How to Compete and Win in the Expertise Economy

How to Compete, and Win, in the Expertise Economy

A visual representation of how and why winning marketing happens.

Have you considered that you’re competing in the expertise economy?

Most professionals and companies already do, they often don’t realize. And, not realizing can have a huge impact on how they approach marketing. As Seth Godin said in 2008, “Content marketing is the only marketing left.”

You have the expertise to solve the challenges that your ideal audience needs help with. You fill that gap, as illustrated below, by offering services or products that solve challenges for your audience. We call this the Expert Gap.

In simple terms, this should mean that prudent expers would employ “expertise marketing,” also known as the Influence Accelerator Approach. But in my 20+ years in marketing, expertise marketing has not been the accepted mindset nor has it been well executed when it is.

Over the years, many forms of “expertise marketing” have succeeded, failed, and evolved. 

As you can see below, marketing has evolved. Most of you have used many, if not all, of these tactics in your careers. Alone, these tactics have probably had vastly different degrees of success for each of you, which is largely a product of consistency of implementation (or lack thereof), efficacy of tactics employed, synergistic tactics, momentum created, and your ability to close the deal and generate revenue.

Two very important terms above are “synergy” and “momentum.” 

What’s critically important to the success of your marketing comes down to the coordination and consistent implementation of your marketing. Simply put, synergy plays an important, if not critical, role. 

Can you make 1 + 1 = 3? You can. There are many variations. These are a few.

Momentum is equally important, especially for advisors or firms who want high efficacy from their efforts. Momentum marketing has two sides: sunk or lasting. Does each marketing input and output result in a sunk cost or lasting momentum? And, how long will each marketing output last and produce?

Sunk marketing is a singular marketing tactic that, once completed, generates ongoing value that declines significantly or becomes nil. That doesn’t mean it’s a worthless tactic. Some forms of sunk marketing are the most powerful strategies that advisors have ever employed, such as seminar marketing.

Sunk marketing examples include:

  • Seminar marketing (moderately effective but its value typically dies once completed)
  • Digital or Print ads
  • Email blasts
  • Postcard mailers
  • Public relations (if it’s not done frequently or consistently)
  • Brand or value proposition (if it’s created but not executed)
  • Referral marketing (when you need to ask for referrals)

Sunk marketing tactics are the most common forms of marketing execution among experts. Most experts have good ideas that are not well integrated or executed. Many employ sunk marketing tactics that are individually executed. Few experts have coordinated strategies that create synergy. Which leads to…

Momentum marketing is when each marketing output creates lasting value and, when combined, compounds over time. 

Momentum marketing tactics create more value when they multiply. For example, 50 podcast episodes on your podcast channel are worth more than 10 episodes. You could say they’re worth at least five times the credibility, which has an important impact on your audience. The more expertise marketing you do, the greater each episode’s (i.e. piece of content’s) value. 

Momentum marketing examples include:

  • Authentic content creation
    • Vlogs
    • Blogs
    • Podcasts
    • Books
    • White papers
  • Social media (when done consistently)
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Website
  • Inspiring referrals (when you don’t need to ask for referrals)

The macro-strategy that I use for my Top Advisor Marketing clients is centered around synergy and momentum. There are many combinations that financial advisors can use, but don’t overlook the synergy and momentum your strategy generates. Synergy and momentum are two defining characteristics that drive great marketing for sustainable results over long periods of time. 

What’s really important to note is that the best sunk marketing tactics and the best momentum marketing tactics can make for an incredibly synergistic macro-strategy. For example, consider the impact of adding event based marketing such as a webinar into the mix. You’d have a virtual room full of fans, versus the traditional room full of skeptics. Combine the influence-nurturing power of podcasting and social media with the decision making power of an event-based tactic and you have a powerful short- and long-term strategy. 

Our firm has recently partnered with White Glove (webinars) to do just that — employ a synergy-rich, kick-ass marketing strategy that builds incredible momentum year after year by using webinars, podcasting, content multiplication and social media.

Expertise marketing, or Influence Accelerator marketing, as introduced and described above, are really just how we define “marketing” these days. 

If you own a successful business, you likely have a number of tactics in place but no real strategy. Consider adjusting your tactics by looking first for effective synergies and then cost-efficient synergies. 

Ask yourself:

  • What tactics best complement each other?
    • Which tactics (existing or new) will feed one another? For example:
      • Podcasting feeds social 
      • Podcasting becomes a nurturing tactic for seminar attendees 
      • Webinar attendees attract warm-hot prospects in the short term
  • What tactics best fit my ideal client’s needs and style?
  • What tactics can I be consistent with for 36+ months? 
  • What tactics best fit my business model? 
    • Do I need more staff/talent or should I outsource?
    • What tactics offer the best value for effectiveness?
  • What suits your marketing style? What should you leverage or avoid?

By answering these questions, you’re on your way to launching a synergistic, powerful marketing strategy that builds momentum and, most importantly, positions you as the indispensable expert to your ideal client.

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