We live in an age of skepticism regarding experts. There are those out there who will trust the opinion of someone on YouTube with 11 million followers over a seasoned expert because somehow having 11 million followers provides just as much, if not more, authority on a subject. You can blame social media or the polarized culture we live in, but, bottom line, if you’re an expert, you’re going to need to do some things to make people recognize you as an expert.
Proof of Knowledge
Opinions and beliefs are not the same as informed knowledge, but social media is like a bullhorn for baloney, and it’s hard to sort out who is an authority and who isn’t. After all, on the internet, nobody knows you’re a dog. You need to give people solid proof that you know your stuff.
How can you do that?
1. Share your educational credentials (and keep learning and sharing).
Formal education is a requirement in some fields, but for any professional—no matter the field, industry, or trade—you need a deep understanding and continued, careful study of the work and its related skills. If there are certifications available, get them. If there are classes available, take them. If there are books available, read them. Share your credentials with prospects and existing customers in your marketing materials and website.
2. Become a master in your field.
If Malcolm Gladwell is correct, to master your craft, you need to do it for 10,000 hours (20 hours of work a week for 10 years). Show on your website or in your marketing materials that you have the experience in your field—whether solo or combined with others in your company—to prove you know what you’re doing and how to do it.
3. Gain public recognition.
Seek opportunities to be recognized for your authority and expertise. Third-party validation carries tremendous weight with your prospects and customers. You don’t have to necessarily win a Pulitzer or Nobel Prize. You can earn that third-party validation by giving talks, holding workshops, teaching classes, or writing articles for trade journals and websites.
Or you can do all three of these steps at once.
4. Write and publish a book.
Undoubtedly, the best way to be recognized as an expert is to write and publish a book related to your business.
By writing and publishing a book, you accomplish all three of the previous steps in one. You share your educational and professional credentials in your author bio (and by virtue of writing the book in the first place). You show that you are a master of your craft and expert in your field in your writing, and your authority and credibility are boosted because you are now a published author.
And the book itself? Your book is professionally designed, edited, and produced. It makes you look good. Your book will potentially earn accolades and reviews in local/regional and trade media and win awards, as well as provide opportunities to you and your business that you may have not had before. One of those opportunities is to sell the book and earn passive income and to use it as a lead generation tool on your website.
You may enjoy the experience and benefits of writing and publishing a book so much that you do it over and over again, like our client Jeff C. Johnson.
If you’re thinking about writing a book related to your business or already have one written, let’s talk about how we can help you get it published.
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