This is the third of the five-part series to help experts craft a successful marketing plan with ways of creating measurable goals and accountability.
Part one was creating the mission and vision, part two was competitor analysis and now it is time to turn the uncomfortable spotlight around and analyze yourself. This is the time to be honest – sometimes painfully honest and look at yourself.
Get the competitor analysis spreadsheet open and put yourself in the row. You are going to analyze yourself in every category that you set up for your competition. This is not the time to gloss over your own weaknesses or strengths but a time to be very honest with yourself. What do you bring to the marketplace and where are you in terms of strength and weaknesses? Here is the hard part – cover up the competition, and pretend you are the only one in the market.
Look at the following in this exercise:
• Your Strengths as an expert
• Your weaknesses as an expert
• What search engine keywords would you use if you were looking for yourself?
• What does your social media presence and website look like from the outside? Is it professional? Is it clear right away what your area of expertise is? is it agnostic (i.e. can people guess your religion, your political viewpoints and your biases from your social media and website)?
• Who are your target clients?
• How much of a market share in the current environment do you own and how much more do you want?
• What is your unique value-added proposition for your expertise? Do you have specific experience or training that makes you attractive?
• What associations are you active in?
• What conferences have you spoken at?
• What publications have you written for?
• Where do you advertise? If you have advertised – what has been the most effective in the past year?
Now that you have done this for yourself, I want you to have three to four other people do this same exercise in terms of looking at you and your company. Start with your business partners or co-workers first, then move to clients. A long-time client has good insight into your company and the competition. Ask another expert who you work with closely in a parallel industry to help you with this analysis and you can do the same for them. You need more perspectives on your various comparison points. If you can – have someone else facilitate the discussion so that the other people can be frank and open without worrying about hurting your feelings. You want the truth, even if it is painful because the truth will make your expert witness practice stronger. Have the outside facilitator compile this data into the same spreadsheet.
Once all the data has been gathered, then you can start the analysis. Highlight your strengths in blue and your weaknesses in red. Highlight your competitors’ strengths in blue and their weaknesses in red. You might see a pattern or potential areas of improvement or areas of expertise you didn’t think of. You will definitely see opportunities – those are the areas that you are going to concentrate on as well as fixing your own weak areas. Dust off your ego and move forward. None of us are completely strong in all areas or weak in all areas.