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Positioning Yourself as the Go-To Expert in Your Niche

May 27, 2024
The Recognized Authority Podcast Cover

The podcast that helps experts & consultants on the journey to becoming a recognized authority in your field, so you can increase your impact, command premium fees, work less hours, and never have to suffer a bad-fit client again!.

Are you struggling to position yourself as an authority in your industry? Do you feel overshadowed by more established peers and competitors? If you want to attract high-value clients and truly showcase your expertise, this episode of The Recognized Authority podcast is a must-listen.

Host Alastair McDermott tackles a listener question from Mark, a financial consultant seeking practical advice on building authority and a strong personal brand to attract high-net-worth individuals. In his response, Alastair discusses the art of positioning, sharing invaluable strategies that will help you stand out in the “sea of sameness”.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • The crucial first step to crafting a compelling positioning statement
  • How to leverage conversations with ideal clients to understand their language and pain points
  • Creating a content strategy aligned with your positioning for maximum impact
  • Repurposing content across multiple platforms to amplify your reach
  • Implementing your positioning across all marketing channels for consistent branding

Don’t miss this opportunity to gain actionable insights from one of the leading experts in the field. Tune in now and unlock the secrets to establishing yourself as the recognized authority in your niche.

Show Notes

Episode 76: how to develop a distinct point-of-view.

Key Insights:

  • Positioning is the foundation for all marketing and branding efforts
  • Analyze past client experiences to identify ideal client profiles
  • Have conversations with ideal clients to understand their language and pain points
  • Create a positioning statement that speaks directly to your target audience
  • Develop a content strategy aligned with your positioning to establish authority
  • Consistently revisit and refine your positioning as you gather market feedback


  • Use recording tools to capture client conversations for language analysis
  • Maintain a “positioning history” spreadsheet to track evolutions over time
  • Implement positioning across all platforms (website, LinkedIn, email signatures, etc.)
  • Leverage AI tools like ChatGPT to brainstorm content strategies
  • Focus on one primary and one secondary content channel/platform
  • Embrace the content creation learning curve – quality will improve over time


  • Analyze past client projects, industries, company sizes, profitability, and enjoyment levels
  • Conduct conversations with ideal clients, recording their language
  • Transcribe recordings and analyze specific wording used to describe problems/solutions
  • Create an initial positioning statement based on this analysis
  • Develop a content strategy (e.g., blog, podcast, YouTube) aligned with positioning
  • Continually revisit positioning, gather feedback, and refine over time

“Positioning is something you come back and wordsmith on all the time. We refine it as you get more feedback, as you change your positioning, but you do need that starting point.” – Alastair McDermott, The Recognized Authority

“The goal of content creation is to generate leads, grow your audience, establish yourself as an authority in your field. And the content you’re creating has to focus on the needs and the interests and the pain points of your specific audience.” [3:07] – Alastair McDermott, The Recognized Authority

“You need to go through the learning curve of creating content, and it becomes this virtuous cycle where you start to improve in all of the elements of everything that you’re doing. Your audience starts to grow, you get more people on your email list.” [14:33] – Alastair McDermott, The Recognized Authority

“Start creating content. Don’t hold off. Don’t wait until you feel like you’re ready, because if you try and do that, what’ll happen is you’ll never feel ready.” [13:38] – Alastair McDermott, The Recognized Authority

