C-Suite Network™

The Rise of Thought Leaders

Business is booming! The knowledge-based service industry is now a $355 million dollar per day business. $129 billion billed annually to subject matter experts, trainers, consultants, authors, coaches, speakers, masterminds, webinars, e-courses and more.

The good news is the demand for information and thought leaders is at an all-time high. The bad news? So is the increasing supply and it’s becoming difficult to stand out from the crowded room of other experts.

There’s a growing rate of increase in competition for subject matter experts.

Seriously, subject matter experts are everywhere. Based on a simple search on LinkedIn based on titles, there are:

  • 12 million authors
  • 6 million Experts
  • 550,000 Consultants
  • 300,000 Coaches
  • 300,000 Trainers
  • 40,000 Speakers

That’s a lot of competition!

Just think, if you started a retail business you would have just a handful of competitors in your space. In the knowledge field, it’s fair to say that competition is high.
But where are they all coming from? Why are there so many experts right now?

The rise of professional services & knowledge delivery:

Ever since the 1970s, the American economy moved from a manufacturing to a service-based economy. Today the service business in the US represents 80% of the US private-sector GDP at $10 Trillion annually. The professional service sector consists of agencies, consultants, and specialists championed by individual industry experts.

As the service businesses emerged the brand promise transferred from product quality to specialized knowledge expertise and skill. This led to the rise of individuals as brands.

The Brand Called You! You Can’t Move Up if You Don’t Stand Out!

In 1997, Fast Company recognized the necessity for individuals to develop individual personal brands to compete in the cut-throat digital economy. The key to getting ahead in the services market is directly linked to establishing your personal equivalent of the Nike swoosh. “It’s that simple, that hard, and that inescapable.” At least that’s how Tom Peters put it in this classic branding piece.

Fast forward to today. Because anyone can be positioned as an expert. Everyone is.


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