Ian Brodie

Ian Brodie teaches consultants, coaches and other professionals to attract and win their ideal clients by becoming seen as authorities in their field.

Tagauthority marketing

More Clients TV

Use the ECC Method to Become Seen as an Authority in Your Field

Posted on 2nd November 2015.

This week's 5 Minute Marketing Tip is about the “ECC Method”, one of the fastest approaches I know to becoming seen as an authority in your field.

If you're a regular reader of my blog posts or watch my videos then no doubt you'll have heard me banging on about how powerful it can be to be seen as an authority in your field.

It's not for everyone, of course. The majority of services that most people buy don't need world class expertise to deliver them, just a good service at a good price.

But if you want to get access to some of the highest paying, most interesting work, then being seen as an authority is a real shortcut. And the ECC method can position you as a leading expert without needing to spend years writing a best-selling book, leading a major research program or becoming a celebrity of some sort.

Watch this week's video to find out how it works…
Click here to watch the video »


More Clients TV

Building Authority to Differentiate Your Business

Posted on 3rd August 2015.

Today's video is the second in our series on how to differentiate your business – specially tailored for service businesses.

Today we're looking at how to become seen as an Authority or Go To Expert in your field. And frankly, I think most people who teach this topic get it completely wrong. They focus on the “plumbing” rather than the fundamentals.

So in this week's video I teach you 4 methods that will properly position you as an authority in your field.
Click here to watch the video »



Myths and ‘mythconceptions’ about getting published

Posted on 2nd September 2013.

Caroline TalbottToday's blog post is by Caroline Talbott, leadership coach, author, and long time reader of this blog! Caroline's book Essential Career Transition Coaching Skills was recently published by Routledge.. Over to you Caroline…

We’ve all been told (not least by Ian!) – get yourself known, become a Visible Expert, an ‘Authority’. And we all know that writing a book is a fantastic way to do that – but where do you start?

Here’s the story of how I got mine into print – I hope it’s helpful to you in doing the same.

Myth number 1: Finding a publisher is difficult.
Not so in my case – it was about using my network, demonstrating my credibility, taking advice – and persistence.

My book came about when I saw a post in a professional coaching forum from a fellow member who is the Editor of a coaching book series – she was asking for ideas for new titles, I made some suggestions and one of them she liked. I took her advice about how to write the proposal and a sample chapter – she liked that too, and so did the publisher – eventually. It took a lot of waiting, chasing and a little bit of re-positioning. But getting the contract in my hand was a major moment!

So the best tip I can give you is: find someone, using your network, who has a need for what you want to write about (as with any product or service) rather than writing something and THEN trying to find a need…

Myth number 2: Writing a book is hard
I must say this is the part I loved! The following are my tips for how I got into the flow and made this enjoyable.

Content: If you choose a subject you are really an authority on you will know what you want to say – and you will move in circles with other experts who have different but equally valid takes on the subject. Tap into their ideas and feature them in the book – you’ll then have a range of interesting perspectives. And also a host of people with a network for promoting your book!

Find your voice: Don’t try and write in some fancy, artificial way that’s not you. Writing a blog is a great way to start and to practice with short pieces – and you get feedback.

Just put yourself out there: There’s also nothing quite like a blog to give you the courage to write down your stuff. I remember the trepidation when I pushed the button to publish my first blog post – and then the adrenalin rush when I saw it on the Internet. You know what you’re talking about so don’t spend hours agonising over “Will other people agree?”. As I’ve learnt from Ian, no one can please everyone and the people who are attracted to you are the ones who will want to read your book and work with you. Take the attitude ‘It’s my book and if I say that’s right – it’s right!’

Getting down to it: Set aside time every day to write (or everyday that it’s physically possible). Our minds are freshest and most creative in the morning so just get up, start writing. Great excuse to hang around in your dressing gown! Begin by writing as a stream of consciousness and then critique it afterwards.

