In my previous blog post, we talked about identifying your areas of expertise that will help you brainstorm ideas for your business.
Thinking about your expertise might make you feel anxious. Most people never think they know enough to be an expert, much less call themselves one.
However, your expertise is what you can market to customers. The good news is that you don't have to know everything to be an expert.
To be able to help your ideal customers, you only need to be a few steps ahead of them to be valued for your skills and knowledge. You certainly don't need to have a PhD or be a world-renown specialist in a topic. (Although if you do/are, that's great!) As long as you stay ahead of your target audience, and are confident in what you know, you will be seen as an expert by them.
(1) Don't Wait Until You Feel Like an Expert
Many people, especially women, tend to downplay their expertise. This can become a huge block to their success.
But it doesn't have to be that way. Don't wait until you feel like an expert. Instead, claim your skills and experience, and act like one.
If it makes it easier for you, think of being an expert as having in-depth knowledge on a topic that you can share with your audience. We all have some level of such in-depth knowledge that we've spent years accumulating, knowingly or unknowingly. And there are thousands of people out there who can benefit from that knowledge. They're literally waiting for you to show up in their lives to help them solve their problems!
(2) Focus on Becoming an Expert in Providing Solutions to Your Target Audience's Problems
Here's a great way to become an expert quickly in the eyes of your target audience: Focus your efforts on learning about their problems and providing the best solutions to them.
For example, you can take something complicated and make it easy for them to understand.
You can consolidate information and simplify it so it makes sense to a particular group of people.
You can turn dry and boring research articles into fun and interesting video or audio recordings.
Being an expert isn't about being some big celebrity and being placed on someone's pedestal. It's about using what you know to help those who don't know what you now.
(3) You'll Never Know Everything & You Will Always Not Know What You Don't Know
One thing to accept right now is that you will never know everything about your topic or niche. Nobody ever will. Full stop.
The main reason is that we all have blinders on, and we never actually even know what we don't know. There are incredible facts about the world that you don't know, that I don't know, that others know only due to exposure.
Your own audience might not know what you know, and you might think it's crazy that they don't because it's so obvious. But again, people don't know what they don't know. That's why they need you.
(4) You Probably Know More Than You Think You Do
Just like most people who have a passion for a topic, you likely know a lot more than you think you do about your chosen niche and field.
Whether it's hands-on experience from previous jobs, years of studying and research in a particular field, or experiencing the challenges / adversities and finding solutions in your personal life, your knowledge and experience are cumulative.
Since the cumulation occurs gradually over the years, you probably don't realise just how much you do know. So be sure to give yourself credit for the time and efforts you have spent in accumulating the knowledge and experience you have so far, and continue to do.
(5) Recognise That Expertise Is Relative
Are you the world's best in your field? Unlikely. Do you know enough to provide significant value for someone who knows nothing about it? I bet you do!
Maybe you don't know anything about neuroscience or brain surgery, but you know a lot about brain tumours because you're living with them. In fact, people are more likely to value what you have to say because it's easier to relate to your personal experience than some hard scientific facts.
(6) Keep learning
Expertise is really about a continual learning process and making yourself a life-long learner in your field. If you keep learning, you'll naturally truly become an expert on your topic from your perspective.
There will always be all those amazing people who are truly more knowledgeable and wiser about your topic than you are. That's great! They are your teachers. So carry on learning from them so that you can be more equipped to help your people. That is how knowledge is transferred. That is how we empower one another.
And you know what I've found? One of the best ways to learn is to teach.
As you teach others something that seems basic or simple to you, you often gain a new understanding and see things from a different angle that you haven't seen before. See? You're learning.
Keep doing that and you cannot but become a relative expert in your field.
And remember, you only need to be a few steps ahead of your target audience to be successful in marketing your expertise.