Expertises: Acceleration Model for becoming an Expert
Ready to become the sought-after expert your clients will want to work with and be willing to pay a premium to do so? Do you want to know how you are unique to your clients & how you can stand out in the sea of competitors? Are you the "best kept secret in your market?” If you want to know the shortcuts to build your personal brand and become the go-to expert and the authority in your field, DO NOT MISS this series by advocate Itzik Amiel, bestselling author and international speaker and the global authority on personal branding for professionals.
In my previous parts of this special series I assumed that each one of us, as lawyer is already an EXPERT.
An assumption that not even one single lawyer (or other professionals) ever doubt. And rightly.
Some of the critical components of expertise are knowledge, skill, and achievement. People who become experts tend to acquire a body of knowledge that makes them very informed individuals in their field.
Each one of us, as a lawyer, also possess the skills that you need to determine when and how to utilize your knowledge.
Such skills you often learned, but you also gain them in your practice and maybe even got influenced by natural talent and ability.
So, I agree, each one of us as a lawyer should be considered an expert in your field.
So, the obvious next question is:
as an expert, what makes you stand out?
In many of my international training and speaking at events for professionals I ask this question to the participants.
If I asked you this question – what make you stand out as a legal expert? What will be your answer?
[Stop a second, and answer this question before continue reading any further…]
I think you will not be surprised to know, that most professionals give the same answer.
The answer is almost always about their number of years of experience in the industry, their unique services of their firm or other function they held as lawyers.
I definitely agree that all these points are important to gain an expert position and build your authority in your field. But none of these make you stand out in the crowded legal market.
In fact, if you are differentiating yourself based on your years of experience in your legal field or your unique services etc., chances are that most probably you are not differentiating yourself at all!
I assume that if you think long enough about it, you will come to the same sad conclusion.
So what make you, as a lawyer, stand out, you are asking?
As an attorney myself (for over 23 years in practice) and as an international speaker and legal mentor, I meet and mentor many lawyers on a regular basis from all over the world.
After following many of them and I have noticed that only a very small group of them actually stand out.
They stand out because they all have something else…something that I call “Expert Unique Perspective” or “Distinct-point-of-view”.
For the good order, let me define it for you.
Your “Expert Unique Perspective” is your way of expressing your unique expertise (in a specific area) so that helps and provides your connections (or your prospects) to see something from a new and unique perspective.
This special and unique perspective helps you to accelerate the process of building your authority and make you stand out.
UNIQUE EXPERTISE – HOW?
*If you want to learn how to find your unique perspective, I warmly recommend you to download my workbook [for free] here and answer all the relevant questions.
But in short, we can think about 3 possible parts to help you define your unique expert perspective:
PART #1. WHAT
The first part focuses on WHAT need or problem your prospects have and they didn’t know they have. And you have to make them aware of it.
PART #2. HOW MUCH
The second part focuses more on answering the question HOW MUCH cost created to your audience by having the problem and not solving it.
PART #3. WHY
The last part of your expert unique perspective is focused on answering the question – WHY they have the problem and on exposing the cause of the problem they have.
Important! - You need to fulfill all of the three parts, so your expert unique perspective will be relevant to your audience.
Let’s explore the three-model system in more details, to help you find your expert unique perspective.
PART #1: WHAT
David Epstein, the author of the New York Times bestseller The Sports Gene put it simply: “The hallmark of expertise is figuring out what information is important.”
The first part of the expert unique perspective model is what I call “The WHAT Model”. Focusing on answering the WHAT is important question.
As I mentioned, this is where you create your audience’s (your prospect’s) awareness for a need or a problem they never knew they had.
You can do it by creating your own framework on the different stages, categories or positions that your audience might find themselves in as they relate to your practice and services.
So, for example, for my business I use a model that I created called “The Practice Growth Formula™” which identifies the five stages of growing a professional practice.
This framework should:
Provide my relevant audience to get a fast glimpse to different stages they will find themselves while growing their practice.
To allow each prospect to self-identify on which stage they are in, with reference to their practice.
To give them clearance if they are on the stage they want to be or not (yet). [and most probably not].
Once they self-identify as being in the wrong stage, you have just brought to their attention a problem they didn’t know they had.
Now, it is the time for the second part of the model:
PART #2: HOW MUCH
The second part of your expert unique perspective model supposes to help your prospects to realize that there is a cost for the problem or their need.
To accomplish this, you need to use the right measurement that's important to your prospects.
In other words, not all of the prospects of law firms are driven by money in every situation. There are other measurements that can be important to your prospects - e.g. relationships capital, influence, reputation, freedom, time etc.
So select carefully based on your prospects wishes and needs.
Once you know the relevant measurement that motivates your prospects, you then demonstrate the costs associated with each stage [as you identified in your framework in part 1].
The interesting point is, that once your prospect understands how much it costs them to be in a specific stage (and not to grow) they become more motivated to do what needs to be done to move past those stages and into higher stage (or to a bigger success).
Now, you are ready for the last part:
PART #3: WHY
People will always try to copy WHAT you do, but they cannot copy your unique ‘flavour’ of standing out. They cannot copy WHY or HOW you do it.
So, once your prospectsare aware of their need or problem, they also got to know how much it cost them (if they will not solve it). Now, it is the time to let them know that the reason that it cost them is because there is a solution (your solution) and they are not using it.
And the opposite is also true.
Once you demonstrate that the cause of their need or problem is because they are not using your solution, they all want to learn how to do that so they can solve the problem they didn’t know they had.
I trust you understand by now – your law firm and it’s services is NOT what your prospect want. However, through your law practice and your efforts, some prospects will either believe you have the solution they want, or go elsewhere. They will either buy from you, or from someone else.
Standing out doesn’t discriminate. You either stand out in the legal marketplace or someone else will. Full stop!
Many lawyers feel uncomfortable with the idea of calling themselves an expert, but if you have an area of expertise that you can use to help others, it makes sense to tell people about it.
To stand out and be the expert, you do not need to show off with your years of experience or your credentials nor with your unique services.
Not at all.
Your task is to do the following three things:
Create awareness – make your prospects aware of a problem they didn’t know they had.
Share the costs – let your prospects know the costs associated with having the problem
Expose the problem’s cause – make sure they know about the solution and the cause of the problem is not due to not applying the solution.
When you do this 3 steps, in that order (!) you will stand out in the crowded market place.
Moreover, your services and solutions will become more relevant to your prospects than those of your competitors.
Isn’t it what you wanted to achieve?
Want to discover more on how to find your Expert Unique Perspective build your authority in your field – and the steps you need to take?
As a side remark, I want to emphasize again that hard work and talent are no longer enough to be considered as an expert. What counts is how you position yourself as a trusted expert to set yourself apart—even if you don’t quite feel like an “expert” in your field.
If you have any specific questions with regards to building your authority position and your personal brand, please send us an e-mail and share it with us. I may include it in one of the upcoming articles.
Until next month, believe your are an EXPERT & STAND OUT!
About the Author
Itzik Amiel is considered the global leading authority on Business Development, Business Networking & Personal Branding. He is a sought-after international speaker, trainer, business mentor, & attorney-at-law. He is also the bestselling author of “The Attention Switch” & Founder of THE SWITCH®, the global community for professionals to grow their practice.
Itzik teaches Lawyers and other professionals to attract and win their ideal clients by becoming seen as authorities in their field and to SWITCH their relations to Referrals+Revenue+Results.
If you want to get in touch with Itzik and to learn how can you build your Authority in your field, you can book a free discovery session with Itzik HERE