Mastery Before Marketing

We live in times when people care about marketing more than they care about getting good at what they do.

They start thinking about promoting even before making something worth other people’s time.

What if we choose to master what we do before we market it?

It can very well be the best decision you’ll take about your career.

Here is how it helps.

It Helps You Build An Audience

Your mom may love what you do, but you need more people to know about your work if you want to build a career around it.

You need an audience.

With an audience, you are pursuing a hobby and not building a career.

Once you achieve mastery over your work, building an audience may be as simple as sharing your work with one person, another person the next day and so on. If your work is good they’ll find value and tell other people. 

You don’t even have to ask. Sharing good work makes the sharer looks good because by sharing they are adding value to the life of the person they are sharing it with.

This way there is no need for a ‘marketing campaign’ to build an audience.

Consider the opposite scenario, whereby posing as an expert (when you are not one still) and through some help from your network you land a speaking gig where you know many of your potential clients will be in the audience.

But because you don’t have mastery over the topic you are going to talk about, you put up a poor show. And, this way you lose a very good opportunity to win many clients from a single speaking engagement.

If you have mastery over your subject then the results can be the opposite.

Take the case of Gary Vaynerchuk, who has a massive online following and who runs a successful agency that serves several globally recognized brands. Though he gained some fame for his wine videos, his one talk at the Inc 5000 conference put him on the radar of the biggies of the social media world. It happened because he was really good at what he talked about.

Gary’s talk wasn’t good for no reason. He had worked in trenches at his dad’s liquor store for ten years building expertise before he started talking about it.

That is the approach one should take.

You don’t need to wait like Gary for 10 years but it is ok to work at getting really good before you start talking about it.

And when you think you have started to build some expertise, first share one-on-one with people who know even less than you. This will solidify your learning and also give you the confidence to do well on bigger stages. Eventually, you’ll be so good that people can’t stop raving about you.

It Makes You More Valuable

The market is a demand and supply game.

The forces at work in the market know this. They are willing to pay top dollars for where the demand is higher than supply.

And that definitely is the case with the experts. They are in demand because they are net value creators. A consultant like Jay Abraham may charge $25,000 for allowing a person to spend a short time with him, after handpicking them from among those who apply. But it is likely that people will get returns in multiples of $25,000. That is why people keep coming back.

If you can be one of the top 10, 25 or even 100 experts in your field, you will have more demand for your expertise than you can ever meet This means you can command a much higher price than the most. And even get opportunities to multiply the value you get in return by writing books and picking high paying speaking gigs.

This is because there is a big dearth of ‘real’ experts in the world. And, when you are good you attract the people and opportunities at the level of your expertise.

You Enjoy Your Work More

This is a bigger deal than it looks. 

Even bigger than making money or becoming famous. Because happiness is internal while money and fame are external.

And, when you enjoy your work. You tend to do more in less time because of the proficiency you gain. That also increases the pace of your success.

So ‘mastery’ brings you closer to opportunities, and makes you grow faster.

Add a little bit of well-thought marketing and you have a recipe to be successful.

I am a marketer so I don’t want to underplay the importance of marketing but it is not more important than making something good that people want.

I hope you remember this and put this idea to good use.

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