One of the hardest things we can do in business is answer to or call ourselves an “expert.” The label has both positive and negative connotations. Whilst it’s nice to be known as an expert, its feels like bragging or self-promotion if you call yourself one. Most people don’t feel confident in their own expertise, until someone else tells them they should be. So how do you solve this internal conflict?
The simplest way is to remind yourself of the definition of an expert.
noun: expert; plural noun: experts
A person who is very knowledgeable about or skillful in a particular area. E.g. “an expert in health care”
Very knowledgeable or skillful in a particular area
The rest is down to interpretation, ambiguity and subjectivity.
The main paradox about the expert label is that it’s mostly given by people who have no knowledge of the subject matter. Making them the worst possible people to judge.
People online will want to judge you, often without knowing you. Quick to tear you down, criticize your expertise and try to call you out.
But if this doesn’t come with constructive feedback or suggestions then you can ignore it.
3 Types Of Experts
Experts come in all shapes and sizes. Often we are unsure of the difference between an authority and an expert? So let’s break this down into the 3 types of experts
An authority expert is often tied to status and social triggers. A visual cue we use as cognitive ease when assessing an expert. Have you ever heard of the Pond’s Institute? Used by Unilever to market Ponds Creams. The adverts show a man or woman dressed in a white coat and glasses. The cream experts at their famed institute. Unfortunately this institute doesn’t exist. You see we’re often intimidated by experts.
In May 1968 the US navy lost its nuclear submarines the Scorpion. John Craven a naval officer was commanded to find it. He decided to harness the wisdom of crowds.
Using a wide group of individual specialist from diverse backgrounds ranging from mathematicians to salvage experts. Asking each to guess the submarine’s location in a massive search area. No one got it right. But when he averaged all the group’s guesses, they were just 220 yards from the exact location where the Scorpion was found.
Considering it sunk 740 km southwest of the Azores and was lying in more than 3,000 m of water this result was amazing.
To be an opinion expert you need one thing. Certainty. Certainty in what you say. You need 100% conviction in your message. Nothing else matters. Because every opinion expert I know has been wrong at some stage.
Stock pickers for the financial markets. International relations experts telling you the probability of the US and North Korea going to war.
How to Become A Niche Rockstar (Expert)
The world is full of generalists. So it makes sense to niche down and become an expert in a certain category. The smaller your niche is, the quicker you can build influence and be seen as the go-to person within that space.
Being seen as the leader in your niche can reap big rewards. More PR, more opportunities and more revenue for your services. It’s a self-perpetuating cycle.
Here are three ways you can quickly understand more about your niche than 95% of your competition:
- Collect problems
- Solve those problems
- Share the results
Collect problems by asking great questions. Ask with a genuine curiosity and a lack of bias or ego. There is little point in asking a question if you think you already know the answer. Keep asking until you get to the real problems, not just the superficial one. That’s when you hit gold.
Solve those problems. Business is all about solving someone’s problem. Solve that problem at the right price point and they will be happy. Solve something that is a BIG problem for them and they will tell 5 other people what a genius you are.
Share the results. Don’t be the world’s best kept secret. If you’ve solved a problem share the results. Write about it, video it, share it. Provide a template or white paper that positions you as the person that solves this type of problem. Ideas and solutions are far more valuable than things.
Outside of the Mastermind business nobody knows who I am, but inside the Mastermind arena I’m a freakin’ rock star.” The lesson from this is that you want to be famous to the people that can support your business. You need to be the authority in that industry, in that community, in that marketplace. That’s your niche.
Are you an expert now?
The label expert is about understanding your own level of knowledge and then marketing to the correct level of people (below where you currently are).
Start defining your space in a smaller pond so that you can be the big fish. If you are still in doubt ask yourself this one question “If not you then who?”
If you want to know more about how Masterminds can help increase your expert status contact us for more advice or information.
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