibility and positions you as an expert. Even if you’re an employee, you probably have a certain way you go about solving problems. When you can describe and name your process, it’s value goes up. It’s one of the steps I take my clients through in my VIP “Monetize Your Niche” and “Be Dream Job Ready” private consulting days.

The second component of this is the ‘well-timed’ part. You could have the most compelling solution but if it fixes a problem they’re not having now, you likely won’t get the sale. You must learn to recognize the buying signals that foretell a prospect is ready to take action.

When you clarify these three concepts and implement new activities in your business, you’ll be on the way to pushing more cash in the bank!

Why It Pays to Focus on a Niche & How to Find Yours

Most business owners resist the thought of honing in on a tight target market. They fear they’ll be missing out on potential sales if they don’t go after every possible sale that could be had.

And with the current state of the economy, they feel particularly justified in doing just that.

The problem though is that when you go after everything, you water down your marketing efforts. It’s like trying to paint a fine masterpiece for your living room with a spray paint can.

People don’t know who you are and what you specialize in.

Before I dive into the tips for today, I want to clarify a few terms. I’m often asked, “What’s the difference between a target market, an ideal client and a niche?”

According to Entrepreneur magazine, a target market is “a specific group of consumers at which a company aims its products and services.” An example of this might be ‘women business owners’.

Your ideal client is a subset of your target market, perhaps defined by demographic and psychographic data. An example might be women business owners over 40 years old in professional service industries, particularly those that require licensure from an industry or professional board or certification process who are looking to increase the revenue coming into their companies.

Your niche is a combination of 3 things:
1) The people you serve
2) The situationally specific problem you help them solve
3) Your specially branded Signature System that provides the solution to their problem.

When you’re clear about who you are best suited to serve, you’re able to get inside their head, understand their worries and concerns. You’ll know what they crave and yearn for. You’ll have the confidence to talk with them clearly and concisely about how you are uniquely suited to help them navigate their way throught their challenges to their desired outcome.

Here are 3 easy steps to get started.
1) Get clear on why your clients need you (and it’s probably not for the reasons you think).
Without this clarity, your marketing will sound like the teacher in the Charlie Brown cartoon movies, “Wah wah wah wah wah wah wah”. No one will hear you above the noise and you’ll really miss out on earning what you’re truly capable of. When you have it nailed, people will flock to you because your marketing will be extraordinarily focused on JUST THE RIGHT PEOPLE.

2) Come up with a “platform” that distinguishes you from everyone else who does what you do.
Let’s face it, there are tons of graphic designers, financial advisors, attorneys, insurance agents, mortgage brokers, realtors, business coaches, professional organizers. you need more than a nice business card and a catchy tag line to set yourself apart. When you are trapped by being viewed as a commodity, you’ll never be able to rise above the herd; you’ll struggle with raising your prices and run yourself ragged trying to ‘reel in’ that next customer.

When you find your voice, it will pierce through the marketplace din to be heard by the people who most need what you have to offer. They’ll seek you out, already being sold on your service. Referrals will flow to you more swiftly because people who don’t even need you will recommend you to their friends and colleagues.

3) Make a choice of a niche that is crystal clear and easy to communicate.
Building on the first two points, when you know who you serve and how you specifically help them, you can be WAY more confident (but not pushy) when you speak with prospects. Your marketing will sound like you’re ‘playing their song’ and will draw them to you and position you as the best possible solution to their problem. If you falter on this step, you’ll remain one of the ‘also ran’s, working hard to close deals and wondering why you’re having such a hard time.

I want you make sure this doesn’t happen to you! If you know this would make a difference for you, grab this free training I did over the weekend and/or join us for the upcoming Niche Breakthrough Secrets program where I’ll help you finally step into the spotlight with a unique message that makes your marketing compelling and allows you to market less and still fill your practice or programs with the perfect people for your business.

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How to Attract Clients Who Will Pay You What You’re Worth

Many business owners scrape by serving clients who are struggling themselves.  In spite of the economy, there are many businesses and people who have been unaffected and are willing to pay for premium-level services and products.

When you’re trapped servicing the middle or low-price market (which, let’s face it) much of the country is these days, you encounter a ton of hairy-pulling, teeth-gnashing concerns like:

1.    People don’t buy from you because they can find what you offer at a lower price somewhere else
2.    People don’t buy at all because putting up with their problem is easier than forking over money to solve it
3.    Your bank account is scarily low leaving you worried, anxious and maybe even a tad desperate.

You get the picture.

So, well-heeled clients sound like the answer to your prayers, right?

The challenge to landing those clients however is  (at least) three-fold:

1.    You don’t know exactly who is looking for what you have to offer
2.    You don’t know how to find or attract them
3.    You don’t have anything to offer them that they’re truly interested in

So what’s a busy business owner to do?

There are several ways to overcome these problems.

In dire times businesses try to offer everything to everybody. That’s exactly the wrong strategy.  And here’s why.  When you market to everyone, your ‘target’ won’t feel special.  She won’t believe you have a solution that addresses her needs so she keeps looking until she finds it and it likely won’t be with you.

I recently went into a shoe repair shop (a dying breed, admittedly) but they were selling children’s toys and household tchotchkes that didn’t even look like they belonged in the shop.  Perhaps they were selling well, but frankly, I’d be surprised.

The solution is to focus on a small set of specific clients and do everything you can to understand them, their worries, pains, dreams, hopes and desires.

Once you know who they are, ask yourself, how are they spending their time? What do they read, listen to or go to?

Are they attending networking meetings? If so, which ones? Most networking events are populated with people hungry for business not necessarily looking to invest in solutions.

Think about it. When you need to buy something, do you go to an event to buy it? Probably not. You might go and ask people you trust for recommendations, but if you found exactly what you were looking for, I’ll bet you’d be a little bit surprised.

So you have to get visible where your market is looking. That could be online, on their smart phone, in industry-specific or niche publications (although that can be expensive).

If they’re suffering with a big problem, they may have complained to their friends and colleagues. So developing a referral strategy with the right people could be really productive.

Then, once you’ve found them (or they’ve found you), you must make sure your marketing message hits them directly between the eyes.  You have to be so clear about how what you’re offering is exactly what they need that they go “Duh! It would be a mistake NOT to invest in that.”

Again, this underscores the importance of knowing who really needs what you have so when they hear our message, they say “S/he’s talking to me!”

I remember participating in an event and one of the attendees remarked “I felt like the speaker was inside my head saying out loud what I had only thought in the privacy of my own brain!” That’s what you’re going for!

So, when you know who they are, what they’re gnashing their teeth over and have a solution aimed directly at pain (or dream) with a message that feels like it’s directly personally to them, the right people will refer you, find you and happily pay you for your expertise!