Becoming an Expert in Your Market Niche
Marketing products and services is easier when you are an expert in the field. But what if you are not? First, determine whether you really are an expert. Only then can you decide on an e-Marketing approach that will work for you.
There are two ways of thinking about this…
On one level, experience and past success are the critical factors in determining whether someone is a specialist. There is an old adage which says someone becomes an expert after 10,000 hours of practice, or 10 years of experience. These are very clear-cut ways of looking at the question.
But on a deeper level, the question becomes: at what point do you see yourself as an expert? Can someone be an expert if who doesn't recognize themselves as one? What would it take for you to recognize yourself as a specialist?
You might just tally up your hours of practice, and lay claim to the "expert" label when you cross10,000 hours. Or, you might look around one day and realize that you know more than anyone else in the room on a specific topic.
But too often, we won't think of ourselves as experts unless and until someone else recognizes it for us. We don’t allow ourselves the conceit of regarding ourselves as a specialist unless another person first gives us the label.
So which is the most important factor, experience or recognition? or both?
A few days ago, I heard a radio host talking about people who are recognized as “experts” by the media. It seems no story on a news/information show ever runs without including an “expert” to comment on it.
The radio host’s take was that scores of of those experts are nothing of the sort. They give themselves the “expert” title, and then reinforce it by getting on Television. Sometimes, they know just enough to be dangerous. Though I do not suggest that you do this, the approach works… Very much as the late Michael Jackson labeled himself the “King of Pop” and people just went along with it, so it is with many so-called “experts” in every discipline.
Now Michael Jackson really was a specialist in his discipline. But his moniker was self-given: he named himself the King of Pop.
So take a moment and ask yourself… Do you think you're an expert? If you do, are you comfortable calling yourself a specialist, even if nobody else has acknowledged you for it yet?
Chances are you really are a specialist at something, hopefully in your business niche. If so, you need to accept that is it OK for you to embrace this fact and let people know. You shouldn't stand around waiting for other people to acknowledge it in you first. If you have expertise, you are a specialist; and it is OK to bill yourself as such.
But... do not pass yourself off as an authority in an area where you have no expertise! And don’t fool yourself into thinking you are an expert just because someone else believes you are. In business, your reputation with your buyers is your most important asset. A sure way to ruin it is to give bad or bogus advice.
So what do you need to do when you are in business in an area where you are not legitimately an expert?
The good news is that it is still possible to legitimately market a product or service in that field. Many business people, especially affiliate marketers, sell products in numerous niches. They can profit even without being an expert in each.
First and foremost, if you end up in that position, never try to fool people into believing you are someone you aren't. Instead, take the “reporter” or “interviewer” method in your marketing.
Just as on the news, a “reporter” is not always a specialist in the area he/she is covering. The reporter gathers the facts, organizes them appropriately, and presents them to their audience. It is possible to do this in your marketing as well. Assemble and present the facts, and never take credit for ideas and content which isn't yours.
The “interviewer” actually has , to do even less work! And you remain completely credible. Your job is to seek out other experts in the field and interview them. The expert brings all his knowledge to the table. All you have to do is ask the right questions and keep them talking. You can then share the interview with your customers.
The interview method can also be quite a powerful way to produce your own products. Record your interview with the authority on video or as audio, or transcribe it. You have immediately created a product you can market!
You need to tell the expert you plan on selling the interview as a product ahead of time. Since you are likely to be making money on his/her expertise, you really need to make some financial arrangement with the expert. You could pay them a flat fee for the time it takes to record the interview, or give them a certain percentage of the sales revenue, or allow them to use the interview to pitch their products to your clients, or any combination of these.
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