Are you an expert?

I was surprised to be asked at a networking meeting, “what do you mean by ‘expert’?” I hadn’t been asked that question before. My answer was, and I stick by it: Someone who has information in an area that is of interest to others and is able to express that information.

Note that I’m not including highly skilled people in this category. We can’t include people who, may be brilliant at doing unless they’re brilliant at explaining what they do to. To be our kind of expert, the expertise needs to be conscious. There needs to be a understanding of the subject rather than just the craftsmanship. If someone is brilliant at tennis then they are exactly that, brilliant at tennis and they probably win a lot of matches. They are not nessesarily an ‘expert tennis player’ – that’s something different. The expert tennis player may not win a lot of matches, but does know a lot about tennis.

I imagine you’re pretty good at what you do. To become the expert that can write the book on that expertise you need to be able to think about what you do in a different way. You need to be able to step out of the ‘doing’ and see the holistic big picture. It might not be easy. Which bits of what you do should you include? Which bits are so obvious they can be left out?

This is why you should be using some of the elements of storytelling to create our expertise material. Sometimes the reader needs the how, the why, the detail and the backstory but sometimes they just want to cut to the chase, get involved in he drama and delight in the thrill of the plot.

Putting your expertise across is a journey you will take your readers on. We need to make sure it’s an interesting and worthwhile journey that gets them from where they are to where they need to be in the most exciting and compelling way.

Call us today on +44(0)1865 779944 to discuss how we can turn your expertise into a brand or create a book with selling power.

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Why cheap business cards are the kiss of death

We’ve all seen them. Those free business cards with the clip art image in the top left and Vistaprint printed on the back. They’re great for children and for clubs, but there’s no way any type of business that charges money for its services should be using them. Here’s why:

Business cards are still one of the first ‘touch-points’ you make with a potential client. A touch-point is where a first impression is made in just a few seconds. Some of the others are: your handshake, how you answer the phone, your office reception, your advertising and your website. What impression does a flimsy free card make in those vital seconds?

(People who use free business cards often don’t have their own domain name url for their email. This too is a disaster. Do they not know how cheap email hosting is compared to the very high cost of looking like an amateur?)

If you’re not prepared to spend money on promoting your brand in the simple way as having a good business card you are sending the message to the world that you don’t care a fig about their needs. What you’re saying is:

“I’m on the take, to grab what I can. You have to pay dearly for my over inflated services, but I’m not going to invest in you or give you any value. I’m too cheap, tight and self-serving to do that. In fact, I’m actually lacking in confidence so much in myself and my business that I felt it was too great a risk to invest in a half decent business card. This way, by not spending any money, I may be able to con someone into being a client, but if not well, I haven’t lost anything.”

Is that what you think? Because that is what your prospects will think in a heart beat.