When it comes to building a brand, a great deal of emphasis is put on credibility. To be credible, you need to know what you’re talking about and doing, which means you should be an expert. But in a crowded global marketplace, many people tout themselves as experts, who may not in fact be experts, in which case, they aren’t credible. Becoming an expert or retaining your expert status requires effort to stay in the know, as well as sharing your expertise with others. Here’s how:
Become an expert (or maintain expert status)
I’ve come across marketing “experts” that suggest you don’t need to be an expert to make money in your chosen field. Instead, they suggest you only need to know more than lay people. There is some truth to that, and yet at the same time, not knowing enough can jeopardize your business. Further, being an expert isn’t just about what you know now, but how well you keep up in the industry. Strategies to build or maintain your expertise include:
- Staying abreast of current trends and news through blogs, industry association newsletters, books and magazines.
- Attending industry seminars, conferences and events
- Networking online and off with industry leaders and newsmakers
- Putting your expertise into practice in your business
Sharing your expertise
You can be the most knowledgeable and best practitioner in your area of expertise, but if you don’t share it, you won’t be viewed as an expert by others. The more you share, the more others can see and experience your expertise, which results in your being viewed as an expert. Strategies to share your expertise include:
- Blogging and social media
- Writing for industry resources such as trade magazines and association newsletters
- Speaking at conferences, seminars and events in your industry
- Consulting or training others in your industry
- Publishing books, courses, videos and other materials
- Being an “expert” guest on or interviewed for media sources
Building your expertise and establishing yourself as an expert is a never-ending process. Because trends change, you need to always be working to stay abreast of what’s new and changing in your business through reading, networking and attending conferences. At the same time, you need to always be promoting yourself as an expert through marketing tactics, such as blogging, writing, and speaking. It can take time to establish yourself as an expert, but if you continue to stay informed and share your expertise, a snowball effect can occur, where people talk about and refer to you as an expert, leading to more business and an increase your expert status.