Great Brands That Compete On Value: Understand Knowledge is Power(ful)
For the past couple of months, among the features in the magazine that we’ve covered there’s been a prevailing theme. For those who haven’t been following, and to recap for those who have, I’ve emphasized the significance of personal branding for business professionals. As such, we tie this into much of what we do at Strictly Business.
It’s not just your mere presence, but the qualities you are best known for that will be compelling factors when it comes time to select the recipient of one’s business. Why choose you? What have you done to influence that decision? As previously discussed, the more well-acquainted someone is with you personally, the more comfortable he/she will be with approaching you and trusting you. Building a good rapport and gaining trust takes time and consistency.
Bearing this in mind, an effective way to establish credibility is sharing your knowledge – with no strings attached. Consider it an investment in developing a relationship based on mutual trust in hopes that it will yield a return later on down the line. And chances are, it will. Given the dynamics of today’s business/consumer relationship, it’s important to understand that process has to start with a business putting forth the effort to attract the consumer by differentiating itself from the competition in the marketplace. As the saying goes, give and you shall receive. By providing something of value sans immediate compensation, it’s a gesture of good faith, and a very telling sign about how a relationship would be moving forward. Make no mistake, people will take notice and it’s greatly appreciated, so the perceived value is there and it’s impactful.
By making this type of impression consistently, then through the power of word of mouth, it will eventually become your reputation. Once you’re seen as an authority in your area of expertise, there’s much less convincing that needs to be done on your part to draw in clients.
Remember, your knowledge isn’t just something you apply to conducting business, it’s also something you can leverage to drive business.
Sharing knowledge isn’t just limited to public perception in terms of benefits. It also helps you educate your audience about the many ways what you have to offer could potentially apply to them. Assuming this is obvious is a common mistake. By presenting ideas to consider, you’re actively engaging your audience to do the same; it’s a non-invasive call to action. You don’t always have to completely break it down, which might easily be seen as excessive or pretentious depending on the subject matter. Rather, in order to keep the attention of those in your target audience, you need to find new and interesting ways to clarify or reinforce the possibilities related to your offerings and the value of those.
As you might suspect, Strictly Business has several ways to help you accomplish this both in print and online. One of those is our monthly Feature Stories. If you’ve read any of them, you’ve undoubtedly learned a few things from a wide variety of local professionals. Their willingness to offer their expertise to our readers is easily identified, and it’s inferred that you can expect the same if you call, email, or ask them personally. Many who have past experience doing business with them are well aware of that and have found them to be valuable resources all around. For others who don’t, if they ever find themselves in a position where they would need assistance from that type of professional, there’s comfort in knowing exactly who to contact when the time comes. The more approachable and helpful you are to others, even when it doesn’t appear to directly benefit you, the more likely people will be to gravitate to you when they need something.
With 4-5 different topics each month, we cover a lot of ground over the course of a year. This provides the opportunity to weigh in on topics directly related to a business, as well as to identify areas where you can get a little creative with your approach in applying your expertise. With a prominent representative of a business pictured alongside his/her quote in the story, and in proximity to a display ad, these elements all tie in together nicely for maximum impact.
If you want to be seen as an expert, positioning yourself as one is just as important as actually being one. Remember, your knowledge isn’t just something you apply to conducting business, it’s also something you can leverage to drive business.
To learn more about how Strictly Business can help you, contact me directly at (402) 466-3330 or visit StrictlyBusinessOmaha.com/connect. (You can also click on our Staff Letter tab online to view past articles)