Charting My Course

Working with professional service providers and small business owners who want to do a better job
marketing themselves and their services.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Become An Expert

People seem to be attracted to businesses that fulfill a very specific need. Clients are looking for a specific service for a specific reason. Just take a walk through a local mall and you will see many “specialty” shops that cater to a very narrow market. In the area of service professionals, you will find attorneys who specialize in certain areas of law. They may specialize in helping small businesses or personal injury cases. Generally the individuals who operate these businesses or deliver these services are experts in whatever they are delivering (or that is the hope of the client). How important is it to be an expert in your field and how do you become an expert in your field?

Here is a list of 4 key elements to becoming an expert.

1. Passion - It is very difficult to become successful at anything if you are not passionate about what you are doing. Make sure you are in a business that excites you. That enthusiasm and excitement carries over to your clients and gives them more confidence in the fact that they are dealing with the right person for their current needs. You will need passion for what you are doing in order to do the necessary work required to become an expert.

2. Dedication - Without dedication to your chosen field, you will not find success. Without passion you will not be able to dedicate yourself to the tasks that are required to succeed in your field. Dedication could be something as simple as finding 3 books on your chosen field of interest and committing to reading one book every 2 weeks. Devote 30 minutes to one hour every day to reading. Just 30 minutes a day will allow you to finish at least a book every month. One hour a day will allow you to read one book every two weeks.

3. Focus - A narrow, laser like focus will be an essential key to becoming an expert. I am sure you have talked to people who tell you they can help everybody with anything. How much confidence do you have in this person that they can solve your problem? Some people are afraid of developing a narrow focus for their business, but you cannot be all things to all people. By narrowing your focus, you may initially exclude a few people from your business. This is a scary thing for a lot of people, but in the long run you will attract more clients because you have become the expert in a specific area. This gives people confidence in your ability. You develop the know, like, trust factor from your clients and they feel more comfortable recommending someone else to you. For example, my current my focus is on realtors. This does not mean I am excluding everyone else from my business. If an attorney or accountant needed my services, I would welcome the opportunity. But by focusing on realtors, I can read books, do research, talk to realtors about their challenges and concerns and go more in-depth learning about realtors and their specific needs. This is very easy for me because I have a strong interest in real estate and it is a fun challenge to learn more about this specific field. Find a specific market that you can service and learn all you can about that market and you will provide a much better service for your clients.

4. Be a lifelong learner - Always strive to learn more about your chosen field. There are so many resources available to us now. Books on every subject, the internet, classes are all resources we can use to develop our knowledge. Take advantage of all of these and more. We are living in an age of great opportunity if we will just take advantage of everything that is available to us.

Being in a service business requires passion, dedication, focus, and the desire to be a lifelong learner. All of these key elements work together to drive our business and to drive us to be better as individuals. Take a moment to reflect on each of these and then start your journey to becoming an expert in your field. You will be happier in your business and the payoff will be tremendous.