Anyone with an ounce of humility is a little hesitant to flaunt the title “Expert.” But why not? When you are an expert, more people will buy your stuff, subscribe to your blog, care what you have to say, share your content with others, and contact you for speaking engagements. It’s unfortunate that many bloggers fail to call themselves experts when they indeed actually are.
What is the definition of an “expert”?
YOU are the expert if you know MORE than the person you are communicating to, educating, or training.
Ever thought about that? If you know how to set up a WordPress blog but your audience doesn’t, you are an “expert” at setting up WordPress blogs as far as they are concerned. If you have actually made money with an online business and your audience has not, then YOU are an EXPERT at online business for their purposes.
You do not have to know more than other experts… only more than your target audience. There will always be someone who knows more than you no matter how much you know. I’ve been blogging and doing online business for almost 15 years but I could easily write a list of hundred people who are more of an expert than I am, especially if you get specific about skills or experience. To be an expert, you don’t have to be THE EXPERT, top dog, numero uno in a given niche, market, topic, or business.
So don’t shy away from being an “expert” because you know you are not in the top 10% of the entire group. You only need to know more than your audience and communicate that knowledge to them. Solicit their questions about the topic, research it, and become even more of an expert as you present answers. Whatever your reasons for not branding yourself as an “expert,” you need to get over them. People with a casual interest in a subject are blog readers; people with valuable information and insight into a subject are blog writers. People who know more than their audience and can impart their knowledge/experience to them, are “experts.” If you honestly are NOT an “expert” in your niche, topic, or market, you should strongly consider picking something else to write about or investing a lot of time in educating yourself to a higher level. Generally speaking (there are exceptions), it is going to be hard to have a successful blog or thriving business that relies on your reputation as an “expert” that people can trust and recommend if you can’t even muster up the nerve to consider yourself an expert (of course, some people think they are experts and are fooling themselves or lying, but that’s a whole other blog post).
WARNING: Being an “expert” always brings out the nasty trolls and negative comments to try to sabotage your efforts and demean your credibility. Some people get enjoyment out of bashing experts; you need to learn to ignore them and move on. It’s easy to be a jerk online hiding behind a keyboard. IGNORE THEM. DELETE THEM. BLOCK THEM. Don’t let other people undermine your expertise.
Thankfully, the majority of people are very busy and glad to listen to someone that can add value to their lives and help them. If you are confident and legitimately know what you are writing about or selling, people will appreciate your efforts, honesty, and integrity. They will even look past an occasional misstatement as you increase your knowledge on your topic. People are forgiving when your integrity and trustworthiness has been established. So don’t be afraid of mistakes either.
So how do you go about being an “expert”?
Don’t run around the internet posting your name and telling everyone that you are an expert. Show everyone that you are an expert by:
- Providing quality information
- Giving valuable advice
- Writing accurate descriptions of your experience (rather than just a list of titles)
- Offering helpful answers to questions about your field in other forums and networks
- Being an example of what you teach
- Positively participating in discussions within your field
- and being humble in instances where you have a weakness or don’t know something (and don’t hesitate to call yourself out on mistakes if you make them).
Now you are an expert about being an expert! Get to it…
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