Become the Expert

January 9, 2016 by  
Filed under How To, New

Become the Expert
To become the expert in most fields normally requires years of study.

Don’t forget to also factor in the additional years of practical hands-on application. In the past you may have been required to live in the shadow of a mentor or label yourself an apprentice.

To become the expert in anything usually means intense study through immersing ones self in that particular subject. While it’s possible to fast-track the process; that would usually require access to a consistent flow of educational materials. This is not always available to the average person.

It sounds tailor made for the collector-type of personality.

Being considered an expert has many benefits for the niche collector. Whatever the circumstances that brought you to this point don’t really matter.  What does matter is that you take full advantage of the situation.

So go ahead and declare yourself the ‘expert.  At the very least, acknowledge you’re on-the-road to expert status.

What exactly does one have to do to become the expert?

Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about it. An expert is…

“someone widely recognized as a reliable source of technique or skill whose faculty for judging or deciding rightly, justly, or wisely is accorded authority and status by peers or the public in a specific well-distinguished domain. An expert, more generally, is a person with extensive knowledge or ability based on research, experience, or occupation and in a particular area of study.”

I’d also include that in order to become the expert you must be that one individual that steps forward when no one else does.

Let’s use the ‘whatzit’ as an example.

You may be one of only a handful of people in the whole world that collects ‘whatzits’.

  1. What if you acknowledge publicly, through a blog or website, that you collect whatzits?
  2. Now, what if you’re willing to share (establish credibility) information  you’ve discovered about the whatzit ?  (I’ve listed 10 bullet points down below, to help you do just that).
  3. What if you’re the only one available to answer questions at that moment when questions are being asked about whatzits?

Does that qualify you to become the expert?

I would say that if you can answer “yes” to any of those additional qualifications that not only could you be considered an expert but you may possibly be considered a ‘leading’ expert. Maybe even a leading-world-expert.

Not to undermine the actual background knowledge aspect but you can see that many factors go into determining who is the expert. Of course a deep knowledge is the backbone but once you factor in more criteria you can rocket to the top of the pile.

It has a lot to do with the context in which surrounds the situation.

Okay, so you’re now the self-proclaimed expert on whatzits.  What good is it?

You probably want to take some time for a reality check and think seriously about what your goals are. We’re all familiar with the internet and its reach. You are here now, so I think it’s safe to assume you’ll utilize the power of the web in your quest for expert status.

I should probably add something here. The information I’m giving you is by no means exclusive. This is fairly straight-forward stuff that you would no doubt find on your own. I’m giving you my boiler-plate version. This is what has worked so far for me.

If you have made it this far it’s time to share the news. This is one of my favorite sayings.

              “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it…does it make a sound?”

Okay, I know that’s a little cliche. But I think it makes a good point.

It’s the same with your expertise. If no one knows you or that your collection of whatzits exist…then guess what…they don’t, and neither do you. Maybe a cliche will drive that point home. Here’s another saying I like to use.

 “Perception is reality.”

You need to establish your place in the pecking order of things and then hammer-home your credibility.

If you want to be an expert start by letting people know about you and your collection.

The fastest way to leverage what you know and let people know you even exist is to start a website or blog. There are a ton of choices out there. You can look into some of the free blogging platforms. Keep in mind there are pros and cons to everything.

One of the biggest cons to a free hosting platform is that you can have your site removed at any time. Not to mention your image as an expert may be questionable on a free platform.

You can still pick up a template, or theme, fairly inexpensively as well as a good hosting package. You want to consider reliability and usability for both you and your readers. Read reviews for as many themes as possible.

Don’t go unheard.

We live in the most socially connected time in history. Social networking is a topic unto itself. One that could fill volumes. Read up on as much as you can regarding promoting (PR) yourself , branding and social networking.

There was a time we all existed and communicated without the internet and without online social networking skills. Those days are long gone. Especially if you want to be known beyond your dining room table. Promoting yourself and your collection is absolutely necessary if you want to create a larger than life footprint.

My best advice in a nutshell.

Build a blog and post regularly to it. Check other blogs for ideas on style and format. It’s easy to feel a little intimidated but remember that even the biggest website in the world had a first day.

Writing about something you love is generally not that difficult. Writing about it gives you a voice. This is a big step in building your credibility. Grab a pen and a notepad and simply start a conversation with yourself…just don’t forget to write it down.

Here are 10 straight-forward ways to get heard, gain credibility and become the expert.

  • Write reviews or guides on either your whatzit, or something closely related such as a service. Make sure to use your expert voice. EBAY is a good place for this. Remember to link-back to your site or blog.
  • Guest post on another blog or send in an article about your collectible item, again in your expert voice. Don’t forget to link-back.
  • Look for magazines or newsletters that share your particular interest. If you can’t find one on your exact collectible look for a more generic topic like ‘collecting in general’ or a sub-service like insurance for collectibles. Contact them and offer to write an article. Make sure a link-back is part of the deal.
  • List one of your related collectibles for sale on an auction or classified website with a link-back to your blog or site. At the very least make sure your contact info is available to anyone that may have questions.
  • Post a picture of one of your items on your Facebook or Google+ page. Issue a challenge to guess what it is or what it does. Use an attention grabbing title. Include a link-back whenever possible. You could create a whole site around the mysterious whatzit including fresh trivia mixed with a “guess this” photographs.
  • Offer your services as an appraiser for items similar to your collectible. In this case, whatzits.
  • Decide on some facet of your collectible (history etc.) and create an interesting ebook. If your are not up to writing it yourself hire a ghostwriter. Create a non-fiction work or even a fiction piece centered around your collectible. Bring awareness to it. This again would be done in your name and expert voice.
  • Do a search for charitable silent auctions and donate one of your pieces. Create a bio about yourself – remember to write about your expert background. Donations to silent auctions usually come with some free promotion.
  • Look up free stock photography sites and submit pictures of your item. Include whatever information you are allowed and again link the photo back to your site or blog. If your photography skills are lacking contact someone locally to provide some great shots.
  • Host a forum on your site. Invite comments, articles, posts or whatever. Becoming the hub of information is a good way to be perceived as the go-to guy or gal.

So what is the benefit of all this effort in the end?

My suggestion would be to monetize what you know and what you share. That includes your blogs or websites. For monetization the list of strategies is limited only by technology and your imagination.

And once you learn the ropes for building a blog, or site, the next site comes much easier. It doesn’t take a big imagination to see the possibilities of how far this could go.

Okay…so that’s the most obvious benefit. What about some more subtle ones? With the blog comes an increase in your credibility as an expert. You could build upon that using all or some of the 10 bullet points I mentioned above.

Creating your expert status may be part of a bigger plan. You now have the attention of listeners or readers. You could use your new status to cross-promote into another category…something that was originally less accessible even.

Think strategically!

Your name as author on an ebook would be a huge boost in credibility. In turn it will bring more traffic to your website…and another boost in your credibility.

Remember too, you can always hire writers, photographers, graphic artists or PR people.

All this recognition as an expert will drive traffic to wherever you choose.

Conversely, the additional boost in traffic builds your credibility and furthers your expert status. Some other benefits include owners of the best examples of whatzits will now be contacting you for advice or to make deals.

Your collection will gain traction and value just by being associated with an expert owner. So that’s it in a nutshell. Today is the day you step forward and become the expert.

Best of luck and collect well.

Peter
SmokinMonkey.com

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