5 top tips on how to Own Your Industry
A new book entitled Own Your Industry – How to Position Yourself as an Expert is the first of its kind to published in Africa on the topic of becoming an industry expert by design.
The book is launching in South Africa in April and will be available as an e-book by May.
Whether you are the brand-manager for a multi-national corporation, or the owner of a small business, the ideas in this book will help you to position yourself as a thought-leader and teach the market to come to you as the only logical choice.
Here are the author Douglas Kruger’s top 5 Own Your Industry principles, which you can apply directly to your business and brand:
1 Create a unique signature
We mistakenly assume that qualifications will get us noticed in our industry. Qualifications are only entry into a field; permission to play the game, and acquiring them only means that we are on the same level as every other player.
Top industry experts understand that they need to create a visible splash beyond mere qualifications. Take the example of the architect who began constructing small, artistic gardens on the roofs of the homes that he built, and became famous and created demand as a result. Add a unique signature to your work to stand out by design. A little creativity will set you apart.
2 Lead a cause
Top brands don’t just sell. They don’t merely advertise. They also tell meaningful stories. Becoming the hero of a believing tribe means choosing a cause that you can champion, and electing yourself as its leader. Take the example of Dove, and their globally successful Real Beauty campaign. What could you do to go beyond ‘selling soap,’ and become a meaningful voice leading a believing tribe?
3 Package your ideas with to a unique framework
Certainly, a good number of people around the world have heard the name Kiyosaki. But a greater swathe of the total human population are familiar with ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad.’ This construct is Robert Kiyosaki’s way of expressing his ideas, and the construct itself has become famous. Chicken Soup for the Soul is another clever construct, recognised around the world.
Craft a simple, recognisable structure for expressing your messages, and your framework could become globally known. Use this powerful communication principle the next time you deliver a speech, write an article or grant a media interview. Consider writing a book with this formula.
4 Create a tipping point
Writing thought-leadership articles for industry publications is an excellent idea. But don’t stop at one. Experts are constant producers. Over time, the collective weight of your thought-leadership contribution adds up.
Be seen in all the right forums, giving ideas, providing value, positioning yourself as a thought-leader. The more you play the part of the guru, the more the people will start to follow. Ultimately, the media will start coming to you for insights. After that, the market will follow.
5 Be premium
Imagine two schools competing in a neighbourhood. One has spent a great deal of money positioning itself as something high-end and special. It has a full Olympic-sized pool, media centres and more. The other doesn’t. It is offering the bare minimum.
Wealthier clients will naturally migrate toward the better option, which means more money available for the good school. The cheap option will quickly go into a death-spiral, having attracted poorer buyers. Does your business have a pool? Be the premium option and you will attract the premium customers.
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.