Below is the full transcript of Douglas Kruger’s book launch interview with Vuka Africa.
Host: Well, it’s Monday morning in Vuka, Africa and that means we do a book review. Every Monday morning we look at an interview or welcoming also into the study and we have something inspirational for everyone this morning. It’s Monday morning and I thought you need a bit of inspiration. Own Your Own Industry is a new book by Douglas Kruger. It’s about how to best create a profile for yourself, be the best face and voice in your field of specialization and he joins me now to unpack his book.
Without giving too much away, obviously, a very good morning, Douglas. Thanks very much for joining us.
Just tell us Own Your Own Industry, what inspired you to write this book.
Douglas Kruger: Well, yes, the idea is positioning yourself as an expert in your field and the heart and soul of this book is saying rather having to go and cold call and earn customers one by one, how do you become the greatest name in your game so they start coming to you. That’s the essence of it.
Host: Now, this is obviously a lot easier said than done as we have discussed. So many people would run their businesses and at the end of the day it’s a lot easier said than done.
Douglas Kruger: Absolutely. It’s a lot of work being an entrepreneur and making an industry come to you. Certainly, this is not an overnight idea. It’s something that you would work out for years. In fact, when I speak on topics I say “I am inviting you to do much more work that is strictly necessary to get by in your industry” but the joy of being seen as the iconic name in your industry is that what starts to happen is instead of having to seek out the deals, the deals come to you because you are the logical choice. Instead of having to seek out, say, media publicity, shows, they start coming to you because you are the big name. So, what we are seeing here is in a nation that struggles with employment, in a continent in which people are obsessed about trying to get jobs and being employed, let’s take the opposite route and encourage entrepreneurs and new businesses but let’s go one step beyond just helping them to break through and say “How do you become the best there is?” That’s how high we need to aim.
Host: What makes someone an expert in any particular field?
Douglas Kruger: Well, I believe there are three things. The three things that make a person an expert are knowledge which is the most obvious one, personality which is the one most people this miss and then publicity. I always contend that if you have all the knowledge but no personality and you are merely a specialist and if you have all the personality with no knowledge, you are a Kardashian. In fact, if you take people like, say, the Jeremy Clarksons of the car world or Nigel Lawson of the world of food, what they have done is they have gone one step beyond the mere knowledge. They are working with the same raw materials as everyone else but they have brought a personality into it and that’s the differentiator.
Host: I was paging through some of the aspects which I found quite interesting. You last section in the book is 10 Rookie Errors to Avoid. Some of them include being a weasel, coming on too strong, also getting drunk at public events, and obviously this is the book. Tell us about some of those rookie errors.
Douglas Kruger: Yes. Well, one of them is neglecting the ribbon and I use the example of when you buy a new car, the thing that you most want on the day is that ribbon around the car and it doesn’t matter that you paid the better part of, say, a million Rand for the car and the ribbon costs 2 Rand 50, you want the ribbon. Packaging and presentation matters greatly. The big corporate companies know this but young entrepreneurs or new businesses tend to overlook it and it really does change the value of what it is that you offer and expert positioning is essentially saying that; it’s saying where is your value be worthwhile.
Host: A lot of other discussions; you have also discussed the role of media and getting out there. How important is that?
Douglas Kruger: Well, it’s incredibly important. Be a face and a voice in the public consciousness. There is an old joke and in fact it seems to be true; they did a survey and asked people “What is your no. 1 fear?” and death came second to public speaking. Most people would rather be the guy in the box than the one delivering a Eulogy at a funeral and expert position says take the opposite viewpoint, get yourself in front of the public eye as often as you can. Be a face and a voice in their consciousness. Just one example – many young entrepreneurs and new business, they know that PR is important. So, they will send out press releases and that’s good but it means that you are an e-mail address on a piece of paper. What you want to be is a face and a voice in an editor’s mind and that’s slightly different. That changes how people perceive you.
Host: When you say “in editor’s mind”, what do you mean?
