Use this powerful technique to establish your expertise fast
👉 and provide tremendous value to your readers
For most people reading this, one of the primary goals of your newsletter or regular emails will be to establish you as an expert in your field.
You can do that by sharing new ideas or practical tips. Illustrating them with stories from your experience.
But there’s one technique I’ve found that works faster than almost any other…
It’s to do an in-depth breakdown.
An in-depth breakdown is where you do a detailed analysis of something in your field that provides tremendously useful information to your readers while simultaneously demonstrating your expertise.
In both cases I reviewed the emails, looking at the subject lines, introductions, main body and call to action, pointed out good practice and areas for improvement and benchmarked against my own proprietary framework for emails and newsletters.
You’ll see the technique used a lot in marketing newsletters because marketing materials, by their nature, are in the public domain. So you’ll see breakdowns of Facebook Ads, Print Ads, Landing Pages etc.
But you can use it in any field where something is reasonably well documented. Organisational change in the NHS. Bill Gates’ leadership style. IKEAs innovation techniques.
Doing an In-Depth Breakdown has 3 wonderful effects:
If done well, your readers will find it incredibly valuable and interesting. It combines useful insight with a curiosity-satisfying peek behind the scenes at a well-known business or person.
If your insights make sense to them it’s tangible proof of your expertise. You can tell them you’re an expert until you’re blue in the face. You can share testimonials from others saying how smart you are. But witnessing your ideas and analysis in action feels like the real deal.
By analysing and commenting on something you’re automatically positioned in your readers minds alongside others who analyse and comment. And who else analyses and comments? Experts. Whether they’re sports pundits or political commentators, the people they see in the rest of their lives commentating and analysing are held up as experts and you’re acting in the exact same way so they can’t help but see you as an expert (an example, of course, of The Duck Test).
In fact, my experience is that your readers also tend to elevate you in their minds to be on a par with or even a level above the thing or person you’re analysing. Somehow it seems to be that if you do an insightful analysis of a successful business then you must be at least as smart as the people running that successful business. Of course, that’s not necessarily true, but somehow psychologically it works. Which is why it’s best to do your in-depth breakdowns of successful examples rather than bad ones.
Now, of course, the rub is that doing an in-depth breakdown takes time. You can’t just throw a few thoughts together and hope it will work.
For my breakdowns I analysed the emails against my own framework. And I used screenshots of each section highlighting the key areas along with why they worked. It took rather longer to create than a normal email or post.
For your breakdowns you might need to do some in-depth research to find out all the facts you need. You’ll most likely need to do some deep thinking about the example. And the write-up needs to be clear and in-depth.
But my experience is that this works incredibly well to raise the perception of you as an expert. it’s well worth the work.
PS Perhaps the most powerful use of in-depth breakdowns I ever witnessed was by a guy called Derek Halpern who became a big name in online marketing 7 or 8 years ago, quickly growing an email list of half a million and selling millions in courses and consulting (he’s since gone on to found a retail company).
When I first encountered Derek he was pretty much an unknown with some good ideas. But what he did to get well-known was genius.
He reached out to a number of very well-known bloggers at the time: Pat Flynn, Amy Porterfield, Chris Brogan (and for some reason me). He offered to do a free, in-depth review of our websites with suggestions for improvement with the quid pro quo being that we shared the review with our audiences (he recorded the reviews as a live discussion with the host).
This did two things. Firstly it exposed his expertise to a much wider audience. But more importantly, it positioned him as “the expert’s expert”. In the minds of our audiences the fact that someone they admired and considered an expert themselves was taking advice from Derek meant he must really know what he was talking about.
Now, of course, his advice had to be good. Otherwise we wouldn’t have shared the videos with our audiences. But the reality is there were probably dozens upon dozens of people out there who could have done just as good a review of our sites. But they didn’t think to offer.
After my review, it struck me that Derek might be doing this deliberately to raise his positioning. So I checked with him and he said “absolutely…just don’t share the strategy with anyone for a year so no one copies it”.
It’s been rather more than a year, but this strategy still works.
By the way - if you found this useful please do share it with friends and colleagues who you think might enjoy it too. For every referral you get a credit. 3 credits gets you a free email template, 10 gets you three more. And 25 gets you a free copy of my upcoming Unsnooze Your Inbox course.