Why Positioning Yourself as an Expert Is so Lucrative (plus 11 Steps to Get Started)

  • January 3, 2013 by Guest Writer
  • 78 Comments

This post is by Jason Gracia.

Last May I went shopping for a consultant to help with the launch of my latest project. Though he was the most expensive, though he lived thousands of miles away, though we’d be meeting just one day, I chose JR out of everyone else for one reason: he was the obvious expert.

Much has been said about becoming a recognized expert in your field–especially by me. As you’ll see, few things are as powerful or persuasive in business. Unfortunately, few things are as misunderstood.

Today we’re going to fix that.

We’ll begin with the seven reasons you must position yourself as the go-to expert, followed by eleven of my favorite methods to make it happen. Let’s dive in.

Why Position Yourself as an Expert?

In every buying decision, be it hiring a consultant or finding a good mechanic, we all want experts. We want someone who appears to have a proven solution and not someone who may waste our time and money. But that’s the bird’s eye view of things. I prefer to dig into the details. So let’s dig…

1. Stand Out in a Crowded Market

Without attention, no business can survive. Problem is, you’re probably not alone in your market. In fact, you’re probably one fish in an ocean of alternatives. So how do you stand out? You become the go-to expert. By establishing your brand as the obvious choice for those who are choosy, you rise above the noise and sameness. It happens every time. You become the shining star among the night sky.

2. Become the Prize

Humans want what they can’t–or what is difficult to–have. As you become the recognized expert, you gain prestige and popularity, becoming the prize to be won by your prospects and customers. No longer do you chase leads; instead, they clamor to work with you.

3. Get Media Attention

Open any newspaper or scan any news blog and you’ll see references to experts up and down the page. They are essential to media. When reporters develop a story, they need quotations, opinions, facts, and findings from people who know the topic better than anyone else. And, so, they turn to experts.

4. Deliver Results

We are hardwired to listen to authority figures. By wrapping your particular message in the authority that expert positioning brings, your information will not only get attention but it will also get absorbed and used. Your knowledge will be respected enough to break through the clutter and deliver tangible results.

5. Charge Higher Fees

Jim and John own home-improvement businesses. Jim is a jack-of-all-trades, offering everything from lawn care to window installation. John updates kitchens–nothing more. Who do you think is going to charge more for a kitchen remodel? It’s obvious.

Because John only does one thing, we assume he does it better than Jim. In turn, we expect to pay more for the extra knowledge, know-how, experience, and quality. The same is true for you. When you are seen as the expert, people expect to pay for the extra value, allowing you to charge what you’re really worth.

6. Gain Partnerships

The same tendencies that draw people to an expert also attract business partners. If you want to rapidly grow your business, you need to partner with the other authorities in your field. Arranging these partnerships, however, isn’t always easy–unless you’re seen as a fellow expert. In that case, your positioning instantly grants you credibility and respect, opening the door to new audiences and opportunities.

7. Satisfaction & Fulfillment

When you commit to becoming a true expert, you’re committing to much more than getting into print or associating yourself with success. You’re committing to being one of the best in your field.

This dedication to mastery, while equipping you with expert knowledge, will have a side effect: you’ll be happy. Satisfaction and fulfillment are natural offshoots of throwing ourselves into something we’re passionate about. You’ll constantly be learning new things, solving challenging problems, and immersing yourself in a world you love, and you’ll be the happier for it.

***

Now that you know why expert positioning is so important, let’s take a look at eleven things you can start doing today to be seen as the obvious authority in your field.

How to Position Yourself as an Expert

Many people wait for it, but sadly no one is going to tap you on the head with the expert wand. It’s up to you. By shining a better and brighter light on what you already have–and filling in some gaps along the way–you can position yourself and your brand as one of the leaders in your field.

1. Own It

“But I’m no expert.” Sometimes, this is true. Often, it’s not. Even after spending years in a field and producing consistent results, people are wary of standing up and asserting themselves as true experts. It can be scary; the pressure to deliver certainly increases when you claim expert status. But if you’re ready, if you can help your audience get the results they’re after, it’s time to own your expert standing and shout it to the world.

2. Define Your Expertise

Don’t be wishy-washy about what you do. Be bold and clear. Would you rather work with the woman who says, “Well, I guess I help people, um, get more visitors and stuff like that,” or the one who says, “I am an online traffic expert”?

