When you think about expertise, it might scare you away.
Do you remember as a kid being told “don’t be know-it-all”?
Most people, especially women, tend to downplay their expertise on any number of things.
I remember in one of my Computer Science college courses, I aced an exam…got the highest grade in the class!
I was stoked!
The instructor told the boys in the class…”are you going to let Jennifer beat you?”
(I was only 1 of a very few girls in the class).
I didn’t like the spotlight. I wasn’t sure how to react.
Being called out in this fashion…almost made me ashamed that I did well.
I say almost!
I’m highly competitive. And being in a male dominated field has allowed me to grow thick skin.
I did well because I studied and I knew my stuff.
Most people never think they know enough to be an expert, much less call themselves one.
Your expertise is what you can market to customers
And guess what, you don’t have to know everything to be an expert.
Of course, being an expert in your niche should be a goal of yours, but as long as you stay ahead of your target audience, you will be seen as an expert by them.
(And just because you have expertise in a particular subject, doesn’t mean you should create a business around that knowledge.)
However, how people define expertise is very different from one person to the next. But expertise is really about a continual learning process and the state of making yourself a lifelong learner in your field.
1. Don’t Wait Until You Feel Like an Expert
Sadly, some people allow their doubts to sink in and circumvent their success.
You don’t have to do that; don’t wait until you feel like an expert. Instead, just act like one.
If you keep learning, you’ll naturally truly become an expert on your topic from your perspective.
2. Focus on Becoming an Expert on Your Target Audience’s Problems & Solutions
One of the ways to become an expert quickly in the eyes of your target audience is to focus most of your efforts on learning about their largest problems.
That way, you can become an expert on which solution works best for their problems.
3. Know How to Back Up Your Statements with Facts
An expert always knows how to cite relevant facts from reliable sources. Know where your audience likes to find their information and make it a practice of quoting those sources when you talk to them in your blog posts, on social media, and even in your books.
4. You’ll Never Know Everything & You Will Always Not Know What You Don’t Know
One thing to accept right now is that you will never know everything about your topic or niche. The main reason is that we all have blinders on, and we never actually even know what we don’t know.
5. You Probably Know More Than You Think You Do
You know a lot more than you think you do simply from reading, experiencing the problems and solutions, and doing the research you’ve done. Your knowledge and experience are cumulative, and for that reason, you probably know a lot more than you think you do so be sure to give yourself credit for what you have done and continue to do.
As you can see, being an expert is a relative term.
Maybe you don’t know anything about brain surgery, but you know a lot about brain cancer because you experienced it and can speak to that side of it.
Maybe you studied the history of France in school even though you’ve never been to France, you’re still an expert if you remember that you need to keep learning for a lifetime.
Plus, what’s important to remember, you only need to know enough… slightly more than your target audience to be successful in marketing your expertise and to solve their issues at hand.