June 20, 2006
Liz published this at 10:16 am
The Catch 22 of Being an Expert
One of the hardest parts of business blogging is finding a niche where you know you can write successfully. Once you find that niche, naturally you’ll looking to find readers. Those readers that you’re looking for are looking too. They’re looking for a writer they have time for — someone they can trust and rely on — an expert.
Becoming an expert seems to be a Catch 22.
You have to know your stuff to be an expert. But . . .
It seems that “expertness” starts out as not what you know, but what you’re known as.
You have be an expert, before folks will see you as one.
A Ph.D. helps, but it doesn’t automatically translate to expert. Testimonials from other experts help too, but they aren’t a magic entry to the world of experts either.
The problem for the most of us is . . . if no one will look at what I know, how will I ever be recognized as an expert?
7 Steps to Being Recognized as an Expert
There’s no question that to be an expert, you have to be knowledgeable, authentic, and hardworking at what you do. Everyone pays dues to get to the top, but knowing what to work at helps a lot too.
To be recognized as a expert, someone has to see your work and know its quality, see its value, find it relevant and worth coming back to.
These are the 7 Steps to being recognized as an expert when someone comes to look.
- Be the expert you are, not the expert someone else is. You are the only you the world has. That differentiates what you offer from the start. Know your strengths and play to them.
- Be an expert in ONE thing. Find ONE niche that fits your strenghs. People like a “go to” person for a specific need. Once they come they can find out about the other wonderful things you know about.
- Write expert content. Readers want top-notch, quality, relevant content — information, answers, AND analysis. They can get news anywhere. Add your expert opinion, analysis, evaluation, synthesis, or predictions.
- Be an expert at keeping track of your niche. Don’t overwhelm yourself with feeds, but have an aggregator. Follow popurls to get the latest on the social bookmarking services. Read the magazines and the blogs that talk about the topics you cover.
- Be an expert at specialized searches. Make finding interesting content tidbits your expert quest. Get to be friends with Google Alerts and similar services. Follow terms around the Internet.
- Be an expert at getting the word out. Get to know the other experts in your niche. Talk with them. Visit and comment on their blogs. Ask them for an interview. Volunteer to guest post now and then.
- Be an expert at going deeper into your niche. Saturate yourself in the trends, but go deep too. Find out what researchers are thinking so that you can offer your readers the highest quality and most relevant information and analysis.
- Plus one: Be an expert at having fun. Nothing is more appealing than an expert who loves what he or she is doing. Share the joy of your niche with the folks who come to see you. They’ll want to know more about what it is that you do.
Striving to be an expert in your niche lets your readers know who you are and why they should keep coming back to see you. It’s a key centerpiece of your brand — quality, knowledge, and credibility as promotion. If you’re ready when that person comes to look, the rest will happen. Just keep counting to seven — seven key steps to being an expert that is.
What better way to promote your brand and your business than to have everyone see you as the expert? How can I help you do that?
–ME “Liz” Strauss