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A 5 step system to becoming the go-to person in your market – no matter what you sell
By Brenda Thomson
In this post you will learn a five step system to successfully implement “recognised expert” strategies so that you build your brand and credibility as an expert in what you do and become the go to person for your target market no matter what you sell.
WHAT IS A RECOGNISED EXPERT STRATEGY?
A strategy to circulate knowledge/information to your clients and potential clients to increase reach and credibility, generate more leads and improve conversions.
WHAT DO YOU SELL:
- Product (Anything from meat and groceries to clothes toys and pets or fork-lifts, trucks or cars and swimming pools)
- Physical service (your product is what you can do) (Anything from a crèche or retirement home to hairdresser, masseuse to a plumber to a photographer.)
- Information service (your product is what you know) (Accountants, lawyers, financial planners)
- Training or coaching service – your product is what you teach. (Trainers, consultants, information marketers..)
In this post you will learn a five step system for successfully implementing The S.I.F.V.H. System will work no matter what kind of business you have.
THE S.I.F.V.H. SYSTEM
- System: What is your Marketing System and how can you integrate Recognised Expert Strategies into that system?
- Information: What information are your target market looking for?
- Format: In what formats do your target market want to receive your expert information?
- Visibility: What visibility strategies can you use to publicise your expertise?
- Help: Who can help? Who are your potential alliance partners?
1. YOUR MARKETING SYSTEM
A marketing system is the process that your business uses to attract new potential clients to your business AND to ensure the ongoing loyalty of existing clients.
these are the tangible “things” that you use to market your business. E.g. website, business cards, brochures etc.
these are the strategies which you use to expose or “make visible” your marketing tools to your target market. Brochures that are never distributed, a website with no traffic, a TV ad that never goes to air are all examples or marketing tools WITHOUT visibility strategies. Examples of visibility strategies can include search engine optimisation, advertising, networking etc .
LEAD CAPTURE STRATEGIES:
these are the methods that you use to get permission from your potential clients to put them into your “marketing funnel” so that you can continue to communicate and build relationships with them. E.g. a sign up form on a website, a customer satisfaction survey in a restaurant, a frequent movie goers pass.
COMMUNICATION OR TOP OF MIND AWARENESS (TOMA) STRATEGIES:
these are the strategies you use once you have potential clients in your marketing funnel with which you communicate and build relationships with them. E.g. newsletters, thank you cards, gifts and special offers. This is the second point in your marketing system where recognised expert strategies are important to help build credibility and trust and increase sales conversions and referrals.
this is the process through which you take your potential clients in order to lead them to be ready to buy from you. This may vary from a simple customer service and follow-up routine from when a potential customer comes into a shop, to a complex series of emails, auto-responders and offers for an internet marketing business. While most small business owners typically have some marketing tools and utilise at least one or two visibility strategies, very few have an overall system in place. Unfortunately this can lead to most if not all of their investment in both tools and visibility strategies being a complete waste of money.
How often have you heard a small business owner complain – “oh I tried advertising in XYZ, it was a complete waste of money” And how many of you have spent hundreds of dollars (if not more) on beautiful brochures to hand out, never to see a single return on your investment?
HOW DO RECOGNISED EXPERT STRATEGIES FIT INTO A MARKETING SYSTEM?
Recognised Expert Strategies can typically be applied to three parts of the marketing system:
- Marketing tools
- Lead capture strategies
- Communication (Top of Mind Awareness) strategies.
2. INFORMATION: WHAT INFORMATION CAN YOU PROVIDE?
Identify what your clients want to know
- What problems do you solve?
- What are the particular challenges people face in solving those problems?
- What are the questions you get asked most frequently?
- What are the issues people face in making a buying decision?
- What are the particular problems people face when buying from your industry or profession?
- What other problems do they typically have “at the same time”? Are they in a process – e.g. buying a house or getting married? Are they at a particular time in their life? (E.g. menopausal, trying to have kids) Are they in a particular risk group?
- Are there other things that interest them that are directly or indirectly associated with what you do? What challenges or issues might they face AFTER they have bought?
What format do your clients or potential clients want to receive the information in? What format will your clients “Get it” or prefer to access information in?
- Will they read emails?
- Do they read books?
- Do they read magazines and articles? (Web-based or print based?)
- Do they listen to Podcasts?
- Do they listen to CDs
- Do they watch DVDs
- Are they looking for technical expertise (e.g. white papers and research docs) or easy to ready FAQ or HOW TO sheets?
- Do they want case studies and stories or scientific research…
- Will they attend seminars or webinars?