Myth number 3: You’ll be asked to do endless rewrites
Not so. After I’d written each chapter I asked fellow coaches to peer review my work. I owed a lot of coffees/lunches etc afterwards but most said how much they enjoyed reading it. The upshot was that there was nothing I had to rewrite, just a few suggestions that were left up to me to use if I wanted to.

Myth number 4: Once it’s written your work is done
No, definitely not. The publishers employ a very helpful band of copy editors, proof checkers, co-ordinators etc etc who support you in getting the manuscript ready for printing. But you still need to do a lot of checking yourself to ensure that it’s exactly as YOU intended. I have to say most of this is still something of a mystery to me – and that’s one of the benefits of using a publisher – because if you self publish you have to do all this yourself. And it’s not easy when you have 60,000 words to contend with!

Does all this take a long time? Yes. I was given a year to write my book and then it took almost another year to get it on to the shelves. But it sure is worth it when you get your own printed book in your hand and see it on Amazon, and then read the 5 star reviews!

What would I do differently? I think the one thing I would change is that I would have put less content into this first book. I could then have got it out there faster – and would have more material for a sequel!

So what are you waiting for? The most difficult step is the first one so plan your strategy and get started – there’s no time like now. Why not you, why not now? If not now, then when?

With over 30 years experience in business, Caroline Talbott develops leaders and their organisations through executive coaching, leadership and Organisation Development and change consultancy, and. She is the author of ‘Essential Career Transition Coaching Skills’.

You can connect with Caroline at the Professionals in Leadership blog, on her website Caroline Talbott – catalyst for change or via twitter as @CaroCatalyst


Authority Marketing Podcast

James Sale Authority Marketing Interview

Posted on 6th November 2012.

James SaleJames Sale is one of Europe's leading authorities on the psychology of motivation.

James built his reputation primarily by getting out and sharing his expertise through speaking. He's a perfect example for those of you who want to start by making a big and direct impact on those around you – rather than perhaps waiting years for your book to be published or your website to hit number one in google.

James offers some great insights into building your expertise, sharing your content, getting booked as a speaker – and some clever tips on using Linkedin to build your reputation.

Subscribe to the Authority Marketing PodcastClick here to subscribe to the Authority Marketing podcasts in iTunes.

To find out more about James and learn more about how to discover your own motivation, visit:

James Sale – James' site with his writing and resources on motivation

Motivational Mentoring – to get your own personal motivational profile.

And as James offered on the podcast – he'd love you to connect with him on Linkedin here:

James Sale on Linkedin


Authority Marketing Podcast

Authority Marketing Interview: Geoff Ramm

Posted on 4th July 2012.

Geoff RammGeoff Ramm is the UK's leading speaker on Marketing. He's been travelling the world blending observational humour with sharp marketing insights for a decade now. And he stopped off to chat to me about how he built his reputation.

Unlike many Authorities, Geoff didn't build his expert status based on a book or articles or a big study. He got out on the road and showcased his ideas in front of paying audiences week in, week out.

It's a route to Authority that can be highly effective – especially if you're a great presenter.

In this interview Geoff talks about what got him started, how he began to build his name, his big break and how it happened, and what he believes are the key success factors for building a successful business through public speaking.

Oh, and he reveals his #secretsauce too (check the audio so see what that means!)

Subscribe to the Authority Marketting PodcastClick here to subscribe to the Authority Marketing podcasts in iTunes.

To find out more about Geoff and watch some of his videos (highly recommended) check out:



How To Become An Authority In Your Field

Posted on 12th July 2011. Authority Marketing

For me, establishing yourself as one of the leading authorities in your field is the most powerful strategy for those in the advisory professions. As the web and the ability to find pretty much anything or anyone online becomes all pervasive, clients are now able to find the “best person for their needs”, rather than just the “best person they can find locally”.

Being a recognised authority in your field doesn't mean you'll win all the work – or even most of it. But it does put you in line for the most interesting and lucrative work.

It's not a strategy that's for everyone. There's absolutely nothing wrong with being “damn good at what you do” – but not necessarily the leader in the field.

