Over on Homegain’s blog, his new home, Joe Ferrara has a set of excellent advice for real estate agents:
As in any profession, you get pigeon-holed, often unflatteringly and marketing yourself becomes an uphill battle to overcome a stereotype.
There’s a better way. Elevate yourself to “expert” in your field. It does not matter how small your specialty because as an expert you will automatically stand out from the crowd of other like professionals.
People feel more comfortable dealing with someone who they know is a specialist. They will seek out experts. Just make yourself known as one.
Then he goes on to discuss five ways you can be an expert. Contributing to newspapers, holding a seminar, etc. It’s really good stuff. Go check it out.
I have one thing to add to his list:
6. Actually, you know, BE an Expert.
Joe addresses this right at the beginning, but then kinda glosses over it.
You are a professional. You possess specialized knowledge. You may have devoted yourself to extensive education. You may have several decades of experience. But when you introduce yourself or hand out a business card you’re just one of the crowd of that profession.
The implication is that anyone can become an expert by following Joe’s Five Step Program to Guruness. That ain’t the case. The precondition of using Joe’s Five Step Program is the highlighted part above. If you are not a professional, if you possess no specialized knowledge, if your idea of extensive education is attending NAR conference once a year, then no matter how many years of experience you’ve got, do not hold forth as an expert. If you think you know everything, do not hold forth as an expert — seems to me that more I learn, more I know about something, more I realize that I really don’t know jack. This is not to say that I don’t know more than this guy, or that guy, or even the vast majority of humans on the planet. Just that I realize there’s so much more I need to know.
I’m sure Joe would agree with me, but I wanted to make sure that message resonated.