Connect with us

Strategy

Position Yourself As An Authority, And Watch Business Boom

It is a pre-requisite in business these days that the founder, CEO or principal must become an authority in their industry.

Ken Dunn

Published

on

Leader-business-leadership

Let’s face it, it is tough building a business today. There is more competition then ever. There are new widgets and gadgets, that are confusing your clients, every day.

Long gone are the days when your customers would just buy because of a good product and a good price – they want more! Consumers are looking for an experience or a feeling. Your customers want more then ever for their money. They want to be emotionally stimulated.

Your competitors have already figured it out and they’re stealing your business. Twenty years ago, business owners made it a habit of holding all of their information “close to the chest.” It would seem insane for the principle of the business to go out and speak publicly about how they were different, why they were growing so fast or why new customers were flocking to their doors. We use to call this information “trade secrets.”

Related: 3 Brilliant Books To Help You Launch Your Business

Today, those same principals and CEOs have realised that sharing the secrets is the key to winning the loyalty of clients and customers. New terms like authority, expert and thought leader have completely changed how people do business today.

In the best-selling book Behind The Cloud, Salesforce.com Founder Marc Benioff goes into great detail on the strategy that he used to bring significant attention to his SaaS start up.  He positioned himself as an authority on anything to do with human resources, politics and business.

Whenever something was happening in the media, Benioff would reach out to TV and national radio and get himself on air to give his opinion. Sometimes, he would have to make up his opinion as he went on.

Benioff proved that becoming an authority would propel his business onto the world stage. Today, Salesforce.com is the market leader. They host annual events with over one hundred attendees from all over the world, and they are 10 times bigger then their closest competitor.

If asked, Benioff would undoubtedly agree that his authority status was worth millions of dollars in advertising and new revenue. If we dissect Benioff’s authority strategy, we can quickly see three good reasons for you to focus on becoming an authority in your industry.

Related: Business & Leadership Lessons from Kumaran of Spartan

1. Brings attention to you

Julius-CaesarYou are the principle of the business. This is one case where a little ego will go a long way. Any attention that comes to the founder or CEO of the business will inevitably bring more revenue to the company.

Every time you are introduced as an authority, the first thing said after your name is the name of your company.

The more you are speaking on stage, being interview on TV or giving an opinion on radio, the more people are going to learn about your business. If you’re really savvy, you will also figure out how to weave your business into then things you say as examples.

2. Brings new customers to your business

Consumers always want to be associated with the best-in-class product. If you have ever tried to launch a new product in a crowded space where there is a true market-leader, you understand how difficult it actually is.

What is most frustrating is when you know that the reigning “best-in-class” is an inferior product. The only thing that trumps the best-in-class spending habits of consumers is a new product being launched by the leading authority in the space.

Look at what is happening with Tim Fargo’s startup, Tweet Jukebox. Fargo has been one of the leading expert users (authorities) on Twitter for years. He recently launched a new tool to help Twitter users post better content, more often – and it’s an overnight success.

Now, I am addicted to Tweet Jukebox and think it’s a great product, but I wouldn’t have wasted a second looking at it, if it weren’t for Fargo’s authority status on Twitter.

Related: 8 Secrets Your Business Mentor Won’t Tell You

3. Increases loyalty in your customers

Loyalty-fansReal “authorities” will be incredibly passionate about a chosen subject. They will be publishing articles with their thoughts regularly. They will be Tweeting, Facebooking, Pinning and writing on Reader’s Legacy on a daily basis, and their customers will follow every word, loyally.

Ken Blanchard wrote a wonderful parable on the art of creating customer loyalty called Raving Fans. In it, Blanchard touches on the importance of authority positioning. It is becoming harder and harder to win the hearts of new customers, so you need to do everything you can to keep the ones you have.

Positioning yourself as an authority and communicating with your customers, through every means possible, will increase their loyalty.

Customers want to follow the champion.

I am going to spend the next couple of months studying and writing on the art of becoming an authority.

I am convinced that it is becoming a pre-requisite in business that the founder, CEO or principal must become an authority in their industry. If you don’t do it, you will be destroyed by your competition – because their principle is taking this stuff seriously. They are becoming an authority.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

Ken Dunn is the author of five books on sales, marketing and business and has sold more than 250,000 books in 10 languages around the world. Dunn is the founder and CEO of ReadersLegacy.com and Next Century Publishing.

Strategy

There’s More To Team Management Than Leadership

When you’re running a business you need to ensure that your employees are on your side, helping you to make profits. Giving them job security, taking them seriously and treating them with respect, will go a long way in enhancing loyalty and productivity.