3. Create an Expert Hub

One of the most effective ways to communicate your authority status is to create an “expert” website. Many elements are involved, but key among them are professional headshots, professional design, highlighting your social proof numbers (subscribers, followers, fans), and highlighting the places your work has been featured.

4. Create an Expert Intro

Useful with videos, articles, interviews, and live talks, an expert intro is a powerful tool for establishing your authority with new audiences as well as ingraining your expert status in the minds of your loyal fans.

For example, Brendon Burchard begins his videos with, “Hey everybody, it’s Brendon Burchard, author of Life’s Golden Ticket and founder of Experts Academy.” You don’t have to be an author to have a powerful opening though. You can state your area of expertise, your tagline, or even the name of your website (“creator of…”).

5. Share Your Credibility Story

Your expert story is critical. It connects you to your audience, establishes authority, inspires hope, and motivates action. How do you accomplish all that with a single story? Start by sharing your struggle to succeed, allowing people to relate to you. Then describe your sources of deep knowledge to demonstrate why you know more than the average tinkerer (certifications, degrees, years of experience, firsthand trial-and-error, etc.). Finally, share your personal stories of success as well as the stories of your successful clients and customers.

6. Go Beyond the Blog Post

There are dozens of ways to share your message outside of your blog, but one of the most effective at positioning you as the expert is public speaking. This generates the obvious credibility that comes from having an audience show up and listen to you speak, but, on a deeper level, speaking in public elevates your status because so few people are willing to do it.

Most are terrified by the idea, so the fact that you’re able to get on stage and deliver puts you on another level. (Bonus Tip: Feature shots of you speaking on your website and marketing materials as an added authority boost.)

7. Play Hard to Get

The harder something is to attain, the more we value it. It’s human nature. So while you should be available to your audience, you shouldn’t be too available. A prime example is free coaching sessions.

The non-authority will open the door to anyone and everyone who wants a free session in the hopes of converting a percentage to paying clients. This tactic gives the impression that you’re begging for business. The true authority, the one people clamor for, offers free sessions one day a week, by application, and with the use of a waiting list.

8. Get Media Attention

Get in print, on radio, on television, and on other websites and blogs. Then feature the media pieces on your site and in your materials. Working with media can seem overwhelming, so start small. Email small blogs in your industry. Contact local radio stations or newspapers that serve small markets. Reach out to friends who may have contacts in the industry. As you build your portfolio, bigger opportunities will emerge.

(Bonus Tip: As you know, reporters are constantly looking for experts to use in their stories. A popular method to find these experts is HARO, which stands for Help a Reporter Out. After signing up as an expert, for free, you’ll receive daily emails from reporters looking for particular authorities. When there’s a match, you simply reply by email.)

9. Associate with Success

Authority is like glitter–those who come in contact with it can’t help but leaving with a little on their sleeve. If you knew nothing of Corbett’s skills or abilities, only that every leader in the field considers him a friend and brilliant businessman, Corbett would adopt authority by association; if other authorities mingle with him, he must also be an authority.

You can gain the same respect and status by associating with the leaders in your industry. Among other things, you can interview them, write guest posts for them, review their products, or invite them to speak at your live or digital events.

10. Gather Testimonials & Endorsements

Some dear readers will be kind enough to send unsolicited testimonials. We love those people. But hundreds more are waiting to lavish praise on you if you would only ask. So ask.

Send an email to your list asking about the effects your work has had on them. Reach out to colleagues, asking them to offer an endorsement of your expertise. Offer free coaching sessions (if coaching makes sense in your field) to people willing to be part of a before-and-after case study to be featured on your site or blog.

Social proof is among the most powerful expert triggers. Instead of waiting for it to fall into your lap, take an active role and gather as many honest and compelling testimonials as you can.

11. Create an Organization

Creators of organizations, summits, and conferences have forever been granted instant authority; we subconsciously assume the creator must have the approval and respect of the industry, otherwise they wouldn’t have succeeded in pulling it off.

Chris Guillebeau’s World Domination Summit, Scott Dinsmore’s Live Your Legend events, and the LinkedIn meetups orchestrated by Lewis Howes early in his career are just a few examples of industry authorities creating an event and leading a community. If you knew nothing of these men, only that they founded their summits and events, you would consider them experts. Such is the power of creation.

