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Traits of the Top 1%

By Jeff Beals

The thing that ultimately separates successful entrepreneurs and salespersons from the not-so-successful ones is the level of risk they are willing to take.

So says consultative selling expert Mark Hunter, who has been actively studying the traits of the top one percent of salespersons and entrepreneurs over the past 12 years. Widely known by his professional moniker, “The Sales Hunter,” he has compiled a list of these traits and uses them to help his clients do more business.

Of all the traits, risk-taking comes out on top.

“That doesn’t mean stupid risks,” Hunter says, “but calculated risks.  We have to be willing to step outside our boundaries.”

An entrepreneur’s or salesperson’s risk tolerance is especially important during economically challenging times. That’s when the low-hanging fruit has all been picked, forcing professionals to try new things and take chances.  Tough economic times bring more opportunities than ever before for those who are willing to take risks.

But risk-taking isn’t the only trait of the top one percent.  Some of the others include:

·         Niche-focused

·         Open-minded

·         People-centered

·         Passionate

·         Client-focused

·         Implementers

·         Innovators

·         Strong work ethic

·         Confident

·         Competent

·         Persistent

·         Resilient

·         Optimistic

·         Driven, results-oriented

If you look at the first two listed traits, “niche-focused” and “open-minded,” there appears to be a dichotomy.  In other words, how can a high-performing professional be niche-focused yet open-minded at the same time? 

Hunter admits that these two traits appear a bit paradoxical, but “niche-focused” implies that a salesperson or entrepreneur is incredibly driven toward one specific thing.  He or she has an amazing level of commitment to the mission and goals.

“Open-minded” refers to a high performer’s willingness to try new things, to see what else is out there.  As Hunter says, “I want to sniff, feel and discover.  I want to meet people and network.” Open-minded professionals study everything and translate what they learn back to their company.  Such people always have at least one close friend in a different industry.

There’s one trait you will definitely NOT find on the list: arrogance.  Over the years, Hunter has found that arrogance may put a person in the top one percent temporarily but won’t sustain them.  Those who are at the top, and stay at the top, truly understand the merits of being confident without coming across as cocky or self-serving.

Perhaps disappointing to many people, “servant-focused” is also not one of the universal traits.  Hunter sees it in some top performers but not all.  That may come as a surprise, because many leadership gurus have written extensively on the virtues of servant leadership.  Hunter suspects that some of the top one percent are so focused on and driven toward what they want to accomplish, they may not always view themselves or be seen by others as servants.

By the way, if you would like to contact Mark Hunter or learn about his services, go to TheSalesHunter.com.

You are welcome to forward this article (with author citation) to friends, colleagues, clients or anyone else who might benefit from it.

Jeff Beals delivers presentations to a wide variety of audiences nationwide. Presentations are adapted to fit your organization’s goals and can be keynote speeches (30 to 90 minutes) or workshops (two to four hours) covering the following topics: 

  1. “Self Marketing Power: Branding Yourself as a Business of One”
  2. “Tons of Room at the Top: the Attitude of Success”
  3. “National Signing Day: Sales, Marketing & Personal Branding Lessons from College Football”
These presentations are energetic, humorous and packed full of valuable information. To discuss booking a presentation, go to JeffBeals.com or call (402) 637-9300.

Set Aside Time ‘Off the Top’ for Learning

 By Jeff Beals

Days were growing longer, temperatures were warming, and the flowering trees of late April were in full bloom across the campus.  The spring semester was nearing its end, and even as a part-time faculty member, who only taught one course, the end of the school year always brought a sense of excitement.

For seven years, I taught juniors and seniors in the business college at my local university.  I used to get a kick out of the things students would say in our after-class discussions especially as the spring semester waned.

“I can’t wait for graduation,” said one burned-out senior, “so I never have to study again.”

I chuckled a little to myself when I heard that comment.  Not wanting to burst her bubble, I said nothing, allowing her to enjoy the excitement of her approaching graduation.  It wasn’t the right time to tell her that her education was actually just beginning.

