Why Visible Experts are Transforming Firms Reviewed by Momizat on . And How to Become One We all know their names. They’re the industry stars that headline conferences and write the definitive books in their fields. Sometimes th And How to Become One We all know their names. They’re the industry stars that headline conferences and write the definitive books in their fields. Sometimes th Rating: 0
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Why Visible Experts are Transforming Firms

And How to Become One

We all know their names. They’re the industry stars that headline conferences and write the definitive books in their fields. Sometimes their names are known beyond their industries and they bring acclaim to their firms. We call these individuals Visible ExpertsSM, and it has become increasingly evident that they are changing the way professional services are purchased and understood. So what benefit, if any, does a firm derive from giving Visible Experts? In this article, Hinge Marketing’s Dr. Frederiksen reveals the findings.

We all know their names.  They’re the industry stars that headline conferences and write the definitive books in their fields.  Sometimes their names are known beyond their industries and they bring acclaim to their firms.  We call these individuals Visible ExpertsSM, and it has become increasingly evident that they are changing the way professional services are purchased and understood.

 

The Hinge Research Institute wanted to understand the Visible Expert phenomenon more clearly.  In a wide-ranging study of 1,028 buyers and 130 Visible Experts themselves, we set out to examine who exactly these experts are, how they achieve their high-visibility status, and what benefits their profile confers.  In the end, our research revealed more than we expected; highlighting a proven and replicable path to high-visibility for professional services experts.

 

The Visible Expert Defined 

In short, a Visible Expert is an individual known in the marketplace for their expertise.  On a fundamental level, their specialized expertise is what they are selling.

 

Of course, different professionals have different levels of visibility.  We have identified five levels of Visible Experts: at Level 1, a professional is known primarily among their colleagues; at Level 5, their name is known outside of their industry—think Warren Buffet or Bill Gates.

 

NACVA member Chris Mercer is a great example of a Visible Expert—he has made a name for himself as a specialized expert in valuations for mergers, acquisitions, and IPOs.

 

Our research shows that even at lower levels, Visible Experts make a powerful impact on the bottom line for their firms.  Strikingly, buyers are willing to pay premium rates to engage the services of a Visible Expert.

 

Figure 1.  Hourly Rates Firms Will Pay for Visible Experts

visible-expert1

 

Visible Experts can help their firms become more visible and more credible while helping to attract more leads.  They accomplish this in part through the “Halo Effect,” a natural tendency among buyers to associate their positive perception of an individual with the whole of their organization.

 

Better yet, the Halo Effect works both ways.  As a firm’s status rises (and as more Visible Experts emerge within the organization) the firm’s reputation can bolster that of the individual.  It is possible to create a reputational positive feedback loop, through which firms and their experts help one another reach ever-higher levels of visibility.

 

How Experts Become Visible

 

So how can a firm’s experts achieve high visibility?  First of all, it’s not something just anyone can do.  You must have specialized expertise in the first place.  Next, you’ll need to develop a Visible Expert strategy and marketing plan to share your expertise with the marketplace.

 

Our research shows that certain marketing techniques are more effective than others for building expert visibility.  Top methods include:

 

  • Niche specialization.
    Choose a specific area of your expertise to master.
  • Sharing educational content through diverse platforms.
    Publish content that demonstrates your expertise through a blog, online video, social media, and other sources.
  • Develop a detailed marketing plan.
    Coordinate your marketing activities with an in-depth strategy aligning online and offline techniques.

 

None of these steps are easy, but they are achievable.  More importantly, they’re necessary to compete in today’s marketplace.  By building your status as a Visible Expert, you can help your firm generate more leads, build authority in the marketplace, and grow.

 

For more information on the Hinge Research Institute’s study on high-visibility expertise, download our full-length book, The Visible Expert.  If you’re interested in becoming a Visible Expert, Hinge has developed a high-growth marketing plan specifically for NACVA members.

Lee W. Frederiksen, Ph.D., is Managing Partner at Hinge, the leading branding and marketing firm for the professional services. Hinge conducts groundbreaking research into high growth firms and offers a complete suite of services for firms that want to become more visible and grow. Mr. Frederiksen can be reached at: LFrederiksen@hingemarketing.com or (703) 391-8870.

The National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts (NACVA) supports the users of business and intangible asset valuation services and financial forensic services, including damages determinations of all kinds and fraud detection and prevention, by training and certifying financial professionals in these disciplines.

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