Industry Leadership for Personally Branded Businesses
My good friend and expert Tracey Hughes was born in the UK and backpacked to Australia in her teens. At 18 years she took up an apprenticeship, and after proving to be a pretty good stylist she was asked if she would attend an event to show people how she cut. Not really understanding what this meant she agreed and was relieved she didn’t have to speak; just show people how she cut.
What she didn’t know was that she would have to commentate and explain the way she was cutting. As she froze she took a deep breath and somehow started to talk and explain what she was doing. It seemed she had an unrealised ability to speak in public. Before she knew it she was being asked to speak to even more audiences who wanted to learn her unique skill and style of cutting.
Today Tracey graces the global stage. She’s spoken to over 500,000 salon professionals. With over 20,000 Instagram followers alone she has a bevy of awards to her name. These include:
- CERTIFIED SPEAKING PROFESSIONAL
- INTERNATIONAL HAIRCUT OF THE YEAR
- 4 x EDUCATOR OF THE YEAR
- 4 x EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION
- 10 x SALON OF THE YEAR
- 2 x HAIRDRESSER OF THE YEAR
- 2 x CREATIVE COLORIST OF THE YEAR
- AUSTRALIAN MASTERS
- PEOPLE’S CHOICE
Something that sets Tracey apart is her value proposition. She helps her clients by speaking at events and conferences, is totally customer focused. Whether she is talking about the participant attending her events, customers in store for those she educates, or the clients she supports like event planners and sponsors, she is 100% committed to the customer experience. This has been Tracey’s ‘front wheel’ for her entire working career.
In the book “The Discipline of Market Leaders” by Michael Treacy and Fred Wiersema, they researched 80 market leading industries and identified that there are three key drivers or wheels that an industry leading organisation could have. These are:
- Operational Excellence
- Product Leadership or
- Customer Intimacy
In their research they claim that as an industry leader you need to choose one of these as your kind of front wheel. To try and do all three means you’ll be spread too thin and not really be known for knowing something.
In an expert world this same approach works on two levels. Knowing what your customer’s front wheel is so you can speak the same language, as well as understanding what yours is so you’re playing to your strengths.
Industry leadership is crucial to removing commoditisation. There is no point in having your name and a big price on your services if you can’t prove that you’re the best at what you do. Customers will pay for the level of an industry leader, provided you can provide evidence that you are the best. It’s a bit like buying a ticket for either first class, business class or economy. As an industry leader we’re more like first and business class. We lead the way for economy to follow us. You are the trendsetter!
To do this you need to be undertaking activities to demonstrate this. Some of those activities include:
- Speaking at industry events and conferences, possibly globally
- Undertaking PR activities such as media interviews and writing for publications
- Winning and/or being nominated for Industry Awards
- Pricing that represents industry leadership standard
- Being on industry committees and groups
- Mentoring others in the industry
These are just a few ways to help you not just stand out in a noisy world, but to shape an industry, have an impact at a larger and deeper scale and deepen your message and identity to be known in that industry.
As Steve Jobs said, “it’s not about charisma and personality, it’s about results and products and those very bedrock things that are why people at Apple and outside of Apple are getting more excited about the company and what Apple stands for and what its potential is to contribute to the industry”.
Love to know your thoughts…
Jane Anderson works with Thought Leaders, Trusted Advisors, Experts and CEO’s to increase their lead generation and grow their businesses.
Her blog has been awarded in the top 25 branding blogs globally. She is one of 12 LinkedIn Influencer Small Business Advocates in Australia, is the host of the Jane Anderson Brand You Show.
She is the author of 4 books including “EXPERT to INFLUENCER: 12 Key Skills to Attract New Clients, Increase Sales and Leverage your Personal Brand to Become an Industry Leader.”
Originally published at janeandersonspeaks.com