Every Recognized Expert should have an Expert Proof Product (EPP), or better yet – several that make up their Expert Proof Materials (EPM). An EPP could be a book, or a DVD or an audio CD, almost anything that demonstrates that the person is an expert in a particular subject, has definite ideas and opinions, and can reasonably be considered an expert on their subject.
In creating a non-fiction book (a novel could be considered EPP if the person is establishing their credibility as a fiction writer, or perhaps as a creative writing teacher), you don’t have to start from scratch. Putting together a series of articles or blog posts into a narrative that explains or explores the Expert’s niche is perfectly acceptable. Adding in some charts, perhaps even a transcript of an interview or two is also a possibility.
Putting together an educational DVD, you might include video examples of what you’re discussing, copies of slide-based presentations (PowerPoint or similar), interviews with yourself, and even testimonials from your satisfied clients. A simple “talking head” video can get boring fast, so make those short.
An audio CD might contain a lecture, or a radio interview. It might also be an instructional or motivational program that your prospect can listen to during long commutes.
Whatever the actual Proof Product, the idea is to provide your client or prospect with enough information that they can accept you as an Expert. The information you pass along should be deep enough to show that you have more than a passing knowledge of your chosen subject, but shouldn’t overwhelm them with overly technical terms or advanced concepts.
The EPP should be prominently marked with a price. Make the price high, but reasonable. A one hour instructional DVD might reasonably be sold for $39.95, for instance. Marking the EPP with a price has three main objectives: 1) You can actually sell it at that price 2) When you give the EPP away to prospects – as you should – you can claim with some legitimacy that it’s “a $40 dollar value” (or whatever the published price is), and 3) you can claim a loss with the IRS at the end of the year, or with a shipping agent if a box goes missing in transit.
As the old potato chip ad suggests, you can’t stop at just one! As soon as you complete your first EPP, you should begin work on your next one. Explore different aspects of your niche in different books, or create different types of EPPs – a book, a blog, and a motivational CD perhaps. Not every prospect can be convinced with one EPP, or even one type of EPP. If your blog reinforces the information in your book, so much the better. If your audio lecture backs up the information provided in your DVD, that’s great. Some Recognized Experts only put out books. Whatever works for the target market you’re after. Your library of EPPs will become your EPM.
Once they follow the path you’ve laid out for them, don’t be afraid to ask the prospects what they want to learn, and what they’d be willing to pay. The two aspects of EPM are 1) to serve as a way to introduce you as a Recognized Expert and 2) to lead prospects into your sales funnel.