3 Essential Elements to Successful Positioning
You may have heard it said that you need to “position yourself” as an expert, as the go-to person, as a guru, as whatever it is that you’re aiming to be viewed as.
Why is this even important?
Well, without positioning, you’re essentially nowhere. You’re not focusing your efforts on a singular purpose and you’re essentially just drifting around, kind of hoping that things somehow work out for you.
Whereas, the person who is focused on their positioning knows exactly where they want to be, how they want to be perceived, what it is that they are offering and, well, basically just the whole point of what it is they’re doing.
Now, here’s where I think an important distinction is made:
Are you ‘positioning yourself’ or are others doing it for you?
I believe that a bit of both is necessary, although it’s other people who are vitally important and it is they who will, ultimately, determine just how you are viewed.
So then, how do you actually do this?
One thing I would guard against is faking it. Some may teach that it’s okay to “fake it ’til you make it“.
That’s why it’s important to not be focused soley on positioning yourself. At the end of the day, you can position yourself however you so choose, but it’s the positioning that others do that’s the key.
So here are three elements that I believe are essential for successful positioning:
1) Have the Knowledge
I’m sure you’ll agree that, in order to do this properly and effectively, you need to have some knowledge about whatever it is that you are providing.
You don’t have to be the world’s foremost expert on whatever the subject is, but you do need to know at least something about it!
The quantity of what you know doesn’t matter, rather it’s all about the quality. If you have knowledge about something and can deliver what you know in a helpful, valuable way, then you can appear as an expert to others.
One excellent ‘ninja’ tip is to study experts in your niche. Buy their stuff if necessary. But study what they know, how they present it and take note of any weaknesses you spot. Perhaps you’re better than they are at a particular thing. If so, leverage it!
If you can be better than a given expert in a particular way, then you have the edge over them in that thing and can become noticed for it.
2) Be Visible
You need to get out there and make yourself visible. This can be done in a variety of ways: writing articles and submitting them to directories, writing consistent blog posts and sharing them, commenting on other people’s blogs, creating products, creating videos, etc. Whichever way, you need to get out there and be prolific.
The important thing to remember is that people pay attention to what you do rather than simply what you say. For example, let’s say that I have many years experience in a particular area and know a lot about the subject. I could tell you all about the subject and yes, you’d likely be able to tell that I know my stuff.
But Joe Bloggs has published a book about the same subject. He only has six months’ experience. But how do you think he will be perceived by others? Do you think the fact that he has written and published a book will take him up a few notches in people’s view?
I remember John Chow once talking about giving away books at events. Usually people give away their business cards, but if you turn up and give away copies of your book rather than business cards, who do you think it is who will get noticed and be remembered?
Just think about it for a moment. If you are seen rubbing shoulders with top, successful bloggers then you are going to get noticed and people’s perception of you will go up.
Likewise, if you are known to have your own products, books, etc out there then you will automatically be perceived as an authority.
Of course, you may not actually have much experience, especially in comparison to others in your niche who teach or provide the same type of thing. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t be viewed as just as much an authority as those people. Our next element will cover what you can do to give you a bit more of an edge if you are relatively new or inexperienced.
3) Appear to Be an Expert
Now this is one you need to be careful with. As I said earlier, you mustn’t fake it. So, when I say “appear” to be an expert I am not suggesting for one moment that you pretend to be something you’re not.
What you do need to do, though, is make sure that you recognise your strengths. If you know about something or can do something well then there is absolutely nothing wrong in saying so and doing so authoritatively.
I always remember my guitar teacher telling me: “There’s absolutely no room for false modesty in music”. He didn’t mean that you should be big-headed. He simply meant that if you can do something then you need to recognise the fact and not pretend otherwise, perhaps putting yourself down. There’s no point in being able to do it if you’re not going to actually do it!
So you need to make sure that you don’t sabotage yourself. Make sure that you speak in an authoritative tone, be confident. Again, it comes back to the fact that people believe what you do rather than simply what you say.
You’ve likely heard the saying, “Actions speak louder than words”. Well, make sure that this holds true in your case. You can say something, but if you don’t do so with confidence, authority and self-belief then other people aren’t very likely to view you that way either.
The above three points are by no means an exhaustive coverage of the subject of positioning. There are probably whole books and courses out there that are dedicated to this subject alone. But hopefully you’ve been able to take away a few valuable points that may help you in positioning yourself and, in turn, improving the way others view you.
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