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Stevie Dillon

Which Expert “Type” Are You, And Are You Building the Right Model for Your Type?

September 5, 2023

PRE PS. Dream and Design – our 100% free (this one time) four week business model program for those who want to design or redesign a clear and compelling vision for an expertise-based online business that feels wildly aligned. We kick off NEXT WEEK on September 12th – register here, join the 1,500 already registered!

❌ Not all expertise-based businesses are built the same.

First, though, let me define what I mean by expert business: It’s a leveraged expertise-based online business that can be defined broadly as a model in which you are packaging up your Intellectual Property into something leveraged and scalable.

They are, in my opinion, the MOST leveraged and profitable model on the internet.

Here’s the disconnect, though.

Not all expertise-based business models are built the SAME.

And there are, sadly, too many people coming into the industry lured in by time, freedom and happiness who are unwittingly building a fatal flaw into their model from the outset – they are building the wrong model for THEM.

When someone wants to move into online education, there are many ways that you can structure it. Getting this wrong for the TYPE of “expert” you are is a fatal flaw, and it is the reason that many people who COULD be making a living doing what they love end up exiting the industry because it doesn’t work for them.

It’s not that the model is broken, or that THEY are broken – it’s that they built an unaligned model that was NEVER going to suit the type of “expert” they are in the first place.

In today’s podcast episode, I am sharing a simple framework to help you to know:

  1. Which TYPE of expert you are; and
  2. Based on that, the model of expertise-based online business that is best suited to you.

Let’s get into it!

Listen On: Apple Podcasts | Spotify


Pssst. Want to join a REAL conversation and share your thoughts, insights and comments on this week’s podcast episode? We’ve just launched Podcast Conversations over in our free community, which you will get access to when you register for Dream and Design.

I’m craving more REAL community and connection, and two way conversations on these episode. So, I’m creating a platform for just that! I want you to genuinely contribute to the conversation.

Register for Dream and Design here, join the free community and come and join in on this week’s Podcast Conversation!


Okay, back to it.

There are, fundamentally, three different “types” of experts online.

1. The Curator Expert: You aren’t the “expert” but you curate people with a common interest. For example, you curate expertise by building online communities like memberships, or by interviewing other experts.

This is usually the best place for a NEW expert to start, or for someone that wants to cut their teeth and start to gain traction doing something they love. It’s where I started, way back when.

2. The Creator Expert: You’re a creator at heart – whether it’s podcasting, social media, course creation or another format. Creating content (front and back end) comes easily to you and you naturally build audience.

3. The Consultant Expert: You’re a true subject matter expert, have expertise that has been delivering in another way, through less leveraged means like being a service provider, 1:1 consultant or coach or similar.

Matching the wrong model to your expert type is a fatal flaw.

Here is a summary of the model types that suit each expert type, and some of the unaligned matches that don’t usually work:

Curator Expert Models: These experts are usually most suited to memberships, communities (free and paid) and modes of creating content that focus on curating other experts.

Let’s use the example of the old me! My genius zone was social media, BUT I wasn’t yet an expert in it.

So, here’s what I did:

Curated Interviews: I started curating interviews with other social media experts in blog posts and sharing them online.

Curated Community: I started a community of others with an interest in social media, by documenting what I was learning and then building community around that.

Let’s say your genius zone is guitar – but you aren’t the expert. One model that could work well is a community for other like-minded people at a similar stage, and a regular cadence of sharing curated interviews on a podcast. Over time, you will build your authority, your audience/community and you can move into a different model.

Consultant Expert Models: The consultant expert is most suited to higher ticket coaching and delivery. Because these experts are masters of their craft, they are usually most aligned with a model that allows them to continue with it, but in a more leveraged way – usually, swapping 1:1 or service work for a group consulting or coaching model.

That is usually very valuable, and you can naturally charge more. This allows the consultant expert to leverage their time, and to do it in a way that won’t require them to spend all of their time on MARKETING (which they would if they chose a lower ticket, more hands off option). They also don’t necessarily need to create a lot of CONTENT in the form of a course, it could just be group calls – for example!

An example of an unaligned consultant expert is one who choose a low ticket, low touch business model that requires them to become a content creator (courses, and content) and spend most of their time marketing.

Creator Expert Model: The creator expert is suited to lower ticket courses and creation. They naturally enjoy creating content, so creating course materials will come more naturally, and by leaning into a lower ticket model with a more hands off delivery model like a course, they will be able to then spend the majority of their time on the necessary MARKETING and content creation to drive sales. And, they will enjoy it!

An example of an unaligned creator expert is one who builds a high ticket program with, for example, lots of coaching. They will need to spend the majority of their time in delivery, outside of their genius zone, and usually end up feeling unaligned or burning out.

Of course, your model can change over time.

For example, some will start as a curator expert to build their audience and authority, and then springboard into the model that feels most aligned.

Others might identify more with the creator model, but not yet have the leads and audience to drive it and so will start with a consultant model with a clear view on their endgame being a creator model.

The secret is in being clear on the type of expert you are, and then intentionally building a model that supports you to work in your genius zone on the things that naturally energise you.

And, Side Note? this is EXACTLY the type of thing we are covering inside of Dream and Design, and with over 1,500 people now registered and ready to design (or redesign) their OWN expertise-based business model to the Lifestyle Business Sweet Spot – it’s the most engaged community on the Internet!

Dream and Design OFFICIALLY kicks off on 12 September with the first live lesson, but the community is already active so come on in and share your thoughts on today’s podcast episode.

You can register for Dream and Design here.

Keep Listening!

Listen On: Apple Podcasts | Spotify

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