Do you struggle with being known as an expert because you’re suffering from imposter syndrome? In this week’s podcast episode, I take you through why you need to reach that expert status in your industry and how you can change your mindset about what it means to become an expert.
Plus I’m sharing:
- The one key thing you need in place so you can become an expert in your industry
- My strategy for reaching that expert status
- And the THREE things you need to have in place so that people will pay attention to what you have to say.
If you want to become known for your skills and expertise, charge the money you know you’re worth and show up as the true expert you are, then listen to this week’s podcast on the player above or read the blog below.
Position yourself as an expert
It can be hard when you know your stuff but have elements of doubt which prevent you from showing up as the true expert you are.
Expert is a triggering word because we put it on a pedestal. We have to make a mindset shift around becoming an expert but you will never know everything around every situation. You will never be a true expert because everything is constantly evolving. What you previously knew needs to adapt and change. Accept that you will never know everything about your subject matter.
However, you can be an expert in comparison to your ideal client. If you look at who you are trying to help, you are an expert in comparison to them. This is particularly true if you have achieved what they want to achieve. Or if you have previously helped others achieve those results. If you have taken several people through a proven, repetitive process then you are an expert.
I would also say that if you haven’t walked in your ideal clients’ shoes but you can show them through it. There is a difference between going through changes yourself and helping others through it. So the real mark of success is taking others through your process.
Understand your whole journey
You need to recognise where you are in this process.
I spoke to someone who kept saying “I’ve only been doing this for 6 months” but he had only been doing it for six months in his current guise. Yet, he has over 20 years of experience in various other positions. We have to recognise if we’re truly seeing the full extent of our talent and expertise.
I know many people who come of out of the corporate world and say they are new. While they might be new to their business, they are not new to their talent. It is recognising how long you have truly been doing what you do.
You need to take a long and honest view. Do you need to start taking stock of how far you’ve come? Or are you new to your subject matter? If it’s the latter, do you need to prove yourself? If you are new to your subject matter, then you need to start by helping others. It’s about charging appropriately for that help.
It’s about recognising where you are on your journey.
When you first start out, you’ll get excited, read a book and be inspired. You can see how you can help others implement this information. That book is a contained amount of information written by one person extracting all of their thoughts and philosophies into one document. You’ll never get the full picture by doing this. Eventually, you’ll hit a wall where you don’t know enough.
People either give up on doing what they feel inspired to do or they recognise where they are at on their journey and start to discover more about their subject matter. So many people stay in this place and carry the feeling that they don’t know it all. Even though time and experience take you through a process where you do know a lot more than when you started out.
Strategy to become an expert
To create a strategy to position you as an expert and help you feel comfortable is to set boundaries. It’s about understanding the remit of where you are able to help. Plus where your expertise starts and finishes. Some people can feel they have a lot of knowledge about everything and think it works for everyone. We know that not everything works for everyone.
You are an expert in helping someone very specific and this is the strategy I want you to adopt. By working only with specific people with specific problems, it will help with your mindset, your positioning and your focus. You need to specialise and niche.
A niche is not about picking an industry. Think about micro-niches instead then you can become a true expert very quickly. By putting boundaries in place, you hone your learning and development in one specific area. If you try and learn a subject on a broad level, it takes a long time. When you super focus on one specific person, there will be others like them. Find the common threads between different people who share the same problem.
If you can label these people in context, for example, a male diabetic who is overweight and want to improve their health by losing weight. You know these people are out there and have common threads. So if you put all your learning development into that key person, then you will become the expert in your field. By putting these boundaries in place you only work with those who you specifically help.
Specialising in this way will give you more confidence but will also help you hone your skills and experience in this area. Also, the people who you serve will be grateful as they are working with a specialist. In fact, if you are struggling with the term “expert” by seeing yourself as a specialist you will inevitably become the expert as you are constantly refreshing your knowledge.
You are a talented business owner with something to share with the world so you need to know your remit of where you are the expert. A true expert will understand that they can’t know everything so knows where their boundaries are. By helping specific people, it will help both you and your clients.
This will also carry through into your marketing, how you position yourself and what you become known for within your market. It helps to bring in new leads and referrals by being known for something specific.
Write a book
When you write a book with the goal of positioning yourself as a market leader or expert in your field, you help become the expert. You first need to have the specialism in place so that you know who you are writing the book for.
Obviously, don’t write a book until you are ready, you have the specialism and you have the experience behind you. Don’t wait too long to write a book. People are bowled over by your having a book. It gives you credibility and good impression. If you’ve written a book, your audience automatically expect you’re an expert in your field.
If you’ve got a proven skill that helps or inspires someone, writing a book is a great way to achieve that expert positioning. It’s not for everyone, some will prefer to use a podcast to position themselves. You need to think about writing a book strategically but not put it on a pedestal.
Writing a blog, running online workshops or speaking at events will position you as an expert. Not everyone is comfortable or an expert in their field. Demonstrating that to the world will let people know that you know your stuff.
It’s also about being consistent with your content so people know you own your own opinion. Adding thought-leadership will really help you stand out.
People are bombarded by content on a daily basis so you need to create content that will grab attention and not simply recycled from elsewhere. Content needs to be your voice and your twist.
Run an event
When you run an event it positions you as a force to be reckoned with. You have taken the time to create an event for your specific market and curate others who complement what you do.
When I was having an imposter syndrome wobble about my own event, Andy Storch said that people are amazed you have the confidence to put on an event. It takes confidence to put on an event, wondering if people will show up and if you’ll deliver. But it is also extremely rewarding and will position you as someone to listen to. Again, you need to understand your audience before you create an event so that you are putting yourself in front of your market.
Even if you don’t get the attendance you want, you are being noticed for putting the event on in the first instance. It helps position you as the person to listen to in your market.
The secret is that anyone can be the expert, write the book, put on the event, do a podcast or write a blog. It’s a case of what separates the people who achieve expert status with integrity by putting the boundaries in place to specialise in an individual.
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