One vital element in building your business, attracting the perfect clients, and ultimately raising your prices to position yourself as an expert in your chosen field. This can be tricky to do, and a large chunk of your PR efforts will be expended on attempting to demonstrate your expertise, or solidify your position as the go to person in your zone of genius.
PR can be a time consuming, exhausting, and frustrating process, so here’s a quick and easy to implement hack that will instantly position you as the expert in your field without spending weeks and months struggling to get in the press, and published in high profile publications. This is NOT a substitute for excellent PR, however it is a very fast and very easy method that will quickly become habitual and infuse all your copywriting with a aura of expertise that will make you (and your products/services) shine. And the best part? It’s so simple…
Use Your Words.
I’m sure you’ve all wished at some stage that you could cast a spell to conjure hoards of perfect clients, cash in hand, ready to receive your fabulous wisdom. But the thing about spells is, they’re really just words.
[Tweet theme=”tweet-box-shadow”]Here are some magic words to instantly position yourself as an expert…[/Tweet]
Psychologically people respond very well to this word. It’s associated with accelerated learning, post-graduate level education, and further knowledge. Think about it. In order to have advanced knowledge about something you must first have basic knowledge, then good knowledge, before you can progress to advanced knowledge. Likewise if you advance an event you cause it to happen ahead of time, either because you’re so damn good you don’t need to spend as long on things as other people (think advancing a year at school), or because you are in some way deserving of special treatment and are receiving a reward (Advance To Go!)
When putting together any kind of package or course, be sure to have a basic option and an advanced option. Ideally you will have three levels to everything – basic, pro, and advanced. This will give your clients a sense that they are achieving something and also encourage them to upgrade on items or courses they’ve already bought – the easiest upsell in the world is a quick email to someone who has bought your basic product or course and asking, ‘Are you ready to ADVANCE?’.
The same is true of the pro (professional) level, which enables you to ask clients if they’re ready to ‘Go Pro’, and then later upsell again to your highest, advanced level. It’s also a handy barometer for clients to use to gauge which product is best for them. If they’re unsure of themselves and want the nuts and bolts, they’ll start with the basics. If they already know the basics and don’t want to repeat them, they’ll dive right in at professional level, and if they consider themselves to be a profession already and are looking to seriously uplevel their business and knowledge, they’ll jump right on the advanced package.
Everyone has a different level of knowledge – an expert knows this, and understands that people on different levels need different products and approaches to achieve their goals.
How great is it when you can claim to be the brains behind something? You know, that warm glow of achievement and contentment when someone compliments something and you can say, wholeheartedly, “Thank you, I designed it.”
How often do you hear people gush about designers?
“Your website it amazing, who designed it?”
“Your book cover is stunning, what an talented designer!”
“This programme will change your life, the designer is a genius!”
Whether you sell products, services, or coaching, you can work this work into your copy far more often than you might thing. Who came up with the idea for your products? If it’s you, then you designed them. Who invented the signature style/method you use in your services? Odds are it was you, in which case, you designed that signature. (Sidebar: a signature style or method can be anything, from a particular combination of services, to the manner in which you deliver them, to a very specific methodology you use when working with your clients, like my Divine Blogging Design.) What about your coaching packages or programmes? Who put together your coaching packages and courses? Who decided what would be included and what wouldn’t? Who set the subjects, put together the modules, wrote the work books and posts, recorded the videos and tutorials?
It was you! (Duh.)
Even if you have help with certain things, like a videographer, tech monkey, VA, or copywriter, you’re still the brains of the outfit. You decided what would and wouldn’t be part of your business. You gave those helpers their instructions and approved their work. You designed your business, whether you realise it or not. Claim your title: you’re a designer.
Change your straplines on social media to include a brief mention of your signature product, service, or course. Use ‘Designer of XXX’ as a byline, just like an author would if the were mentioning their book.
This one is very simple to understand. The world means GLOBAL. It’s a BIG PICTURE word. It indicates that you function on a LARGE SCALE. You may use it to indicate you have clients all over the world, or to demonstrate that you draw on sources from all around the world, or that you sell products, take picture, cook, run, ride, knit, all over the world. Whatever it is you do, whatever form of business you have, there will be something in it that happens on an international scale. Even local businesses have websites and social media pages that are accessible internationally, viewed and followed by people all over the world. So what’s your international angle? How do you fit into the big picture? How are you playing BIG?
If you can’t think of an international angle for your business, or you genuinely don’t have one presently, getting one is very easy. Exploit social media – it’s worldwide and almost universally addictive. If you have a visually friendly business, get on Instagram or Pinterest, if you prefer words it’s Facebook or Twitter, if video’s your bag then YouTube and SnapChat are your friends (although Facebook is catching up there, too), if you like to talk but don’t like to be seen start a Podcast, and if you really just prefer straight up professional business interaction, you want LinkedIn. That’s not an exhaustive list, but these are the major players.
