How often have you caught yourself shrugging in a self-deprecating way when someone else makes a really complimentary comment about your work? In truth, most of us tend not to regard ourselves as expert or highly credible.
The odd thing is that we can all easily identify an expert or two in our field – individuals who we perceive to be much more experienced, talented or inspired than we regard ourselves to be. So how can we be more like them?
Think about this. Who do credible people look up to? They do exactly what we do – they too identify people that they feel are more experienced, talented or inspired than they are. And so it goes on.
So why should you think about positioning ourselves as someone who is credible in your field - an expert even?
People gravitate towards ‘experts’ who authentically connect with their needs at the right level at any given time – an expert knows their audience, what they need, and how to connect with them.
There will always be people who know more than you, and people who know less than you. Aspire to learn from those with more knowledge, and pass on your learning to those with less – in truth, that’s the primary role of an expert.
How does a highly credible person behave?
An expert, or highly credible person, is someone who gives of themselves and their knowledge – and gets known as someone who shares their expertise and shows a willingness to lead. Someone who isn’t afraid of saying ‘Yes! I have knowledge to share’.
We bestow the title of 'expert' on people when they consistently:
- Help others achieve results
- Solve problems
- Knows and can explain how they do these things – not as the result of luck or random activity
- Keep learning from others who know more and share their increasing level of knowledge as part of a continuum.
How to raise your profile – based on your own expertise - whatever the level:
Simply do the following things. You don’t need to do them all in the same place at the same time.
1. Be open about your experience and knowledge:
Showcase the things you’ve achieved in life and work – be proud of the experience you have and don’t be afraid to share it with others.
2. Let people know what qualifies you to do what you do: Show your qualifications (if you have them), they are important! Your CV and website (if you have one) should list your qualifications, and any masterclasses or courses you have attended. If you have professional insurances, accreditation, or CPD credits in your field – let people know – it builds your credibility.
3. Visibility: Be seen, be known, have a reputation for being a specialist…hiding away doesn’t do anyone any good at all! Give up the reluctance to stick your head over the parapet. Who do you want to be known by? – and for what? Brand yourself as the person that people seek out for these things. Show your face too - use a high quality headshot on your Linked In profile, for example.
4. Track Record: Share success stories, facts, figures and testimonials – tell the story of your life and work – broadcast this where you can.
5. Communicate: Do talks, workshops, public appearances, use publicity, demonstrations of your skills and knowledge, speak up at meetings. This doesn’t need to be complex – people will be interested.
6. Share things: Write articles, put ‘How To’ advice or article on your social media, website or blog. If you don't have any of those, posting things on Linked In is usually a great start. Be open to giving advice.
7. Be yourself: an expert will be liked, trusted, sincere, and will be authentic.
8. Be open-minded: Be open to exploring and sharing what you don’t know as much as what you do. Asking for help is a great way to connect with people!
9. Tell people more about the things you do:
Explain your job and what you find interesting about it - techniques, research, materials, processes. What is a typical 'day in the life' of someone like you - people are fascinated by this.
10. The ongoing task of an expert:
Continue to learn about the things you are passionate about – not so you know the most (unless that’s what appeals to you), but enough to understand the territory of a particular audience, and to use your knowledge to inspire people.
Distil your knowledge down to ‘bite size’ chunks of information. People will respect you if you give small amounts of high quality information at any given time. Hone it down to fundamentals – distil your wisdom like a fine scotch.
Aim to be approachable – a true expert shares and communicates freely.
Best wishes - Pete Mosley
If you need help to build the courage and confidence to speak up and raise your profile, I can help. Get in touch via the links on my profile page.