Defining Your Expert Brand

In the past three articles, I’ve shared the process I’ve developed to become the “go-to” expert in your highly profitable marketplace. Let’s review:


1.                               Understand yourself and your offer.


2.                               Understand your market and what they want.


3.                               Match your expertise to your perfect market.


Now that you’ve identified what makes you special and gotten to know what your market is looking for, it’s time to start developing your Expert Brand.


When you have a strong Expert Brand, you will stand out from the competition. When people need your product or service, they will quickly see that you are exactly the expert they are looking for to give them what they want.


Your Expert Brand needs to answer the questions that a prospective customer will have in their mind about you. The nineteenth-century English poet, Rudyard Kipling, had a good way of identifying the key questions you need to ask. He wrote:


“I keep six honest serving-men (they taught me all I knew); their names are What and Why, and When and How, and Where and Who.”


If you can give good answers to these questions about your business, you have the building blocks of a strong Expert Brand.


Here is how we would rephrase the most important of Kipling’s questions for your brand:


Who are you?


This may be simply your name and an overview of your expertise.


What do you do?


This explains what you do for people—always in terms of the results people get when they work with you. Never talk about the process or job title.


How do you do it?


This is where you explain the process of working with people. For example, it may be that you set up an initial meeting or you may arrange weekly coaching sessions over six months.


Why should I buy from you?


This is very important. You need to give people specific reasons why you are the right person to meet their needs.


These are the key questions in defining your brand, but the other two questions can be important too.


Answering the question about “when” describes your availability. This is most important if you have some element of exclusivity, such as a waiting list for your services, or they are only available at fixed times, e.g., training courses.


The “where” question is about how people get in touch with you—it may be simply a website address, or an office, or it may be the types of places you advertise.


Let’s look at an example using a career coach:


Who are you?


I’m Joe Edwards, president of Better Careers Inc. I’m part of a team of 20 career-coaching experts based in San Francisco.


What do you do?


I help people who are stuck in a rut to get their ideal job within three months.


How do you do it?


I help them identify what they really want to do, and then I show them exactly what they need to do to get their dream job—I guide them through every step of the process.


Why should I buy from you?


We are the only firm that gives you guaranteed results within three months or your money back.


When do you do it?


We only work with 100 people at a time, and we have a waiting list of about six weeks, but we can schedule an initial consultation at any time.


Where can I find you?


Visit our website or call our office.


This process may seem simple and the explanations short. These are important questions, however, that help you clarify who your customers are and how you can help them. Most important, it helps you understand—and explain to your customers—why they should do business with you.


Getting the right answers to these questions can help you define a powerful Expert Brand. It’s important to note that these answers are designed to help you establish whether a potential customer is right for you as much as to persuade them to work with you. If they can relate to the way you are positioning what you do, there may be a great fit.


On the other hand, it helps you avoid wasting time with people who are not looking for what you are offering.


Being able to work with your ideal clients is not only more fun—it will also be more successful. People who are in tune with the way you work will get better results.


Tracy Myers, C.M.D., is an award-winning small business marketing and branding solutions specialist, best-selling author, speaker, car dealership owner, and entrepreneur. To contact Tracy email or visit his website at





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