We all take our expertise for granted. We think that because we know something, everyone else does, too.
When you think this way, you start to believe your brilliance really isn’t that brilliant, so you hide it. As Julia Roberts said in Pretty Woman, “Big Mistake! Huge!”
It’s a mistake because your customers and prospects are HUNGRY for information from people who *really* know what they’re talking about (that would be you).
When I had my VW Bug in college, I used to do my own tune-ups. In those days, I relied on this awesome book, How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive: A Manual for the Complete Idiot. (People in the know simply referred to it as the “Idiot’s Book.”)
What I loved about the Idiot’s Book is that John Muir, the author, would walk you through step-by-step procedures for keeping your VW running. Each procedure included his own hard-learned lessons, like this (I paraphrase): “Loosening that nut is a real mother that will make your knuckles bleed; once you’re done, take a break and go smoke a joint.”
And, he was right — that nut was hard to loosen. (I plead the Fifth on whether I followed ALL of his instructions. )
The point of this story is that he created a book, and a huge following, by simply sharing his personal expertise — expertise you couldn’t find in other repair manuals.
As a small business owner, freelancer or marketer, you can use this strategy to create interesting, original — and dare I say it — brilliant e-newsletter or blog content. And one way to do this is to pay attention to the “little” things you see on a day-to-day basis.
For example, just yesterday I needed to call the company that comes out and shreds my documents. I did a Google search for them to get their phone number (because I’ve been too lazy to add them to my address book) and noticed right away that the company’s phone number read this way:
Now, I know that using a vanity number like this makes it easier for people to remember (except I didn’t remember it, so there you go).
But, the problem with vanity numbers, when used on your Website, is that they don’t work on smart phones.
On a smart phone, if a phone number on the Website is configured correctly (i.e. as text versus a .jpg or vanity number), it appears as a clickable link. You simply touch it and the phone makes the call. It’s a very cool feature.
Because of this feature, I now make sure that every small business Website overhaul I manage includes a correctly configured phone number in the top right corner of every page so that it’s easy to find. I also make sure it works by personally testing it with my own iPhone.
Because I’m passionate about this, I’ve written about it, and I always mention it in interviews with journalists who interview me about Web marketing. (Just yesterday one said, “OMG! That’s brilliant!” Thank you, thank you very much — said in my best Elvis voice.)
So, begin paying attention to what you see, hear and read as it pertains to what you do for a living, and then incorporate your personal expertise into your blog posts and e-newsletters.
Once you do, your brilliance will shine and prospects will begin to call you to say, “I read your article. You obviously know what you’re talking about.” It’s those kinds of calls that ultimately lead to sales.