One of the greatest joys I had when operating my Speakers Bureau was working with the speakers. They were professional. They were prepared and eager to work together. They made sure I had what I needed before I needed to ask. And they always left me having a better day after talking to them.
This has stuck with me over the years. I’ve never had an experience since that could match this level of professionalism. They understood the industry. They knew how to position themselves. They were interested in the markets I served. They built a trustworthy relationship with me. They kept me up to date with any new developments they were up to. They were marketing themselves to me.
Experts, Influencers and Thought Leaders are in a unique position when it comes to marketing. They are the draw to the business. They represent the business. They often are the business, which makes them an integral part of the marketing effort.
For the Expert, Influencer or Thought Leader, you are marketing all the time. You are the primary representation of your brand. What you do, what you say, who you talk to all need to be purposeful to the mission of your business.
It’s important for you to be informed about your industry. Where do you fit in? You need to decide what the stakes are and how to position yourself in that landscape. Once you figure that out, the light is green and stays on indefinitely. The light doesn’t change to yellow or red and go back to green. It either stays green or is turned off. Those are the options.
These are three considerations that will help you gain the advantage of a lucrative, successful business as an Expert, Influencer or Thought Leader.
BE THE BRAND
Experts, Influencers and Thought Leaders need to think and act like celebrity or politicians do. They have a job to do, but they’re never off the job. It’s not enough to run your business without paying attention to how you are perceived. Being an Expert, Influencer or Thought Leader is not a 9-5 job. It’s a life decision. Once you step into this arena, you trade your life for the spotlight. You now represent your brand everywhere you go.
In this arena, you have to live as though all eyes are on you. The more recognized you become, the truer this will be for you. What you do, who you’re with, how you look is under scrutiny. All the time. Your success or failure will be linked to the choices you make and the behaviors you display. No matter where you are, no matter what time of day, marketing is something the Expert, Influencer or Thought Leader must embody.
KNOW YOUR OPTIONS
Many Experts, Influencers and Thought Leaders operate with either a small team or on their own. You can’t be everywhere, doing everything. Marketing for the Expert, Influencer or Thought Leader is an activity that not only requires time and energy but your presence too. Do it well and you’ll hit your stride securing the future you crave. Miss the mark and you may never get past the starting gate.
Align yourself only with the avenues that parallel with the standards and values of your business. There’s nothing worse than seeing a speaker at an event that is not congruent with the messaging of the event.
A mismatch like this can cause serious damage to the reputation of an Expert, Influencer or Thought Leader. Damaged reputations are extremely difficult to recover. Find the right match at the onset and everyone wins – the event host, the audience, the person who booked you and you.
BE WHERE THE BUYER IS LOOKING
A key aspect of marketing is to let people know about you, get interested in you and ultimately hire you or buy from you. The buyer today has the ability to ‘check you out’ before giving you the first dollar. They may learn about you by your marketing efforts, stumble across a podcast you were on or come across your book as they were trying to find an answer to a concern they had.
Whichever way they come across your name, if they’re interested, they will do some research on you. And they want it at their fingertips. That’s marketing today. You want to have a presence in the places they would look to find you or someone like you. And then they want to check you out to see if they approve of you.
Simply stated, marketing is helping people get what they want. You want to be there when they want it.
Learn to put your best foot forward every time you are seen or heard. Make your presence visible. As soon as you decide you want to be an Expert, Influencer or Thought Leader, you become the brand. Paying attention to how you represent yourself and your business is an important contributor to your success or failure.
You are the brand.
Let them see you. Let them know you. Let them want to remember you.