I realized a few years ago that I needed a way of visualizing all the things I talk about and do for my business. Essentially, I needed an expertise map to help guide me on decisions about what should and shouldn't be included in my signature program.
So I started a giant brain dump of all the processes I have created in my business. By the end of this process, I was left with a massive list. Unfortunately, it was really disorganized and all over the place.
I knew that there must be a better and easier way.
I came up with this process of expertise mapping that has completely changed how I approach, offer, development and choose topics in my business.
This single document, which I continuously change and update, has become the most important and valuable asset in my business. I kind of started talking about it with my Your Content, Your Empire students last year and have now decided to share it here because of the huge difference I’ve seen it make in my business and the businesses of those I work with.
What is expertise mapping?
Expertise mapping is a method for cataloguing your areas of expertise, or developing expertise, in a visual and organized map. You're basically going through the process of documng all of the things that you do in your business and grouping them together so that you can easily see your areas of expertise are.
Four Ways to Use Expertise Mapping
Creating a signature process.
As you are using different tools and methods in your business you start to make them your own. The expertise map is a great way of recognizing and claiming that expertise as part of your signature processes.
All too often in our business, we are doing so many things without realizing, or taking a break to stop and reflect on them, we don't even notice when they become part of our process. By creating your expertise map you can check in on your progress and your growth – and gain the ability to articulate and recognize your own signature processes.
Creating a new offer.
Say I was putting together an offer around sales funnels. I would consult my expertise map. This allows me to notice the different things I talk about and the different components and elements of what I do.
Whenever I'm building a sales funnel, or teaching about sales funnels, my expertise map can help me decide what the pieces of each lesson should be, or what should be included in a service.
An expertise map allows you to compare what you are doing with what other people are doing in similar, and even over-crowded, markets. This knowledge can help you to stand out from ‘competitors’ in your industry because you’ll have a well-formed answer to the question of why I should hire you over other options out there.
An expertise map is a great way to tease out different blog posts. We plan our content on a quarterly basis so it becomes very handy to help me choose different content topics, create different videos that I want to tackle and plan for bigger pieces of content. Think “what do I want to teach a webinar on”. Many of my webinars have come from my expertise map, such as my cash injection campaign webinar or my forever funnel method webinar. I feel like I’m never stuck for ideas – especially since I keep adding to my expertise map.
Expertise Mapping: How to Create Your Own Map
Hopefully I’ve convinced you of the merits of creating an expertise map I want to walk you through the process of creating one yourself. There are really only four main steps. Keep in mind this is a living document, super valuable but it's also one that is likely going to change in the future, and will definitely grow the longer you stay in business.
Step One: Identify Your Main Content Categories
I want you to start by identifying what are the main content categories, or work areas, in your business. Ask yourself “what are the high-level topics I am or want to be an expert in?”
For myself, this includes content strategy, sales funnels, launches and content systems. I also add in a general productivity and CEO category so I have a miscellaneous category I can group all other things into.
Step Two: Brainstorm Everything You Know and Use Under Each Category
Brainstorm all of the things that you know or do in that area. Within each of those categories, what are the things that you talk about and what are your unique processes for them? It can be helpful to set a timer here. Give yourself five minutes for each category and write down whatever comes to mind.
For myself, under sales funnels would be things like choosing a freebie or my testing protocol. This is a really unique part of my process for doing a sales funnel that helps fund the paid ads, or just test the conversions of the funnel so I can optimize them.
Look for the processes you follow for your own business and for clients under each category to help identify these for yourself.
Step Three: Organization
Go back through and organize all of the items that you've written down in your brainstorm and group them together. This can also be an opportunity to name certain processes as a way of really branding them and making them your own, for example: my forever funnel method.
Step Four: Use It Regularly for Maximum ROI
Update your expertise map regularly. I like to update my expertise map on a quarterly basis. I review it and see if there's anything new that should be added. If you make a regular practice of keeping your expertise map updated it'll be really easy to maintain and won't take that much time.
I have a template for creating an expertise map to help you create your own map, you can download it here.
How To Use Your Expertise Map After You've Created It
Here are some ideas as a way of using our expertise map, after you've created it:
- Content planning: Use your expertise ma anytime you need to come up with new topics for blog posts or videos.
- Developing a new offer: If you are trying to decide what should and shouldn't be included in an offer, look to your expertise map. This can help you bundle together those different steps and processes into an offer that provides a lot of value for your potential clients and customers.
- During guest expert interviews, when teaching in someone else's community or at a speaking engagement. This can be a great way of coming up with a signature presentation or a topic. This can help you to find topics that really set yourself apart from other experts who might be interviewed
- Developing a new freebie: Any time you are trying to decide on a lead-in for your offer, your expertise map can help. It's a really great way of reverse engineering a freebie for a larger offer by looking at some of the items within similar categories on your expertise map.
- Creating your systems: At Your Content Empire, we make a point of regularly updating our operations manual. Our expertise map is a great reminder of the things that we may or may not have built systems around.
Ready to Create Your Own Expertise Map?
I hope that you create an expertise map for your business. For me, it is one of the most valuable multi six-figure assets in my business and most of the money I’ve made in my business – especially from my courses and digital products – have been a direct result of this tool.
So I want to help you do the same. So make sure that you download my expertise map template below this blog post: