There are a lot of “Experts” around. How do you become an “Expert?” Just call yourself one! All done!
Well, that post was easy.
What if you truly want to become an expert. A real one. Not a fake one? While there is no shortcut to expertise, there are certain things you can do to nail down that title “Expert.” Becoming an expert on a certain topic takes knowledge and experience, yes, but it also takes a considerable amount of branding. That branding is going to make the difference between being perceived as an expert and a person who’s remarkably knowledgeable about a topic, but no one knows about it but you.
Decide on a Specific Niche for Your Expertise
Sure you’re a blogger. You like fashion. You talk about fashion all the time. But how are you an expert? Blogging? Fashion? If so, what kind? Are you an expert in content creation? Branding development? Social Media? Digital Marketing? In fashion, what’s your area? Becoming an expert on a broad subject is very difficult because broad subjects usually have a lot of information and niches within the subject to learn about. You can’t just be an expert in “Fashion” because there are many aspects of the industry: magazines, digital, start-ups, production, design, history, etc.
Be as specific as you can. The more narrow the niche, the more specialized you can brand your expertise. Also, the more valuable your knowledge becomes.
Identify Yourself as an “Expert”
Don’t just call yourself an “Expert” and be finished with it. What are some of the name of job titles in your area of expertise? Are you a journalist? A photographer? A designer? Community manager? Even though I always hated labeling my career, I have found that people need labels to communicate levels of expertise. Companies use job titles to hash out the leadership structure, and so everyone can feel like they know their place. Use a “job title” even if you are self-employed to help build that sense of legitimacy.
Don’t Just Say It. Show It.
There’s one thing in calling yourself an expert. But showing people how you’re an expert is how you’re going to earn the title. Many people use their blogs as a way to build up their brand as an expert in their field. Some people would say I’m an “Expert” in blogging because I write about blogging tips. Write articles, do podcasts, host classes, speak at conferences, write a book… there are many things you can do to showcase your expertise in a way that brands you as an “Expert.”
Position Yourself With Other “Experts”
You can call yourself an “Expert” all you want, and some people may believe you. But where you gain credibility is by achieving the trust and praise of other experts in your field. If another expert recommends you, your expertise becomes more valuable in the eyes of potential clients. If you can find a way to get quoted in the same article, speak on the same panel, get Tweeted at or posted about by another “Expert” all the better. Remember, they are human too and will value your contributions to the community as well as their own profiles.
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