In order to succeed nowadays, learning never ends.  You must be a lifelong learner.  High-achieving professionals are students until they die or are so incapacitated they are no longer capable of doing much of anything. 

Your continual learning is both formal and informal.  If you have a deficiency in your formal education, now is the time to correct it.  If you are no longer interested in pursuing degrees, you should still find yourself in a classroom periodically just to keep up with the fast-moving, über competitive economy in which you work.

Lifelong learning prepares you for unanticipated happenings.  We never know what business or career opportunity might come our way.  By learning all you possibly can now, you set yourself up for unforeseen opportunities and increase the likelihood that you will respond appropriately to those opportunities.

If you are an entrepreneur, lifelong learning allows you to continually hone your craft.  You will become better at operationalizing new innovations.  You will be a better manager, more innovative and more likely to be on the cutting edge.  You will learn more effective ways to sell your products and services.

Lifelong learning allows you to prepare for a polarized reality of today’s workplace.  On one hand, you need to have a specialty – something that you do very well that few others can.  On the other hand, you need to be a generalist – someone with a diversity of professional skills and experiences.  Shape your educational and intellectual pursuits in such a way as to pursue both of these seemingly dichotomous realities.

Regardless of your line of work, it is healthy to assume that all your competitors are vigorously trying to improve themselves.  You need to continue educating yourself just to keep up, let alone to get ahead.  Carve out time for your own self development. 

Continuing education is like investing.  Just as you should set aside investment money before you pay bills and spend on entertainment, you need to set aside time “off the top” for learning.  No matter how successful you are or may someday become, you can always go further if you make a commitment to never stop learning.

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You are welcome to forward this article (with author citation) to friends, colleagues, clients or anyone else who might benefit from it.

Jeff Beals delivers presentations to a wide variety of audiences nationwide. Presentations are adapted to fit your organization’s goals and can be keynote speeches (30 to 90 minutes) or workshops (two to four hours) covering the following topics: 

  1. “Self Marketing Power: Branding Yourself as a Business of One”
  2. “Tons of Room at the Top: the Attitude of Success”
  3. “National Signing Day: Sales, Marketing & Personal Branding Lessons from College Football”
These presentations are energetic, humorous and packed full of valuable information. To discuss booking a presentation, go to JeffBeals.com or call (402) 637-9300.

Who Protects Your Greatest Vulnerability?

 By Jeff Beals

Have you ever seen The Blind Side?  It’s an acclaimed movie based on a true story first described in a best-selling book by Michael Lewis.  It’s quite an inspiring story.  

The Blind Side introduces us to Michael Oher, one of 13 children born to a mother addicted to crack cocaine living in a Memphis housing project.  When the story begins, the teenage Oher doesn’t know his father, his birthday or even his true last name.  His reading and writing skills are almost non-existent.  A victim of utter neglect, he spends his days and nights unsupervised, wandering the crime-ridden, inner-city streets.

Through a twist of fate – or perhaps divine intervention – Oher finds himself enrolled in an upscale, suburban prep school where he meets an affluent family that eventually adopts him.  With this new love and support, he overcomes culture shock, catches up academically and discovers the game of football.

He not only discovers football, he turns out to be darned good at it, and receives a full-ride athletic scholarship to the University of Mississippi.  Today, Oher is a star offensive lineman for the National Football League’s Baltimore Ravens and consequently a very wealthy man.

While the compelling story behind The Blind Side is the amazing metamorphosis of a young man, there’s a second story line: the evolution of the game of football.  You see, there’s a reason why Oher is such a wealthy player today.  He plays a position that is critically important and perhaps the most difficult one for a coach to staff: left tackle.  There is a scarcity of truly great left-tackle talent.  That makes Oher unbelievably valuable to coaches and team owners.

Why is the left tackle so important?  Because he protects the quarterback’s blind side.  Most quarterbacks are right handed, so when they drop back to pass, they can’t see pass rushers coming from their left sides.  Given that, defensive coordinators usually line up their most ferocious athletes on the quarterback’s left side.

