How do we get over that concern about putting ourselves out there and saying, “I'm an expert in this space?” How do we get past that weirdness of calling ourselves an expert for the first time?
I was asked this exact question the other day. And it wasn’t the first time I’ve been asked about positioning yourself as an expert. So, let me answer by starting with a question of my own …
What’s Really Holding You Back From Claiming Your Expert Status?
I see many people hold back from stepping out and claiming their expertise because they are playing the comparison game: They’ll say to themselves, “She's over there or he's over there and they're further along than me.” Or they’ll say, “They're better than me. They’re the expert.”
The thing is, what they are doing doesn't matter. One of Dan Kennedy’s great sayings is, “In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is King”.
If you've got a desire to serve, there is a corresponding audience. There’s no question about that. If you’ve got something to share, then there is absolutely a group of people in the world that are meant to be served by you. And for that group, it is your voice, your story, your message that resonates with them.
Make Your Desire To Serve Greater Than Your Fear of Expert Positioning
Think about it. If you're not stepping out; if you're not going through the discomfort of putting yourself out there, you're not just doing a disservice to yourself, you're doing a disservice to all the people you can help.
It’s time to put your “big girl (or big boy) panties” on and start serving the people that need what you have to offer. Doing that isn’t always easy, but if you want to be of service, it's something that must be done.
This might surprise you, but it hasn’t always been easy for me to put myself out there and claim my expertise. I'm naturally a shy person. Up until about the age of five, I was very introverted. Now, when people see me on stage, they think, "Oh, well, you're on camera and you love it."
But the truth is, being on stage, being in front of the camera doesn't come naturally to me at all. It’s a stretch for me. But I do it because it is a way to connect with the people I want to serve.
Use Testimonials for Expert Positioning
Testimonials are a way to establish expertise with your audience. There was a time I would shy away from testimonials because firstly, I felt like I was pimping my clients. And secondly, it felt like bragging. So, I held back - I was very passive about using testimonials.
But the longer I’d been in business, I saw how sharing the stories of successful clients has not just helped build my credibility, but they have also inspired others.
Ultimately in marketing currency, testimonials equal money, so they are important to use.
What if you’re just starting out and you don’t have testimonials?
People who are just starting out ask me, "Well, I haven't got clients, so I haven't got testimonials."
The thing is, they are using this situation to dis-empower themselves. You may think you have no testimonials, but you will always have at least one, even if you’ve never served a client before.
Let me explain…
When I promoted my very first hometown event, we sold 30 tickets at £1500 a pop. Back then I didn’t have testimonials on the sales letter because it was the first time I was sharing my strategies. So how could I position myself as the expert?
I was the testimonial.
I provided proof of the results that I had been achieving in my own business. I had real life results that could demonstrate my expertise. It doesn't matter where you're starting from, if you don't have client testimonials, you start with your own.
Then once you start working with clients, you put in a system to generate and leverage testimonials.
In my business, I have a system to capture results-based testimonials from my Facebook groups, customer service emails, coaching calls, Q&A calls, etc. Myself and my team actively look out for and listen for testimonials that match our marketing message. Then I have an assigned team member who makes contact and requests permission to use the testimonial. We then have a system to incorporate them into our marketing strategies.
I recommend you implement a similar system to capture and publish testimonials.
Today I’ve covered a few practical areas to help you step-out and claim your expertise (even if you feel you’re not ready):
- Check your inner-game. What’s holding you back? Could it be that you’re comparing yourself to others when you should be focusing on the people who need your message?
- Know there is always a corresponding audience that will relate to your unique voice and offering.
- Make your desire to serve, greater than your fear of stepping-out.
- Use testimonials (even if it’s your own to begin with) to establish credibility and inspire others in your audience.
Regardless of how long you’ve been in business, or how many people you’ve helped, positioning yourself as an expert takes some inner-game and planned strategy. I’m here to help you claim your expert status and start serving people who are waiting for only what you have to offer.