by Tony Vidler
If you become a recognised expert then business will find its way to you. Prospecting per se ceases to be a problem.
Getting to be that recognised expert can be a costless and effective way of marketing yourself as industry, local or national media is constantly looking for opinion-shapers and insight. But even when professionals do get that media exposure they often overlook the real opportunity: making sure the target market knows about it. It is a promotional opportunity, and one which helps position you as the professional and as a thinker or opinion-shaper in your profession that you want to be know as.
It usually comes at a price however. That “price” is that you must be willing to be a target.
You have to be prepared to be disagreed with, and perhaps even attacked. Often unfairly attacked. Disliked by people that have never even met you. It is simply a part of the price one must pay. Accept that as a necessity in building a reputation and putting forward different thinking.
No matter how thoughtful your opinion, or insightful and wise you are, there will be mockers and and those who are just downright disagreeable. The critics don’t matter though, and they shouldn’t stop you putting yourself out there if you do have good insight and thinking, and opinions which will help others shape their thinking. (who was it who famously said “no statue was ever put up for a critic”?)
You must be willing to be a target therefore if you want to use media and interviews as a method of establishing or building your reputation and professional expertise.
My reason for outlining what might be obvious to many is that it is apparently not obvious to all. Too often the targeting is unexpected,and makes aspiring experts question themselves. It shouldn’t, as the world has always been this way of course. Pretty much every good and new idea or thought has at first been ridiculed.
To be a genuine thought leader to your peers and target market it is necessary to be willing to be ridiculed…to be a target. To achieve the status of recognised expert in your chosen arena you have to be willing to express some challenging, or innovative, or insightful opinions that others may not yet be ready for.
It is simply part of the journey to becoming a recognised expert.
Embrace the challenge, and revel in the business it brings in.