As the highest paid and typically most valuable player on the team, the quarterback must be protected at all costs.  But it’s not enough for a left tackle to be big and strong.  He must possess the rare combination of size, strength, speed, balance and agility.  In other words, a left tackle must be a huge guy with the agility of a little guy.  Very few human beings possess this priceless combination of abilities.  Michael Oher is one of them. 

As a quarterback, you need a world-class left tackle covering your blind side, your greatest vulnerability.  If you get blindsided too much, you not only lose the game, you might lose your career.

Just like a professional quarterback, you are incredibly valuable.  You are valuable to your company, your colleagues, your staff, your family, your friends, your community, and just as important, to yourself.  Like a quarterback, you have a blind side that must be protected at all costs. 

In today’s competitive, high-stakes economy, you can’t afford to be blindsided.  You need protection.  You need your own Michael Oher, so to speak.

So, who or what protects your blind side?

Your left tackle could be a trusted colleague, who keeps you informed, covers for you and stands with you when the going gets tough.  Perhaps you serve as his or her left tackle when that person is distressed.

Your left tackle could be a staff with which you have built great synergy or a boss with whom you have developed a symbiotic working relationship.

Actually, your left tackle does not necessarily have to be a person.  Your protector could be a carefully designed management system with checks and balances designed into it.  It could be a strategic plan with contingencies built in. 

Whatever or whoever you choose to be your left tackle, you need one. There’s no need to go through life paranoid, but take some time to develop your own left tackle.  When your blind side is protected, you have a foundation to stand upon.  You have the liberty and security necessary to take risks and chase your dreams.

You are welcome to forward this article (with author citation) to friends, colleagues, clients or anyone else who might benefit from it.

Jeff Beals delivers presentations to a wide variety of audiences nationwide. Presentations are adapted to fit your organization’s goals and can be keynote speeches (30 to 90 minutes) or workshops (two to four hours) covering the following topics: 

  1. “Self Marketing Power: Branding Yourself as a Business of One”
  2. “Tons of Room at the Top: the Attitude of Success”
  3. “National Signing Day: Sales, Marketing & Personal Branding Lessons from College Football”
These presentations are energetic, humorous and packed full of valuable information. To discuss booking a presentation, go to JeffBeals.com or call (402) 637-9300.

You Never Know Who Could Be Your Client Someday

By Jeff Beals

Back in the 19th Century, the Scottish philosopher Thomas Carlyle told us, “A great man shows his greatness by the way he treats little men.”

Aside from simply being the right thing to do, following Carlyle’s advice serves your best interest.

To get ahead in business and in life, you certainly must build relationships with the “right” people, but you have to be careful. If you become too obsessed with impressing the rich and powerful, you might miss out on the many other people who have wonderful things to offer you. After all, those who are tiny in their professions today can grow to become monsters in the future.

So, as Carlyle recommended, if you want be truly great, start by taking time for all the people around you even those who seemingly can do nothing for you.

The seemingly non-powerful people in your life may have great influence over powerful decision makers. Administrative assistants come to mind. Oftentimes, a salesperson could be so focused on impressing the decision maker in the corner office that he or she brushes past the administrative assistant with barely an acknowledgment. A job candidate could be so focused on impressing the hiring manager in an interview that he or she does the same thing. Both are big mistakes.

As any savvy professional knows, decision makers tend to be very dependent upon their administrative assistants as well as their direct professional reports. If a staff member feels disrespected by a prospective vendor, the staff member will probably sabotage the would-be vendor’s chances of getting the business.

As an outsider, you don’t know the hidden relationships that may exist between the powerful person you want to impress and the staff members surrounding him or her. Treat all people like gold, because your success depends on it.

Even when you’re not in “sales mode” or “job-seeking mode,” it’s worth your while to take a little time for everyone. You never know who could be your boss someday. You never know what person at your neighbor’s cocktail party could hook you up with your biggest client ever. Constantly build relationships now to sow the seeds of future opportunity. Any relationship has the potential to bear fruit if you simply tend to it.

