Becoming the authority in your fieldBy Morris Kaplan | Oct 16, 12 08:39 AM
What is the key? No mystery here: It’s your expertise.
How do you become the authority in your field; the person who is invited to give key-note talks; the person who has access to C-suite decision makers in the top companies in their field; the person who is visible through media coverage and the person who commands consultancy fees that would be the envy of a silk? What is the key? No mystery here: It’s your expertise. The insights, wisdom and plain, practical know-how you and your team have accumulated in the course of doing business. Because the new ‘moment of truth’ – the moment when a customer or prospect makes a decision to buy is now a fingertip away; you or your brand need to be, literally top of mind.
Consumers, customers and clients turn to the Web to research important buying decisions. They don’t want fluff, they’re looking for genuinely useful information that can help them plan, work and succeed. What they want is information to help them resolve their ‘pain’ or capture their ‘opportunity. Thus your expertise, your insights; your war stories bundled into a book can become a booster to your business or career development. Remember, once you’ve captured a share of your prospects’ minds, you’re much better positioned to capture a share of their budgets as well.
What can a book do for you?
A book is the ultimate brand calling card. Almost every major business figure has written one. A book opens doors, positions you or your firm as the expert in your field and gives you something tangible from which to leverage a media campaign. It’s more ‘warm’, reader-friendly and engaging than other collateral such as the White Paper. And because consumers are increasingly sceptical of advertising propaganda and overt self promotion of ordinary brochures, a book ensures you have a credible marketing tool which you can use as a premium giveaway; to retain existing customers or acquire new ones. A book turns your invisible expertise into a tangible object you can place in your prospects’ hands; telling your prospects that you’re a credible player.
The book, particularly the digital book is now accessible to anyone, and a writing capability is not a prerequisite. Consider that Shireen DuPreez who authored The Executive Search Process and who empathically claimed at the outset that she could not write. She honed her skills with some hired help and some savvy outsourcing. Her book, a peep into the often opaque world of head hunting, is a great research reference for industry professionals. She said that having a book has helped position her as an authority, as well as being a confidence builder in building a public profile.
Or consider the experience of Andrew Thornberry who, as an IT specialist knew that business owners needed to know more about IT in the internet age. His book Twitter Me Dead is written as a guide to business owners confounded and flat-footed by the social media revolution; meanwhile catapulting him as a ‘go to’ authority in his field.
Consider too that George Sabados, an industry veteran in the world of franchises and independent café owners, wanted to get the message across to wannabee café owners that it is no cake walk (excuse the pun) to start or buy a café. His book Your Café Success written with the wisdom of an experienced professional is replete with dynamic content such as video to engage, inform and entertain the reader. It creates a platform for the author to position himself as an expert for industry players such as franchise developers to get counsel from as well as smaller café operators.
Morris Kaplan, founder of digital publisher www.rainmakermedia.com.au is also author of several business books and the writer of the Entrepreneur column for The Deal magazine at the Australian as well as being ghost writer for a number of high profile business books ‘authored’ by some C-Suite luminaries. With a background in finance and capital markets Morris left the Big End of town a number of years ago to grow organic vegies, do daily yoga and surf in Byron Bay with his (then) wife, author and journalist Ruth Ostrow and young daughter, only to find himself back in the big smoke with a start-up business which he subsequently sold. With this varied and extensive background in business and writing, can we afford not to pay close attention to his written word?