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About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.

Written by: Vickie Sullivan  |  September 03, 2009

How accurate is your map?

Here’s a typical lament: I have given dozens of free talks at marketing and other association meetings. They never pay me because they say “it’s free marketing exposure for you.” The speeches are a mediocre source of new business. How do I get out of this trap?

This scenario pinpoints the biggest mistake experts make. It’s tempting to take baby steps when you’re a stranger in a strange land. It’s less risky and feels more comfortable. And that approach works on marketing tools such as websites. You don’t have to start out with a huge 100-page website to showcase your expertise.

However, there’s one helpful tool everyone needs before starting this journey: an accurate map. A compelling strategy and brand that competes in crowded markets requires a “go big or go home” approach. You can tell who put the upfront investment in planning their route first; they burst on the scene running. And they quickly surpass the experts who try to get away with less by settling for a clever book or speech title. Bottom line: the more skin you put into your strategy, the more incremental your implementation can be. The revenue you generate will subsidize your investment in websites and other tools.

There’s an old saying in construction: measure twice, cut once. This philosophy works in our business, too.


About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.