ESTABLISHING YOUR EXPERTIZE
By Ralph D. Thomas

I have already stated that clients of private investigative services tend to precieve the investigative generalist as a master of nothing. How do you establish yourself in a speciality, how do you establish the expertize? There are several ways to postion yourself as an expert. Here are a few ideas:

READ THE MANUALS
Get your hands on all the reading material you can on the area you want to specialize in. Considering the lifetime of knowledge it took to develop many of these manuals, they are cheap compared to the potential and long term benefits you'll gain from them,

WRITE AN ARTICLE
Once you have yourself grounded in the basic body of knowledge of your chosen area of specialization, begain to write an article on the subject. Send it to state and national assocaitions and publications. Almost all investigative newsletters and publications are crying for good articles (NAIS included!) Write a good one and I can almost guarantee that it will get published. Now you have some published credentials and you will start to become established as an expert riasing above the massive number of P.I.'s

GIVE SPEECHES
They are easy to get. Just like newsletters and other publilcations, civic and investigative organizations are always looking for speakers. Most investigative specailztion subjects are interesting to, not only other investigators, but the general public.

DEVELOP AN INVESTIGATIVE CHECKLIST
Easy to do, extremely popular. Again, you are gaining exposure that establishes yourself as an expert on a specific investigative subject.

WRITE A MANUAL
Make it short containing only the specific and relivent points of how to conduct the type of service you have become an established expert in absent of any word padding. It's a known fact that many of the best invesigative manuals on the market today first started out as articles, papers and check lists.

SEND OUT PRESS RELEASES
Just like it is relatively easy to get your articles and checklists published and put yourself on a speaker's podium, it's easy to obtain media publicity. Profiles of investigators in leading publications such as the NAIS newsletter and P.I. magzine need profiles on investigators with expertize, so it just as easily be you in the picture. Newspapers and radio talk shows are always looking for interesting stories and angles.

THIS IS A FORUMLA
Look at what you have done in a relatively short period of time. By taking it one step at a time, you are establishing yourself as an expert. You'll gain credentials. Look at what you can claim: Published article and checklist, published manual, speaker, media exposure and profiles done.

A history of top experts known in the industry today will reveal the same forumula over and over. Getting an article published is a major stepping stone. It opens many other opportunities as you advance. The article can be used to climb a ladder and raise to the top. You can use the published article to more easily write another for a bigger publication, use it as a base to obtain some speaking engagements and sometimes keep developing upon the article until you turn it into a book.

DON'T TRY AND START AT THE TOP
It will not work. Many investigators who attempt to use this forumula try and move up the exposure and establishment ladder too fast. Go for smaller exposure at first. You are not going to get on a national television show as an expert without first doing the smaller steps. Always keep in mind that you had to crawl before you walked.

BUILD YOUR PORTFOLIO
An article here, an article there, a checklist, a book, a few small group speaking engagements, a little profile here, a bigger profile there, what are you doing? You are grounding yourself and building a platform to start climbing to the top. Soon you'll have a thick portfolio of articles you have written, checklists you have created, profiles and stories that have been done on you and you are positioning yourself as a leading expert. You become an authority on something and you can keep building on it. Now you have credentials you can use in your brouchures and marketing materials to identify yourself as an expert.

This is going to have tremidious value to your service. You'll start to find that, as you become estalibshed as an expert, cases come to your door automatically. it won't happen tomarrow but it will happen.

MORE TIPS ON DOING YOUR YOUR ARTICLE
Investigative newsletters and publications such as P.I. magazine is a good place to start with your first article. With the establishment of dsktop publishing equipment, more and more state association and national investigative organization newsletters are getting more and more advanced in the features they offer. Most already are or should be using photographs and graphics. Get some publicity photographs made up. Black and white are fine. Use a cover letter when you send your article in. Get a list of investigative assications. One good source is the NAIS All-In One membership Directory. It lists most of the state investigative associations and the national associations.

TIPS ON SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS
The key word is ask and you will recieve. Don't ask and you will not get booked. Don't wait for someone to ask you. Be agressive. Use the telephone to call associations and local organizations and let them know you are avaiable for speaking.

Major marketing manuals are found inside the P.I. Catalog to help you market your investigative services and provide you step-by-step extreme detail concerning how to follow the forumula and establish youself as an expert on your area of investigative specialization.

The Unabashed Self Promoter's Guide hands you publicity expertize you'll need. How To Make A Whole Lot More (writing, commissioning, publishing and selling how to information gives you top quality step-by-step techniques on getting your articles and manual published.

No More Cold Calls, Money Making Marketing and Cash Copy are books on extremely powerful marketing and promotional techniques who's principles you'll use and charish.

As you establish yourself as an expert, you'll also open up a new line of service you can offer: Consulting. You've established yourself as the expert, no you can collect fees and help others as they tap into your expertise. Check out the Consulting Manuals in the P.I. Catalog.


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