Perception is everything

Are you the “perceived” expert in your field? Take note the emphasis on the word “perceived.” Is it clear to others that you’re an expert in your industry, even if you might not be the absolute best? Remember, what matters is how people see you. It’s not essential to be the absolute authority but being perceived as one holds greater significance.

Being seen as an authority is really important. It gives you a lot of influence, especially in the business world. People like to work with those who seem like they really know their stuff. Achieving the status of a recognised authority within your field opens doors for you. This is because professional individuals in the business realm prefer to engage with those who also exude the same professionalism.

Now, the question arises: How can you attain the status of a recognised authority? How can you make others see you as an expert? A timeless adage goes, “When someone buys a drill, they aren’t seeking the drill itself but rather a means to create a hole.” Therefore, if your intention is to sell drills, providing free advice on hole creation becomes pivotal. Cover topics such as safe drill usage, maintenance of drill bits, varying drill types for specific tasks, and so forth.

In our case, as printers, our objective is to sell printed merchandise. So, besides selling, we also give out helpful, practical info. This approach shows that we know the printing business, even if we’re not the absolute best. But what matters is that people think we are. You might not be the ultimate expert, but that’s okay. What’s crucial is that people think of you as the go-to person. To do that, you need to show them you know your stuff. We give out complimentary advice concerning potent marketing strategies, optimal colour palette selection, considerations for font visibility issues, identifying the most suitable paper stocks for diverse projects, and even cost-effectiveness for larger print quantities. This approach constructs the notion that we’re the authoritative figures in the printing domain. We’ve been in business for over 20 years, so undoubtedly, we do know our stuff, but even if we didn’t, the perception of our expertise remains profoundly crucial to our success.

Why not think about your own business? How can you convey the message that you’re the perceived expert? You can share free advice on your website, email, or social media. This helps others see you as an expert without you having to brag. Giving out free advice about your industry is a subtle way of saying, “Hey, I really know what I’m talking about.”

Please don’t for a moment assume that everyone already thinks you’re the expert, because you do need to toot your own horn a bit here. Giving free advice is just a great way to toot the horn very subtly.

Our top 5 tips for establishing yourself as an expert in your field.

  1. Keep the free information practical. Don’t make anything too hard to follow. For example, a mechanic could explain the important role suspension plays in a car, but don’t bother with the technical jargon of how it works.
  2. Supply the information regularly over various channels such as email campaigns, social media, leaflets, or even in person face-to-face.
  3. Don’t expect anything in return for the advice. If you’re sincere, people will naturally flock to you.
  4. Where possible use actual situations and experiences in your business to add weight to your advice.
  5. Have fun with it. Try to utilise some humour to make it light-hearted.

Taking these simple steps can do wonders for your business reputation. It’s totally worth the effort. If you don’t give it a shot, you’ll never know how much it can help. Wishing you the best of success, and happy tooting!

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