In the video below, Scott Keffer talks all about some of the problems associated with expert positioning in your industry.
So, what are some of the problems with expert positioning?
1. Held to a higher standard
2. Almost impossible to prove
3. Marketing is all about You, You, You
4. Differentiation: Expertise
5. You’re a library: Must have all the answers
With these problems, Scott discusses using empathy rather than expertise. See what he means in the video below!
The Problems with Expert Positioning
(Below is the transcript from the video.)
Okay, so I was always taught that you should try to establish yourself as an expert. Do you ever hear that, like you know build your expert positioning. So the path to that kind of looks like this.
The very first steps is you can be a generalist, which is sort of where everybody starts, right? You position yourself as a generalist. That has a limited amount of credibility.
Well, you can rise above that by becoming specialist, right? Higher level of credibility, right? Make sense?
There’s a higher level of credibility, you can position yourself as an expert.
And even above that would be celebrity expert. Even above that would be celebrity expert.
So who is a celebrity expert? Ed Slott. So Sharon and I met at Ed Slott. I had the opportunity to speak. Anybody else see me speak at Ed’s program, Ed Slott’s program? Yeah. I mean Ed Slott has done a really good job. He’s not only an expert. He’s a celebrity expert. He’s got the PBS special. He’s got the books, all of that. Super smart. Super smart. Also super hard. Super hard to get celebrity expert positioning.
So your fundamental positioning is expertise, right? Expertise. That’s your positioning. The idea is you have all the answers, right? It’s where you come, get all the ans … I have all the answers.
I have all the answers.
So what’s the problem with expert positioning?
Higher standard, yeah! I realized that! Why? Because one of my clients was an expert witness, and an expert witness is held to a really high standard. So I thought, gosh, I’m positioning myself in the marketplace. It’s almost impossible to prove. I know more than they know. Like I have to know all the answers.
In fact, they put expert witnesses on the stand, and they grill them with the questions. So your marketing has to be about you, right? I’m the expert. I know all the answers.
How many feel like they’d have to know all the answers? A client asks, I gotta know all the answers.
In fact, Ed sends me the IRA stuff, and I’m reading through all this stuff. I gotta have all the answers.
So fundamentally, my differentiation is my expertise. That’s how I position myself. So I have to be the library. The library has all the answers.
So the positioning for an expert is hey, I’m the library. I’m the gal with all the answers. I’m the guy with all the answers.
That’s one way. Seem like a lot of problems for me, so I thought I wonder if there’s another way to position myself. So the more I studied this, I thought rather than expertise, why don’t I use empathy? Rather than expertise, why don’t I position myself via empathy?
So where expertise knows all the answers, somebody who’s empathetic knows actually all the questions.
And instead of being the library, they’re positioned as a librarian.
Because people are really concerned about their issues, so I know all the questions. I also know all the issues.
And I don’t have to know all the answers. I just need to know the questions.
So if this is an expert. This is positioning yourself as an authority. Expert knows all the answers. Authority knows all the issues. Expert’s like a library, and authority is like the librarian. Librarian knows … if you go in to see a library. Nobody knows libraries anymore. If you go into a library, the librarian doesn’t know all the answers, do they? Does she? Or he? What do they know? They know where to get ’em. Over here. Right? I can access any answer, right, by being the librarian. I know the right questions ’cause fundamentally people don’t really know the issues.
So there’s the same progression here: generalist, little higher standard is the specialist, higher credibility. Up here is a known authority, and here you get celebrity authority.
But I realized getting celebrity is really difficult, isn’t it? But there is something in between here that is possible. It’s even higher. It’s a visible authority, right? So it’s not quite as high as celebrity authority positioning, but it’s something that’s possible to get in today’s world: visible authority. Visible authority.
Generalist, specialist, authority, visible authority, celebrity authority. I don’t have to know all the answers. I just know all the questions. Know all the issues. Not a librarian. Not expertise, really empathy.
So here’s the difference. One, I’m not held to a higher standard. I don’t suggest I know all the answers. I just know all the questions. It is possible to demonstrate the fact that I am an empathetic authority because I’m positioned around empathy, not expertise. How do I do that? Because I can tell you your issues better than you can.
And when, ultimately we’ll talk about this when it comes to engaging people. If you can show people that you understand their issues better than they do, they will automatically assume you have the solutions, which means I wanna position myself around issues, right?
The marketing is all about whom?
Prospect because it’s all about their issues. By the way, if you have these issues, if you have these concerns, my differentiation is empathy.
And fundamentally, a librarian, we have the questions.
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