Whether you are employed, or you run a small or micro business as an expert; whatever you are an expert in from a specialisation in the law to yoga to marketing to healthy living and eating; there’s no point being an expert unless you are recognised for it.
Let me be clear I’m not just talking about getting a financial reward, although that helps. The reason you became an expert, whether through accumulation of experience or a proactive decision to increase skill, was to help others. You cannot help others unless your expertise is known.
Once you are recognised as an expert in your field, your salary negotiations take on a different slant, your business marketing improves, and the influence you have over people who want to be helped by your expertise increases.
So how do you go from being an expert to being an influencer?
The strategy is a combination of awareness about trends and being a trendsetter.
Start with what people who might benefit from your expertise are saying about their need for that expertise. Identify an online community or physical association made up of your target market and regularly hang out with them. Listen to their current concerns that your expertise could help them out on, or watch for emerging trends that involve your expertise.
For example if you are an expert in training, perhaps you spot that the trend for online training is emerging. Or as a tax specialist, you see that a new tax and its application on the household is becoming a concern.
Follow two or three of these threads to see how discussion, and people’s feelings, are unravelling.
Use your expertise to develop new solutions for these concerns and trends and test your ideas with your community, see how your audience likes them. Develop the ideas, beef up more knowledge if you need to, and develop the solutions and the delivery method.
Communicate regularly with your community and expand that community to more online groups, social media pages and interest-groups, industry associations, professional groups, and contribute to their discussions about these concerns and trends. The goal here is to make your name familiar amongst those who are involved in or who organise these groups.
You can publish articles for these groups, share online sources and articles (preferably not your own at this stage), include yourself into forums that are discussing the issues, and show that you know about the issues, that you have thought about them and the solutions, and that you are a resource.
As you develop your name-recognition, offer to host a meeting or workshop for the associations or offer to run a webinar for the online groups, so that your knowledge about the concerns and trends can be used to help them. For some reason people who organise talks, seminars and webinars are immediately seen as experts, so use that advantage. After you have achieved name-recognition, what you want to do is to establish a solid reputation as a reliable authority who provides reliable and well-informed information.
Gather testimonials as you complete these seminars and webinars and make sure you have permission to quote from them.
In the final stage, use the reach of the web to broadcast your expertise. Start a blog, send email newsletters, publish articles in newspapers and magazines, apply to local radio as an expert commentator on the issues, seek public speaking gigs. Use the testimonials you have collected where and when you can. What you want to do is to promote your expertise further out into the more general target audience that are not members of the organisations, associations and online community who already know you. You want to be easily found by the target market you want to engage with.
The journey from being an expert to being an influencer (otherwise known as an expert who is wanted!) is not easy but you can break the journey down into a system of step by step tasks. The more active you are in each step the faster the journey will be and soon enough people will be knocking on your door to help change their world, and pay you for it.
Everything in business can be broken down into systems and I have used 35 years of learning and practical experience helping clients as a business consultant and coach to set up tools, templates and step by step systems that get people out of overwhelm. If you’re passionate about your business but you are overwhelmed by what you have to do within every 24 hour day, come and join me and find the solutions.
Go to teikoh.com for more tips and tools on creating strategy, providing leadership and growing your business.