A lot of people ask me: "Shahab! How can I become a thought leader, just like yourself?" They tell me: “You sit on the board of international coaching federation Toronto. You belong to the high-income earners group of CAPS (Canadian Association of Professional Speakers). You have audience around the world. You have shared the stage with big name speakers such as Brian Tracy, Jack Canfield, and Robert Kiyosaki, You have a thriving business as a thought leader. I want to be just like yourself. I want to be a speaker, coach, consultant, mentor, facilitator, author, and I want to monetize my expertise and impact other people's lives. How can I do that?”
Well, before I give you my methodology, let me tell you that being a thought leader, being a subject-matter expert, being a coach / consultant / speaker / author is one of the best businesses in the world because you're monetizing the knowledge and skill that you already have in your head and you have very little overhead. Sometimes it's just you working in the business, and when the business grows, you can manage on a very small team, so, you have freedom of time, freedom of place, freedom of choice, freedom of money, you can work wherever you want whenever you want with whoever you want and you earn really good money in comparison to other people, even Ph. D. holders who work in the corporate world.
So, how do you go about becoming a thought leader? So, I have my own 3 C's methodology that I've expounded on in my book "The How of Personal Branding" and I teach my clients and students about that. I have my own 3 C's methodology that I'm going to share with you right now:
1- The first C is Clarify. If you want to be a thought leader, first of all, you need to clarify what your unique promise of value is. So, it's all about being clear on: what do you do? Who do you serve? And how are you different? For example, you can't just say: “I'm a life coach! I'm a speaker!” You have to be clear! Who do you help and how do you help them? For example, you may say I'm an academic coach who helps high school students ace their exams, or you may say I'm a relationship coach who helps parents communicate well with their teenage children, or you may say I'm a marketing consultant who helps service businesses build their online funnels. You have to be clear about your value proposition.
2- Number TWO: You have to communicate it to the right audience. So, the second C is Communicate. And it's all about marketing using different marketing strategies to get your message out there. For example, if you work with service businesses you have to use the proper strategies and channels to reach them. Is it online marketing? Is it social media? Is it becoming a member of certain associations? Is it using influencers? Is it speaking at certain places? Or it could be a combination of all of them.
3- And number THREE is Close. The third C is Close and it's all about persuading that prospect who has shown interest in your product and service to become a paying customer or client.
So, when you communicate your unique promise of value to the right audience some of the people in your audience will raise their hands! They will say: “I like you! I like your product and service! I like to know more!” Then, it's time to close the deal! It's time to persuade that interest of prospect to see the value, the actual value that you bring to the table and eventually convert them into a paying customer and client and it's all about the psychology of sales, having an irresistible offer, doing the proper follow-up and so on and so forth.
So, again, to wrap up, If you want to become a thought leader it's not just about being a knowledgeable person. It’s not just about having the right expertise. It’s not just about having the relevant life story. Those are really important, but when you make sure that you have the right story, the right expertise, and the right knowledge, you have to also make sure to follow through these three steps:
1- Clarify your unique promise of value
2- Communicate it to the right audience
3- And close the deals using persuasion techniques
If you want to learn more about the three C's methodology I encourage you to take a copy of my book "The How of Personal Branding".
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