Finally, when thinking about building relationships for your professional benefit, don’t forget the people right in your own backyard. Too many times we are tempted to focus solely on those who are far away from us, the hard-to-reach people who we dream of doing business with. In pursuing them, it’s easy to forget about the people already around you. They might know more and could be accomplishing more than you think.

*****

You are welcome to forward this article (with author citation) to friends, colleagues, clients or anyone else who might benefit from it.

Jeff Beals delivers presentations to a wide variety of audiences nationwide. Presentations are adapted to fit your organization’s goals and can be keynote speeches (30 to 90 minutes) or workshops (two to four hours) covering the following topics: 

  1. “Self Marketing Power: Branding Yourself as a Business of One”
  2. “Tons of Room at the Top: the Attitude of Success”
  3. “National Signing Day: What All Professionals Can Learn from College Football”
These presentations are energetic, humorous and packed full of valuable information. To discuss booking a presentation, go to JeffBeals.com or call (402) 637-9300.

Be Famous for Steady Achievement

By Jeff Beals

“A culture that fixates on celebrities is a culture that is cannibalizing itself. Embracing the base while rejecting the noble will produce more of one and less of the other.”

So said the venerable newspaper columnist Cal Thomas awhile back in one of his columns.

Thomas went on to quote a magazine article published in the early 1980s that lamented, “there are almost no famous people anymore; only celebrities. That’s because fame is too suggestive of steady achievement.” If that was a problem 30 years ago, it’s an epidemic now.

You may be surprised that I, as author of a book on self marketing, completely agree with Cal Thomas. I agree despite the fact that I advise professionals to become “a celebrity in your own sphere of interest.”

But I think of “celebrity in your own sphere of interest” the way Thomas defines fame – being known for an on-going series of respected achievements.

Living as a “celebrity in your own sphere of interest” requires the virtue of humility. After all, there is a fine line between good, healthy self marketing and egotistical boasting. Without question, you need to stand out in today’s ultra competitive marketplace. The key is to promote yourself while making it look like you’re not trying. Let people know what you’re doing without being obnoxious. Above all, make sure you have real accomplishments to promote.

Thomas wraps up his column by saying, “The list of celebrities whose lives turned into train wrecks is long and lengthening. Why would so many want to follow these people and their broken relationships, drug use and plastic surgeries, especially when we see where it leads for so many of them?”

Don’t be like THOSE celebrities.

Instead, be a “celebrity in your own sphere of interest” and make sure you are famous for something that provides economic, social or cultural value to society.

*****

You are welcome to forward this article (with author citation) to friends, colleagues, clients or anyone else who might benefit from it.

Jeff Beals delivers presentations to a wide variety of audiences nationwide. Presentations are adapted to fit your organization’s goals and can be keynote speeches (30 to 90 minutes) or workshops (two to four hours) covering the following topics: 

  1. “Self Marketing Power: Branding Yourself as a Business of One”
  2. “Tons of Room at the Top: the Attitude of Success”
  3. “National Signing Day: What All Professionals Can Learn from College Football”
These presentations are energetic, humorous and packed full of valuable information. To discuss booking a presentation, go to JeffBeals.com or call (402) 637-9300.

Could Someone Translate It into English?

Upon arriving at the office one morning, I opened my Microsoft Outlook and saw this email:

Hello Jeff. I am writing to find out who at your company would be responsible for evaluating suite-of-services solutions that expand your competitive advantage across the enterprise.

Huh?

“Suite-of-services solutions.” “Competitive advantage across the enterprise.” Could someone translate that into English for me?

If this salesperson’s goal was to promptly get his email deleted, he succeeded. I can’t think of any reason on Earth why a prospect would bother responding to such a message. Not only is it a red warning flag that a salesman is stalking you, the message is full of annoying junk language.

Sadly, junk language is not limited to email sales pitches. It’s seemingly everywhere in today’s business world.

