There are a couple of myths that I want to dispel about selling your expertise.
The first is that you can get someone else to do it for you. I hear people say that they love doing the thinking and the delivery ... but the selling, not so much. There are many thought leaders who would happily run workshops and coaching programs every day, if only they could find someone else to sell it for them.
I have never, ever seen that work in a thought leader’s practice. Your job as a thought leader is to think, sell, and deliver. No one else can sell your IP and your programs better than you, and employing a sales rep or a business development manager just doesn’t work in a practice. Sorry.
The second myth is build it and they will come. That we don’t have to do the selling in the first place. We have this fantasy that once we’ve written the book or built the website or spoken at the conference then we just have to sit back and wait for the phone to ring. While this worked for Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams, it doesn’t work in our game. Sorry.
Maybe after you’ve been running a cluster for a decade, and you have a list of 1500 engaged folk in that market opening your newsletter, then just for that cluster it might start to sell itself. But for everything else your job is to go and sell your stuff. Face-to-face and belly-to-belly.
(And the solution, if you’re someone who avoids selling, is to make sales as an act of service … but that’s another topic.)