You don’t have to be on them ALL, although you might want a token presence on a few. Pick the ONE that you REALLY LOVE and just go nuts. As you get more accustomed to social media you will find scheduling tools and other easy hacks that make updating quick and easy. Invest in a little advertising, but make sure you aim it INTERNATIONALLY. Once you have a platform – any platform – with followers from all over the world (even if it’s only English-speaking countries), you can legitimately claim to be international.
Now milk it!
Everyone wants a mentor, a guide, a helping hand along the way. It’s a very appealing, comforting prospect that few people would pass on if given the opportunity. Establishing yourself as a mentor is actually a LOT easier than establishing yourself as an expert.
All you have to do is help people.
If you have a product-based business this can be tricky to claim, but you can still do it if your products come with advice and/or support. It works best for coaches who act as teachers and mentors to their students, but it also works well for service-based businesses provided you have some one-to-one contact with your clients. By that, I mean that they seek your advice, discuss their needs with you, and then you provide them with the solution to their problem.
If the service you provide doesn’t in some way teach them how to do something – even if it’s managing their own business better by delegating and accepting outside advice, or achieving better results – you shouldn’t claim this particular magic word. If it’s not true, it will backfire, but if it is true it’s a powerful spell to have in your arsenal. If you’re at all unsure as to whether or not you count as a mentor, ask yourself these two very simple question:
Does what I do help people?
Do I actively engage with people personally with an aim to improving their knowledge or advancing their business/personal lives?
If the answer to both of these questions is yes, congratulations, you’re a mentor. Don’t set the word aside because the answer was ‘no’, change the answer. Set up a free group on Facebook, LinkedIn, or another social media platform specifically related to your zone of genius. Invite your existing clients, customers and prospects to join it, and promote it. Make sure you’re active within the group and offer good, valuable advise and tools to help the members.
Keep track of how many people you have helped. How many people who have taken your courses, or had one-to-one coaching with you? How many clients have had a good amount of personal contact for advice while you provided a service? How many followers do you have on social media? How many group members do you have on social media? What are your sales figures for helpful products (self-help books, guides, manuals, or pre-packaged courses)? They all count! Keep that count going and don’t be afraid to use it.”I’ve personally mentored hundreds of women.”
Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? Just remember, you can’t make this claim unless it’s true! So know your figures.
Do you have formal qualifications? If so, SCREAM ABOUT THEM. If you have a degree, training certificate, or other form of formal training in your specialist area, that information needs to be up front and centre somewhere on every bio you have. You don’t have to give an exhaustive list – you’re not writing a CV! – but you do need to show your chops. Are you a qualified practitioner? Have you received specialist training, or completed bespoke courses in your particular zone of genius? Did you study something else formally before teaching yourself how to do what you currently do, or retraining, but in an informal manner?
Don’t blurt it out at every available opportunity. Include a brief line in all your bios stating you are a ‘Qualified XXX’ or have ‘a Qualification in XXX’. You can also drop this into your copy. For example, using anecdotes about your time at university, or while training or completing a course, is a subtle way of drawing your readers’ attention to the fact you have formal qualifications without ramming it down their throats. Don’t do it all the time (people will get sick of it). Pepper your copy with stories and examples drawn from your time gaining those qualifications and it will act as a gentle and regular reminder to your readers that you know what you’re talking about!
If you don’t have any formal qualifications, or your formal qualifications are in an unrelated subject to your current work, consider how your previous learning or work led you to where you are currently. There is almost always a direct link, even when you think your qualifications are irrelevant.
For example, I studied archaeology throughout my formal education, starting at A level before doing a BA, followed by an MA and eventually my PhD. Consequently all my formal qualifications are in archaeology. Irrelevant to copywriting, right? Wrong! At university I learned how to research to a very high level. I honed my existing interest in writing and learned to do it to an extremely high, academic standard. I’ve always loved writing and would have continued writing whether I attended uni or not. That said, I have absolutely no doubt that the self-taught level of writing skill I would have reached would be nothing like my current abilities.
I also taught throughout my postgraduate studies, and completed a teaching certificate. Again, irrelevant to copywriting, right? Wrong again! Putting together lesson plans taught me a great deal about the manner in which people best absorb information. This is vital if you want to write any form of non-fiction (and to some degree even fiction). Marking essays was the beginning of my forays into the world of editing and proofreading.
It would be nonsensical to tell you that I’m an exceptional copywriter because I’m a trained archaeologist, however, all of my work and skills are informed by my qualifications and experience. This is true even if you have no formal education. You still have life experience, and that counts for a lot. So what’s your story? Where did you come from? And how has it informed and prepared you for what you’re doing now?