Henry Sebata

Published

on

team-management

The staff that work for you determine:

  1. How happy your customers are with your business
  2. The quality of the things that you sell
  3. The costs that you incur to sell your products and services
  4. Your risks – the things that can go wrong and how much it costs you

All of these things determine your profitability and how competitive your business becomes. How do you ensure that everyone is on the same side and helping you to make profits?

At work everyone believes that they are getting something (such as money) and are giving something in return (such as time and effort). They are weighing up in their mind “how much am I giving, how much am I getting in return and is this fair?” If they believe that they are:

  • Giving too much or
  • Getting too little
  • Then this is unfair, and they won’t work well (poor productivity – how much they produce).

Related: Why Innovative Employee Benefits Are Your Competitive Advantage

The manager needs to:

  • Know what people are thinking about what they are giving and getting and
  • Manage the giving or getting side
  • So that people become more productive

In a smaller business you sometimes cannot afford to pay more or provide the sort of benefits (pensions, medical aid, bursaries etc.) that larger firms can and so the staff may be unhappy, not be productive and be on the look-out for something better.

How do you increase happiness without money?

Everyone wants:

  1. Job security – knowing that you will still have a job next year – and that you will get paid on time.
  2. Contributing to the success of the business. If you train staff to have the knowledge and skills to do a better job and you then encourage and support them to do this then they are happier, and you increase profits. If you then share some of these profits with the staff that helped you to make them then everyone wins!
  3. To be taken seriously and treated with respect. If you do this then staff are happier, and they will also treat your customers with respect.
  4. To be part of the team. You can often do this by having a regular briefing on what your plans are and discussing ideas. Because staff are doing the actual work they will often have good ideas and then will be motivated to implement them – it was their idea after all!

Staff leaving you all the time is a can destroy significant value. If you implement the strategy above, you will have happier staff that are more productive and a more profitable business.

Read next: Understanding Your Responsibility As An Employer

Continue Reading

Strategy

Jeff Bezos Reveals 3 Strategies for Amazon’s Success

One of the richest men in the world shared his leadership tips for running a company.

Hayden Field

Published

on

jeff-bezos

“It remains Day 1.” That’s how Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, signed off in his 2018 letter to shareholders. He’s been propagating the “day 1” mantra for decades, and it’s meant as a reminder that Amazon should never stop acting like a start-up – even though the company now boasts more than 560,000 employees and more than 100 million members of Amazon Prime, the company’s paid service for free shipping on select items.

Here are some of the most useful nuggets of wisdom Bezos shared in his letter and during a recent onstage interview:

1. Standards are contagious

Bezos says he believes high standards are teachable rather than intrinsic. “Bring a new person onto a high standards team, and they’ll quickly adapt,” he writes. “The opposite is also true.”

If a company or team operates with low standards, a new employee will often – perhaps even unwittingly – adjust their work ethic accordingly.

He also says that high standards in one area don’t automatically translate to high standards in another – it’s important for people to discover their “blind spots.”

Related: Executive Director Hasnayn Ebrahim’s 5 Rules For Strategic Growth In Your Business

Try making a list of your duties, then ask trusted colleagues to tell you which responsibilities are your greatest strengths. If certain things from the list don’t come up during the conversation, it might be useful to think about how you can up your personal standards in those areas.

2. Set clear, realistic expectations

If you’re looking to raise your standards in a particular area, the first course of action is to outline what quality looks like in that area. The second is to set realistic expectations for yourself – or for your team – regarding how much work it will take to achieve that level of quality.

Exhibit A: You won’t find a single PowerPoint presentation at an Amazon company meeting. Instead, teams write six-page narrative memos to prepare everyone else for the meeting.

Bezos says the quality of the memos vary greatly because writers don’t always recognise the scope of the work required to reach high standards.

Related: Jeff Bezos: 9 Remarkable Choices That Shaped The Richest Man In The World

“They mistakenly believe a high-standards, six-page memo can be written in one or two days or even a few hours, when really it might take a week or more!” Bezos writes.

3. Stay involved with the people you’re serving

Whether you’re selling a product or service, it’s a good idea to make sure you never lose touch when it comes to the people you’re serving – no matter how high up the ladder you climb.

Related: Lichaba Creations Founder Max Lichaba’s Inspiring Journey To Entrepreneurial Success

Bezos says he still reads emails from his public inbox (jeff@amazon.com) as a way to keep his finger on the pulse of what’s happening with Amazon customers.

He says he believes focusing on what customers are saying is much more important for success than focusing on what competitors are doing, and he often compares customer feedback to company data to see where they misalign.

“When the anecdotes and the data disagree,” Bezos said at a recent leadership forum at the George W. Bush Presidential Center, “the anecdotes are usually right.”

