So you want a raise, but don't want to ask for it?
Here is a five step process to not only get a raise, but to transform how your organization values you forever.
I call it "microspecialization."
Microspecialization means becoming an expert on a very specialized topic within your job or skill set instead of trying to be the answer to everyone's problem.
People are often worried that if they specialize, then they'll end up missing out on promotions.
However, the promotions or new job opportunities that open up to acknowledged experts are quantum leaps, not incremental adjustments.
Just think about it in terms of food. Would you rather go to the best steakhouse in town for a steak, or a restaurant that serves steaks, Italian food, Chinese, Indian and sushi?
You would most likely choose the place that specializes in steak.
There is a place in Houston that specializes in "bone-in fillet", which is even more specific than just a steak. And if I want a good fillet, I'll go there and spend two to three times more than a fillet costs at other steak restaurants.
The same thing applies to your career.
The more specialized you get, the less competition you have and the more money you can demand.
STEP 1 | Define your industry and knowledge base at a high level
For me, this would be Internet Marketing. It's the basic service I've provided for years, and the one industry people identify me with.
For you... it could be real estate investing, fitness, dentistry -- whatever your business is.
The key is to define it on a high level at this step, so you leave yourself plenty of options to brainstorm at the next step.
STEP 2 | Break down into smaller more specific areas
In this step, you break down your job and go several levels deep. Try to identify several very specific "micro specializations."
For example, I've been an SEO guy for many years. This is what mine would look like:
Internet marketing ⇒ SEO ⇒ Backlinking ⇒ Recovering from Penalties
Internet marketing ⇒ SEO ⇒ Content Development ⇒ Speaker/Coaching
Internet marketing ⇒ SEO ⇒ Site Structure ⇒ Ecommerce Sites
A secretary's might look like:
Administrative Assistant ⇒ Office Automation ⇒ Spreadsheets ⇒ Report Specialist
Administrative Assistant ⇒ Office Automation ⇒ Word ⇒ Desktop Publisher
Administrative Assistant ⇒ Blogging ⇒ Newsletters ⇒ Company Publicist
A sales man's skills might look like:
Sales ⇒ Marketing Team ⇒ Catalogs and Flyers ⇒ Graphics Artist
Sales ⇒ Market Understanding ⇒ Internet ⇒ Market Analyst
Sales ⇒ Phone Skills ⇒ Sales Trainer ⇒ Motivational Speaker
You can see that each one of those is very specific, and if I were to focus my energy on one of those job titles, I would have no problem getting companies to hire me when they had a need in that area.
STEP 3 | Analyze Each Specific Area with the SPAN Method
S - Sub Topics... Are there enough specific subtopics of each?
See if there is enough subject matter to warrant the need for an expert. Google your job and look at the "related searches" at the bottom of the page. Each of these suggestions is a very common search term. If enough people are Googling the term that Google gives it as a hint, you can be sure that your new boss may be looking for that, too. Also, does Amazon have many books on the topic?
P - Pain...Will you be able to help people in pain?
People in "pain" are always willing to spend more than a person looking to "prevent". If you aren't going into a market where there is already a starving crowd... get out now. Would your absence from the company cause a great inconvenience or revenue loss?
Or you defined your ideal job, and find your current employer doesn't do that or doesn't value that skill. If that is the case, then it is time to start looking for a new company that does. Sometimes you may discover your position in the industry no longer serves a critical need, then you might need to start transitioning to a new career.
A - Attainable... Can you really help them?
Be honest with yourself here. You may have stumbled on a goldmine and the ideal job for yourself, but if you can't help the people in it, don't say you can.
However, you can enter the market slowly and help at a higher level, and work your way up to an authority level.
N - Numbers... Is there enough of a market to warrant you entering it?
Check for ads in Google to see if people are spending money to attract this audience.
You can also gauge popularity with Facebook groups, industry forums, LinkedIn groups, etc.
STEP 4 | Quickly Become the Authority by Becoming the "Educator & Advocate"
You need to enter as the "Educator and Advocate." Be the champion for your new boss and share high quality information on a regular basis.
The best options are to start a blog, podcast or video blog. A smart thing to do here is to repurpose your content as much as possible. We take a single podcast and make it into a blog post, transcribe the podcast for sharing as text, turn that into a video, create a pdf from slides, and use it in a book.
Put new content out at least once a week and in a few months you will have more content on your subject matter than 99 percent of your competitors. Find what's missing that people want and fill that need, become that resource. There is no reason that you can't be the #1 content creator in your micro specialization.
STEP 5 | Get Your Content In Front of New People
As in the step before, come out swinging for the fences and crank out as much content as you possible can. Publish your material in as many places as possible, not just on your site and web properties.
Offer to guest posts on other non-competing sites, and to be interviewed on podcasts and radio shows. Podcasters are dying for guests and you should have no trouble finding a few a month that will interview you.
Simply mention you've been interviewed and your image transformation has begun.
Using authority marketing methods (like we talk about on The Authority Alchemy Show), you can easily get radio, TV and newspapers interviews too.
So that's the basic process of claiming your micro specialization. Take some time today and plan out how you will become an expert on a very specialized topic within your current or ideal job. Stop trying to be the answer to everyone's problem.
Although, you will miss out on some business opportunities... you will gain many more and be able to serve them at a higher level.
Do this, and you will be able to get a raise without asking for it.