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How to Sell Yourself as an Expert

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Chiara Mazzucco

CEO, Editor-in-Chief at The Indie Chicks, Inc
Chiara got her start in the blogosphere by dishing out reality slaps on her dating and relationship blog. The brutal honesty that became her signature tone earned her the badass reputation she needed to get The Indie Chicks magazine up and running. She is also a web designer and author of The 9 Mirages of Love. Driven, stubborn, and wildly ambitious, she won’t stop until she is the perfect, self-empowered role model for all of her readers.

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Interested in learning about selling yourself as an expert? Does your career depend on others seeing you as an expert? Is your social life at an all time low because you have nothing of interest to offer your friends? Do you miss being cool? Is your business hurting because no one thinks you know what you’re doing? These 6 steps are guaranteed to contribute to the credibility of your expertise.

1. Be an expert

None of the following work unless you actually become an expert in the topic or field you’re claiming to be an expert in. If you’re not actually learning, doing research, and rolling up your sleeves, and you tell the world you’re an expert, you’re actually a fraud. And I will not condone it.

Carve out a good chunk of your free time and devote it to whatever it is that will actually make you an expert. Browse the web, volunteer or intern, interview mentors, and in many cases, hit the actual pavement and do the dirty work. Practice makes perfect.

2. Build a social media presence

Regardless of the reason you’re trying to sell yourself as an expert, you need to use social media to translate that message to the outside world. It may have taken a few years but I think we can all, finally, agree that marketing through social media is one of the most effective marketing strategies available.

If you’re trying to establish credibility for a business, you may consider setting up separate business accounts. However, if you can handle it, I’d recommend you use your personal accounts to mix the two and establish some serious personal branding. Unless you use your Facebook for party, baby and/or pet pictures. The point here is, you (insert your name here), are the expert.

Offer free advice

The number one strategy social media marketers use in order to grow their online presence is to constantly offer free tips and tricks. Not only will people flock to you, as people often do to anything that is free, but it’ll also help contribute to your credibility on your knowledge of that particular topic or field.

Give, give, give!

Share relevant content, even if it’s not your own

Alongside that free advice, make sure to offer tons of relevant content, even if it’s not your own! You want to become a resource and a mandatory go-to for all things relating to that topic and others will see you as an expert when you share and promote others in your field.

3. Blog about it

Clearly, if you haven’t jumped on the blogging wagon, it’s not too late. I just wrote an article to get you started on your blogging journey – read it here.

Anyone who does business online knows that blogging is important. It’s an extension of that social media free advice and relevant tidbit sharing strategy, you just put the goods in a blog post. This is also helpful for SEO purposes and ranking on search engines - but that’s for another article.

Anything you can think of that will help establish yourself as an expert on a topic or field – write about it. Do how-to articles, discuss current events, review books and other relevant publications, and interview all-stars in your niche.

4. Do everything you can to contribute to your credibility

Attend events, answer questions in forums, offer discussion threads on your social media profiles; the list of things that will contribute to your credibility as an expert is endless. Write an ebook, start a discussion at a get-together, weigh in on existing discussions, and seek out speaking opportunities.

5. Be vocal, within reason

Without sounding like an absolute douche, be vocal about your accomplishments and anything that would contribute to your credibility. Let’s say you spoke at an event; tell people about it! It’s as easy as this: if people think other people think you’re cool, they will too!

Don’t go rubbing it in everyone’s face, however, because the line between douchebag and expert is a thin one to walk. Don’t worry, people will hear you the first time and when you share your knowledge with others, they will notice.

6. Don’t (ever) stop learning

This is, in my opinion, the most important part of the process. Nothing is ever at a standstill and even those who devote their entire lives to a topic or field will die without having covered every inch of possible knowledge. Everything evolves and as an expert, it is your job to stay on top of that evolution, no matter what the topic at hand is.

Selling yourself as an expert is a combination of being an expert and exposing yourself to the world as an expert. Being an expert requires the basic principles of learning: get your ass on the web and educate yourself, attend relevant events, and get to know people who are the big players in your field. Selling yourself as an expert means positioning yourself in the spotlight and within reason, being loud enough so that people know who you are and about the expertise you have to offer.

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  • Jewels

    These are great tips. I love learning more about writing, social media, and anything else that I tend to give advice and tips on. It’s not appropriate to act like an expert if you can’t speak knowledgeably about your area of expertise.

    A lot of presenting yourself as an expert if personal branding and it takes a lot of time, attention, and dedication to work your social media and make a name for yourself. Anyone can say they’re an expert but saying you are means nothing if others don’t believe, and treat you, like you are. Well said, Chiara.

  • Elizabeth Brannan

    I can’t describe how much I love this!! YES! And thank you :)

  • http://www.scoop.it/u/perezfranciscas Francisca

    Yay, thank you, i will put myself on this way and You are so right. :)

  • lisajey

    great post Chiara. It’s amazing how riddled the internet is with “experts.” I’ve chosen “advocate” and/or “commentator” because I am certainly no expert. I’d be leery of anyone who says they are, but don’t have the credentials, experience or track record to back it up!