Personally though (and for obviously self-interested reasons) I'm fascinated by what it is that these authorities do to establish their market presence. So I set about interviewing them to find out.

I have more interviews planned, but I wanted to share with you some common themes emerging from the research so far and to see what you thought.

What makes an Authority?

The first common factor is that all the authorities in my study so far have made their name in tight niche.

Charlie Green established himself as the go-to guy for becoming a Trusted Advisor. Tom Searcy focused on “whalehunting” – winning big clients. John Seddon is “the systems thinking guy for service businesses”. And so on.

Now, later on, many of the authorities expanded their reach. Charlie is now a recognised leader in Trust generally – not just for advisors, for example.

But they all started out in a relatively tightly defined niche.

Secondly, they all developed deep expertise in their field.

Now you may have heard people saying that you can “fake it 'til you make it”. That you can claim authority first, then develop the expertise.

– Bullshit –

Each of the authorities in my study dedicated themselves to mastery of their field.

Drayton Bird is well into his 70s – yet he's a lifelong student of direct marketing and continues to invest heavily in his own education. The detailed benchmarking that Greg Alexander and his team do gives them insights into sales performance that no other consultants can match. Jane Mason lives and breathes breadmaking and is constantly looking into new techniques, methods and recipes.

Now you don't have to be seen as the #1 expert globally to be an Authority. You just need an audience who values what you do and sees you as the Authority for them. That's where specialisation can help.

And transparency too. Be honest about what you know and what you don't. If you're just a couple of steps ahead of your audience, tell them. Be the guy (or gal) who's a trailblazer for them. Who shows them what's working and what's not right now to achieve the goals they're aiming at.

All of the Authorities I interviewed are passionate about what they do too.

None of them would have dedicated the time and effort they did into becoming leading experts if they didn't have a true passion for their fields.

Sometimes that passion was born of frustration: John Seddon's grew from anger at how badly the UK government was managing improvements in the public sector.

Sometimes it was part of their upbringing: Jane Mason's parents taught her the importance of natural food, good company and living well.

And sometimes it just grew: Drayton Bird fell into direct marketing accidentally when he was desperate for a job. But he fell in love with it and became one of direct marketing's true evangelists.

All of my authorities developed a clear market positioning: they stand for something.

Drayton and John are famous for being outspoken – fierce critics of poor performance in their fields. Tom is the champion of small businesses – helping them win big deals against giant competitors. Greg is on the side of Chief Sales Officers, having been one himself and been frustrated with the poor support he'd been given. Charlie is an advocate of trust based relationships and long term thinking in a world of short term transactions. And Jane promotes social enterprise and community building through bread-making.

We know who they are and what they stand for. There's no ambiguity. No “we do everything” or “we do whatever you want”. We know who to go to if we want what they've got.

Finally, they all have the courage to speak out about what they believe in.

Not everyone likes them. Not everyone agrees with them. But they don't pander. They don't say what they think people want to hear – they say what they believe in and they say it with power and passion. Listen to a presentation by “Entrepreneur's Guru” Robert Craven, for example – he pulls no punches.

To use social media terminology – they've built fans rather than just friends.

How does this apply to you?

Could you do this in your business? Is there something you're passionate enough about and expert enough about to become an authority on?

Do you have the courage to go down this route with your marketing? To stand for something. To risk annoying or alienating potential clients who don't agree with you?

It's worked for the authorities in my study – could it work for you?

I'd love to hear your views – just drop me an email at

And if you want to listen to the interviews, they're all here.


Authority Marketing Podcast

Authority Marketing Interview: Jane Mason

Posted on 12th June 2011.

Jane MasonOur next Authority Marketing podcast is with Jane Mason, founder and director of Virtuous Bread.

Jane's probably not as well known (yet) as some of our previous interviewees – but within a year of founding Virtuous Bread she's gone from a standing start to being fully booked and having a waiting list of people wanting to work with her.

