By Brent Kelly
If you want to stand out from crowd and become the point of comparison, you have to think outside the box, be creative, and do things others aren’t willing to do.
Most sales professionals and businesses I know put their blood, sweat, and tears growing their client base, but that usually involves doing the same types of things the competition is doing. This typically includes attending networking events, direct mail, cold calling, word of mouth, newspaper or radio ads and e-mail newsletters.
All of these things can be effective in growing your business, but I think there are nine ways you can cement yourself as the “true” industry leader and expert. Let me caution you, these nine ways aren’t easy and they very likely will take you out of your comfort zone, but if you want to dominate you have to take risks and be bold.
At this point in my career, I personally have not done all nine of these things….yet, but I am doing most of them and aspire to do them all at some point in my career. My suggestion is to find 2-3 that would work best from your skill set and then go dominate.
People are confused about blogging. What is it? Why should I do it? In the simplest form, blogging is communication via written word on the internet. It is not complicated and it is not hard. It’s taking your thoughts and ideas on anything and writing them down where others can see. It does not have to be perfect, but it must be uniquely you and offer value to others. Does it take time and thought? Definitely, but it provides and open channel of communication where you can share your knowledge with prospects and clients.
2) Public Speaking
This is a real tough one for most people. It’s stated that the fear of public speaking is greater than death. That sounds a little drastic to me, but I have literally seen people shake before giving a speech so I know the fear is real.
The reality is that speaking in front of an audience gives you instant credibility and expertise. Think about it, you have the full attention of the crowd for a period where you are providing value. How do you think you make the biggest impression, making 20 cold calls or speaking in front of 20 people where you are the center of attention? Duh!
If you are nervous about speaking and don’t know where to start, consider joining a local Toastmasters group. It’s a great way to get your feet wet and get positive feedback on your speaking skills.
3) Get Published
How would a weekly, monthly, or quarterly published article in a local newspaper or trade magazine help in solidifying you as an expert in your field? How about for building credibility? You don’t sell your products or service in a published article, you sell yourself and your knowledge. It takes time, relationships, and awesome content, but it works.
Are you looking for a way to get more touches with your current clients or prospects. Provide a VALUABLE webinar. Make it about something your clients and prospects wouldn’t want to miss. How can you help them be more productive, increase profit, save time, protect their assets, etc? Whatever it is, figure it out and give a webinar to show them how to do it.
5) Video Testimonials
This one takes some courage, but if you have done a great job for your clients, ask them if they could do a brief video testimonial that you can put on you website or blog. If they really like you (and not just put up with you), you may be surprised at how many will comply. Imagine talking to a prospect and showing them video testimonials from other clients. That is powerful stuff.
I listen to a different podcast about every day. Some I listen to are really good and some are just ok, but I respect and give credibility to anyone who is putting out a podcast with relevant information. Maybe speaking in public is simply not your thing. OK, how about speaking into a computer? Like all of these suggestions, it takes hustle, creativity, and hard work to put a podcast together, but imagine the results. For leading insurance industry insight, subscribe to our podcast.
7) Get Involved in a Radio Show
I recently wrote a blog post about a local realtor, John Armstrong. Check out that blog post and see what having your own radio show can do for your business. It may take years to develop, but the return could be unbelievable.
8 ) Write a Book
You may be saying, “Come on Brent, I can’t write a book.” Really? I never thought about it either, but now that I have blogged for multiple years, it is something that I really want to do and completely think is possible. I truly believe that we all have knowledge that others could benefit from and a book is an amazing way to share that information. If you aren’t ready for a full book, why not try just an e-book? Michael Hyatt has some great information about writing your first book.
I know some others in my business alone who have already done or are working on a book and they are my inspiration. How many of your competitors have written a book? Do you think giving your prospect or client a book your wrote would help you credibility? Maybe just a little!
9) Leverage Social Media
This one has become a no-brainer, but if you are doing any combination of the eight ideas I mentioned, social media is the way to tell the world what you are doing to promote your ideas. I use social media to find interesting articles, blog posts, podcasts, etc. Social media is a medium to let others know how you can help them and where to find you. Unseen + Untold = Unsold. Let social media help tell the world how you help others.
The bottom line
I wouldn’t expect you to do all nine of these suggestions at the same time, but I do challenge you to try one or two of them that you haven’t tried before. It very well may take you out of your comfort zone, but I think that means you are doing something right.
You have a choice.
Be just like your competition or embrace the challenge of being different & kick ass.
The choice is yours.
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