This isn’t a trick question. Yet so many entrepreneurs, consultant’s, coaches and speakers invest far too much time and money in an attempt to ‘look good’ and not nearly enough resources to ‘be good.’
Unless you happen to be a model or entertainer, your goal as a businessperson isn’t just to look or sound good. It’s to produce a favorable outcome or result for your client or your audience.
It’s been proven that people pay closer attention to an authority, celebrity, or someone who has expertise in a topic, than they will to someone who is unknown or who is attempting to simply sell you something.
Yes, it does help to create credibility with your prospects if you’ve written a book, if you have a sizzle reel showing you owning the stage in front of large international crowds or if you have appeared as a guest expert on television.
This is a psychological persuasion technique often referred to as ‘social proof’ that positions you as a perceived authority.
This ‘proof’ of expertise can be used to create more demand for your services and help you attract more prospects and potential new business than you might have been able to without it.
Important NOTE: Once you get the business you still have to deliver.
Looking good can only help you go so far in your marketing to attract new business. Once hired, you still have to ‘be good’ and that means you must deliver on your promise whether it’s your speaking, coaching, consulting, or the product that your business offers.
Because ‘social proof’ does work to help you create a perception of authority or credibility there is a trend where so many are using this in an attempt to fast track the visibility and growth of their business by taking shortcuts.
Because we live in the era of smart phone technology and social media it’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that if you set yourself up to look good that your audience will perceive you as being good.
That strategy may work short term to get traction but you must be prepared to provide significant value to your audience and your customers or you will quickly erode their trust in you.
It may seem like an inexpensive way to get noticed and yet in the long term it can actually be more expensive. One of the costliest ways to grow your business is to focus solely on acquiring new customers or clients.
It is much less expensive, and far more profitable, if at the same time you also focus on improving your margins or per transaction value, along with keeping your existing customers so that they will continue to purchase additional products or services from you in the future.
Having a book cover designed, doing a photo shoot, appearing as a guest on a television talk show, or creating a video of you on a stage in front of a large audience are all ways to position yourself as an authority. These marketing tactics will only help if you are able to back it up by adding great value to your audience or customer.
If you can deliver on your marketing promise you create a sustainable model where you won’t have to continually invest money in more marketing to acquire more business because you will get a higher transaction value, more repeat business and referrals.
If you don’t deliver you will have to continually spend money, time and resources to add more new prospects to the funnel and that is expensive, tiring and unsustainable.
With over 35 years of speaking and business growth consulting experience I can tell you that one of the quickest and most leveraged ways you can grow your influence and income is to become an effective persuader when you have the opportunity to speak in front of groups.
Notice that I didn’t say that you must become an effective speaker or presenter. Just speaking or presenting may lead to polite applause but little action. When you master how to become an entertaining educator and discover how to engage your audience and persuade them to take action you will exponentially improve both your reputation and your results.
If you are, or have a desire to become a successful speaker, you must understand the anatomy and ingredients of an effective presentation designed to enroll and not just sell your listener. When you do this with integrity they willingly raise their hand and take the desired action for their reasons and they are far less likely to experience buyer’s remorse.
If you’re a coach, consultant or healthcare practitioner you can grow your customer or patient base significantly when you learn how to strategically facilitate seminars, expert talks, lunch and learns, tradeshow talks, open houses at your business or other opportunities to speak in front of groups.
Imagine how much more successful you could be as an entrepreneur who wishes to enroll investors, sell your vision or even your company by understanding how to engage and inspire your audience.
What would it mean to be able to leverage your success as a salesperson when you have the ability to enroll your prospects in the boardroom or on the stage at a tradeshow, seminar, or convention?
If you’ve actually written a book, if you have a highlight reel showing actual footage of you speaking on multiple stages, or if you have appeared on a credible TV show as a guest, these become forms of marketing that can go a long way to help you establish credibility, trust and respect.
When you make the commitment to improve and prepare yourself to deliver value to your clients and customers you will then get the most out of these types of marketing investments.
The benefit is that by choosing to ‘be good’ you still end up ‘looking good’ and because it’s backed up by substance this is a far less expensive and a much more sustainable business model to follow.