BY TJ Walker

The end goal for all of your social media efforts, PR, podcasting, advertising, book publishing and speaking is getting the phone to ring or your email box filled with non-SPAM. I’m assuming you aren’t running a street side psychic stand or a McDonald’s so you aren’t looking for people to walk into your store.

You need people to call you and write to you specifically seeking out your expertise and to be willing to pay for it. It doesn’t matter if they are only willing to pay $9.95 for your expertise, as long as you sell a few hundred thousand e-books, you’ll be just fine. Ideally, you have people calling you seeking out your expertise and wanting you to share it with them in a variety of ways, i.e. in books, speeches, trainings and TV appearances.

There are two equally important steps that must take place. 1. People must call or contact you. 2. They must value your expertise so much, that they are willing to pay you something.

Former child actor Gary Coleman has people willing to call him, but not may people who contact him are willing to pay him money. You might only have 1 person contact you a year, but if that person is willing to pay you a huge monthly retainer for your expertise, and then you are in good shape. Or you might have hundreds of thousands of people who contact you each year but with the average person not wanting to spend more than one dollar on, say, your iPhone app.

That’s OK too.

If, after awhile, and after you have been pushing out lots of multimedia and social media, and you still aren’t having people seek you out, then you have a problem. You aren’t providing enough unique value or you are putting stuff out that has zero perceived value. Sometimes it’s your niche. You might be delivering intelligent political commentary, but there are so many sources of free political commentary these days that it’s extraordinarily difficult to get anyone to pay for it.

The second big problem you face is if people are seeking you out and they aren’t willing to pay you money for your expertise. Remember, people are willing to have their dogs walked and the dead skin buffed off of their ugly feet. If the people who contact you aren’t willing to pay you for your time, services or expertise, then you need to realize that there is a specific value they’ve placed on your knowledge: Zero!

Now I have friends who call me every so often to play tennis, but I have never had anyone willing to pay me to play tennis. That’s OK because I don’t claim to have any great expertise at tennis, I just know enough to have fun and get a little exercise. But if people aren’t willing to pay you in some way for your expertise, then you are just an amateur running around with your tongue hanging out—kind of like me on the tennis court.

You may need to advertise—that’s OK. Apple advertises, Microsoft advertises. The key is you have to spend less on advertising than what comes back to you in the form of new business. A million dollars on advertising is inexpensive if it generates enough phone calls to create $50 million in new revenues. On the other hand, 10 cents per click for key word advertising is way too expensive if, on average, it only creates 5 cents of new revenue—that is a prescription for bankruptcy.

If you want to be a world-class guru, you’ve got to make the phone ring. If you can’t make the phone ring you either will be or should be out of business soon.

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