‘Share what you know about business success’ is part 4 in our four-part series on ‘How to be successful as an expert in business’.
The big trap many business experts make
The big trap that many business experts make is that they think being an expert is all about what they know. That’s crucial but not enough.
If other people don’t know you’re an expert, then they’re not going to call you to work with them. It’s all about ‘who knows that you know’.
In other words, how can you show people you’re an expert without coming across as sleazy and desperate for work or without spending a fortune on advertising that may or may not work?
Now, let’s dive into our big idea for today: How to be successful as an expert in business and the key strategy of share what you know about business success.
Why you should share what you know about business success
Have you ever stopped to consider why people like me would spend hours and days writing posts and creating videos on YouTube giving away their best ideas when they can’t directly sell you anything?
It’s all because of who knows you know.
The simple version is that I write these posts and create these videos so I can help you and by doing that I can show my business expertise. I think you should do the same.
Your Favourite TV Chef
Who is your favourite TV chef?
- Jamie Oliver
- Gordon Ramsey
- Heston Blumenthal (Wikipedia)
- Bobbie Flay (Wikipedia)
- Rachael Khoo
- Adam Liaw
- Nigella Lawson
- Guy Fieri
In recent years, chefs have stepped out of the kitchen and become worldwide celebrities.
They have built highly successful restaurants by sharing what they know about how to create great food.
Even though they share their recipes for free on their websites and on TV, we still buy their books and we still join long waiting lists at their restaurants to eat their food.
- A snack sample at the supermarket
- Taking a car for a test drive
- Using a free trial version of the software
Three Levels of Sharing Your Business Expertise
The principle of these examples is the same. In each case, we are sharing a sample of our product or service. We’re giving people a chance to try it out before they buy it.
We’re giving people an experience of what it’s like to work with us or buy our stuff.
Business experts can do the same by sharing what you know about business success.
There are three levels of sharing your business expertise:
- Show Up
Level 1: Show Up to Others
There are three goals of sharing your business expertise and the benefit you can gain.
Filmmaker Woody Allen (Wikipedia) once said, ‘Showing up is 80% of success.’
This is the first level of sharing your business expertise: to show up.
By sharing what you know about how to succeed in business you show up and are seen by your potential audience.
I post regularly on Linked In. Usually, I might attract between 500 and 2000 views and about 10-20 comments. But the more interesting thing is that every month I receive messages from people that say ‘Hey, I’ve been seeing you a lot on Linked In’. These people are not commenting on my content and they may not even be reading it. But they’re seeing me show up time and time again.
This keeps me connected with them and top of mind for future reference.
Level 2: Help Others
The second level of sharing your expertise is to help others.
While some people see my posts on Linked In, others actually read them. And when they do, I hope they learn something. I hope I help them. And from reading some of the comments, I know that I have helped some of them.
At a simple level, if you’re not helping people – especially your clients – then you’re not in business.
Level 3: Sell to Others
The third level of sharing your expertise is to help other people and be paid for it.
To be in business, at some point, we need to be paid for our expertise and what we share and how we help people. But it doesn’t need to be all of the time.
As Zig Ziglar (Wikipedia) once said, ‘you can have everything you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.’
That’s my strategy here in creating and sharing my best ideas on YouTube and on this blog. If I help enough people here, some of them will pay me for my efforts. But first, I have to show up. Second, I have to help people.
Finally, some of them, not all of them, may pay me some money when I help them further.
The best thing to share
Now, for the question that most people ask, what should I share?
This is one of those puzzles in life that can leave you wandering around wondering what possibly could be the answer. But it’s really obvious and probably staring you in the face.
The best thing you can share is the answers to the questions that your clients are already asking you.
There are three reasons this works so well.
- These are your clients, so this is the audience you want to work with. If they have this question, then other people like them are likely to have this problem too.
- They are the exact problems your clients say they have and you can’t get any better market research than that.
- You already have answers to these problems and you have probably already answered them many times with previous clients.
Remember, that everyone in business wants the same thing: we want to be successful in our business. Ultimately, this is what you are helping people with inside your niche.
The One Thing You Must Overcome
Now, you might be thinking, ‘But if I give away my best ideas to everyone then I’ll have nothing left to sell…’
Think back to the chefs.
Jamie Oliver has a fabulous website filled with wonderful recipes. They’re all sitting there for free. You can grab as many as you like and you’ll never have to pay Jamie a cent. But when enough people love his work, enough people will still buy his recipe books – I know I have.
Not everyone is going to pay you to work with you.
Plus, I know in these videos and blog posts, I can only give away general principles. In other words, I can’t personalise the solution for you in the way that I might if we were to have a one-on-one conversation.
That’s where I can happily share my ideas and help people in a general way because I know some people will still want to work with me so I can tailor the solution for them.
Remember what Zig Ziglar said, ‘you can have everything you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.’
Summary: Share what you know about business success
Let’s wrap up what we’ve covered here.
If you want to be successful as an expert in business you need to address the issue of ‘who knows you know’.
And the key to this is ‘share what you know about business success’.
Like world-class chefs, share what you know so you can:
- Show Up to lots of people
- Help some of these people
- And be paid by some of them.
The most obvious and best thing to share is what your clients are already asking you.
Remember, the ultimate goal is to help them be more successful in business.
Be generous and help enough other people get what they want so you can get what you want.
The best thing to share in the next hour
What is the best way you can share what you know in the next hour? Yep, the next hour.
There are two steps here. The first is what to share. The second is where to share it.
What to Share
Let’s start with what to share. Remember our goal is to share what you know about business success. To do this you could sit down and create one of these pieces of content:
- Write a post or an article.
- Create a video.
- Design an infographic.
They’re all good things you could do but they’re likely to take longer than an hour.
Instead of creating something yourself, the alternative is to curate something that someone else has created.
Have a think – or review your browser history – about the articles, posts, videos, infographics and books that you’ve read and loved in the past few days. It might even be to copy the link and share this post or share the video at the top of the page.
Once you’ve found your piece of content then go ahead and share that.
Curating Your Business Expertise
You might think this is not sharing your expertise.
But consider it from this perspective. The number one goal here is to help people. Sharing a solution that you admire might help someone. It shows that you are a helpful, considerate and generous person. That’s a highly desirable set of qualities that a potential client might want to see.
Plus, remember ‘why did you select that piece to share?’ That’s your expertise at play. What you chose to share is based on your opinion that if it was valuable to you and this may well be valuable to someone else like you.
If you think it would help you be more successful in business, then you want to back your judgement in that it will probably help others too.
Where to Share
And where should you share it?
My tip is to jump onto Linked In. Linked In is a fabulous social site for business people.
It’s not the only place to share your business expertise and I’m suggesting it here because:
- If you’re in business you probably already have (or should have) an account. Given we want to make this easy to do in the next hour, this is helpful.
- There is a ready audience already waiting there.
- Linked In makes it easy to share posts, videos and images.
Go ahead and share your content on Linked In and while you’re there – stop by my profile, connect and say hello.
Even better, if you’re up for the challenge, go ahead and share what you know on Linked In in the next hour and tag me (put @geoffmcdonald in your post) so I am alerted to your post.
More: How to be successful as an expert in business
Here are the links to the other three posts/videos in this 4-part series: