The challenge of remaining relentlessly relevant. The big carmakers are constantly engaged with it. Mercedes have been doing it for well over a hundred years, and to this day - to this century - a surprising total of the new innovations in the sector still proceed from their stable.
Like the other industry survivors, they’ve had to constantly innovate, constantly create, constantly think of new ways to remain at the cutting edge.
In positioning yourself as an expert, you will need to do nothing less. Your goal is to remain relentlessly relevant.
That really is the big challenge for industry experts. Sure, you’ve written a book, produced a movie, created a speech, recorded an audio programme - and your content was excellent. But can you do it again? And again and again?
It’s this consistency of brilliance over time that takes you from flash-in-the-pan fad, to a sustained and trusted thought-leader.
Take Robert Kiyosaki as a perfect example. His clever framework, ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad,’ propelled him into the public consciousness as a wealth guru. Interestingly, it was actually his second book (Imagined if he’d rested on his laurels after writing the first? Can you name it?).
'Rich Dad, Poor Dad' became a brand, and we still associate him with that book. But just take a look at the titles that Kiyosaki has produced since then:
- Cashflow Quadrant: Rich Dad's Guide to Financial Freedom
- Rich Dad's Guide to Investing: What the Rich Invest in, That the Poor and the Middle Class Do Not!
- Rich Dad's Rich Kid, Smart Kid: Giving Your Children a Financial Headstart
- Rich Dad's Retire Young, Retire Rich
- Rich Dad’s Success Stories
- You Can Choose to be Rich
- Rich Dad's Before You Quit Your Job: 10 Real-Life Lessons Every Entrepreneur Should Know About Building
- Multimillion-Dollar Business
- Rich Dad's Escape from the Rat Race – Comic for children
Clever, right? And this is an abbreviated list. The total number of titles is significantly greater.
It’s all the same essential content, but Kiyosaki has cleverly repackaged, repurposed, re-oriented and evolved his output. Interestingly, in much the same way as the name ‘Frankenstein’ is now ubiquitous with what used to be ‘Frankenstein’s Monster,’ Kiyosaki is now often called ‘Rich Dad.’
By being a constant producer, Kiyosaki remains at the cutting edge. Like all leading experts and big-name gurus, he refuses to rest on his laurels. He is constantly finding the next big thing, and as a result, he remains relevant. The recession could have changed people’s perceptions of him, relegating him to the status of a guru ‘who’s ideas used to work in the old world.’ But Kiyosaki has refused to become redundant, writing and producing new content right the way through the economic busts and booms.
As an expert, how current is your content? How many new titles, new frameworks, new ways of looking at things have you introduced to your market over the same time frame?
You can be the Mercedes Benz of your industry, but it requires non-stop innovation. Are you remaining relentlessly relevant?
So, congratulations on your new book. Now do it again.
Douglas Kruger is the author of ‘Own Your Industry – How to Position Yourself as an Expert,’ published by Penguin in 2014. His entertaining business presentations help entrepreneurs and brands to become iconic. Meet him at www.douglaskruger.co.za. Email email@example.com, or connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter: @douglaskruger.