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Adding in your point of view


In the last two columns, we’ve begun to explore what it takes to establish yourself as an authority and market your products and services through that lens. I identified that there are three critical elements that need to be present for you to be seen as an expert in your field.

Last week’s column focused on the first element — that you must narrow your focus to truly be considered an expert. No one is an expert on everything, and to really be seen as an authority, you have to choose your lane and stick to it.

But that narrowed focus is not enough to make you the de facto expert in that space. An expert has an in-depth knowledge of their specialty area, but beyond that, they also have some strong opinions and a unique point of view within that area of expertise.

Here’s what we know for sure. The world around us is experiencing change at an unfathomable rate, and it’s only just going to get faster. How we communicate in terms of channels, at best, is fleeting.

But, the one thing that should not change is that unique cocktail that defines our authority position. It’s the combination of our area of expertise combined with a strong point of view that we apply to that area of expertise.
Our point of view is what we know to be true, and it’s a truth that defines how we approach the work we do and how we add value for our clients.

Charles Schwab’s unique point of view is that most investors want to handle the basic buying and selling on their own. They believe that if you allow them to do that digitally at a low transaction fee, they will a) leave their money with you longer and b) pay for your expertise if they want to do something more complicated. 

There are brokers out there that have the opposite point of view entirely. 

They believe that individuals need expert guidance because of the risks and that their customers have a lot of fear in choosing the wrong investment.

Both perfectly valid views of the world. And each one will attract and repel certain types of customers, which is ideal because then each business has better odds of attracting the exact right fit customer for their business model. You don’t want all of the possible customers. You want the right ones.

 Being an authority will help you attract those right-fit clients.

As we fight for a prospect’s attention, we must differentiate ourselves. 
We’ve got to plant a flag in the ground and claim ownership. We have to stand out against the sea of competitors.

That authority position — the combination of our area of expertise and our strong point of view, becomes the flag we plant. It is us laying claim to what is uniquely ours — the ability to serve a specific industry, niche, audience, etc., because of what we know and what we believe.

It holds us firmly in place no matter what else changes. It becomes part of our differentiation equation. And we need both halves of the whole.

You’re not going to create an authority position that no other company on the planet can replicate. Odds are, no matter what your authority position, a small handful of other competitors could claim it as their own as well. But that’s your goal — a small handful, rather than every organization out there.
Once you’ve identified who you’re best suited to serve, where you want your expertise to reside, and your unique point of view, you’re closing in on the prize. In next week’s column, we’ll talk about how experts share their depth of knowledge in a way that attracts the perfect prospects.

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