Going The Extra Mile For Growth Now That The Era Of The Expert Is Over
The lines are closed, the votes have been counted and verified, and it seems as though the so-called ‘era of the expert’ is over. In this age of online connectivity and closer business-client relationships, people simply don’t want a top-end expert who tells them what to do and how to feel in a language that forever seems out of reach.
While this behaviour might once have impressed, or even left clients so awestruck that they jumped headfirst into sales, we as consumers now have more authority, and a whole lot more understanding that, more often than not, out of reach doesn’t necessarily mean best.
Rather, as we all seek to work with and buy from companies that keep us in the loop, the elusive ‘expert’ is often finding themselves out of favour. And, as a new business on the block, this is a fact that you can definitely use to your advantage.
After all, gaining authority early on is your best chance at cementing a top spot in your industry, and doing precisely that is now easier than ever if you embrace the ending expert era in the following ways.
Always choose layman’s terms over business language
Ever read a company statement filled with industry acronyms, complex terms, and references that only the inner-circle will ever understand? Once upon a time, this was precisely how companies proved that they knew what they were talking about, and oddly, clients took the bait.
Now, though, people aren’t quite so willing to put up with this ‘look how impressive I am’ stance without question. Rather, the broadening of the online market and the power that’s put back into consumer’s hands has highlighted the need for companies that say it clearly, rather than dressing themselves up in wolf’s clothing.
As such, laying out your services and the benefits those can offer in layman’s terms is fundamental whether you’re seeking B2B or B2C sales. So, ditch the acronyms, stop name dropping those other (now outdated) experts, and start explaining your value in ways that even brand new consumers can understand, and appreciate.
Provide free content that offers value for all
When experts reigned supreme, it wasn’t unusual for them to offer content or industry advice that you had to either pay for or subscribe to view. Undeniably, there’s still plenty of this around, but with more content online than ever, what do you do when you see a ‘subscribe to view’ prompt?
Well, if you’re anything like most, you click off and find something else that you can read without worry. New businesses need to take note of this considering how much of an impact accessible content can have on modern-day success and overall industry authority. Specifically, informative content that you make widely available can spell great news for organic traffic. As can be seen from this guide on how to get backlinks, accessibility also boosts shareability, drastically increasing your authority in the eyes of both Google and the trusted followers of the sharer in question. By comparison, paid content will never get the shares, or the attention, that it needs to stand above right now, now matter how ‘expertly written’ it claims to be.
Differentiate to beat commoditisation
Commoditisation happens when industry standards get so high that customers start looking at cost over services. For experts, standing apart despite this trend is becoming increasingly difficult when working with extortionately priced products that come alongside difficult-to-understand value claims. In large part, keeping your language simple as discussed and ensuring that your pricing is reasonable can thus already help you in this respect.
But, bringing business back to a level can take things even further when commoditisation threatens to lose your custom. After all, as can be seen from companies like Apple on the smartphone circuit (which is perhaps the ripest example of commoditisation to date,) differentiation is possible if you work to make it happen. In this instance, that means not leaving your customers out of the loop (like all those experts,) but instead working to make your services accessible, understandable, and integrated.
As well as potentially helping you to improve the value of your offerings and thus stay on a par with commoditised standards, this communication effort could even help you to charge more (much like Apple,) without risking sudden losses when your customers wonder what exactly it is that they’re paying you for. And, all it takes is a step away from the mysterious ‘expert’ persona so that you can put provable value at your forefront instead.
Befriend your so-called competitors
If you’ve taken our advice so far, you should have a pretty firm, and already-authoritative, foot in the door. At this stage, many ‘experts’ have previously made the mistake of working in a silo, leaving them entirely unable to comprehend what their competitors are planning, and what they can do to continue putting their products at the forefront.
But, now that experts are a thing of the past, it’s actually possible to befriend your competitors by following their newsletters, keeping an eye on their social presence (or even following them if you dare,) and generally checking in on their websites.
Remember, you’re aiming to be friends here, so you definitely don’t want to launch outright copies of their efforts. But, by understanding what they’re doing, you can both keep better informed about your industry on the whole, and ensure that you’re offering products that continue to differentiate what you do from the services on offer elsewhere to ensure future proof solutions that you can trust.
And, all it takes is a realisation that you’re not an island expert, and that sometimes, business in a silo doesn’t serve your needs.
A final word
Given that it was here for so long, the era of the expert might be a hard thing to shake, but trust us when we say that it’s worth stepping away from the expertise mistake the moment you enter a market. Instead, focus on providing what clients want, which is an accessible, down-to-earth, and progressive business partnership.