So, what could you create? If a conference or summit is too ambitious, could you gather a few dozen people together for an evening of industry information and entertainment? Perhaps a digital event run from your kitchen table?

***

There you have it, the power of expert positioning and a few tips to help get you started. You can’t long mask a lack of skill or experience with expert triggers, but you can explode your business when you use them to highlight true knowledge and ability.

What is one thing you could do TODAY to better position yourself as an expert in your niche? Let us know in the comments below this post.

Jason Gracia is the author of Shifting the Balance and creator of The Six-Figure Expert. If you’re ready to turn your passion or expertise into a six-figure brand and business, visit JasonGracia.com for a free copy of Jason’s complete blueprint, The Six-Figure Formula.


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Sarah Russell January 3, 2013 at 6:11 am

Interesting article on something I’ve definitely struggled with. Objectively, when I look at my history as a web content writer (writing online since 2007, more than 2 million words published, etc), I know that qualifies me as an expert in the field. But it is just so freaking hard to come out and say that to site visitors (might just be my “Midwestern nice” upbringing!).

So I definitely like these strategies, and I like the idea that expert status is something you prove by your words and actions – rather than something you just claim for yourself. Thanks for sharing these tips – I’ll definitely be putting them into practice this year!

Jason Gracia January 3, 2013 at 12:12 pm

Sarah,

Thank you so much for reading my piece and for posting your thoughts. It’s a pleasure to connect with you. : )

You bring up two excellent points.

First, the fear. Most people are afraid to stand among the crowd and proclaim their expertise; it immediately invites judgement. If you say you’re an expert, people want proof. And because there is no governing board of expertise handing out “Verified Expert” certificates, it’s on us to prove our position. That can be scary.

But there’s nothing to fear.

Only one thing matters in the end–results. If you can deliver the promised result, you’re expert enough (sadly, the ability to actually deliver a result would place you above and beyond most “gurus” online and off).

So, can you do what you say you can do? If so, stand tall and let people know it. You don’t have to shove it in their faces, but you should certainly place triggers throughout your site and brand to let people know you can deliver. If you’re uncomfortable saying it yourself, let your satisfied readers and customers say it for you.

Second, your “Midwestern nice upbringing.” I think we need to do a little mind set tweak here. : )

Positioning yourself as an expert has nothing to do with bragging, nothing to do with slick sales tricks or high-pressure marketing. I, like you, am about integrity, honesty, value, and results. We want to help our audiences as much as possible, and positioning ourselves as experts makes that, well, possible.

The more people see us as credible authorities, the more they’ll listen, learn, and follow through. Our goal is to help people. By positioning ourselves as what we are–experts in our fields–we’re able to do that. Expertise isn’t about tricks, but instead about giving people an accurate impression of our education, experience, and ability.

I want you to add expert triggers where appropriate starting today. If you want more ideas than the ones provided above, email me at jasonmgracia@gmail.com and thank you again for hopping into the conversation!

Jason

Sonja Jobson January 3, 2013 at 7:09 am

Great post, Jason. Your first tip under “How to Position Yourself as an Expert” (Own it) is my favorite take-away. Even if you have true value and expertise to offer the world, it can be hard to confidently put yourself on the “expert” level, and take all the responsibility that comes with it. But it is absolutely crucial to success.

Thanks for great info and inspiration!

Jason Gracia January 3, 2013 at 12:25 pm

Sonja,

You are absolutely right.

Claiming to be an expert carries with it all the psychological baggage of standing apart from the accepted crowd, standing up for ourselves, standing strong for our beliefs…standing while the rest of the world sits.

It calls attention to you, opening you up to judgment and criticism.

Most people make the quiet and seemingly comfortable choice of following the crowd along the beaten path; they avoid the judgment along with living a full life. Others stand to the side and cast judgment on all they see. But then there’s the rare few, like you, who ignore the known trails and make their own way through the woods.

It takes more work, requires guts, and leads to scrapes, but the end result is more than worth it.

