How can you or your company benefit from the respect and admiration that comes with being an influential leader in your market, even if you are just starting out? There are several proven strategies to shorten your path to becoming an authority in your niche. And we’ll be talking about five actionable steps over the next few weeks.
Step One: “Niche Down” and Focus
No matter what business you’re in, you can learn a lot about becoming an authority figure in your field from NFL Draft Expert Mel Kiper, Jr. Even if you don’t care for football, or even sports in general, the following story illustrates how anyone can go from a “nobody” to the global leader in a targeted market in a very short period of time.
In the late 1970s in Baltimore, Maryland, Mel Kiper, Jr. was a teen-ager who loved the National Football League (NFL). The NFL is the largest professional football organization in the world. Kiper wrote player evaluation charts, showing what college football players he thought would be a good fit for the NFL.
The problem was, he was a total unknown, and no one took him seriously.
While attending school at Essex Community College in Baltimore in 1981, the young entrepreneur nevertheless started Kiper Enterprises, calling it an “NFL Talent Evaluation Business.” When anyone asked him his name, he would say, “Mel Kiper, NFL draft expert.” The NFL draft is the process by which teams select college football athletes to play for their franchises.
At that time, there was no such thing as an NFL draft expert. Very few people paid attention to the draft, except if you were personally associated with college football or NFL teams. Not to be swayed, Kiper continued releasing a yearly draft report, and talking up the importance of his evaluations for the annual draft to anyone and everyone who would listen.