How to Become an Expert

How to become the expert in your industry and build a positive reputation even if nobody knows who you are right now? I’m going to show you exactly how to do it. Obviously, you know the value of being an expert in your industry. It means that you have the respect, the trust and the authority to build a loyal community and customer base for life. Not only that though. When you have the expertise and the leading authority in your industry, you get to charge more and you get to work with your ideal clients, instead of just having to take work everywhere you turn. Having that power of choice is really the best part of having your own business.

So, let’s get down to it. I have five steps to building your expertise in your industry to become the leading authority and a little bonus tip at the end so stay tuned for that.

Step #1 – Niche Down. Now, you’ve probably heard this before and thought, “But I’m a generalist,” or, “I’m good at a bunch of different things,” so that’s what I want to talk about. The problem with that is that it’s really hard to become successful as a generalist.

Yes, absolutely, you can tie in different content pieces as you grow your authority. That’s kind of what I’ve done. I started as the social media and video marketing expert and now I talk about a bunch of different things but when I first started my channel, I was super, super, super niche teaching social media to small businesses and entrepreneurs. Whatever niche that you’re the best at in the world and you’re a true expert at is what you want to be teaching. Start there for at least the first couple of months and then build your momentum as that expert.

Here’s the great thing. Once you’ve built authority, you can talk about what you really want to talk about. You can branch out slightly. Do whatever you need to do to become the expert. I just want to say, if you’ve taken one course and all of a sudden calling yourself an expert in that category, not exactly true. That’s not to be offensive, but being an expert means time and patience and doing the work every single day to learn every new trend, insight, tactic, tool, technique to be on top of your game to actually be that leading authority in your space.

The people who are the influencers are always, always, always learning. They mastered whatever it is that they’re teaching. You need to keep that in mind. By books, you join masterminds, join groups that have related like-minded people in your space and are serving the same audience that you want to serve and then you guys can all learn from each other. It’s not about competition, it’s about collaboration. The more you can work with people who are in your space, it actually broadens your reach and your expertise. Do whatever you can to become the expert on a daily basis.

One little trick that I do is I actually have a list of websites bookmarked and I read them every morning. It takes me about 20 minutes and I just go through the latest news in Myspace, the latest updates so that I’m on top of my game at all times. Truly become the expert by niching down and focusing on one thing before you try and go super general.

Step #2 – Prove it.  You can say you’re an expert all day long, but what actually makes an expert is getting outside sources to actually prove your authority and then, you know what you’re talking about. How do you do that? Well, the first step is really just testimonials and social proof. Even if you’ve been doing what you’re doing for a month, you’ve probably worked with someone who can say that you actually are an expert at what you do. Make sure that you’re asking for those testimonials, asking for social proof from anybody that you’ve worked with, whether it’s in a volunteer capacity or an intern capacity or actually as a client relationship. Whoever you can get social proof and testimonials from is a great start to proving your expert status.

Another way to prove your expert status is also through speaking engagements. I get asked all the time how do I book my speaking engagements. Well, it started really small and that’s what I always suggest. This goes back to step one. The more niche you are, the more attractive you are to speaking engagements because generally, if there is an event that you’re going to be speaking at, it’s focused on one area. The more niche you are, it actually opens up more opportunities for speaking engagements.

I didn’t get paid for speaking engagements for a long time. I did them to prove my expertise and to really get used to talking about what I do for a living and teaching it and getting used to teaching it to a live audience. Don’t worry about getting paid for speaking engagements in the beginning. You have to build your authority in that space before you’re going to be actually making any money from it.

Another great opportunity is podcasts, blogs, collaborations of any kind and media and press of any kind. Even if you know somebody who has a niche blog in your space, maybe they don’t have a ton of readers on that blog but it still gives you placement on another source outside of your own social platforms and website. Start reaching out for collaborations or to guest blog or guest post or even guest blog on someone’s channel who’s directly related to your space and your niche to open you up to a brand new audience.