Guest Bio


Establishing Authority in a Crowded Field
Today i have a listner question so this is somebody who has emailed Back and forth with me a few times heat reply I’m one of my emails that I sent out to my list and I’m going to change the name So I’m going to call him Mark. That’s not his real name. But Mark has been working for a financial consultant for 7 years. And he has a handful of loyal clients And what he said is I’m struggling to really stand out and attract the high network individuals that I want to work with I’ve been writing articles occasionally for my blog and for LinkedIn, I attend a love networking events I am not really gaining the traction I need. And I want to position myself as an authority but I feel overshattered by my peers and by more established people in my field. I really want to help high net worth individuals with financial planning and investment strategies but I’m not sure how to effectively communicate my expertise in value to this market and I want to ensure that I’m, Making impacts are not just adding to the noise so can you give me some practical advice on how to build my authority and establish myself and build a strong personal brand.
And he says I really want to take action but I don’t really know what the path forward is, Okay. So, this is a great question. And, I think it’s really important to understand how important it is to stand out in a crowded field and that’s what we’re trying to do here is we’re trying to stand out in the sea of sameness we’re trying to stand out when All of our peers we all look like we’re all wearing the same suits ehm we’re like one of those stock photos where everybody looks the same so.
Analyzing Your Positioning
It’s good that you’re already starting to write a content and it’s good that you’re returning events and networking I think those are important. But let’s look at some of the I think really crucial stuff first. And I think the first place to look is at your positioning Because, That is like the the the fulcrum the like everything about your business and marketing comes from your positioning because if you can articulate your positioning to say Here’s who I help and here’s the problem I saw for them and here’s what makes me and my approach unique then that will Get you to stand out against everybody else. So here’s how I typically start with clients, Looking up positioning first thing we do is we look up past lands we look at analyzing the industries they’re in The size of the company’s the type of projects you’ve looked at and how profitable and how much fun you had like what your enjoyment level was, Now in your case I’d be looking specifically at the kind of people that you want to work with and eh maybe they’re backgrounds because these are individuals.
Next is in terms of positioning.
Conversations with Ideal Clients
Having conversations with those clients with with a few ideal clients. If you’ve got some really loyal clients already, that’s great, starting point. So, Talk with them and look at the language that they’re using and one of the great things about the language of people are using now is we can use recording tools and you’ve gotta tell them that you’re recording but if you record the the language that they use We can actually transcribe that and analyze that the the wording that they’re using specifically and then repeat that back. So we want to talk to them About the problems that they’re facing in the language that they’re using to describe those problems not in our internal Industry jargon that’s really important that we speak to our clients in the language that they’re speaking the way that they describe the problem the way that they describe the outcome or the solution that they’re looking for we have to speak in that specific language.
And then based on the base on the analysis of the, Clients that you’ve worked with the way that they’re describing the problems then create first off a positioning statement around that So it could be something like for Mark it could be I help high network individuals with personalized financial planning and investment strategies to grow grow and secure their wealth now That’s that’s kind of week after COVID. I need to talk to you more specifically to to come put something better than that. But that’s a good starting place. And one of the most important things I think about positioning is It is always a moving target Positioning is something you come back in wordsmith on all the time you refine it as you get more feedback as you change your your positioning but you do need to starting point And I think that it’s really important to have that and like I have a positioning history spreadsheet where I track all of my positioning over the past 17 years of business I every every time I updated I go and put it in in that spreadsheet so I have a copy of it so I can look back at how it’s changed over time And I find that’s really important because I can see like the way that I describe my target market tends to change and evolve as I I learn more.
And the way that I describe the problem that I solve also tends to evolve as I learn more And you know I think that that’s really important because the positioning statement Is how you like all of your marketing has been built upon that you know it’s it’s quite often in your LinkedIn profile your LinkedIn banner your website home page you know it’s it it’s how you describe What you do to people when you meet them. So,
Creating Content to Build Authority
It’s the the kind of the even shorter version of the elevator pitch is your positioning segment because it encompasses who you who you serve and the problem that you solve the transformation and so that’s why I think that is so crucial So, once you’ve got that, you got your positioning nail down. Then, I would start to look at, Creating authority by creating content by publishing educating and being visible.