Jason

Deji R Yusuf January 3, 2013 at 7:16 am

dear Jason Gracia, this a very brilliant post! and it came at the right time when i just needed it!
It is not easy to position yourself as an expert,but I tell you, if you really know what you are doing and you know your onions to be an expert in you field is one of the most interesting thing that can happen to you…thank God for today’s IT technology, you can easily position yourself as an expert! :)

Jason Gracia January 3, 2013 at 12:31 pm

Deji,

If you are a true expert inside, today’s technology can bring it out like nothing else. : )

Jason

Justin Westbrooks January 3, 2013 at 7:19 am

My team and I are young and “inexperienced”. Building credibility and representing our expertise is something that we continually struggle with when we’re talking with clients. But, interestingly enough, we often find that we are being too critical of ourselves and should just step up and “own it”. Sure, there may be a million and one things we don’t know how to do, but if there’s just one thing we can help a client with, we can add value. In their eyes, we are the expert. By starting there and continuing to learn, we’ve started a momentum that will not be easily halted. Great compilation of suggestions – thanks!

Jason Gracia January 3, 2013 at 12:51 pm

Justin,

I’m so glad you brought this to light.

The problem of judging ourselves to harshly is something most every expert struggles with. The reason, often, is that we dig into our topic so deep that we forget the rest of the world doesn’t know 1% of what we’ve discovered long ago.

We assume what comes natural to us comes natural to us all. Not so.

To a boy putting on his first pair of shoes, the ability to tie the laces is a miracle. To him, you are the expert.

We must all constantly remind ourselves of this. I have spent the last decade+ steeped in expert positioning, website design, landing pages, conversion rates, content creation, writing, recording, producing. I often forget that most people are just opening the door to this world; they are dipping their toes into areas I mastered many years ago. Though it’s obvious to me, it’s a new world for so many others.

The same is true for you. There are hundreds, perhaps thousands of things you’ve learned about your field that I’ve never even heard of.

This is why the advice we see on television, radio, in magazines, and newspapers–the most popular advice that spreads–is simple. Simple tips, simply executed. The creators of this content know their topic as soundly as anyone, but they understand the rest of us of rookies.

This points to a powerful principle, namely that a true authority doesn’t overwhelm us with complicated material–he or she knows their topic so well that they’re able to communicate just enough information to get the desired result.

Only a true master of their craft can effectively simplify it for the rest of us.

Keep up the great work, Justin. Keep learning, keep evolving your brand, and keep reminding yourself that what may seem obvious to you is a breakthrough to me!

Jason

Lis Dingjan January 7, 2013 at 2:17 pm

Great comment Jason!

I’m forever thinking there’s so much more to learn and everyone else must know all this too because it comes naturally to me. A world of HTML, PHP, CSS, Graphic Design, marketing, copy editing and business management but it’s easy to forget that at some point I knew none of this too and hard to start at the beginning.

I loved the analogy of the boy who’s learning to tie his laces.

If you try and extract yourself from your situation and look upon it as a whole, you realize you have actually learned, and been involved, in quite a bit and others may have explored other areas of life and therefore don’t have the same knowledge.

That was a fantastic reply – we need to keep some perspective of our expert knowledge and understand we demand huge amounts of quality from ourselves.

Thanks for the article!
Lis.

Jason Gracia January 7, 2013 at 11:11 pm

Lis,

You are too kind. : )

The funny thing about this very important topic is that I’m doing it right now. I’m sharing simple tips and ideas with you amazing people, not because you can’t handle complex issues but because that’s what people need and want and use.

We are each experts in our own fields, but not in one another’s. Because of that, we have to deliver basic, yet powerful and proven, ideas. As you know, it’s the simple ideas that make the biggest difference–being a true expert is knowing which of the ideas is simple. : )

An experience I had a few months ago really drove the point home. I was watching a seminar filled with students who paid $2,000 to learn how to grow their online businesses. I assumed they were experts, as they had paid so much to attend. When the speaker asked how many people didn’t have a website yet, I was shocked.

Half the room raised their hands. Half!

Even when we’re virtually convinced we’re dealing with people far more experienced than us, the truth is that most people are at the beginning of a trip we’ve taken years ago. Our “obvious” is their “breakthrough.”

Jason

paul January 3, 2013 at 8:18 am

I’ve only just started working at this—even though I’ve been run a very successful business for 15 years. To me it feels a lot like finding your voice and then owning it, which is awesome.

Jason Gracia January 3, 2013 at 12:55 pm

Paul,

Exactly.

