Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Author, You’re The Expert: Who Do You Want To Be?

This may sound obvious, but it’s not. If you are to be seen as an expert on something, exactly how do you want to position yourself? 

Do you want to be for something, against something, or merely neutral? How far will you go to display energy, insight, and conviction on your topic? How much do you want to be seen as a personality or even a character? 

With good marketing and PR, you can’t afford to sit on the sidelines or be afraid to speak out on something related to your area of expertise. In fact, you have to risk alienating some people and turning a handful off. You can’t be gentle all the time. You want everyone to like you, but in the process they may merely not dislike you. See the difference? 

You have the burden of getting people to know who you are and to like and respect you enough to the point they will pay to listen to you – buy a book, attend a seminar, hire you as a consultant, pay a website membership fee, etc. To do this, you cannot err on the side of caution.

Now, it doesn’t mean you should be reckless or stretch too far away from your core personality, but it does mean that where you have choice or flexibility to be controversial or to at least come across with a unique, strong and definitive voice for ideas and opinions, you should do so. The shy, the timid, the quiet, the neutral, or the uncommitted do not get rewarded.

In essence, you need to develop your public persona or marketing personality. Perhaps at home or with colleagues you’re not outspoken but come across favorably. But when it comes to selling a book, communicating with the media, or seeking to lure clients, you need to be outspoken.

This is true with your sales pitches, your blog entries, your speeches and with any public forum for expression. You just need to determine how far you’ll go to speak about the extremes. Here’s a small example:

Let’s say your book is about losing weight: You can speak of things in a scientific, clinical, measured way. That’s fine, but it’s boring. You need to supplement the facts with colorful imagery, real-life experiences, and even outrageous hypothetical situations. You need to get people’s attention, not merely convey facts and figures. Get emotional, energized, and opinionated.

Sometimes as an expert, you take it for granted that people know what you’re talking about and how they can envision all of the practical outcomes that can take place based on following your advice. What you should do is assume most people know very little of what you speak about and take nothing for granted. Further, you must illustrate and demonstrate your key points and not leave it to chance that people will logically and properly see how to apply the information that you convey.

They need reminders of the problem and the potential outcomes that can occur when things go wrong. For instance, if you don’t gain control of your weight, you will most certainly expedite the process of getting sick and dying. You will cross a point of no return and make it even harder to get in shape. Upon seeing how low you’ve gone, you will continue to feed your loneliness, lack of self-esteem, and poor body image with more junk that will just result in premature heart disease, diabetes and chronic loneliness.

See, it’s not difficult to paint an ugly picture. Don’t assume people know why they should lose weight. Bring it home. Cover every reason why they need to lose weight and detail the most extreme scenario.

Then do the same in presenting a solution. Finally, create a vision for the future, one that borders on utopian perfection. People may fall far short of living the ideal, but they always want to think they have a chance to live it. 

Just look at how many people play the lottery. With odds well into the millions to one of winning the lottery, people still play it. Why? 

Because they can envision what they’d do with all of the money and because the entry level is a low buy-in: just pay a dollar and you are eligible to win. Nothing else is required. So, too should you paint the ideal picture of whatever you are an expert at, even if few would ever qualify to live it or have access to it. Sell the extremes, even if we live in the middle. Especially because we live in the middle.

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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2019. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America.

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