There’s one other element that I think is really important here to add to the mix and that is to have your own distinct point of view so this is where, You can stand out more where you can differentiate yourself so you don’t look like everybody else. So what you want to do is you want to understand and have a clear picture of what your distinct point of view is.
I recorded an episode about developing a point of view or Developing uncovering your point of view. That is episode 76. But I’m just going to give you a couple of quick examples. If I think about how Jonathan Stark talks about hourly billing He talks about how it’s nuts and he used that to frame all of his writing and the speaking, Blaren’s doesn’t think that procurement has a place in a conversation when it comes to expert services and he’s really upfront about that and Alan Weiss talks about well His whole point of view comes across in everything that he does and when I interviewed him I asked him about that And he says that he likes to poke people because people need to be poked or they won’t grow an innovate And so check out episode 76 and you can also check out my episodes with Jonathan and with Allan, And eh those will give you a like you’ll hear their their distinct point of view, their voice coming through. Ehm but talking specifically about what that point of view looks like. It’s usually A group of related opinions strong opinions usually sometimes there are counter to prevailing beliefs to the point of being controversial, And in fact even being controversial is somewhat beneficial. But it must be defensible so you have to be able to defend your point of view. And.
Repurposing Content for Maximum Impact
It’s it’s not one opinion. It’s it’s your it’s the sum of your, Opinions that come across and it kind of bleeds through all of your content and that you know like if you pick up if I showed you a red something else That was a blog post from Alan Weiss you would be able to recognize it if you’d seen much of his work because it’s really clear and so What we want to do is we want to develop a bit of that name. You might want to go to the same extremes as ours but we want to bring a bit of that in. Where they’re point of view is kind of it’s it bleeds through the the entire piece of content that they’re creating.
This is what will set you apart when people encounter your content and set you apart from your competition when they see this content The positioning statement, Leads us into what our content strategy is because our content strategy has to be aligned with the position that we have as pretty obvious but that’s, you know, the content that you create has to be in line with that. So, The goal of contempration is to generate leads, grow your audience, establish yourself as an authority in your field. And The content in creating has to focus on the needs and the interests and the pain point Of your specific audience and this is where knowing what their specifically looking for and how they describe that problem is really crucial because what you’re doing is you’re then repeating back to them What they’re looking for. Rather than using some sort of internally industry jargon which a lot of us tend to use.
Techie people like me are particularly prone to it engineering types but I know that in in every industry we tend to fall back into those kind of phrases and terminology that we’re really familiar with from
Implementing Positioning in Marketing Platforms
Our deep expertise but we need to be very mindful that the clients that we’re working with quite often Don’t have that same level of knowledge. In fact, that’s where they do want to work with us. So, be careful about the language. So, Creating a content strategy focusing on The needs and the interest and the pain points of your ideal audience and then creating a plan to actually create that content so for example you might decide to Ride and publish a book. You might decide to do blogging. You might decide to create a podcast or start a YouTube channel. And that is going to depend on what your.
Favorite type of content is, do you like recording video? Do you like doing podcasting like I do? Are you really got it writing in your you know, do you write regularly? And I would pick one of those as a starting point. So eh what you can do then is you can repurpose it later. You can create ehm, You can create a plan to re purpose your content and this is particularly good if you’ve got something like, If you got a podcast and you’ve got transcripts what you can do then is you can put those transcripts into AI we can get a, We can get an analysis of what the content is in there and we can repurpose that maybe as a blog post rewrite your podcast as a blog post and things like that. Slut that we can do to repurpose later if we already have the original source material.
And so where does that source material come from well it comes from you making time to create content and when i say cray content I mean Usually there’s some form of writing in there at some at some stage you’ve gotta do some writing and that You could do that writing you know three different means like through dictation and and things like that But I find that the actual writing process is really important because what happens is as I write something it helps me to formulate my thinking on that topic.
And some people I think prefer to riff on you know on a topic maybe on audio or to camera on video And wherever you start wherever you want to start I think it’s more important that you’re comfortable with however you’re doing it ehm and that you just choose the the platform and the medium that you like I think that’s more important. I know some people focus on, you know, where does your audience hang out? What are they looking for? I think it’s more important personally I think is that you focus on How you are comfortable creating because what will happen is you will naturally then attract the people to you who are interested in consuming the type of content that you’re creating.
