Today I am presenting another written interview with Scott Gardner. Scott is the founder of boutique firm Agile’ Marketing Services, LLC. They specialize in working with their clients to become Recognized Experts, and using that status to leverage the clients’ marketing efforts. His new book “Recognized Expert Status” describes the benefits of developing RecEx Status, and outlines the process for building it.
1. Tell us a bit about your background in marketing and what you do at Agile Marketing Services? Share your story.
I wanted to be a motion picture director. I had to put myself through school, and got a job as a marketing assistant at an international precision and cutting tool company. I wound up quitting school, but not marketing. I quickly shifted companies and positions, eventually becoming the marketing manager for a regional industrial wholesaler.
Eventually I couldn’t go any farther without a degree, so I went to a state school near my home and taught my way to a degree in marketing. When I got out, no one was interested in hiring me, so I started my own company – Agile’ Marketing Services – and have been too busy to look back ever since.
2. Tell us about your new book “Recognized Expert Status”, what’s it all about?
In order to make a sale, small business owners and entrepreneurs beat themselves silly trying to roll a bunch of processes together. They have to introduce themselves to prospects, develop a relationship of some kind, and make a sale. In any given day, they’re knocking on a hundred doors by themselves.
But if you have some type of product, like a book or a blog or a video that shows you have expertise in your given subject, people will begin to trust you before you’ve even shown up at their door. They begin to seek you out when they have a problem that’s in your industry or niche. People will begin to tell others about your expertise, delivering that Holy Grail – positive word of mouth!
The book outlines the benefits of RecEx Status, and briefly gives the principles behind building it for yourself. It describes some of the things we do at Agile’ when we do this for a client.
3. What are some tips you can share with the audience about developing RecEx Status?
Becoming a Recognized Expert is not for everyone. You have to be willing to literally put yourself out there and be seen, to become the public face for the work you do whether it’s building houses or cleaning carpets.
And you need to develop what we call EPM – Expert Proof Materials. Published articles, or a book. Perhaps an instructional DVD or web site. The content should help educate prospective customers, and show them you have expertise in whatever it is you’re selling to them.
All this takes time to develop. It can happen quickly, just not overnight. RecEx Status makes all your other marketing efforts just work easier with your target market.
4. How have you gone about promoting your new book through Amazon’s Kindle marketplace? Any particular strategies that are working so far for you?
Recognized Expert Status is available as a Kindle book, true. But one of the basics of creating EPM is to have a tangible proof product you can put into the hands of others. Something physical you can use as a replacement for business cards. And that’s what I’m doing with this book for the most part – handing the paperback to prospective clients as a way of introducing myself.
As for the ebook, it’s actually on sale from August 1st – 7th 2014 for only $0.99. I’m also doing a blog tour and some audio interviews to promote it. Then there are the book trailers we created for it. You can find those on the Agile’ blog, and on my Amazon Author page.
Just because the book’s virtual doesn’t mean the rest of my marketing efforts aren’t rooted in the real world!
5. What are your future plans for 2014 and beyond?
I’m rapidly putting together a companion web site for this book. I have another book with a publication date of September 1st which also needs a web site, and I have at least two more books on aspects of marketing that will be released in the first quarter of next year.
And that’s in addition to the work I’m doing with clients at Agile’ Marketing Services. It’s great fun though. And I get to direct and produce video almost on a weekly basis, so my year of cinematography lessons didn’t go to waste after all.