Published by Matt Church – Founder on 1 September 2023
When you build your practice around message positioning rather than a method or a process, you start to create an attraction-based business.
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When building a commercially savvy thought leaders practice, you want to avoid becoming locked in your mode or method of delivery. In our School, we teach that there are three primary delivery channels: Tell, Show, and Ask. You can share your ideas by telling people about them, showing people through them, or asking them a series of questions that allow them to understand the concepts you are sharing in a way that allows them to make connections.
Here is a visual summary of the six primary delivery modes used in a commercially smart thought leaders practice.
In each of these channels, there are professional associations dedicated to delivery modes. There are associations for professional speaking, organisational training and development, coaching groups and others committed to some kind of facilitation methodology. They are all fabulous and all have a bias to their way or method of delivery. When you focus on delivering your expertise and marketing and positioning it through a mode, you limit your commercial opportunities. Don’t call yourself a speaker – be a leadership expert who speaks.
“Don’t call yourself a speaker – be a leadership expert who speaks.”
A core idea behind building a thought leaders practice is to build it out from a positioning around the set of insights and perspectives rather than a process. When you’re process-led, your business tends to grow via word-of-mouth and referrals only. It’s super hard to redefine yourself and increase your fees when this is your growth pathway.
It’s hard for a third party, say me, to tell others what you do. So you end up having to deliver the experiences for free in the hope that people will get the value in your process and subsequently engage you further. This is inefficient and unreliable as a way of growing your practice.
When you build your practice around message positioning rather than a method or a process, you start to create an attraction-based business. People reach out to you and find out about you without you needing to turn up and do free work all over town. You can also shift your message as you and your thinking evolve. And if that were not enough, you can also move into a higher fee bracket as you step outside of commodity pricing and into the rarer (more highly valued) insight and impact pricing.
Don’t identify as a coach, a speaker, trainer or facilitator, or an author, but rather as an expert in a point of view, making sure that it is relevant, thorough, elegant, and then finally unique. This is how you build a $1 million expert practice.
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