How to be recognized as an industry expert.
You can be a one man operation or part of a 100 head-count small business, but chances are you have a skill or a knowledge that makes you valuable and successful at what you do. So why don’t you advertise that and use it to gain authority in your field? Yes there will be others with the same skillsets but the trick here is to broadcast and sell yourself better and wider than your competitors. Once you have attained that recognition as an industry expert or guru, you will see doors opening up for you. There will be higher paying jobs and quality engagement coming your way as well.
- Don’t be selfish with your knowledge; Share and educate
You want people to see you as the go-to guy for a particular subject so don’t be stingy with your knowledge. Share them, teach and be proactive in reaching out to existing clients or, if you are daring, other people’s clients. It will feel like you are giving your precious assets away but this is part of you content strategy. Stick with it and it will pay off handsomely in the mid to long term. But be careful of one thing; do not ever make your knowledge and services out to be free. Always indicate the value of your time at every possible chance and make sure that the recipients understand the true worth of what they are receiving for free.
- Focus and specialize
If you want to be jack of all trade, you will surely end up as master of none. This old adage rings true if you want people to see you as an expert. The unspoken quality of an expert is specialization and the more niche your field is the better. Sure, we all have many passions but for this to work, you will have to ask yourself what is the one area that you are most passionate about and match that will your knowledge. You can always acquire knowledge but it is hard to develop a true passion for a subject.
- Market your knowledge on blogs and books
If you are a true expert, you will probably have tonnes of notes stashed somewhere on your desk, in a hard-drive or in some cold storage. It is time to leverage on these notes, organize them and let them loose in the world. Writing books and daily blogs are good ways to advertise your expertise but they also serve an important function of helping you get organized both in your thoughts and action. The more you write the more holes you will find in your understanding of a subject and that should help you fill those holes and perfect your expertise.
- Speak up
This is not for the faint of heart but if you can endure standing and speaking in front of a group of strangers, do it. The more public speaking you do, the more trust you will gain from your audience and the higher your status will be in your field. It doesn’t matter if you are eloquent; in fact most experts are strangely not expected to speak well. But of course it’s an added bonus if you are an excellent speaker.
- Volunteer your time at a user group or community projects
Go spend time sifting through user-groups and forums. Look for questions you can answer and answer them without being too salesy. Let your helpfulness and expert knowledge sell you. This require some time but within months, people will see you as a regular fixture and they will come to trust you more and may eventually be your valuable advocate.
- Align yourself with other experts
This last tip is important. No man is an island so you should try your best to network with other experts in your field. They may be your competitors and it can get awkward but some of them has better networks than you. So thicken that skin and start socializing. The more you are seen in the company of fellow experts the more credible you will appear. Have honest and open discussions with them but be careful to guard your weaknesses. The last thing you want is for an influential expert to call you out on something you are weak at in front of the rest of the industry or worse, your potential customers.