Letter from Lhasa, number 362. The Highly Paid Expert

Letter from Lhasa, number 362.The Highly Paid Expert

by Roberto Abraham Scaruffi

Allen, D.,The Highly Paid Expert. Turn Your Passion, Skills, and Talents Into a Lucrative Career by Becoming the Go-To Authority in Your Industry, Career Press, Pompton Plains, N.J., USA, 2014.

(Allen  2014).

Debbie Allen 

First, you have to define in what you really are an expert, a small and well defined niche, and you must be a real expert or anyway to build yourself as a real expert. The choice, the proposed ‘product’, needs to be consumer-oriented. It would be useless to propose something the consumers one can reach do not need.

The author calls this step the developing of your USP, your Unique Selling Proposition. You must be expert in something you have personally experienced. 

Done that, you simply have to act despite fear. And act for success. You need various tools as a dot-com website, a good brand, an effective logo.

One needs to progress, to build oneself, from the starting level to a recognised expert, what means, from a commercial point of view, to progress from the level where nearly any client cannot afford the service to a level where clients are anxious to pay high fees.

The author prospects a progression from novice, to skilled, to specialist, to authority, to highly paid expert. It actually is more a problem of how one be recognized than of what one really be.

One may be a real super-specialist since when one starts to offer oneself on this kind of market. On the other side, an ‘authority’ may simply be something capable to appear, be reputed and be paid as such. Finally, everything is build by interaction between sellers and buyers.     

You need to be. But you need also to appear, to seem what you are. An aspect of this is “shameless self-promotion”.    

One needs to target one’s own ideal client and market absolutely avoiding trying to be everything and targeting everyone.  

“Here are six steps to keep you on target in your business

“♦ Step 1: Always be marketing.[...]

“♦ Step 2: Get serious about your business.[...]

“♦ Step 3: Develop systems that save you time.[...]

“♦ Step 4: Get productive.[...]

“♦ Step 5: Stay focused on your goals.[...]

“♦ Step 6: Ask for help so you can stay on target.[...]”

(Allen  2014, p. 55/56).

From a marketing point of view, if somebody types your name or the name of your brand [think of your brand as your alias] in a search engine, it has to appear in the first positions or at least in the first page. 

Your website has to be consistent with the message you launch, to be focused and easily understandable without any technical complication or complexity. If you offer different services, create different websites. A real website of a real specialist, so progressing every day, is necessarily a work in progress, not something artificially created, or made to create, once forever. Your need constantly work on yourself, as well on your website so really reflecting you and your skills, specifically the skills you offer. Your professional website is not about yourself but about what you offer to your ideal client.  

Two-minute videos are powerful marketing devices. YouTube is a proper place for showing them.

Consulting and coaching are bordering fields although clearly different. While consulting provides advice, coaching helps the client to find the answer by him/herself and so creating his/her problem solving attitude. Coaching is more formative while consulting is more informative. 

“Four Steps to Building Your Consulting Business

“Step 1: Solve problems. Become a problem-solver for your clients.

“Step 2: Offer a promise. Create programs that can best serve your clients’ needs.

“Step 3: Show proof. Use testimonials and case studies that state your clients’ results.

“Step 4: Create a proposal. Set up your program and service offerings in detail.”

(Allen  2014, p. 91).

For solving other people problems, you need to be a problem solver:

“Five Steps to Improving Your

“Problem-Solving Skills

“♦ Step 1: Define each problem in detail before trying to solve it.Take time to understand the problem, understand the criteria for a good decision, and generate some good options.

“♦ Step 2: Offer one or two firmly suggested solutions.Offering too many suggestions will only confuse your client and allow him to become indecisive.

“♦ Step 3: Prioritize your client’s action steps to help avoid him or her feeling overwhelmed.If your client agrees to take action, ask him to relax and focus on moving forward.

“♦ Step 4: Implement a step-by-step plan of action.When you approach problems systematically, you cover the essentials each time—and your decisions are well-thought-out, well-planned, and well-executed.

“♦ Step 5: Look for more ways to improve upon the problem-solving idea to avoid future problems.Continue to perfect your problem-solving skills and use them for continuous improvement initiatives to serve your clients’ needs.”

(Allen  2014, p. 98).

“After identifying a potential problem, you need information:

“♦ What factors contribute to the problem?

“♦ Who is involved with it?

“♦ What solutions have been tried before?

“♦ What do others think about the problem?”

(Allen  2014, p. 99).

Create your online community. There are specific techniques for making that and in a fruitful way. Also if the author prefers traditional speeches and conferences, may be useful to sell high-end products online by teleseminars and webinars. The author gives her advice about that in chapter 18. 

Paid events, but also unpaid ones in exchange of something else as for instance selling your books and materials, publish speech, both tightly professional and motivational, are another way of selling your skills and making them fruitful. Of course, if you want to create dependence, for instance for selling you and your company as consultants, you have to show that you can solve the problems of the audience but without telling the whole story, because if they learn how to solve their problems by themselves, they will not hire you as a consultant. This is, of course, the point of view of the author.

If you are hired for teaching how to solve their problems about a specific field you are skilful in, you have of course to teach that, in my opinion. People have different learning attitudes relatively to a problem-solving attitude, so there is always people equally needing some additional professional help, consequently the assistance of a consultant. The point is eventually how to make the most people aware of that.

Company and managers having serious organizational problems are not aware of that. If they are instinctively aware, they refuse to rationalize their instinctive awareness. They frequently live as a personal defeat to ask for a consultant’s help and so they deny having serious problems while their company collapses or remains very far from its full potentialities.   

The author underlines that you are an expert and not a trainer, so you have to remain such and to sell you as an expert. Your public speaking and your presentation have this goal and they need to be built in this perspective. For the author, an expert needs to become a very good salesperson. A salesperson does not need to be aggressive. One only needs to well show the advantages of been hired as an expert for the help one can provide, so increasing the incomes of those needing one’s advice. Of course, professional help from an expert has to be very well remunerated.     

Don’t work for free and don’t ask for modest sums. Your clients would think your service be not valuable.

Since the most people are visual learners, one gains more from a visual presentation than from speaking. Your PowerPoint or Keynote presentation must be perfect from the point of view of selling.

Creating events, or participating to them at the starting of your consulting career, permits to sell one’s own services to qualified audiences. This is a key element for a profitable career as an expert.  

If one wants to earn real money, one needs to diversify one’s own revenue sources:

“5 Ways to Grow Multiple Streams of Income

“1. Manifest and multiply only your most ideal clients.[...]

“2. Develop joint venture affiliates who can sell your products.[...]

“3. Generate big-income days.[...]

“4. Create high-level coaching or consulting programs.[...]

“5. Develop a license or franchise business model with your expertise.[...]”

(Allen  2014, p. 138).

One of the basis of business is asking, asking with the belief and expectation to receive. “The power is in the asking and in the expectation that you will receive it.” (Allen  2014, p. 144).

The penultimate advice of the author is: “Become the authority by writing a book.” More is general, it is useful to write and publish. The author explains why she specifically suggests writing books as a further door-opening opportunity relatively to a highly paid expert business. 

The last advice is: “Develop a steady stream of referrals.”

Good luck and a lot of money!

Allen, D.,The Highly Paid Expert. Turn Your Passion, Skills, and Talents Into a Lucrative Career by Becoming the Go-To Authority in Your Industry, Career Press, Pompton Plains, N.J., USA, 2014. 

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Atualizado em: Qua 7 Jan 2015

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