I’m amazed at the drivel that too often comes from the mouths of professionals at networking events. Go to any cocktail party mixer, ask someone what they do, and you might get an answer that sounds something like this:

“I engage progressive, forward-thinking Fortune 500 companies that are seeking to shift their paradigm and adopt more of a global platform. I facilitate the development of strategic, integrated, highly actionable management solutions, which will boost their bottom line.”

Whatever.

When people talk like this, they’re trying to sound impressive. Unfortunately, when we use twenty-five-dollar words, industry jargon and the latest, in-style buzzwords, we end up sounding anything but impressive. Convoluted double-speak is often used to cover up the fact that the speaker really doesn’t know what he or she is talking about.

Plain English, carefully crafted and skillfully delivered, is far more impressive than the gobbledygook that too many people believe sounds “intellectual.”

*****

You are welcome to forward this article (with author citation) to friends, colleagues, clients or anyone else who might benefit from it.

Jeff Beals delivers presentations to a wide variety of audiences nationwide. Presentations are adapted to fit your organization’s goals and can be keynote speeches (30 to 90 minutes) or workshops (two to four hours) covering the following topics: 

  1. “Self Marketing Power: Branding Yourself as a Business of One”
  2. “Tons of Room at the Top: the Attitude of Success”
  3. “National Signing Day: What All Professionals Can Learn from College Football”
These presentations are energetic, humorous and packed full of valuable information. To discuss booking a presentation, go to JeffBeals.com or call (402) 637-9300.

It’s Time to Take the Initiative

By Jeff Beals

“Plough deep while sluggards sleep.” That advice comes from Benjamin Franklin, someone who knew what it took to succeed in life.

Successful people are always on the move. They get things done when they need to be done. Successful people are not afraid to keep working when less accomplished people are taking time off.

Attaining your definition of success requires you to take the initiative, to be a self-starter. Nobody else can do the heavy lifting required for you to reach the pinnacle of your existence. Sure, you need to delegate and engage the talents of others, but it’s up to you to actually make your goals happen.

Don’t wait for opportunities to present themselves to you. That’s too passive. It makes you dependent on other people and external conditions you can’t control. Instead, be assertive. Go out into the world and make your own opportunities. Create your own luck.

While the economy will someday boom again, recent economic happenings have fundamentally changed the business world forever. As we continue our recovery from the Great Recession, our work will grow more complicated, fast-paced and dependent upon ever-changing, cutting-edge ways of thinking.

In such an economic environment, there is no room for passivity or procrastination. That’s unfortunate, because most of us have a tendency to procrastinate. How ironic would it be if you put off taking the initiative? Don’t procrastinate. Take the initiative and set yourself up for long-term career and life success.

*****

You are welcome to forward this article (with author citation) to friends, colleagues, clients or anyone else who might benefit from it.

Jeff Beals delivers presentations to a wide variety of audiences nationwide. Presentations are adapted to fit your organization’s goals and can be keynote speeches (30 to 90 minutes) or workshops (two to four hours) covering the following topics: 

  1. “Self Marketing Power: Branding Yourself as a Business of One”
  2. “Tons of Room at the Top: the Attitude of Success”
  3. “National Signing Day: What All Professionals Can Learn from College Football”
These presentations are energetic, humorous and packed full of valuable information. To discuss booking a presentation, go to JeffBeals.com or call (402) 637-9300.

How to Harness the Media’s Awesome Power

By Jeff Beals

“Story Idea: 50% Off U.S. Real Estate; Expert Explains Bargains for Foreign Investors.”

“Let me know if you would like an advance copy and a chance to interview the author.”

“Does this sound like a story that would interest your listeners? If so, just hit “reply” to book an interview.”

These are the types of messages that inundate my email account every morning. Publicists representing experts, authors and consultants constantly implore me to schedule their clients on my radio show.

We book less than 10 percent of these guest experts, yet the persistent publicists keep pitching the same people over and over. Why? The publicists and their clients have so much at stake. They desperately need to win over radio hosts like me, because few things in the world are more effective in promoting a person than free news coverage, better known as “earned media.”