Douglas Kruger: Well, let’s say, for example, that you are submitting a PR article to an industry publication. Most people would go as far as simply sending out the press release and hope that it gets there. The expert will go and meet the editor and become the go-to source and there again, that’s how the dynamic begins to happen. You go from approaching the media to suddenly having the media approach you because they know that you are the go-to person.
Host: Douglas, when people read this book, what kind of mindset changes are you wanting to make?
Douglas Kruger: The very simple idea behind this is saying “How can you be the greatest in your game, the best at what you do?” and it looks at being completing as technically the best but also the PR side of presenting yourself as the best. So, it’s saying “Let’s get beyond the mindset of struggling to start a business or struggling to grow a career and go what you actually do, practically speaking to become the best in your game.”
Host: You have mentioned also the likes of social media. How important does that play?
Douglas Kruger: Well, it’s growing and one of the things that I feel we under-look in South African social media is the power of visuals and the power of video. We are getting better with things like tweeting and Facebook and LinkedIn but we are still not harnessing the power of, say, novel visuals. I watched a video the other day of just a car manufacturer and you see how clever they are about creating vital videos. Just for example, this one treated a car like a bullet and it had it going through a massive ballooning slow motion, you see the water exploding. The bigger companies are very good and propagating visuals. We can do that too and it’s relatively affordable for a new entrepreneur but you have to think creatively.
Host: Tell us about the book – where, when, how much, all the details.
Douglas Kruger: Well, it in fact the first book with Penguin. I had a public speaking book published before and I am five-time winner of the SHMs for Public Speaking. First of all, Penguin approached me with it. It hit the bookstores this weekend and it was amazing to walk in and see all these yellow wall over the shelves. It’s on sale for 206 Rand in bookstores nationally.
Host: Why yellow?
Douglas Kruger: Well, a lot of canaries give their life for this.
Host: Great! Own Your Own Industry: How To Position Yourself As An Expert. Every Monday morning here on Vuka, Africa we have an author. You can get it at all leading retail bookstores; 208 Rand it will cost you.
Douglas, appreciate your time this morning. Best of luck with the book. I am going to read it to see what happens.
Thanks very much, Douglas Kruger.
*** End of Interview***************
Professional speaker Douglas Kruger is the only speaker in Africa to have won the Southern African Championships for Public Speaking a record five times. He is also Africa’s only 2nd place World Champion! Competing in Reno, Nevada in 2004, he achieved the highest ranking Africa has ever attained at this prestigious contest. Douglas will bring world-class platform skills to your conference, because not only is he a master at connecting with audiences, but his content is of an international standard.
He is the author of ‘50 Ways to Become a Better Speaker,’ published in South Africa and Nigeria, ‘50 Ways to Position Yourself as an Expert,’ and co-author of ‘So You’re in Charge. Now What? 52 Ways to Become a Better Leader.’ And experience? In Africa, he has spoken and trained for organizations like: BMW, Vodacom, ABSA, Old Mutual, Caltex, Nedcor, FNB, Revlon, Alexander Forbes, Standard Bank, the JCCI, Clarins, and many more.
In 2009, he produced, choreographed and co-presented a nationwide Customer Service road show for Caltex. He has also spoken as far afield as Hong Kong and the USA. He has personally coached: The Executive Director of Fairbairn Capital, the Chief Financial Officer of Barnard, Jacobs and Mellet, the Managing Director of Clarins South Africa, the CEO of PWC South Africa, and the executive management team of BMW South Africa. Douglas has been a talk-show host on SAfm and Talk Radio 702, and writes regular thought-leadership articles, which have been featured in Entrepreneur, Sales Guru and Forbes magazines. In 2010, he was made the Face of Ford, starring in a series of TV ads.
His style is easy and entertaining. He is quick-witted, humorous and always at the forefront of industry knowledge. He is experienced at working with conference conveners and knows how to assist you in meeting your goals. Expect an engaging, content-rich presentation from a presenter who knows how to make it come alive.…And has the credentials to prove it!
You can follow Douglas on Twitter at @DouglasKruger