Finding your voice can be maddeningly difficult, which is why many experts struggle with positioning. If they don’t know who they are, how can they tell everyone else?

Congratulations on starting to work on your positioning. It truly makes the difference in the world of business. Time and again business equal in all else will reach severely different heights based on positioning.

If you need specific advice for your business or brand, email me at jasonmgracia@gmail.com. I’d love to help!

Jason

Norman Petersen January 3, 2013 at 8:24 am

Great article, as usual. As someone who’s working in a fairly deep niche (how-to faux finish/art education), I need all the tips I can get to build authority and this is a very rich and valuable post. Thank you.
Norman

Jason Gracia January 3, 2013 at 1:01 pm

Norman,

Welcome to the discussion!

You bring quite an interesting topic to the table. To position you in your market, I would ask: Who do you consider to be the leaders of your industry and why? What do they do, say, have that positions them as the experts?

Open one of their websites side by side with yours. What’s different? What’s missing? What captures your attention first? What turns you off? Find at least five things that help their positioning that you’re missing–and then fill those gaps.

Good luck!

Jason

Jane January 3, 2013 at 8:26 am

Hey Jason wonderful tips! Indeed it is very crucial that we prove ourselves an expert to survive the competition; of course without faking it! We must take the time to develop necessary skills and also keep ourselves updated with stuff going on in our niche.

In my opinion, gathering testimonials is a very important thing to prove expertise – which in turn means we should deliver top class!

Jason Gracia January 3, 2013 at 1:44 pm

Jane,

It couldn’t be clearer to me that you understand the truth about positioning yourself as an expert. It’s not about fooling anyone. It’s about packaging deep knowledge in a way that attracts those who need it most.

The online and offline worlds are filled to the brim with fakes and snake oil salesmen. Fortunately, people like you, Corbett, and a small army of authentic leaders are making their voices heard. We’ll never escape the scoundrels completely, but at least now it’s a fair fight. : )

Jason

PS. I think testimonials are among the perfect expert triggers. You gain the desired credibility without the skepticism that comes from self-promotion. Win-win!

David Thomas January 3, 2013 at 8:28 am

This is a great post for me as I’ve been thinking hard about how to leverage the things that I’m doing now. To be honest, I would love to speak at some sort of event on my niche but not sure where to start with this. I know it would bring me more authority. Linking with other media also would be a great idea as this would expose me to a wider and different audience.

All the best

David

Jason Gracia January 3, 2013 at 2:09 pm

David,

You’re on the brink of doing something great for your business, so let’s make it happen.

1. I see that the Ben Graham Centre is holding a conference in April. If you can attend, I would speak with the hosts about offering a talk at a future conference. Even better, put together a proposal for the April meeting. You could also offer to hold smaller talk for people interested in your particular niche (or offer to write a piece for their newsletter).

2. Are you already a member of your city’s business groups such as the Chamber of Commerce? These can be great places to network and share your goal of speaking on value investing.

3. Meetup.com is an excellent tool for experts. You can create a group (or join an existing one) that revolves around your topic. Then offer to give a talk at one your meetings.

4. Put feelers out via Twitter, Facebook, etc. that you’re looking for opportunities to speak on value investing. You never know who your people are connected to.

5. Joining Toastmasters or the NSA is another great way to connect with fellow speakers who can open doors to speaking opportunities.

6. Create your own group from your current network. Invite friends and family to hear you speak on your topic (create a signature talk, delivering a handful of clear and actionable tips or principles). Film it, edit it, and upload it onto a speaker’s page on your website. This will give you the chance to practice your talk in front of a group as well as a recording that can be used to garner further attention and bookings.

The list goes on and on, but the key is striking while the iron is hot. You want to speak, so choose one of the above, or an idea already bouncing around in your brain, and run with it. Then email me the results at jasonmgracia@gmail.com.

Jason

Michelle Dale January 3, 2013 at 9:06 am

I loved this article, such perfect timing too. Thank you!

Jason Gracia January 3, 2013 at 2:15 pm

Michelle,

I’m so glad you liked it, but from the look of your website, it doesn’t appear that you needed much help. Your branding is brilliant and your positioning is solid.

Congratulations!

