TDW #20: Invisible Expert Warning Signs
Invisible Experts possess a high level of skill, but have a nagging sense they're undercharging.
They know their stuff. But no one knows them. They have the skills to pay the bills. But no one believes them. They can get the job done. But no one’s hiring them to do it.
The Invisible Expert becomes “visible” when they activate their skills with influence in order to gain authority and visibility.
Here are 7 warning signs you just might be an "Invisible Expert".
. . . .
1.) You possess a high level of skill.
Credentials, skills, qualifications, the three little letters beside your name–whatever. It’s all the same: an above-average level of knowledge in a specific area and/or niche.
This is the "expert" part of "invisible expert." Most biz owners have a tremendous amount of knowledge, wisdom, and skill built-up over the years.
It's a warning sign because it fosters the false belief that more skills = more clients.
There’s a ton of highly-qualified broke people.
Conversely, there’s also a massive amount of people who are making bank with a tenth of your skill.
2.) You have a nagging sense you're undercharging.
When you’re by yourself, and completely honest, you can’t help but wonder, “if I know all this stuff …why aren’t I making more money?”
No other way to say it.
There's a disconnect between what you’re able to charge clients and your skill level. They don't match up. This erodes confidence and forces you into a race to the bottom.
Another instance of the Invisible Expert falling victim to the false belief that more skills = more clients.
3.) You have a low conversion rate on your offer.
I always know I’m talking to an Invisible Expert when I meet a bright, educated, intelligent person who simply cannot sell their main offer. In fact, some can’t even give their offer away.
And speaking from previous experience, there’s no level of frustration quite like that of people rejecting your free offer.
If you want a benchmark, any conversion rate under 20% is below average. So if you talk to 10 people, at least 2 of them should sign up. If this isn't happening, it's likely because you're not perceived as an authority in your niche. And authority comes when your skills are activated by influence.
More authority = higher conversion rates = no more Invisible Expert.
4.) Referrals are your main (or only) lead source.
Referrals are great. But they're inconsistent. And it's really difficult to grow without consistent lead flow.
Here’s some good news: if you’re getting referrals it means you’re influential on a micro level. Which means you can do it.
But Invisible Experts never quite figure out how to take their micro-influence and apply it on a macro level. So they stay invisible.
5.) "Just add value" doesn't work.
The cliche statement of "just add value" with your content doesn't move the needle:
You've been adding value. Sometimes for years:
- You’re sending out content to your social media channels
- You’re creating content you believe to be valuable
- You’re emailing your list consistently
- You’re doing everything you can think of
And yet, you get zero in return. It's not a value problem. It's an authority problem (sound familiar?). Again, authority (aka visibility) are your skills activated by influence.
6.) People price-haggle with you.
When people walk into a high-end luxury jewelry store, they don’t barter with the salesperson on the price. No. That’s because the price is the price. You pay it and get what you want. Or you don’t.
The owner of the jewelry store isn’t fretting and wringing her hands wondering if someone else will buy the piece you passed on. The next person will. And they’ll pay full price (and sometimes more).
One of the biggest warning signs of an Invisible Expert is prospects thinking your prices are negotiable. It means they see you as a commodity. Not as an expert.
It can be tempting to jostle your price around to land a client. I’ve been there. I’ve even succumbed to the temptation on more than one occasion.
But what you win a client with is what you win a client to. Meaning, if you win a client with a discount they’ll perceive your skills at a discount. Discounts can be a powerful tool when used properly. But it should never be your main sales strategy.
7.) You lack authority in your niche.
Authority is a combination of Skills + Influence. Invisible Experts have skill, but no influence. Which means they're not seen as an authority.
Authority's a weird thing. It’s hard to define. But you know it when you see it (or not).
Has this ever happened to you? You might tweet out a totally unique thought like, “the sky is purple and clouds are made of cotton candy.” And instead of raucous applause for your totally unique thought, you get…crickets.
Fast forward to the following week. Someone else in your niche tweets out, “I was just thinking the other day…clouds are made out of cotton candy and the sky is purple.”
The internet explodes. The tweet goes viral. Your competitor gets put on the cover of Forbes and wins the Nobel Peace Prize.
You both said the exact same thing. Only, your competitor had authority and you didn’t. Same skills. Same words. Two totally different outcomes.
This is how authority works.
By keeping an eye out for these warning signs, an Invisible Expert can establish their authority and gain the visibility they need to attract the right clients and charge the prices they deserve.
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