The media are powerful. For relatively small effort and cost, you can reach a mass audience. Therefore, whether marketing yourself or your company, it makes sense to harness the media’s power. To do that more effectively, consider the following tips:

1. Build relationships and establish rapport with journalists in your market area. Make sure they understand who you are and what interesting and newsworthy information you are qualified to provide.

2. Remember journalists are under pressure to fill space and time. Frequently pitch new material and offer to “localize” national or international stories that relate to your area of self marketing expertise. Look for excuses to be in the news.

3. Make journalists’ lives easier by providing them with hard-to-find, fascinating information that other media outlets have not yet reported.

4. Be quick in returning calls or emails from the media. If you delay, they may grow impatient and interview your competitor instead of you.

5. Be very forgiving. Unless a journalist makes a mistake that humiliates you or damages your competitive standing, let it go when you are unhappy with his or her reporting. The only thing you accomplish when you complain to journalists is to guarantee they will never call you again.

6. Keep in mind that journalists have egos. If you get an interview, one of your primary jobs is to make the interviewer look good.

7. Assume that nothing is “off the record” unless you have a close friendship with the journalist.

8. Avoid clichés and don’t use too much politically correct language.

9. Don’t ramble on with lengthy answers. I recently interviewed a business leader who just released a new book. Her answer to my first question lasted six minutes. That’s FOREVER in radio time.

10. Strike a balance – be professional but flash a little charisma.

Once you master these media relations tips, you’re well on your way to harnessing the media’s awesome power. That, in turn, will impress your clients and leave your competitors shaking their heads.

*****

You are welcome to forward this article (with author citation) to friends, colleagues, clients or anyone else who might benefit from it.

Jeff Beals delivers presentations to a wide variety of audiences nationwide. Presentations are adapted to fit your organization’s goals and can be keynote speeches (30 to 90 minutes) or workshops (two to four hours) covering the following topics: 

  1. “Self Marketing Power: Branding Yourself as a Business of One”
  2. “Tons of Room at the Top: the Attitude of Success”
  3. “National Signing Day: What All Professionals Can Learn from College Football”
These presentations are energetic, humorous and packed full of valuable information. To discuss booking a presentation, go to JeffBeals.com or call (402) 637-9300.

Your Personal Target Audience

by Jeff Beals

Seven billion is an overwhelmingly large number.

That’s the approximate number of people now living on planet Earth. The thought of marketing a product or service to all seven billion is a staggering thought, but fortunately, marketers focus on niches, narrow slices of the population. The trick is to identify the appropriate slice.

The same thing applies when marketing yourself, for you are a product. You are a brand.

In order to promote yourself effectively, you need to become a celebrity in your own “sphere of interest.” Every professional has a sphere of interest. It’s your own narrow slice of the population. You could also call it a “personal target audience.” It’s comprised of those people, who in any way, can help you reach your goals – clients, prospective clients, those who refer clients, someone who could hire you, someone who could get you on a coveted committee or board.

Among these people, you need to be famous. When someone in your personal target audience needs the services or products you provide, your name and face should pop into their minds. When someone is looking for people to invite to a special occasion, your name needs to be at the top of the list. You are a highly desired person in your community or industry when a large number of people in your personal target audience have heard of you.

But before you can become a celebrity, you need to determine who is in your personal target audience. This is determined by your career, life mission, goals and personality.

Once you know who is in your personal target audience, manage it carefully. Just like a company managing its prospective clients, you as an individual must diligently manage your personal target audience and lavish attention upon it. The people in your personal target audience are precious, critical to your success.

If you tend to your personal target audience, it will yield positive results and help you achieve greater personal and professional success.

Now that we have established this, it’s time to think about your personal target audience. What types of people need to know about you? Where are they? How do you reach them?

There may be billions of people in today’s loud and crowded marketplace, but it’s liberating to know that you can become famous enough by chasing only a minuscule percentage of them. In order to get your message to connect with the right niche, think about what you do and who is in your personal target audience. 

