Why is it that many skilled, competent and hardworking professionals struggle to get their career moving?
In my job helping experts elevate their career and business, this is a question that keeps recurring. I meet many competent, ambitious and hardworking people and admire them all for the energy they invest in their training, career and/or businesses.Therefore, it is devastating to see so many of these talented people suffer from being neglected, rejected or undervalued for their competence and vast skills.
After analysing and reflecting on what I learned from my work, I see that there is ONE common mistake, which is the main obstacle hindering them from reaching their goals for career and business. This BIG mistake blocks many smart people and hinders them from developing a thriving career, It’s the cause of all their other problems and I need you to be aware of it, hopefully before it ruins your plans for the future.
Throughout the years I have also identified the 3 steps you can take to fix this, or prevent it from happening in the first place. Now, I can share with you how these steps will make your career and business flourish using the power of your authentic stories.
But, first, if you are one of these experts who have been overlooked or undervalued, I need you to know that you are not alone. It is way too common that the real – in depth knowledgeable experts – see others, often less skilled people, become chosen before them.
It happens all the time that you see ‘big businesses’ choose someone less educated, instead of the one with the highest degree, competence and knowledge. The simple truth is that big business doesn’t really care about degrees or titles. They prefer to hire the “go to” expert on the market – the famous person everyone talks about – and reputedly delivers results.
This means that it is not enough to be the smartest. You also need to know how to make yourself known as the expert within your field and this is where the mistake occurs:
The BIG mistake that many experts make is that they neglect the importance of making themselves visible as the experts they are.
They think that what is important is having that degree, smart solution or carefully developed service and that it is irrelevant, and perhaps “beneath them”, to promote themselves. They take for granted that other people will understand how smart they actually are. For an expert, that is the biggest mistake you could ever make, if you want to grow your career and your business, because if you fail to see your own value, no one else will see it either!
In business, opportunities are given to the people or businesses who have been seen and heard the most. Jobs are first served to those that have managed to build a brand and a reputation as #1 within their niche.
This is the reason why many people don’t seize the opportunities that they dream of while instead getting stuck in their career, never being acknowledged as the expert they really are. It is also why you see less educated or competent people being chosen before you.
If you want to avoid this fatal mistake and start growing your career as the expert you are, you, too, need to learn how to elevate your brand and get known as the #1 within your niche.
You need to sharpen your niche, tell your winning story and take the lead!
This might feel overwhelming and awkward, but following these three steps you will see how storytelling is a strategic tool for branding, giving you the tools you need to make you confident and create the impact necessary. If you’re ready to grow your career or your business, it’s essential to understand these in order to elevate your brand.
So, let’s look at how to make it work, one step at the time:
1) Sharpen your niche
Based on your personal story you are able to define your own authentic and sharp niche which will help you stand in your full power: being confident and taking leadership as the expert you truly are. Instead of doubting yourself or feeling like a fraud, your power will grow when you become super-clear over your mission: Who are you serving? What difference do make and for whom?
If you are unclear, the easiest way to find clarity is to explore the “story of you”. Examine the things you’ve done in your career. What made a difference? For you and for others?
Now, take these insights and formulate a statement that describes your specific expertise, your niche. Try to find the red thread, the common theme, that is hidden within them. Then turn it into your own authentic one liner – or 7 seconds story pitch – that you can use over and over again.
This is your brand’s wow-factor that will give you the power needed to present yourself as the expert you are and execute the next step successfully.
2) Tell your winning story
When people start to listen and remember you and your message, you have started to develop a strong voice. The world needs to know about your services and the value that you bring to others. Your challenge is to find and share the important everyday stories about the difference you make through your work.
Wow them with a 7 seconds story, inspire them through sharing your vision and make them come back for your services by telling them about the success you created for other people!
I know that it might feel awkward to talk about yourself but based on your authentic niche, without feeling “salesy”, you can use storytelling strategically to build your social brand and attract the clients and opportunities you want.
3) Take the lead
To grow your brand, it is not enough to tell your stories, you also need to find ways to make a difference and touch hearts.
Businesses are run by people, like you and me, and they want to work with someone that is knowledgeable, but who they also can trust and build a relationship with. Therefore, you should aim for building relationships and creating experiences. Explore ways to inspire, be of help, share knowledge, start a blog or a podcast, write articles- anything that will give them a reason to remember you and point you out as the “go to” expert within your field.
Once you get the machinery of your brand elevator to work, you will start elevating your career to new heights. You will position yourself as the expert you are and get the opportunities you want. Just remember, that unlike a normal elevator, there is no top floor, it is up to you to decide how high you want to go.
Most important is to avoid that BIG mistake and understand that YOU need to make yourself visible as the expert the world is waiting for. YOU are valuable. YOU have the competence that is gold for your clients, and it is your duty to start informing them about the value you bring.
That’s why you need to Rock Your Stories!
/Åsa Rydhard – Storydesigner and founder of the Brand – Story Elevator
This article revealed the biggest mistake experts make and how to fix it by applying 3 steps that will elevate anyone’s career or business. If this feels overwhelming and complicated, there are a few essential things you can do to get started with right away, that will position you in front of your competitors, since they don’t have a clue about how to grow their brand into a top position. You find them in the post How to get started with business storytelling.
The author Åsa Rydhard, MACA, holds a master’s degree in Applied Cultural Analysis and is specialized in strategic storytelling as a tool for branding and pitching. She is a popular, award-winning public speaker and the founder of the BrandStory Elevator.
If you want to know more about strategic storytelling and get your free “Grow Your Brand with Storytelling” Roadmap here: Download Roadmap