expertise. Pick a niche. If you can, be the
first in that niche.
• Get the lay of the land. The web is
the place to begin researching. Make contacts with others in your field, which you
can do on social media. Join one or more
relevant professional and trade associations and social networking groups. Gain
access to gatekeepers.
• Build on your strengths and fill in
the gaps (weaknesses).
• Articulate a point of view for how
• Collect evidence to support the
“why” of your point of view.
• Review and begin documenting
• Identify the patterns suggested by
• Explain and articulate what you’ve
Here’s to positive changes ahead!
Establishing yourself as
an expert in your field
requires an honest
assessment of your skills
by PAUL AND SARAH EDWARDS
hatever your trade, being recognized as an expert in your
field helps you get and keep
a steady supply of business.
You may be a master at your line of work
already but not know how to articulate
what makes your work outstanding. You
may be at a loss when it comes to conveying this to others. Yet that’s precisely
what you need to do to build the reputation you deserve.
With today’s technologies, a wealth of
traditional ways to gain recognition is at
your disposal—such as exhibiting at trade
shows, offering free workshops and conferences, or networking in targeted venues—as well as producing and promoting
You Tube videos, podcasts and blogs.
Of course, you may need to acquire
additional expertise before you can lay
claim to being a true expert. Places you
can learn, get a certificate of accomplishment and better prepare yourself to be a
master of your trade or business include
University of Reddit, universities that
offer certificate programs, MIT Open
Course Ware, TED Talks, University of
the People, PBS Video and more.
Further hone your expertise by giving
free consultations or workshops or by volunteering for nonprofit or community
groups. This can help smooth out any
holes in your experience and presentation, so you can claim and demonstrate
your expertise with confidence.
Becoming an expert
Follow these steps to establish yourself as an expert in your market.
• Assess and outline your current
Know the questions
To develop your expertise,
you need to know the
questions and needs of your
prospective audience. Identify
five to 10 issues you want to
track, in an e;ort to answer
questions like these:
; What are the most common problems in my field?
; What do people usually
do to resolve them?
; What are the most common mistakes people make
over and over again?
; What do people perceive
themselves as needing most?
Do I concur? Is there something important that they’re
; What’s growing? What’s
fading away? What works?
What doesn’t? Why?—PE
Paul and Sarah
are the authors of
17 business books
First step: Assess and outline
your current expertise. Pick a
niche. If you can, be the first in