There’s no shortage of (unsolicited) advice offered about how we can be more successful in our job or our business endeavors. Fortunately, some of this advice is worth listening to, however resistant we may be in the beginning.
My recommendation is to always ask “Why?” As you read this column about becoming the go-to expert in your field, you should be asking “why,” because becoming the go-to expert in your field will require some diligent effort on your part. While our attention is frequently attracted by overnight sensations, upon investigation we frequently find that those overnight sensations spent years developing the skill or craft that gains them recognition.
So, why extending the effort to become the recognized expert in your field? Here are five major benefits to consider.
1) In dealing with clients and potential clients, becoming a recognized expert builds value. It shifts the conversation away from “how much” to discussions of the value you bring to the table. If you are ready to increase the money you make, then becoming a recognized expert is the key. That’s because someone with deep expertise delivers significantly more value than the generalist.
2) Becoming the recognized expert in your field establishes your credibility instantly. When we meet someone who is recognized as an expert, we may feel as if we already know them. Perhaps we have read their book or seen them speak at a conference. Because others have trusted them, we are more likely to do so, too. The know/like/trust factor threshold is easier to reach.
3) It creates opportunities though word of mouth marketing. When you are the recognized expert, you will be top of mind in conversations about your area of expertise. Being the go-to expert in your field will exponentially increase your referrals. You have already passed the test, so to speak, and people who have not directly done business with you are more likely to recommend you.
4) It shortens the sales cycle. Because your prospects, whether they be prospective clients or prospective employers, will require less cultivation if they know you through your reputation as an expert.
5) Free publicity will seek you out. This is one of the ironies of becoming an expert. In the beginning, when you are establishing yourself as an expert, you will be seeking opportunities. At some point, however, the tables will turn and you will be sought as an expert. Reporters are struggling will reduced budgets and increased airtime and page space to fill. Become the easy answer and they will come calling.
There are other, additional benefits of positioning yourself as an expert in your field, too. However, instead of exploring those, your time will be better spent on planning your first steps in positioning yourself as an expert.
About Your Columnist
Kimberly Schramm is a featured columnist for Women Taking Charge, the official blog for Connected Women of Influence, where she covers how to position yourself as an expert authority in business. Kimberly is the owner of Like a Boomerang and is a Certified Inbound Marketer who helps her clients develop and implement strategies to target prospects and deliver their messages in a variety of media, online and offline.