3 Steps To Turning Your Intellectual Property Into Profit
In today’s competitive world, it can be extremely hard for businesses to stand out from the crowd. Everywhere you turn, there seems to be someone who is trying to sell you something. One of the key areas many businesses struggle with is selling. Now I love the sales game and in business, 99 percent of us are selling something whether it is our time, our expertise or our products.
One thing I learned early on in business is that perception is reality in this world. No business owner worth his or her salt is going to promote anything that shows him or her in a poor light. I can see it now, ‘Business coach thrilled with clients’ mediocre results.’ I come back to my initial premise. How do you stand out from your competition and be the first choice and ‘go to’ person in your niche?
It’s all about creating products that position you as the expert and the authority leader so when someone is looking for your service; your voice is a little bit louder than the rest. They key to this is being able to turn your IP into profit. To do so, look to the follow steps for guidance.
Write down all the problems that your business solves. Then, write down the 12 things that you would be able to teach people about even if a gun was being held to your head; these are what I call your bread and butter. Write down two things you know your competitors aren’t talking about that you know is critical to your target market’s problem.
The most effective way to stand out from the crowd is to talk about what others aren’t. Then you say, “We all know that ABC needs to occur before you see the change in your relationship however, I am here to tell you that unless XYZ happens, the results will never truly be remarkable.”
Be the one that stands out and stands for something that is memorable.
Identify how you can monetize your IP. Now that you have ‘unpacked’ your IP, it is time to start to look for ways that you can profit from it. You can take one of your 12 things you have listed, or as I mentioned one of the things your competition isn’t talking about, and create a wicked Opt In for your website. Make your bold statement and then create a short eBook, Whitepaper or PDF File that you can give to the people who enquire.
Choose six of your ‘knowledge points’ and create an eBook that you can have for sale for your clients and potential clients: remember, I believe that knowledge is power. Not only will this be a tangible product that you can have for sale, it is the perfect entry into your sales funnels that in marketing is one of your most important business tool.
Now you are starting to get the hang of creating products, how about you look at creating workbooks or manuals? This can be another, deeper entry into your sales funnel, and again, tangible products that you can photograph or have 3D widgets made to give substance to your website and expert perception.
Step 3 - Write a book. The most powerful way of turning your IP into profit is by writing a book. Becoming an author gives you a huge credibility boost for your own profile and your business. Writing a book shows to your potential clients that you are committed, intelligent and knowledgeable and therefore a perfect choice to help them solve their problem.
Not only will you make passive income from the sales of your book, being able to promote yourself as the authority figure in your niche suddenly become so much easier. Business owners who have written a book are twice as likely to achieve business success as those who haven’t.
Each of the 12 ‘knowledge points’ that you have written down can become chapters. Unpack them further to give them clarity and substance. Sort them into some form of structure and readability and voila, you are on your way to writing your first book.
Natasa Denman is a skilled executive coach, author of four best-selling books, and founder of The Ultimate 48 Hour Author. Within her mentoring program she guides time-poor entrepreneurs and business owners through the publishing process so that they can have their own story in print. Natasa is also a finalist in the prestigious AusMumpreneur Awards 2014. For more information visit www.ultimate48hourauthor.com.au, the first two people to email Natasa at[email protected] will also receive a free copy of her book.
Q&A: Professor Loredana Padurean, Asia School of Business
As someone who is creating Asia Pacific’s business leaders of the future, what do you believe are the essential skills leaders require?
In many ways, we need leaders who are Renaissance women/men or polymaths, as opposed to specialists of an industry or a field. A polymath is a person with profound knowledge, proficiency and expertise in multiple fields and today’s leaders have to be able to combine various ideas, look at problems in novel and useful ways, and develop a broad and yet still deep set of skills, talents, and knowledge.
You’ve coined ‘smart’ and ‘sharp’ as skills of the future. What are these?
They are replacements for ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ skills, a concept coined by a US Army doctor in 1972 who observed that his pupils had different skills: dealing with machinery required ‘hard’ skills, while dealing with people and paper were ‘soft’ skills. This concept has served us well since, but I find it too binary, not to mention the semantic implications of the words themselves.
Soft implies gentle, delicate, mild, quiet, tender, weak. However, there is nothing soft in navigating competing perspectives and cultures, handling and delivering critical feedback or dealing with office politics. Instead, I prefer to call these skills ‘smart’. Hard implies rigid, difficult, heavy, static. But how can we think of engineering or software development as static or rigid? I believe ‘sharp’ is more apt as such skills need constant updating or sharpening.
I think it’s time to reflect on these classifications, because we can drastically change someone’s perspective by how we choose to talk about and frame something.
How important are smart skills in leadership today?
Smart skills are more important than ever because we live in a world of extreme diversity: generational, ethical, value-based, gender, etc. Gone are the days when giving an order was an effective act of leadership. I personally work with people from five different continents and across five different generations, therefore as leaders, we need to know how to adapt, motivate, inspire and connect. We need to increase our investment in learning about them in action, especially as smart skills are more difficult to develop.
I believe that a successful leader today has to be both smart and sharp. Take cognitive readiness, one of my top 10 smart skills. In order to be cognitive ready, one has to master system dynamics, one of my top 10 sharp skills. Also, did you know that one of the primary reasons why digital transformation fails is not the absence of digital literacy, a sharp skill, but the need for more validation and adaptability, both smart skills. So, instead of thinking of these skills as binary, I prefer to think of them as the yin and yang; co-existing and complementing each other.
So, you can teach leaders smart skills then?
Yes, you can, via a combination of the classroom experience, plus an action component supported by deeply embedded reflection. At ASB we call this Action Learning, and we teach it both in the MBA and in the executive programs. For example, in teaching a leader emotional maturity as a smart skill, first they need to learn what it is, and then act on it, before reflecting on what we did and how we did it. And then to repeat it, but this time with more expertise and awareness. It’s not easy, but that’s why my favourite mantra is ‘the job is easy, the people are not’.
Discover Professor Padurean's successful skills for a digital transformation here