The Go To Expert by Heather Townsend and Jon Baker

I’ve just finished reading this book which I am sure I started at the beginning of the year.  I know I started reading it while on the train to London which was in December or January time.  However, I don’t travel on the train on a frequent basis so my reading also got less.  I’ve currently found a new time to read, while putting the girls to sleep as long as it is in a kindle format.

This book is split into five parts with 16 chapters.  It also has an accompanying workbook which I’ve only just downloaded as train journeys are not always the best time to go on the internet on a kindle.  I almost wish I’d seen this book earlier on in my career and then rather than being stuck in a rut with my career that I am in now, I might have made some sort of pro-active progress in my career rather than having an almost seeing where it will go attitude. 

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been having a really long hard think about my career and how and what I want to do and to make a start on it.  This book in a way was perfectly timed to get in the right frame of mind.

I have to admit, not all the chapters were relevant to where I am and what I want to do but for anyone thinking of picking up this book is to keep reading it till the end as you will find useful information in this book.

Also, since I’ve always worked in small practices or maybe due to the time I started working in accountancy, I’ve never really had any sort of career progression guidance.  I’ve had reviews where I’ve been told I’m doing really well and here’s your inflationary pay rise or not as was the case once.  However, If someone had given me this book at the beginning of my career and had told me to read it, I think I would have had a huge career advancement.

I have to admit I’ve never been very focussed on what I want to do but at the beginning of your career its not a bad thing to try out a few things to see what you are good at and what you like.  But when I realised what I wanted to do, I wish I had stuck to it and pursued to with more determination. Although taking a pay cut while living the dream in London is a bit hard to deal with. I guess it’s never too late to start which is what I am going to focus on the and the chapters that are relevant to me start with the niche which seems to be a common theme for lots and lots of books and careers advice and other blogs that I follow.

The five parts of the book are:

1.       Determining what your thing is

2.       Packaging your brand

3.       How to build your visibility and profile to generate high quality warm leads

4.       Turning leads into clients

5.       The business of your brand

The first part is obviously about your niche and different ways on determining your niche.  The second part is about researching your niche market so you know what to offer and then know how to offer it to them.  This chapter is basically about different ways of marketing including social media, blogging, producing good quality content.  Part 3 has a lot to do with networking and differentiating between good and bad leads; how and who to network with; considering a sales funnel, writing a book, speaking at events, when to start using a PR, creating seminars including building an email list.  Part 4 was on how to spot a potential lead and not a dud one and how to get good at selling and how to save time writing a proposal and to practice your pitch.

The final part was on growing your business, how to create, maintain and look after your team, doing proper constructive reviews and how to keep up to date with your knowledge and finally on making a business plan.

It was a very interesting and very knowledgeable book and I’ve place bookmarks on the pages I want to go back and read again.  Also, having a workbook might help with going through the book again.  I do remember thinking at one point that I need to make a start on it with my 6 year old and 3 year old so they don’t get left behind.  Not sure now what I was going to start them on, possibly not accounting but get them to think about what they are passionate about.  Maybe 6 is too soon but I definitely think that once you have qualified, you should be advised to buy this book to help you decide where you want your career to go next.

However, even if you’ve not got the niche sorted, there are so many useful knowledgeable chapters in the book about other aspect of your brand.  Everything takes a while to do and so going back to this book to the book marked pages is the key.

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One thought on “The Go To Expert by Heather Townsend and Jon Baker

  1. Please be careful. Experts are not always right.

    I agree, exposure to large organisations would have been better in helping you with formal career progression planning. You are young, so still time.


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