Okay so let’s just recap so first thing we did was we went back and looked at our previous clients And spoke with her existing clients to look and analyze, What are the problems that we’re solving? Who we want to work with? Who’s the most fun to work with? And then we base our positioning off of that And then once we words met the positioning and you’ve got that nail down Then you can start to look at a content strategy and by the way I would go and put that positioning in an old place I talked about I would put your positioning statement On your home page. You know, in the hero section of your home page, that’s where I would put it. You know, I help these people solve this problem. I help these people get this result. By doing this so that they can do this. That’s another kind of formulation
Revisiting Positioning and Content Strategy
I’ll put a link in the show notes to where you can read a little bit more about positioning I’ve written a couple of blog posts and things about that so I would go and change it on your LinkedIn and on your website when you once you’ve got your positioning kind of nailed down a little bit And then start to create a content strategy around that position and by the way with the new tools that we have now You can actually feed a lot of this information into the AI tools like Chatchy BT things like that and say hey can you help me to create a content strategy that will help me to reach these types of clients and.
Talk to me about this and and it will help you to brainstorm that so you can reuse that to brainstorm, And then the next thing to do is to actually start and pick a channel I like to pick one primary and one secondary channel.
Embracing the Content Creation Learning Curve
And that’s where you’re going to start to build out your body of work. That’s where you’re going to put this content that you’re creating. And so for me At the the main channel I chose was podcasting and the and then in terms of social networking my primary social network is linked in and then my secondary social network is probably Instagram that’s kind of change lit with over time, I I think that is important to focus on one Strong social network that you kind of go all in on because what happens particularly for for people like us who are either individuals or have small teams it it can get very easy to delete your focus so I would say pick a channel so, And for a lot of people listening to this it’s going to be linked in and then.
Have your one type of medium or your one type of publishing so for some of us it might be writing for some of my podcasting some of us might be video and then start to create a body of work so start to, Create that content on what you’ll find is that at the start your content is not going to be very good And that’s okay and effective even unnecessary part of the learning process, The good news if you listen to my episode with Chris Doe I think was episode 69 of the recognized authority, The good news is when you start out you’re going to have a small audience so less people are going to see your content when it’s not as good and we need to go through that learning process if you haven’t gone through the content creation kind of learning curve at your going to need to do that that’s Life. We just have to do that. You will get better over time. The more reps you put in. The more you’re going to improve. So, start creating content. Don’t hold off. Don’t wait until you feel like you’re ready because if you try and do that, what’ll happen is you’ll never feel ready, So, start creating this content, start creating this body of work. And then go through this process of intuitive kind of feedback Regularly reef position sorry regularly revisit your positioning, Look at your content strategy. Look at the feedback you’re getting from the marketplace from the content that you’re creating. And talk to people.
The conversations are really good and that’s why I like podcasting in particular because I get to have a lot of conversations with people And even though I’m an introvert I still do and I know a lot of people don’t believe that I am an introvert but I do like talking to people, Any controlled environment and so I I really do like Having all of those conversations has let me talk to people like Chris Do Mark Schaefer, Alan Alan Weiss Rochelle Moulton I wouldn’t have talked to any of those people if I didn’t have a podcast and so it lets you do things like that so that’s just kind of.
That’s just like my my shed for white podcasting in particular is really great. But I think what you need to do is You need to go through the learning curve of creating content and it it becomes a sick little thing where you start to improve and all of the elements of of everything that you’re doing starts to improve your audience starts to grow you get more people on your email list, And you start to figure out better ways to serve your clients and so that’s the that’s the approach, A very kind of straightforward approach but that’s the approach that I would take if I was in your position and in fact I can tell you that it is actually the approach that I have taken when I was in your position so I hope that eh that helps eh thank you for the question we appreciate sending that in and let me use eh your, Your story And if there’s someone else listings this and you have any kind of question for me about anything that’s related to what we talk about here on the recognized authority I would love to hear from you so you can send me an email.
So you’ll have to go figure ahead spell my first name properly but if you do that eh I’ll definitely see it and I’ll reply to it so thanks for listening Catch you next time.