Step #3 – Know Your Stuff. This should go without saying, but I feel like I need to say it. What you want to do is ask your friends, colleagues, former co-workers, clients, even family what it is that they think you’re the expert at and what you’ve mastered. It’s actually really hard if you’re a humble person at all to really own what it is that you’ve mastered. Plus, it’s the curse of knowledge. I’ve done so much over my 10 years of being an entrepreneur or almost 10 years of being an entrepreneur. It’s hard for me to think back and go, “Oh yeah. I mastered that skill and that skill and that skill.” It’s nice to get an outside perspective but also, you as the expert, take half an hour today to sit down and write a list, just kind of brain dump all of the things that you know you have mastered and you could teach somebody else.

There you go. Voila. You have content topics for all of our social platforms. Your blog, if you want to do a YouTube channel, there’s a whole list of content that you can start teaching people. The more that you can teach your expertise, the more you prove your expertise and the faster you going to build authority because people like help. If you can help them in some way, shape or form, they’re going to share that content with their friends, their co-workers and that brought into your reach as well. Today, your homework is to write down a list of all the things you’ve mastered and ask your friends, family, co-workers, former clients or colleagues to do the same.

Step #4 – Content Marketing. We just talked about your content topics, you now have those. Perfect. You’re set up for success. Now, the second piece of this is really setting up your platform of choice. I like to say that yes, you should have a presence on every platform but you really should put the majority of your effort into the platform that’s going to give you the biggest return. For me, that’s YouTube because it’s the only platform where you continue to see results for years to come from your content because you’re being found in search if you’re doing it the right way.

I have a resource for you to help you, if you want to use YouTube as your platform of choice. Whichever platform it is though, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, you want to put a ton of effort into creating quality content that’s helpful, informative and entertaining to people on a daily basis so that you can be relevant and present as the authority and choice and expert in your industry.

The first place to start is looking at that list that you just created or you’re going to create today, add your content, topics in creating a list of four or five content pieces that you’re going to produce for your platform of choice in the next week. That’s going to help you start to build your expertise and authority and share it with the world to build an even bigger audience and an even bigger potential customer database. As a quick add-on to that, I do have a video on how to stay consistent on social media, so you definitely want to check that out.

Step #5 – Love Your Tribe. I always say this and I will say it every day. Your tribe is your trust fund. If you have a community that loves you around you, they will always be the people who will be the first to buy, to support you, to share your content and to give you that social proof and testimonials so you need to have a tribe around you. What’s the fastest hack to building a tribe? It’s not really a hack, it’s really just providing value. I know people say that all the time and what the heck does that mean. For me, what it meant is I didn’t ask for a single thing for the first six months of creating content on YouTube. I didn’t pitch anything, I didn’t sell anything, I just created crazy, crazy valuable content on how to use social media for business.

That built my audience super fast because I wasn’t trying to get anything from them. That might not sound like the most ideal thing because it’s not a quick sell but here’s the thing. If you want to be a true entrepreneur and build a business that’s built to last, you’re in it for the long game, not for a quick hit. Create value, add value on a daily basis to your audience. You can do it through Instagram stories, you can do it through a post here or there. All I’m saying is create value and you will attract a tribe within your niche who’ll be your first customers. Engage with them on a daily basis, help them, go out of your way to go above and beyond because I will tell you this. If you out value the competitors in your space, you will always win.

I told you I had a bonus tip for you, so here it is. I am always learning. I actually don’t think I’ll ever achieve expert status because I’m always educating myself. I do think that that’s a part of building your authority, is you always have to be learning the new trends, techniques, tools in your industry and learning from the best. There are always going to be people that are better than you. Learn from them, befriend them, collaborate with them. That’s a great way to stay on top of your game. Always educate yourself in whatever form that may look like. If you have a team around you, create a culture of education as well and encourage your team to invest in their education or invest in their education for them because that’s going to keep you at the top of your game and the top of your industry.

Now you know how to be the expert in your industry and you’ve probably thought about your content platform of choice. If it happens to be YouTube, I’ve got you covered. I told you I had a resource for you. If you haven’t downloaded it yet, make sure you grab my Boss YouTube Channel Checklist. It will position you as the authority by branding your channel and setting it up for success from day one. Even if you have a YouTube channel, you might be missing some of these steps.

Also, don’t forget to join the Be Your Own Boss Mastermind group on Facebook with thousands of entrepreneurs all over the world. Join your fellow bosses in achieving the life you want to live on your own terms!

Thank you so much for reading and watching!

See you next week!

-S

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