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

Continue Reading

Strategy

You Don’t Have To Go It Alone: How To Find A Mentor As A Freelancer

Need a mentor but don’t know where to start? These tips can help you find your perfect mentorship match.

Yu Liu

Published

on

By

you-dont-have-to-go-it-alone-how-to-find-a-mentor-as-a-freelancer_featured

As a freelancer, having enough time to not only grow your business, but also grow your career can be challenging. Who can you turn to for guidance when you’re the boss? For those who strike out on their own, putting time and effort into finding a mentor (or several) can make a huge difference in establishing a successful freelance business.

Among small business owners who have professional mentors, the five-year survival rate for their businesses is 70 percent, according to a survey by BCSG; among those who don’t have mentors, the five-year survival rate is half of that.

Now that you’re settled into the new year, it’s the perfect time to reach out to your network (or establish a new one) and find a group of mentors. Here are some tips for identifying those who can help you achieve your personal and professional goals.

Related: Vusi Thembekwayo Launches Entrepreneurship Mentorship Programme

Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses

As a freelancer, it can be challenging to find the time to step back and examine your professional strengths and weaknesses. While it can be tempting to rely on a mentor to give you guidance on where you need to improve, you’ll get much more out of any mentorship relationship if you’ve done some self-reflection first.

As a first step, consider taking a few minutes to complete a skills evaluation test, such as Myers Briggs or 16Personalities.

Both will provide you with a detailed explanation of your personality, including analysis about workplace habits, relationships and ideal career paths. The results will help you understand how you interact with clients and colleagues, as well as what types of careers and working styles are likely to be a good fit for you.

If you need more help determining your working style or how to achieve the next step in your career, a career coach could be a great investment. Finding the right coach can help you develop a strong understanding of your own personality and work style. Once you know more about yourself, you’ll be able to better identify mentors who can help you play to your strengths and improve upon your weaknesses.

Form relationships through networking groups

you-dont-have-to-go-it-alone-how-to-find-a-mentor-as-a-freelancer_forming-relationships_embedded

Once you’ve had time to reflect on your professional needs, it’s time to find a mentor. As a good first step, look into virtual and in-person networking groups where you can meet people in your industry.

Networking groups and programs, like Entrepreneurs’ Organization, allow you to connect with other freelancers and business owners so you can learn from what they’ve experienced over the course of their careers.

This can help you find a mentor who’s also gone through the challenges of becoming a freelancer.

The location of your potential mentor can be a determining aspect as well. Having a mentor that lives close by gives you access to knowledge of the local trends and makes it easier to scheduling a quick chat. Meetup.com offers access to thousands of organisations around the world in sectors ranging from outdoors and adventure to fashion and tech to writing. If one event looks interesting, take the time to attend and talk to the other participants. One (or more) may have helpful insights for your career.

Keep in touch with former colleagues and associates

Just because you’ve decided to strike out on your own doesn’t mean you can’t still rely on former coworkers, bosses or other working relationships that you developed before becoming a freelancer.

Those you’ve worked with in the past are already familiar with your working style and approach to business, which is helpful context for any mentor/mentee relationship.

Make sure to keep in regular contact with former colleagues, especially those you admired when you worked together, so that you can use each other as a resource for professional questions or opportunities. Haven’t been in touch for a while? Reaching out can be as simple as sending your congratulations about a new job or reminiscing about an old work memory, but it can go a long way toward helping secure a valuable mentor.

Releated: All The Business Wisdom You Need From 4 Famous Entrepreneurs

Seek out people who inspire you outside your professional realm

Inspiring mentors can come from unexpected places, not just your professional bubble or your fellow freelancers. Take a few minutes to research interesting organisations in your local area, perhaps through volunteering, and get involved where you can.

Other volunteers might come from unique backgrounds and work in different fields or industries, so their points of view can provide you with unexpected perspective that may help you think about a challenge or client differently. A mentor from a different field has a unique opportunity to see your business from the outside and won’t be bogged down by conventional solutions.

Finding a mentor is one of the most valuable investments you can make for your future as a freelancer and for your personal work enjoyment.

Mentorship makes a difference all the way to the top – 71 percent of CEOs said having a mentor directly improved their company’s performance according to a study in a book by Suzanne de Janasz and Maury Peiperl.

Beyond the financial returns you can see from mentorship, having advisors you trust can make freelancing feel less overwhelming and more rewarding. So, make sure to put yourself out there and start building your mentor relationships.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

SPOTLIGHT

Advertisement

Recent Posts

Follow Us

Entrepreneur-Newsletters
*
We respect your privacy. 
* indicates required.
Advertisement

Trending