To be successful as an expert in business requires applying three key business growth strategies.
The Big Mistake Business Experts Make
The mistake that a lot of experts make in business is that they focus on the wrong thing.
And this is not just a rookie mistake that beginners make. A lot of seasoned pros are still doing this and wondering why their expert business is not growing.
Most people think what they know makes them an expert. They say things like:
- I know this
- I can do this
- I have done this
And then they sit around wishing and hoping and waiting for clients to show up. Good luck with that.
At best – what you know – is only one of three crucial business strategies you need to be successful as an expert in business. And your real path to business growth only kicks in when you have all three of these strategies working together.
In this post, I’ll share the three business growth strategies you need to be successful as an expert in business. The three things you need to grow are:
- What you know
- What clients want
- Who knows you know
Let’s look at each one of these in more detail.
1 What you know
Our first business growth strategy for experts in business is based on what you know.
If you don’t know what you are good at then how are you going to be able to promote yourself clearly, concisely, and deliberately?
That’s like going to the supermarket to buy food for dinner without a list of ingredients. More than likely, you’ll waste money buying stuff you don’t need. Or worse, you’ll forget something really important that you do need.
In business, if you don’t know what you’re good at, then your chances of being thought of as the ‘go-to’ person for anything are slim. And if you are offered work it will be the leftovers – the stuff no one else wanted, at low fees with less than desirable clients. This means you’ll struggle to earn money doing work you don’t like for people you don’t care about. No thank you. You deserve better than that.
But first, you must get really clear about what you know and what you can provide to potential clients.
Business Growth Strategy 1: Grow What You Know
To apply this as a business growth strategy look for ways to grow what you know. You need to build your business expertise. There are two keys here.
1 Define Your Business Expertise Superpower
You need to know yourself better so you can clearly define your superpower for your business expertise.
Often, we don’t notice what we are really good at because we do it so easily. But this is precisely what makes it your superpower. For me, as a former architect, I trained in design thinking for almost ten years. I now automatically apply this to any situation I’m in. It’s so automatic that I don’t even notice that I’m doing it. It’s only when I’m doing it live in front of clients or colleagues that this is my competitive advantage.
What are the things you can do that almost no one else can?
2 Grow What You Know
Two, to grow your business you need to grow what you know. To do this, start your own learning program.
- Take courses.
- Read books.
- Boost your skills.
- Take on projects.
- Test and explore new things.
There are plenty of ways to grow what you know – find your best way.
Rate Yourself: How well do you know what you are great at?
To quickly assess whether this is a big issue for you, give yourself a rating from zero to five based on how well you know what you are great at.
- Zero = No clue.
- Five = I know exactly what I can do that most other people cannot. I know my superpower.
2 What clients want
Our second business growth strategy for experts is based on what your clients want.
If you’re having a tough time selling your expert service, then it’s highly likely that you don’t know what your clients really want and/or how to pitch it to them.
This means you’re selling something they don’t want. For instance, you’re selling apples, when they really want oranges.
Or you’re selling it in a way that doesn’t fit for your potential clients. For me, I call myself the Ideas Architect. And while that’s a fun way to describe myself, my clients aren’t lying awake at night thinking, ‘I need an ideas architect’. My clients call me when they want a fresh perspective. They’re either stuck or stalled and want a spark to shift their thinking. They either want a new goal or a new way to achieve their goal.
Hopefully, in this post, you can see this in play. My aim here is to provide you with a different way to see your current situation so you will say, ‘Ah, now I know what I need to do next.’
To sum up, you need to translate what you are good at into something that your clients want.
Business Growth Strategy 2: Know your clients better
To apply this as a business growth strategy look for ways to get to know your clients more closely.
- You need to know your clients’ thoughts. This can be through putting yourself in their shoes. For instance, if you’re a professional speaker sit in an audience of other professional speakers and find out what it feels like.
- This can be building better relationships with them, so you understand what they are going through.
- This can also include improving how you pitch to them.
There are always plenty of ways to know your clients better.
Rate Yourself: How well you know what your potential clients want?
To quickly assess whether this is a big issue for you, give yourself a rating from zero to five based on how well you know what your potential clients want.
- Zero = no clue
- Five = I know the exact words they say to themselves and how they describe their problem.
This is not about describing the physical persona of a potential client. Knowing they are female or over 50 is helpful. But what we really want to know is what they are thinking and the words they use to describe their situation.
When are your clients most likely to need your help?
3 Who knows you know
Our third business growth strategy for experts is based on who knows you know.
It makes no difference if you know how to help someone if they don’t know that you can help. If I don’t know you’re the local expert in fixing computers, then I’m not going to call you to fix mine.
Our third strategy to be successful as an expert in business depends upon this thought.
There are two simple parts to this.
First, who knows you? You won’t be successful as an expert in business if no one knows who you are. You don’t want to be your clients’ best-kept secret. You need to build your network.
Second, how do they think of you? Do they even see you as an expert? This is your reputation, your brand and your level of influence. And it’s not just the work you do. Are you known for being easy to work with? You don’t want to be seen as an expert with a flawed personality that no one will work with.
Business Growth Strategy 3: Add more value to more people
To apply this as a business growth strategy look for ways to add more value to more people. You need to share what you know about business success.
This is not just about selling to people. While you will need to have products and services to sell to be successful as an expert in business, you might also have free products and services. This might be as simple as an email newsletter. It might be about posting regular content on Linked In or YouTube. Or it might be turning up to networking events and helping people with their challenges.
There are always plenty of ways to add more value to more people.
Rate Yourself: How well are you known for your expertise?
To quickly assess whether this is a big issue for you, give yourself a rating from zero to five based on how well you are known for your expertise.
- Zero = the best-kept secret in your industry
- Five = acknowledged industry expert
The easy way to check this is: how many people are contacting you for work? If other people are not calling or emailing you to ask you to work with them, then you may be struggling with Who Knows You Know
Which of these Business Growth Strategies should I focus on?
Which one of these three business strategies do you need to focus on to be successful as an expert in business in the next 30-90 days? Here are my suggestions…
Starting Out as an Expert in Business
If you’re starting out in business, I suggest you tackle these three strategies in this order.
- Number one, start with what you know. Until you get clear about this, you don’t stand a chance of being able to promote yourself clearly, concisely, and deliberately. My big tip here is to do a strengths finder test. This will give you real insight into who you are and what your superpowers are.
- Once you know what you know, only then you can turn this into what your clients want.
- And once you’re clear on this, you can build your network, reputation and influence and expand who know you know.
Already an Expert in Business
If you’re already in business, your situation is a little different. You already have all three in place.
Look at the ratings you gave yourself in the previous exercises to know what to work on next. And you have two choices here.
- You can either work on your strength – the one you rated the highest and continue to grow this.
- Or you can work on your weakest link – the one you rated the lowest.
Remember, it’s the combination of all three that makes the biggest and best difference.
Summary: 3 Strategies to be Successful as an Expert in Business
Let’s wrap up what we’ve covered here. How to be successful as an expert in business relies on three business growth strategies:
1 What you know
- The more value you can deliver for your clients the better.
- Look for ways to grow what you know
- Build your business expertise
2 What clients want
- The better and deeper that you understand what your clients need right now, the better and deeper you’ll be able to help them.
- Look for ways to better understand your clients.
- Know your clients’ thoughts
3 Who knows you know
- The more people who know what you do and how you can help them the easier it will be to attract new clients without spending all of your time chasing them.
- Look for ways to add more value to more people.
- Share what you know about business success.
More on How to be Successful as an Expert in Business
This is part one in a series of four posts on How to be Successful as an Expert in Business. Here are the links to the other three posts: