I read an interesting book called “Blink”1 by Malcolm Gladwell, who was recently called one of the most influential thinkers of our time.
He wrote about “Thin Slicing”, or the ability to get a fast amount of information (in the blink of an eye) when you’ve immersed yourself in its study.
He illustrated this point with a story from the Getty Museum in California. They bought a marble statue for 10 million dollars and had a geologist test the surface of it to make sure it was authentic. After 2 days, the geologist determined that it was.
Then the Museum decided to brag about it.
Shortly thereafter, they were showing the sculpture to Italian Art Historian, Frederico Zeri, who served on the Getty’s board of Trustees, and Evelyn Harrison, one of the world’s foremost experts on Greek Sculpture.
When Zeri was taken down to the museums restoration studio to see the korus, he found himself staring at the sculpture’s fingernails. They seemed somehow wrong to him, but it was in a way that he couldn’t immediately articulate.
When it was Evelyn’s turn, the curator took her down to the basement, swished the cloth off the top of it and beamed, “Well it isn’t ours yet, but in a couple of weeks it will be.”
To his shock, Evelyn turned to him and said, “I’m sorry”.
She had no idea why she said that, she just had a feeling, a hunch. You see, these two individuals had spent most of their life pouring over original sculpture and art and had become experts.
Something got recorded in their brain that they were unable to explain. They absorbed a complicated amount of clues along the way, and it turned into instinct.
This same thing happens to me with marketing, and probably to you within your own expertise.
When these experts looked at the sculpture, right away, in the “blink” of an eye, they instinctively knew it was a fake, although they couldn’t logically explain to the Curator why they had come to that conclusion.
This area of your brain is not connected to your speech. In 2 seconds, they knew what eventually took the museum 14 months to confirm.
Successful people in business or even in stock investing can often get unexplainable feelings or indications that something is not right or when something is great and they should move on it quickly.
I bet you have your own unique expertise and instincts based on your life experience, hands-on experience and training, and that you could teach that valuable info to another human being who could really use your help and guidance.
What information or skill is literally immersed into your being, your brain that has become your instinct? Answer that, and your life could change.
When you are looking into being considered as the expert in your niche market, you first need to determine what an expert is and why is it important for you.
The dictionary defines an expert as “a person who has special skill or knowledge in some field.”
For your purposes, think of an Expert as someone who provides knowledge to others that is gained either through study or experience.
Financially speaking, your ability to provide your knowledge (through education, products or services) to others in your niche market is what gives you a business and income.
As an entrepreneur, positioning yourself as an Expert allows you to become a big fish in a small pond. You don’t need to be known all over the world to make money – you just need to be known in your specific niche.
Think of it like cream rising to the top.
Increasing your status to being the Expert in your niche market can earn you $100,000 to over $1,000,000 more than what you are making now in products and services sold annually.
Clients and customers will come to you, because you’ve earned the reputation as being the “best” in your field.
Do keep in mind – establishing yourself as an Expert in your field may bring you customers, but to be able to keep them, you must live up to their expectations and not take advantage of them or give them garbage!
Treat your customers with respect and make their experience with you WAY above what they expected.
Marketing may position you as an Expert, but delivery is really how you “earn” the title of the Expert. So make sure you earn it!!
It important for authors, speakers, financial planners, coaches, doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs, etc., to be seen as Experts because being viewed as such can give you:
Perceived Market Value. It increases your value in the eye of a buyer. Most people would rather pay for training from an expert than from a jack of all trades. As an Expert, make sure you know your value and are not afraid of asking top dollar for your product or service.
If you’re bargain basement Jim, you will attract the same kinds of customers – and you’ll have a heck of a time later on when you try to increase your fees! There is a reason people pay more for Gucci. You want your name associated with quality.
Credibility. It can give you credibility with the press. When you brand yourself as the expert in a particular field, the press can call on you for comment or your opinion on current events related to your niche.
When they label you as the expert in your niche, you can then use their quotes for additional press and credibility.
Referrals. People refer business to you when they say, “You know, I met an expert on that subject at a seminar I attended; let me give you his number”.
Being identified as an expert also helps you get booked at conferences and events, because the organizers can get a fast idea of what you do and where you’d fit in to their event.
So how do you find your expertise?
This answer may come instantly to you, but if you’re like most people, you’ll need to ponder it awhile. People typically tend to see themselves as their job.
I believe that you are not your job. Your job may be several extensions of yourself, but it does not entirely define who you are. So while you are determining your unique expertise, think about the following questions…
- What do you love to do?
- What do you excel at?
- What is “common sense” to you that does not come easy to others?
- What lessons have you learned in your industry that you could teach others?
- What do people want and would pay for in your field?
- Do you have an interest or hobby that you’ve immersed yourself in for years?
- What do people tell you you’re good at?
- Have you learned something the hard way (sometimes that is business, sometimes that is parenting lessons, or health vitality lessons)?
Get clear on who you are and what you know.
Here’s another way to think about it:
Review all of your life lessons, both in the personal arena as well as your career experiences. Don’t necessarily think of what you did, but more of what you learned.
Maybe you worked for a big company and now you want to work with small entrepreneurs. Maybe you want to use your skills to help stay at home moms become leaders at home or delegate tasks or organize their homes.
Your hobby may also be where your expertise is hiding.
I know a woman that was a sales whiz, but she decided to pursue her hobby, which was meditation. She built a successful business around it.
What is the most deeply rooted to what you stand for and who you are? Do you have some knowledge, expertise or experience that you know could help other people? What lessons in life or business have you learned that could be of value to others?
The truth is, there may be several things you COULD do, but you want to find what excites you the most!
Article Written by Stefanie Hartman www.stefaniehartman.com
Photo Source: Microsoft Clip Art
Article Source: Blink, The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, by the author of the Tipping Point Malcolm Gladwell.
Published by Little, Brown and Company www.twbookmart.com
2012 © Stefanie Hartman Enterprises Inc. You may republish this article, if you keep the article intact as is and credit the authors name and website: “Stefanie Hartman” and website: www.stefaniehartman.com. Thank you.
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