In this episode of Marketing Personalities, Brit Kolo gets real about the Curse of Expertise and how it’s negatively affecting your business, your marketing strategy, and how you show up for your clients and customers.
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Welcome to another episode of the Marketing Personalities Podcast! I’m Brit Kolo and I’m here solocast style to get real about the Curse of Expertise and how it’s negatively affecting your business, your marketing strategy, and how you show up for your clients and customers.
The curse of expertise. If you haven’t heard of this phrase before or weren’t quite sure what it meant, here’s an example.
Last week, I looked out my office window and noticed a tree in my yard I had never actually seen before. It’s this unique tree that sticks out from the rest, with 3 huge trunks – not one or two, but three – that reach its arms out wide and tall. Yet, I had never really ever looked at it before. I had looked out this window for the past two years, every single day, multiple times a day. And I never saw that tree. Because I’m an expert of that view. I’ve looked out that window so many times, at some point, I stopped really seeing what was beyond it. I was looking through it, but wasn’t seeing anything.
If you look up from what you’re doing right now, I bet you can find something you’ve looked at before but never really noticed. Never really seen. Go ahead and try it.
We are all very much the expert of our own homes, our own offices, and our daily surroundings. We’ve gotten used to them. And because we’re an expert of them – I mean, you could probably walk around your house with your eyes closed and still get to where you needed to go – we stop really seeing it.
Now, part of you thinks, well, whatever. Big deal. It’s my house. I don’t need to see the details. But I have a feeling that most of you listening to this episode right now realize how much of your regular surroundings you don’t actually see and it hurts your heart a little bit.
Because you know how important it is to be in the present moment and practice gratitude, even for the small things. And the fact that you haven’t seen that interesting tree or that picture of your family that’s askew on your living room wall or the little birds nest nestled in your flowery bush out front simply because you technically see these things every single day multiple times a day… it kind of stings.
This very much happens in our businesses too.
We once had a problem. We then created this solution to fix the problem. Then we offered this solution in exchange for money. This is business. We’re also probably pretty good at offering that thing because we either do it ourselves, it’s part of our expertise, or it’s really easy for us to get our hands on the product to then sell.
So it then becomes super easy to forget what it was like BEFORE we had the solution we had created. We take it for granted so quickly. Almost instantly, as soon as we have the idea in our heads for the solution and see ourselves providing that solution, we forget what it’s like to be someone with that original problem and not be able to fix it ourselves.
This obviously leads to devaluing what we do and completely disregarding how absolutely needed our solution is in the world.
What comes naturally to us doesn’t come naturally to the rest of the world.
Yet, we act like it does. If you really take a good look at how you’re speaking about the thing you do, the solution you offer, are you giving it the credit it deserves? Or are you downplaying it because it comes so easily to you now?
Complete transparency, I’ve done this to a fault and some days I still catch myself under-valuing what I offer because it’s just so second nature to me.
I forget that devising a marketing strategy isn’t as simple and easy to others as it is to me.
I forget that my brain works in an interesting way, obsessed with making every single piece of your business fit together like a jigsaw puzzle so it creates a picture of the life you, as the business owner, want to live. I forget not everyone thinks that way.
I forget that this idea of matching your marketing strategy to your personality type is still really novel to most people in the world.
I forget that just talking about personality types can confuse people who haven’t been obsessed with them for years like I have been.
See, it’s so so easy to allow your expertise negatively impact your business. Who knew, right?
So we must remember this and regularly tap back into the beginner’s mindset about the problem our businesses solve if we’re going to build a sustainable company.
Without the constant remembering, we’ll lose touch with our customers, our solution, and the true value it brings to those who invest in it. When we lose touch with this integral, foundational piece of our business, we cannot market it well. Period.
You must showcase the value of what you offer well or else no one will invest in it. And in order to showcase the value appropriately, you have to SEE the value yourself.
So, do you? Do you see the true value of what you offer? Or have you grown used to it? You look at it every day through your blue light blocking glasses but do you really SEE its worth, its value, its potential anymore?
Your first step to seeing the true value in what you offer again is to look up from whatever you’re doing right now and see something you’ve never really seen before. Notice something new.
Next, get a new set of eyes on your business, on your offerings, on how you do things in your business. Seriously. Bring in a totally fresh set of eyes and quiz this person on what they see, what they’re picking up on. I guarantee you they’ll see things you have never, ever considered before simply because you haven’t been looking lately.
This can be a coach, a mentor, mastermind group, an experienced business friend or colleague. Get someone in there to reflect back to you what they see so you can see it again too.
This is so much of the work I do with the few clients I work one-on-one with. I bring in a brand new, fresh perspective and it never ceases to amaze me how the business owner – the one who literally owns the rights to the business I’m analyzing and creating a marketing strategy for – has lost a bit of perspective of the true potential of the business they’ve created.
Again, no shame. I’ve done this too. It’s so easy to do!
And it’s got to stop. You have to see the value again for this company to grow and provide.
And finally, a really crucial step that I took in my own journey with this, becoming less of an expert in my own solution, was to ask my clients what they were struggling with before they started working with me – before they did their 4-hour Intensive with me.
I got answers like…
“Marketing feels overwhelming and suffocating to me right now.”
“I desperately need new ideas on how to market my business.”
“I want to feel aligned with the content I’m creating again. What I’m doing now is soul-sucking.”
“I’m confused about my offerings and how I’m marketing them right now, so of course my customers are confused too. This has to stop!”
“I’m close to burnout and need to streamline my marketing strategy before I go over the edge.”
“I have zero confidence in my marketing strategy right now and can’t afford to waste another 3 months on something that doesn’t work.”
“I’m going around in circles right now, not sure where to start.”
Whoa! These answers gave me a crystal clear view into what it’s like to live and do business WITHOUT the solution I’ve created – knowing your Marketing Personality Type and building a strategy based on what feels good to you. And it totally snapped me out of my expert stupor.
It reminded me how needed my solution is and it lit a new fire under me to get it out to more and more people with an accurate representation of how valuable it really is – not some wishy washy watered down version created by my expert perspective.
Do you need to do this in your own business?
Start right now – look up and see something new.
Then, get someone else looking at your business – a coach, a mentor, an experienced business friend – someone who walks their own talk and can accurately reflect back to you what they see. To get my eyes on your business, you can request time to work with me super easily at marketingpersonalities.com/intensive.
Finally, ask your clients what they were struggling with before working with you. Get that crystal clear picture you need to craft an accurate message about what you offer.