Jason

Matt Beglinger January 3, 2013 at 9:12 am

Jason, love the write up. This resonated perfectly with me. As a new blogger, I see several places where I could improve. Next week I plan to write a blog post where I introduce myself and will be utilizing the information you’ve presented here. Thanks!

Jason Gracia January 3, 2013 at 3:03 pm

Matt,

Thanks for reading and for sharing your thoughts.

I’d love to see what you put together–email me at jasonmgracia@gmail.com. Perhaps we can come up with a few ideas to help you grow your new blog.

Jason

Yassin Madwin January 3, 2013 at 10:15 am

OK my time so i am going to put a little tricky phrases to instantly make yourself an expert, in the field of NLP we call it Credibility Patterns .

You can use for example :

“One thing I learned from Steve Jobs is always innovate, never stagnate.”

OR

“If there was one thing that David Ogilvy taught me, it’s this – always make your ads interesting. You can never bore people into buying from you.”

As you can see, you don’t have to actually know the person to have
them covertly endorse you in this manner. This language patterns works
best in writing when no one can ask you, “How do you know (EX­PERT)?” Thus emails, ad copy and letters are the perfect medium.
It’s best to use this language pattern cautiously when spoken, because
it could be challenged and because excessive name dropping of this nature may be perceived as condescension and braggery.

Jason Gracia January 3, 2013 at 2:24 pm

Yassin,

Thanks for your tip. While mentioning an authority can certainly boost your credibility via the powers of association, it’s far stronger to present actual proof of your ability or actual connections with people who admire your work.

This is why testimonials and authentic endorsements are so effective.

A true expert never uses a tactic that forces them to avoid questioning. It’s about letting honest experience and ability shine through.

Jason

Yassin Madwin January 3, 2013 at 2:46 pm

Agree, Because well done is Better than well Said.

I am replying because i felt in love with your website’s design. Solid Dark Black and Blue reflects high Authority and Loyalty i would love if you would tell who did the design for you ?

Jason Gracia January 3, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Yassin,

Thank you so much for your kind words. Believe it or not, I do all of my own design work. My third love, after business and history, is design.

Jason

Jeremiah Say January 3, 2013 at 10:23 am

Hi Jason,

Great tips you have over here. 1 thing I would do to improve myself as an expert would be to share my credibility story and get media attention. I think this can be a wonderful “combo.”

By the way, I see a missing word in: “What is one thing you could TODAY to better position yourself as an expert in your niche?”

You forgot to include the “DO.” Just thought I’d let you know:)

With regards,
Jeremiah

Jason Gracia January 3, 2013 at 2:30 pm

Jeremiah,

I think your combo sounds terrific. Your story is your most powerful tool of communication and connection. It makes you human, it makes you credible, it makes you someone people trust and want to learn from.

Talk about the dream, the hopes and aspirations you had when you first began your journey. Then talk about the struggle; if you’re perfect and everything came easy, they can’t relate. Talk about the search, the effort you put in to discover the solution; this proves your authority and positions you as the expert. Finally, you get to talk about the success, the joy of victory and the lessons learned.

Couple that with media (start small, grow big), and you’ll be unstoppable.

Jason

Rebecca Tracey January 3, 2013 at 11:55 am

I love this. And I’ve been doing it since the very beginning. I think the most important factor if, like you say, to OWN it. Credentials can come in all kinds of forms, so look back through your life, education, experiences and create your resume! We know more than we think we do, and actually getting it all down on paper can be a super helpful step in starting to really believe it so we can start pimping ourselves out.

Jason Gracia January 3, 2013 at 2:51 pm

Rebecca,

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Everyone needs to study your website and brand for the perfect example of expert positioning, backed, of course, by true credibility and a pinch of pizazz. Congratulations on turning an idea into a movement worthy of attention and praise.

Jason

Rebecca Tracey January 3, 2013 at 3:59 pm

*blushes*

Laura Spaventa January 3, 2013 at 12:51 pm

Jason, This is an excellent post with valuable tips. Thank you for mentioning HARO to your readers. We hope they will find our service useful in positioning themselves as experts. In addition to receiving reporter queries via email, interested readers can follow us on Twitter (@helpareporter) for urgent queries (queries with an EOD deadline.) Thank you again for the shout out and happy New Year!

Jason Gracia January 4, 2013 at 3:27 pm

Laura,

Thanks for dropping in!

