My inbox is filled with newsletters, tweets, and social shares about how someone is going to teach or help me do something better. They have some course, program, workshop, or service they are selling. They’re promising to teach or show me something to make my business, process, or me better. I’m skeptical. I want to know if it’s an infomercial or your proven expertise.
Some people are great at putting marketing programs together. I get these tweets and emails about how they can teach me. You know the ones that I’m talking about, as all of us are getting bombarded with these marketing campaigns:
- 8 tips to be more productive.
- Your clients suck. Let me show you how to find better clients.
- Learn to program in 24 hours.
- Let me show you how to be a successful freelancer.
- Our blueprint will help you to make more money.
I’m skeptical. Aren’t you? You should be. But you’re curious because, yes, you want to make more money and have better clients.
Are you selling real expertise that worked for you? Or are you just selling?
So you click through to their website. Wow, they’re good at delivering content, testimonials, and telling a good story. Now you are intrigued.
Stop. Ask them about their experience in whatever area they are teaching. Contact them directly and be blunt but polite.
Here are questions that run through my mind:
- Do you have the proven expertise?
- Have you successfully done this in your career or business?
- Have you done it successfully yourself before you started this course, program, or consulting firm?
- What value are you going to share with me?
- How will it make my life easier and/or better?
I’m asking for proof. I want to know that this person has the experience, proficiency, and expertise to teach or consult on whatever it is they are promoting. I want to know if they’ve done it before they started this thing.
If you tell me you can teach me how to get better clients, I want to know that you had better clients. Did your blueprint, strategy, or process generate better clients for you? Is it real? Or are you just trying to make money?
It Takes Real Experience, Proficiency, and Knowledge
I believe in order to teach and consult you first must have the proven experience, expertise, and proficiencies. Your job is to empower others by translating what worked successfully for you. You are sharing your experience, proficiencies, and knowledge. It’s uniquely yours. You earned it.
How the heck is it going to help someone if it didn’t work for you?
Teachers teach, inspire, and empower others. Consultants guide by using their experience to see a better path forward and solve problems.
Both of these professions require you to know your stuff. Both of them require you to know how to move someone or some business on a journey from where they are to where you want to take them.
To be someone who can give knowledge to others, you need both successes and failures. In failure, you learned how to fine-tune and hone your craft. You learned what works and doesn’t. But more importantly, you learned why. In success, you learned how to get it right. Each of these stepping stones in your own journey come from experience.
If you are going to sell a course, program, or some workshop to someone, make sure you are a true teacher. Make sure you can deliver whatever your program says it can. Don’t be a late night infomercial. Are you selling real expertise that worked for you? Or are you just selling?
If you weren’t successful yourself at doing whatever your formula is, then how the heck are you going to teach someone how to be successful with your process? Seriously. Yes, I’m skeptical. Why? Because too many people are selling that they can teach you, but it hasn’t worked for them. Worse yet, some people teach in areas that they themselves don’t like. How are you going to inspire someone if you are not passionate about it?
Listen Up. Here’s the Secret
If you are going to teach [__insert a topic here___], make sure you have the expertise at the level you are teaching. Make sure you’ve done it yourself and know it inside and out. Make sure you are passionate about it.
Stop Selling What You Don’t Know
Let’s get blunt. Stop selling what you don’t know or don’t like. Stop trying to make money off of something that you don’t have expertise in or didn’t work for you. Have integrity. Understand the role of a teacher and consultant. Hold yourself up to a higher standard. You can make a difference in someone’s life. Let’s make sure that difference is real value and not just a lesson learned from buying one more thing that doesn’t deliver.
Sell what you really know and are passionate about. Empower people.
You are unique. You have something to share. You do. But it takes time and years to gain the experience to package up your way of doing things. It takes time to fail, learn, tweak, hone, and then succeed. You need those stripes on your back in order to really make a difference and deliver.
If you want to sell a course, program, or workshop, teach what you know, are passionate about, and have proven experience in doing. If you want to be a consultant, make sure you really know your stuff. Make sure that your process and approach really works.
Embrace that you have the power to help people. Focus on delivering real value and not just selling.