She's proof that you can apply the principles of Authority Marketing to grow your business – even if you don't have a best selling book under your belt. She's built a business based on her expertise in strategy consulting, her love of breadmaking, and her passion for building communities tbased on positive and progressive relationships.

Jane's used a very focused approach to establish her business, marketing to infuential opinion leaders in her field. She's harnessed social media and the power of relationships. And she's turned her website into more than just a resource for all things bread – it's a community hub where people go to learn, to get involved, and to be entertained.

But it wasn't all plain sailing. In the interview Jane's very honest about the doubts she had early on – ones I'm sure will be familiar to most listeners. But by establishing a supportive network of friends and associates she pushed through the doubts to make her business a success.

There's a lot to learn from this interview – and an inspiring story to hear – enjoy!

Subscribe to the Authority Marketting PodcastClick here to subscribe to the Authority Marketing podcasts in iTunes.

To find out more about Jane and Virtuous bread, head over to:


Authority Marketing Podcast

Authority Marketing Interview: John Seddon

Posted on 7th April 2011.

John SeddonJohn Seddon is a global authority on systems thinking in service organisations.

Often controversial, always outspoken – John has been championing systems thinking for nearly three decades. He's a fierce critic of piecemeal government reform and top down target setting and often clashes with what he calls the “toolhead” proponents of Lean.

He's not everyone's cup of tea – he even has “hate” websites dedicated to criticising him. But he's built his reputation and authority to the level where, certainly in the UK, if you want to take a systems thinking approach to transforming your service organisation, John is almost always the first person you'll call.

In this podcast John talks about how (almost accidentally) he got started in the field of systems thinking. How he built his expertise and his reputation. Some of the branding mistakes he made along the way. And his advice for consultants and other professionals wanting to take the authority route to building their business.

Subscribe to the Authority Marketting PodcastClick here to subscribe to the Authority Marketing podcasts in iTunes.

To find out more about John, his business Vanguard Consulting, and to get hold of resources on systems thinking, you can just google “John Seddon” or head straight to:


Authority Marketing Podcast

Authority Marketing Interview: Drayton Bird

Posted on 28th March 2011. Drayton Bird

What can I say about Drayton Bird that hasn't already been said?

The legendary David Ogilvy said “he knows more about direct marketing than anyone in the world”.

Sir Martin Sorrell, founder of WPP called him a “wise and wily marketer”.

Ken McCarthy, the founding father of internet marketing called him simply a “genius”.

So how did he get to this point? How did he build his authority as a direct marketer and copywriter to the point where even the experts come to learn from him?

In this interview, Drayton reveals the simple (but of course, far from easy) secrets of his success in direct marketing.

He talks about how he got started, how he got his first job in advertising, some of his famous successes and painful disasters.

And he shares his advice on what it takes to build a position as an authority in your field.

For a consultant or coach looking to raise their profile and begin to get clients looking for them, it's absolute gold dust.

A quick warning for the faint of heart – Drayton does swear a bit in the interview!

Drayting Bird Authority Marketing Interview

Subscribe to the Authority Marketting PodcastClick here to subscribe to the Authority Marketing podcasts in iTunes.

To find out more about Drayton and to get a free copy of his 101 helpful marketing ideas, head over to


Authority Marketing Podcast

Authority Marketing Interview: Charles Green

Posted on 19th February 2011.

Charles GreenCharles Green, leading authority on Trust in Business explains how he found his niche and grew his reputation.

This is the second in a series of interviews with leading authorities and experts from the world of consulting and coaching.

Charlie is recognised globally for his expertise on Trust – yet as he explains in the interview, he didn't set out with the deliberate intention of building an authority position in this area. However, the approaches he “accidentally” used are certainly ones that aspring authorities can reproduce to build their reputations.

Subscribe to the Authority Marketting PodcastClick here to subscribe to the Authority Marketing podcasts in iTunes.

To find out more about Charlie and his work on trust and professional services, head over to: