Are your own insecurities stopping you from creating the business you want?
If so, it’s time to look at ways you are holding yourself back.
Your Authority and Impostor Syndrome
The #1reason people don’t step into their earned authority is that they feel like an impostor. The problem with this attitude is that the more you skirt around the idea of claiming authority, the more challenging it is to create a stable business. And, as a result of this instability, there is a tendency to feel even more like an impostor.
I’m not advocating that you pretend to be something you aren’t or to have qualification that you haven’t earned, but I am suggesting that you need to step into the authority that you genuinely have. Many people who suffer from ‘impostor syndrome’ are actually authorities, but they’re too scared to claim their position.
While it’s important to step back and take inventory of your skills and expertise so that you can assess your authority positioning and claim with confidence the authority you’ve earned. t’s also important to recognise that you are going to have more experience, wisdom, and expertise than some of your competitors, and there will be other people with less. Don’t ever sit back and watch people overtake you while saying to yourself, “I know I deliver better results than that person,” as so many people do. If that’s what you are saying about others, then it’s time to step up and claim your position and reap the benefits in your business.
Breaking the Cycles
There are two cycles in play here:
- The Authority <-> Impostor Syndrome Cycle (Your Inner Game): You are aware of how much more there is to learn and all that you don’t yet know, but others simply admire your skills and want to learn from you… or they would if they had the chance. Most of the time, if you feel that you aren’t good enough, it’s a clear sign that you really are.
- The Authority <-> Business Stability Cycle (Your Competitive Game): When you are seen as the authority in your field it’s easier to charge profitable prices and to keep your pipeline full so you avoid the feast and famine rollercoaster. On the other hand, if you are “just another… [your profession]” then your prospects tend to be more price sensitive and also more reluctant to work on your terms.
When you win both of these games you’ll find it easy to attract your ideal prospects, easy to charge profitable prices, and easy to predict your income months in advance.
Winning the Inner Game and Breaking Free from Impostor Syndrome
It’s easy to let yourself be intimidated by others who seem to claim authority effortlessly and not even ask yourself how much more they really do offer than you can. This is partly a question of personality and upbringing so it’s important to approach the issue objectively.
You don’t want to brag and boast about experience and qualifications you don’t have, but at the same time you don’t want to allow others to overshadow you. If you let your abilities be diminished unnecessarily, you are also depriving potential clients of the benefits of working with you.
The best way to approach this is to:
- Recognise where you have expertise and how you can best help others;
- Analyse your skills, experience, and interest and define your ideal clients;
- Make a list of the things you excel at and things that people ask for your help with (be specific because the ROI is in the details);
- Assess your competitors and determine in which of their specialities you can outperform them;
- Ask yourself these questions: How confident am I that I excel in area X on a scale of 1-10? What would it take to move my confidence to 10 in this area?
- Then, once your confidence is at 10, develop a systematic plan for promoting your authority in each of these areas.
Winning the Competitive Game and Achieving Stability and Growth through Authority
Here’s where the systematic plan from the previous section comes into play.
One of my clients who works in the medical and health space found that there were two big benefits from establishing his authority. His original intention was simply to free up his reception staff from answering repetitive questions about his prices, the specific materials he used in his procedures, and the availability of appointments. Each call could take 3-10 minutes, and at the end of it the person would frequently hang up without making an appointment. The receptionist was busy and often rushed between talking to patients in the clinic and answering the phone. As a direct result of changes to the website and the level of information provided there, her role changed dramatically. These days, prospects rarely call to ask detailed questions, and when they do, she refers them to the website and explains that everything is fully answered there. Her phone calls now sound more like: “Good morning. I’d like to make an appointment with Mr. X for Y procedure. When is the next available appointment?” If the procedure is an expensive one they may go on to talk about payment plans (which are also outlined on the website). On average, she now spends 3-5 minutes on the phone and ends up with a confirmed appointment from an enthusiastic patient.
Once the website was upgraded with more details about the procedures and free reports for download, his monthly print newsletter was established as well as a regular email schedule that focused on matters of interest to his patients, we worked on an authority book. In Australia, there are very strict regulations concerning advertising in the medical field, so a book was a very high priority. This brought about a welcome, but unanticipated result: as the author of a heavily promoted book he was invited to speak at seminars which raised his profile in both the medical and general community and quickly filled his appointments to overflowing.
His schedule is filled through referrals from GPs and other medical professionals, friends of patients who request referrals to his practice, and advertisements promoting his book. His cost of attracting patients has dropped, his average annual patient value has risen, and he’s being invited to speak at international conferences and other events so he’s winning on every front.
So… What does it Take to Become an Authority?
It’s not rocket science, but it does take commitment and investment either from you, your staff, or an external authority.
You do need to commit to ensuring that your website reflects the value you offer and create reports etc to entice prospects to provide their name and email. Once people have signed up, you need to stay in contact with them via email and print newsletter… both of which, when they are appropriately interesting, informative, and frequent are proven tools to increase Lifetime Customer Value (LCV) and referral income.
The ultimate tool for establishing authority, especially in regulated industries like medical and financial, is a book. This can be promoted widely and inexpensively both online and off-line and is a fantastic vehicle for expanding your authority and the associated opportunities.
Interested in Learning More?
Every month in Melbourne, a group of entrepreneurial business owners meet on a Tuesday evening in Box Hill for a Melbourne Entrepreneurs’ Mastermind Group. This is an opportunity to network with like-minded people, wrestle with the real issues around growing an independent, profitable business and filling your sales pipeline to overflowing so you never have to worry about cash flow again
To learn more and sign up for notifications visit https://memg.com.au
NB: This is not a sales or referral meeting. It’s designed for discovery, encouragement, and challenge on how to market your business so that your ideal prospects chase you down. You can visit once free of charge to see if it’s for you.
If you like what you see you’ll be invited to pay an annual membership fee of $600 to join us each month. This is designed to cover the cost of the meeting and any remaining funds will be donated at the end of the year.