- Will they be receptive to handy hints or tips or how/to recipe cards..
- Are they competitive?
- Do they like fun and action?
- Do they like Radio chat shows and interviews.. (Oprah style)
Where or how can you publicise so your potential clients find out about you? (These are the same places you would advertise!)
- What are your distribution channels?
- Are they searching on the web?
- Do they read articles on the internet?
- Do they use social media? If so which ones?
- Do they read the paper?
- Is there a particular magazine they subscribe to?
- Are there particular places they go?
- Where do they congregate?
- Do they spend time walking, driving, watching TV, listening to the radio? Do they go to seminars, conferences, trade shows? PLUS: Remember to use your current clients to distribute information to your potential clients.
There are a number of ways you may be able to work with other business owners to create a recognised expert strategy
- They may be able to help you with distribution – creating visibility strategies to get your information found by more potential clients?
- Can they provide information – who can help you with more information– add value to the client and reduce the pressure to produce. E.g. Butcher with the green-grocer (they can alternate recipes) Accountant with the financial planner…
- Can they help with production – E.g. interview you, share a book or a CD or DVD, share the cost of advertising, get together to run a seminar etc…
WHAT DO YOU NEED HELP WITH?
- Distribution and visibility?
- Production? OR
- Would you like to create a complete strategy with a group of like minded business owners? For example An online tele-summit followed by the creating of a series of products or services which are marketed by all presenters in the tele-summit.
56 RECOGNISED EXPERT IDEAS THAT YOU CAN IMPLEMENT IN YOUR BUSINESS
- White papers
- Research papers
- Buying guides – independent.
- Cards – packs of
- Single cards – perhaps issue them as a series – one a week or one a month…
- . Do it yourself options.
- Printed hand-books
- power point presentations
- FAQ sheets 1
- Video demonstrations
- DVDs 2
- A series of CDs or DVDs that go together to form a collection
- Q & A sessions
- Tools and resources
- Bonus information – e.g. book of the month or a new recipe or game or activity…
- Downloads – audios, videos, e-books
- Hints/Tips/Recipe cards
- Multi-author books
- Case studies
- Success stories
- How to guides
- How to select a …
- What to watch out for when choosing a..
- Questions to ask when choosing a …
- How to work with your…
- News and updates
- Seasonal info
- Warnings and things to watch out for
- Post purchase guidelines, hints and tips, care..
- Other (complementary) ways to solve the problem
- Ways to solve associated problems
- Useful things to know next… (Real estate agent with information about the neighbourhood)
- Historical information
- Geographic information
- Where to go..
- Local news..
- What’s on news..
- Agony Aunt page
- DIY strategies..
- Polls and surveys
- Info about a shared cause.
If you are not in an information or training business then think creatively about what information your clients or potential clients will appreciate and WHO can help you to provide it. Perhaps partner up with businesses whose primary products or services ARE information based.
Or create DIY or “How To” options. Don’t be afraid that by doing that you will lose clients. Most of the time they will end up deciding it is easier and quicker to get the professional to do it. But YOU will be the professional that they go to because you have earned their trust as the expert. If your products are information based don’t be afraid to provide your BEST information up front.
The more you are willing to give the more the people receiving your information will trust you.. “If she provides THIS much information for free… imagine what we’ll give when I pay.
Information on HOW to implement Strategic Partnerships and JVs effectively
Four steps to an effective strategic partnership plan
The 10 things you absolutely MUST know about creating strategic partnerships and joint ventures (JVs)
Is your business strategic partnership ready?
Seven steps to identifying the perfect strategic partners for your business
Strategic Partnership and JV Checklist
CEO and Founder, Synergy48 Group
Brenda has an honours degree in organizational psychology and a Graduate Certificate in training and development and she is an experienced trainer, facilitator and counsellor. She is a firm believer in mutual collaboration combined with a practical, hands on tools, strategies and systems as the most effective way to achieve real results in business.
Brenda has over 20 years of experience training in communication, team work, time management, productivity, organisation and strategic planning in large organisations. She is also the developer of the Business Benchmarking Toolkit used by Synergy48 Group members and clients to identify areas for improvement in their business processes.
Brenda is a sought after mentor, speaker and trainer in the areas of strategic partnerships and networking with a difference. She is passionate about actively giving back to the community. In addition to donating her speaking fees and a proportion of every Synergy48 Group membership to provide microfinance to help women in Malawi to start their own businesses, Brenda has climbed the Himalayas to raise money for Kids Help Line and helped lay a pipeline to supply water to a remote village in Tanzania.