WHY EVERYONE THAT CALLS THEMSELVES AN EXPERT ISN’T ONE…BUILD A BRAND THAT LEADS TO OPPORTUNITIES TO BECOME AN EXPERT

Here’s what I tell my clients: you become the expert when someone else acknowledges your intellectual property or your level of accomplishment is so profound that you’re called to the table to assess and bring perspective to a situation. Put plainly; you earn the title of an expert!

It seems everyone is buzzing about being an “expert.” Or how you can become one. I’ve even been in workshops where attendees are told by “marketing gurus” to be confident enough to add expert to their title—and people will never question them. In my opinion, this approach is dangerous for the person, consumers, and the marketplace.

From experience, I have interviewed and even hired people who proclaimed to be experts only to discover they were fumbling their way through, learning as they go. It is likely you know how frustrating it is to learn that someone is “faking it until they make it” on your dime.

Let me be clear about my perspective. Everyone has a start point as they build their credentials and credibility, but to blatantly mislead, manipulate and tamper with people’s hopes and dreams with emotional marketing tactics such as declaring yourself as an expert before achieving said status, is baffling.

You may be asking, “S. Renee, what do you believe? How does a person can become an expert? When is it appropriate to add ‘expert’ to your title?”

Here’s what I tell my clients: you become the expert when someone else acknowledges your intellectual property, or your level of accomplishment is so profound that you’re called to the table to assess and bring perspective to a situation. Put plainly; you earn the title of an expert!

There are many paths to expert status. I’ve been the expert at work—serving as director of public relations at a university. This led to serving in the cabinet and as an advisor to the president. And now an industry expert—both required building a brand through an intentional process that steadily increased credibility and visibility.

Here are the five steps I took to get started:

Step 1: Recognize Your Internal Conflict: Most people have desires, dreams, and hopes. On the other hand, they have uncertainty, fear, and doubt. The first step to building a brand is to successfully manage your thoughts.

I’ll share the steps I took to begin my journey. I’ll go into detail during my webinar series Pivot Toward Success…Your Brand Development Webinar Series. The first webinar is How I Built a Brand to Become an Industry Expert–And You Can Too!.

Step 2: Resolve the Need to Be Successful Today: You are already a success. Stop looking to emulate others and find your unique value proposition.

Step 3: Own Your Dream: Many people get excited about fulfilling their dreams and sharing them with others. Then give up when they find themselves doing the work by themselves.  Most people will not help push your wagon until you reach a certain level of success. It’s your dream. Don’t be afraid to travel alone.

Step 4: Track Your Life: Assess your personal and professional experiences. This is necessary to identify your brand story that aligns with your brand’s value. For example, in the ’90s, a university official reached out to me about a job. After working as a recruiter for three months, I realized I was overqualified for the position. I assessed the university’s needs against my work experiences and skills. Within months, I negotiated a $15,700 pay raise and a new leadership role. 

Step 5: Get Clear on Your Brand’s Substance: You may not be the expert today, but there’s something you have that others want. This can become the foundation of your brand’s success. Identify what it is and start building.

© 2020 S. Renee Smith helps employees and small business owners become more likable, marketable, and credible to increase their income and influence. She’s a branding and communications expert, author of six books and media resource. Sign up for her webinar series: Pivot Toward Success…Your Brand Development Webinar Series.  

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