One of the most common challenges I have noticed while working with aspiring thought leaders and change makers is that a lot of them struggle with ways to position themselves as experts or the go-to people in their field of interest.
In fact, the number one question I get asked is this:
"What is the best way to communicate to my potential clients and the world that I am a subject matter expert in XXX?"
Essentially, they want to know how they can translate their expertise in a way that demonstrates trust and leads to a following.
So I recently asked Josue Peña, a growth expert who has a 200 million follower network this same question when I interviewed him for Thought Leader Academy and here's what he said:
- Provide value in what you're an expert in OR
- Become the Google of the niche you want to be an expert in
Let me explain...
Provide Value In What You're An Expert In
Is there something you are legitimately good at and passionate about?
Share it with the world!
Identify one or two channels that you can consistently share your ideas, frameworks, messages and thoughts on.
Consider the following methods when providing value.
Create Content: You can do this by using one of these or all there (blogs, vlogs or podcasts). I mentioned these three because some of you may consume information in different ways.
Whatever way you do, always create content and have it all point to a personal website of yours.
You can't avoid this!
Start off by doing this once a week and see if you can build from there. This will train you to organize your thoughts efficiently and coherently!
Having a personal website is important because it's your digital home and is not subject to the algorithm changes other platforms that aren't yours may experience. It also allows you to collect email addresses which you can use to develop deeper bonds and relationships.
Speak: When starting out, you don't have to do anything too complex here. Start out locally and identify industry events, chapter meetings, and networking meetings that would benefit from hearing your voice. By consistently sharing your knowledge, you’ll hone your ability to communicate effectively and see what resonates vs what doesn't. It will also help with your confidence as you will become more comfortable with the idea that you're an expert. This will serve as a good reminder to you when that pesky imposter syndrome decides to show up. Make sure you document your presentations by recording it as well as taking photos. The videos could be used as part of your speaker reel, your YouTube channel or repurposed as social media content, blog posts or podcast episodes.
Also, make sure you collect testimonials! They will help to validate you.
Coach/Consult: Once you've consistently been creating content and speaking, you'll be able to position yourself as a coach or consultant to individuals, corporations and both because you'd have had the assets to back up your credibility at this point.
Creating content and speaking will help you develop your voice and frameworks.
So don't be afraid to step out as a coach or consultant. Even if you only have one or two clients to start off with, provide value for them and they will become followers or even better, evangelists.
Become The Google Of The Niche You Want To Be An Expert In
So what exactly does it mean to be the Google of the niche you want to be an expert in?
Well, let's think about what you use Google for.
You use it to:
find out what something is,
how to do something OR
where to go
Now apply that same concept to an expertise you're interested in developing.
If you don't feel like you're an expert in anything, then think about what field you want to be an expert in and create a list of all the things you want to know about that field.
Good! Now, start documenting your journey towards getting there.
As you're documenting, you will be doing things like:
- Listing out the recurring themes that come up in your conversations with your clients/prospects -- you can even keep a note on your phone so you have it with you all the time
- Keeping track of new trends, tips, or tools that are important for your market to know about? You can talk about it yourself or bring on a guest expert to your platform to discuss
- Sharing what's working for YOU right now? "Behind the scenes" is something your audience will love because it humanizes you
- Sharing learning experiences you have had recently. Think of breakthroughs, setbacks, obstacles, or a challenge you're working through now or have overcome in the past
- Sharing ways to help your customers/audience save time or money! Take what you're seeing in your market and share some of the mistakes you know are being made out there
- Busting a myth or dispelling a rumor in your industry - show a different perspective, bring a sense of calm, and help people overcome changes in the market
- Sharing changes YOU are making to what you are doing and WHY. Essentially, sharing your own evolution and learning with your audience to build trust
All these will build your credibility as well as your relatability. It’s what will drive sales, brand awareness and more importantly, It’s what will grow your following.
If you can effectively communicate that you are a subject matter expert, you will gain tremendous leverage over your competition because people love direction and crave connection.
You will be solving a problem or helping someone be a better version of themselves.
At the end of the day, people want to be heard, seen and understood. They want to know that they have value. My hope is that you become that guide for your tribe.
So my questions for you today are these:
- How can you start providing value in what you’re an expert in today?
- What niche can you become to Google of to your followers today?
If you want to work with me one on one, click here.
If you want to learn from several of the brightest thought leaders in the world, click here.