As a business professional, your focus should be becoming the best you can within your niche or industry. You want to be known as an expert, thought leader, and reputable source of valuable information. These titles will open a number of doors and allow you to ultimately pursue the jobs you desire.
Becoming an Expert
When you sit back and think about it, what’s an expert? In its most basic form, an expert is an individual who knows their stuff better than anyone else in the industry. When questions arise, they have answers. Not only do they have answers, but people come to them for those answers. They have knowledge on complex issues and set the direction for others; experts are leaders, not followers.
Does that sound like someone you want to be within your own market? Here are a few ways to make it happen:
Position yourself as an expert. One of the first things to do is call yourself an expert. Don’t lie to people, but if you’re genuinely knowledgeable about your industry and have a rich understanding of how things work, tell people. Don’t be hesitant or worry you’ll come off as obnoxious or self-glorifying. You must be willing to call yourself an expert before others begin to listen.
Never stop learning. There isn’t some plateau where you finally become an expert and begin to relax. As an expert, you have to be continually committed to learning. For example, an IT expert can’t sit back and enjoy the view after he learns to use a particular software. On the contrary, he must continue to invest himself in IT training courses and surround himself with other knowledgeable people.
Communicate with others. You can have incredible talent and great ideas, but they aren’t going to reach their potential if you don’t share them. Regular communication with your peers is an important aspect to becoming an expert. Not only will they get something from you, but you’ll also learn from them.
Add value by creating. Becoming a recognizable expert requires you to regularly create. What you create and how you publish is up to you, but make tangible things people can see and use. On the internet, the best way to do this is by creating content. Write a blog, guest post for industry websites, or start a video channel.
Build a community. Once you’ve started creating, you should aim to build a community of followers. These followers will then share your ideas with others and reiterate your status as an industry expert.
Start consulting. Eventually, if you follow all of the other steps, people will start to come to you. At this point, you can begin consulting or advising – which only reinforces your status as an industry expert. You’ll begin to see other professionals, businesses, and organizations follow your beliefs and thought patterns.
Build a Strong Foundation
The biggest mistake aspiring industry experts make is trying to go too fast. It’s crucial that you start from the bottom and work your way up. You can’t become an expert over night and the more diligent you are, the more respected you’ll eventually become.