Contributor

Mark Richardson, CR, is an author, columnist, and business growth strategist. He authored the best-selling book, How Fit Is Your Business? as well as his latest book, Fit to Grow. He can be reached at mrichardson@mgrichardson.com or 301.275.0208.

Professional vs. Authority

Why you should become not just another remodeler but an “authority” in the field

January 17, 2018

As the authority in one area of remodeling, your influence will grow. 

I think it’s fair to say that the vast majority of remodeling company business owners refer to themselves as professionals. Most try to present themselves to homeowners as experts. While you may think of yourself this way, and potential clients may feel it as well, the real question is: How does your role as a professional differentiate your company from the hundreds of other remodelers in your market?

I sit on the board of a media and marketing company that specializes in promoting authors and marketing their services. Recently the company began to focus less on the books (the product) and more on how to position each author as the authority in his or her respective field. This direction has been a game changer for many of the writer clients. The company has not only grown
its publishing/marketing business but has also brought new success to its clients. 

With that concept in mind, you can begin to think about branding yourself not just as one more professional remodeler but as an authority in the field. What does this mean? 

As an authority:

– Your knowledge is highly valued.

– Your knowledge is available to many.

– You make few mistakes.

– You know how to clearly communicate complex information.

– You’re known as the leading expert in your community.

How to Position Yourself as the Authority

1] Pick a specialization. Select an area that interests and engages you. It may relate to a particular type of project-—say kitchens or roofing—or it could be a specific environmental condition, such as water issues or energy efficiency. 

2] Study the area. Invest the time and resources needed to become the expert. Read, study, and take classes and seminars. Make a commitment to stay current on all leading-edge trends and technologies, while constantly improving your knowledge base.

3] Get any relevant credentials and certifications. When you go to the doctor’s office, you always see his or her certifications and diplomas on the wall. They are there to communicate that this person is an authority in a specific area of medicine. And they are effective. When I select a medical professional, I always look for someone who is board certified. 

4] Put yourself out there. Write a blog, create a podcast, or get a story written about you as the authority in this specialty. If you invest time in the marketing and media element of this process, it will create an even greater return. 

5] Refer to yourself as the authority in the specialty. This could mean a simple elevator pitch, language on your website, or weaving the word “authority” into conversation.

Why Become an Authority

Normally, I begin my columns by explaining why a given topic is important, but in this case I want to use the “why” as a conclusion: A true authority is rare, and people will pay more for the privilege of working with him or her. The remodeling industry has thousands of experts but has very few authorities. Your team will rally behind you if you are seen as the authority in a particular area. Marketing and messaging can also become more targeted and clear if you can mention an area of specialization.

While you’ll need to be patient and invest in this process, with a bit of effort you can become the authority and reap the myriad rewards that it brings. 

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