There are many reasons to position yourself as a top name expert. The media comes to you. The deals come to you. And when you arrive, you may find the door already open.

When I first approached Penguin with a book manuscript, the reception, although highly professional, was frosty at best. I was unknown, untested. And while they were very polite with me, it was all done according to the rules, and every step was on their terms. There was no inherent trust. After submitting my synopsis and initial chapters, I waited weeks before I received a curt email tentatively permitting me to submit the rest of the manuscript. Then I waited weeks more, mumbling phrases about beggars and choosers.

Over time, though, and through the process of publishing five books, I've gone to great pains to show the team at Penguin that I can be relied upon. I'm extremely active in the publicity process, I meet deadlines, I represent them ably and I'm always willing to become deeply involved in their marketing. I constantly produce and I constantly communicate with them, to the extent that we've now built up a relationship of mutual trust.

Last week, I sent through a tentative query about my next manuscript. Within ten minutes, I received a response, which was: 'Yes, of course! Can't wait to see it!'

Chalk and cheese. The doors are open now.

It must be earned, painstakingly, over the years. You must build your profile over time, one smart step at a time, and experts are never experts by accident. But it is entirely possible to get to the point where your scenario changes completely, and the things that seem insurmountable to you now can become surprisingly easy.

Doors are never permanently locked. Craft yourself well. In time, those on the other side will welcome you in. Until then, keep hope, and keep building your profile. Keep aiming to be the greatest in your game. 


Douglas Kruger is a professional keynote speaker at conferences around the world. He specialises in disruptive innovation and expert-positioning, helping brands to become more memorable than their competitors’. See him in action, or sign up for his motivational newsletter, at Book him to present for your leadership team: email