*****

You are welcome to forward this article (with author citation) to friends, colleagues, clients or anyone else who might benefit from it.

Jeff Beals delivers presentations to a wide variety of audiences nationwide. Presentations are adapted to fit your organization’s goals and can be keynote speeches (30 to 90 minutes) or workshops (two to four hours) covering the following topics: 
  1. “Self Marketing Power: Branding Yourself as a Business of One”
  2. “Tons of Room at the Top: the Attitude of Success”
  3. “National Signing Day: What All Professionals Can Learn from College Football”
These presentations are energetic, humorous and packed full of valuable information. To discuss booking a presentation, go to JeffBeals.com or call (402) 637-9300.

Focus on the Most Fascinating Thing

By Jeff Beals

What’s your area of self marketing expertise?

Not sure what that means? Well, you have one, but it’s possible you haven’t isolated and cultivated it yet.

Before defining “area of self marketing expertise,” allow me share how I unwittingly stumbled into one years ago at a cocktail party.

“You’re in real estate; you’ll know,” my friend said with an inquisitive look on his face. “What company is moving into that big office building under construction along the freeway?”

This was a problematic question for me, because I hadn’t even noticed the office building under construction along the freeway.

It was 2001, and I had just left a position in college administration for a brand-new career in commercial real estate. After two weeks on the job, I went to a party where three separate people asked me questions about office buildings, retailers and condominium construction. I must have sounded pretty stupid, because I had trouble answering all of them.

I had spent my first two weeks on the job diligently learning about the legal, technical and even mathematical aspects of real estate. But at the party, nobody wanted to know the boring stuff. They wanted to talk about the sexy, glamorous side of the industry.

Something suddenly became quite clear: It wasn’t enough to become technically proficient in my new trade. I had to become an expert on those things related to commercial real estate that were most fascinating to people outside the profession.

I made a commitment to become an expert on the most interesting aspects. I studied the local marketplace. I read every magazine, newspaper and website I could find that related to construction, real estate, business expansion and economic development. I became the “Cliff Clavin” of growth and development in my town.

Armed with a collection of eyebrow-raising stats and trivia, I had something to talk about at social gatherings. Better yet, I had material to pitch to the local media, allowing me to become a go-to source. Community groups booked me as a luncheon speaker, and I even started an economic development radio talk show. All of this public exposure was good for business.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but I accidentally discovered an “area of self marketing expertise.” Everyone is hopefully an expert in his or her profession, but an area of self marketing expertise is quite different. It consists of the most fascinating aspects of your job, company or industry.

So, what’s your area of self marketing expertise?

If you’re not sure, sit down with a few friends and explain what you do. Ask them what they find most interesting. Take notes.

Once you have decided on your area of self marketing expertise, think about how you will communicate it in an intriguing way. When that’s mastered, it’s time to put your area of self marketing expertise to work for you. Use it at networking events, in newsletter articles, in public speaking, when dealing with the press and in your social media postings.

Professionals who have well defined and carefully crafted areas of self marketing expertise will ultimately be more successful, because they never run out of interesting things to talk about. An area of self marketing expertise becomes a magnet, attracting people to you.

When people are dazzled by what you have to say, they’ll be more than happy to hire you when they need help with the more technical and “boring” aspects of your profession.

*****

You are welcome to forward this article (with author citation) to friends, colleagues, clients or anyone else who might benefit from it.

Jeff Beals delivers presentations to a wide variety of audiences nationwide. Presentations are adapted to fit your organization’s goals and can be keynote speeches (30 to 90 minutes) or workshops (two to four hours) covering the following topics: 
  1. “Self Marketing Power: Branding Yourself as a Business of One”
  2. “Tons of Room at the Top: the Attitude of Success”
  3. “National Signing Day: What All Professionals Can Learn from College Football”
These presentations are energetic, humorous and packed full of valuable information. To discuss booking a presentation, go to JeffBeals.com or call (402) 637-9300.