THE STAR EXPERT*
There are people in every sector that are more recognized than others. Everyone recognizes them. Everyone follows them and cares about what they say. They are invited to major conferences as a speaker. They appear on television programs and have written books. I name such professionals who have fame and recognition in the market as the "Star Experts".
In 1915, American psychologist Edward Thorndike, the founder of educational psychology, published a study and mentioned a phenomenon known as the "Halo Effect" for the first time. Thorndike explained the Halo Effect as follows: If a person has strong personal characteristics, such as being attractive, other personal characteristics will also be positively perceived in the eyes of the beholder. In other words, if person A finds person B attractive, they will think they are reliable, intelligent and honest until proven otherwise.
The Halo Effect for a "Star Expert" means that the positive value given by the customer to an expert also makes them think positively for the company that they work for. The Halo Effect transfers the advantages gained by the Star Expert to the company that they work for in every way. The Star expert increases the growth rate, reputation, business partnerships, service fees, sales and secures new business deals for the company.
The level of recognition for all "Star Experts" is not always the same. Studies indicate that the Stars can be classified on five levels, ranging from novices to Bill Gates.
First Level- Internal Expert: Recognized only by customers, employees and colleagues. Not very well known outside of the company.
Second Level- Local Expert: Someone whose expertise has exceeded company boundaries. Will occasionally bring in new business. Participates in promotional activities as a speaker or with blog posts.
Third Level- Rising Star: Their reputation starts to increase at the regional and even national level. They begin to land better jobs for a higher salary.
Fourth Level- The Star of the Sector: These experts become nationally recognized in their niche specialties. They develop high level business opportunities. They can make high-value business deals for themselves and their companies.
Fifth Level- International Superstars: These elite experts will catch the attention of important sectors other than their niche specialties. Their names will sometimes be referred to along with their specialty. Big companies will strive to have their names mentioned along with theirs.
In a survey conducted among "Star Experts", when asked "In what way do you think you contributed positively to your company?” their replies indicated that they believed their companies benefited especially in two aspects. 62% of "Star Experts" said that their being renowned had a positive effect on their companies regarding branding; 66% said that they contributed to the growth and business development of their companies.
On the other hand, when asked "Why would you prefer to work with Star Experts?" in a research conducted on customers who had purchased over a thousand professional services; solving a critical problem, was the leading answer by 50.6%. This was followed by the need to create a new brand and to make new business deals with 26.3%. The third reason was the sense of trust (16.6%) of working with an expert in their field.
The ones that received services generally reached Star Experts services online (30.6%), recommendation (19.1%) or via advertisements (18.8%). The undisputed leader is personal or company websites through online by 80,8%.
When asked, “What convinced you that the expert was a Star Expert?”, 56.5% replied as "They were highly recommended by my friends and colleagues". This indicates that the more a Star Expert is known, the more recommended they are.
When customers were asked “In which subject did you benefit the most from the Star Expert?" The answers varied. We learned a lot through working with her/him (51.4%); s/he came up with new solutions that had never crossed our minds (48.1%); s/he did his job properly (39.7%); solved problems quicker (38.6%); exhibited mastery in solving the most complex problems (37.1%); helped increase our credibility (30.5%); lowered our risk (28.9%).
As can be seen, the contribution of "Star Experts" to themselves, their companies and customers is undeniable. Having this type of employees will level up companies. Every company will want to work with such experts. If they have such experts, they will want to hold on to them; if not they will want to work with one. Since their earnings will be higher due to these Stars, they will pay them more.
So, what is the difference between those who are Star Experts and those who are not? Are they smarter, more knowledgeable, stronger, or more fortunate? Nobody is born as a "Star Expert".
Each of them, like us, were once unknown. Most have experienced failures in business. They doubted themselves and questioned themselves. Then somewhere along their way, they found their own niche topics and specialized in that. They developed and implemented their own strategies as their expertise matured. Then they started to climb up the celebrity ladder. There is no obstacle to stop us from being like them, and in a shorter time than expected. How, you ask? I will explain how to become a "Star Expert" in my next article.
* This blog has been written with the use of the information given in the book “The Visible Expert: How to Create Industry Stars, and Why Every Professional Services Firm Should Care” (2014, Hinge Research Institute) written by Lee W. Frederiksen, Ph.D., Elizabeth Harr and Sylvia S. Montgomery and the research conducted by the Hinge firm for this book.