And thank you for bringing yet another expert tip to the table. As experts in our fields, we’ll often be cited by bloggers and news organizations. By keeping an eye on your trackbacks and online mentions (Twitter, Facebook, Google Alerts, etc.), you’ll be able to join the conversation wherever it’s taking place and introduce yourself to a brand new audience.

Jason

Rodrigo Flamenco January 3, 2013 at 2:38 pm

Plain and simple, be the best, do the best, and make sure other people know you’re the best! Sometimes in the middle of all the marketing stuff we can lose the quality of our product or service and try to focus on branding and marketing, which are truly important, but they are not going to work that much if what we do and offer isn’t really great.

Thanks Jason :)

Jason Gracia January 3, 2013 at 2:56 pm

Rodrigo,

Exactly.

So much of what we see online caters to people who are trying to cover up a lack of true knowledge and deep experience with clever tips and tricks. But tips and tricks will only get you so far.

In the end, the best marketing is raw ability.

If I bring ten people to your doorstep, can you deliver on your promise? If so, I can help you become a six-figure expert. If not, no amount of slick marketing is going to save you. You have to know your stuff and know it well.

Everything about expert positioning becomes easier when we actually become experts.

Jason

Barrie/Barrie Davenport.com January 3, 2013 at 3:28 pm

Jason,
Thank you so much for this amazingly useful post. You have offered so much great info here that many people charge a lot of money to share! You have been so instrumental in helping me launch my own business as a life passion expert. I can vouch from my personal experience that what you’ve outlined here really works. I followed your recommendations and I’ve seen my new business take off faster than I ever would have expected. If anyone is interested in seeing the results of Jason’s coaching and input, please check out my expert site: http://www.barriedavenport.com

Jason Gracia January 4, 2013 at 3:31 pm

Barrie,

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it for years to come…you are the rock star in our relationship. : )

The material I share may have the potential to turn experts into six-figure entrepreneurs, but it’s only potential. Without honest, trusting, hard-working readers and clients, like you, nothing would come of it.

I’m so proud of what you’ve accomplished already…and this is just the beginning.

Jason

Amy Scott January 3, 2013 at 4:46 pm

Great post, Jason. In one of my newer businesses, Nomadtopia, I am mostly relying on my life story and experience to establish myself as an expert (#5 on your list!), which I think gives me a pretty solid footing, but you’ve given me some ideas for other things I can do to increase my perceived expertise. Thanks so much!

Jason Gracia January 4, 2013 at 4:00 pm

Amy,

Your story, when told in just the right way, is more powerful than any other expert tool available.

Your content will inform, but your story will connect.

Tony Robbins, the larger-than-life author, speaker, and entrepreneur, has shared countless lessons on living happier, healthier, more successful lives. But it’s his story that people will never forget.

Going from empty, overweight, lost, and scared, washing dishes in the bathtub of a 400-square-foot apartment, to the success we see today…that’s a story that draws us in (he struggled, just like me) and inspires (he made it, so I can too).

When you’ve “been there, done that,” people will listen, follow, and gladly pay for your experience and expertise.

Good luck with Nomadtopia, and let me know if you’d like more tips at jasonmgracia@gmail.com.

Jason

Alden January 3, 2013 at 5:23 pm

Most excellent Jason! I’m so glad I found you man. Maybe I’m not an expert yet, but you definitely provide true value when it comes to doing a business.

Jason Gracia January 4, 2013 at 4:10 pm

Alden,

Another rock star client–I’m one lucky coach. : )

You may not be where you want to be just yet, but you possess the desire to get there and the willingness to do something about it.

That’s the key.

Billions around the globe wish for something more in their lives, and that’s where it ends, as a lifeless wish. You are different. You are thinking, planning, acting, growing.

You’ll get there, Alden, I have no doubt.

Jason

Angela January 3, 2013 at 6:48 pm

This is being book marked. This is a fantastic article that gives you the step by step of HOW to do it, not just the why you should, like so many others. You also replied in detail, to David about HOW to get speaking events. This is a invaluable article, thanks for sharing it with us.
As someone else said it’s important that we remember that often what we know we take for granted because it becomes second nature to us. For example building a website or setting up your social media accounts, easy for us right. Though a LOT of people don’t know how to do this and that is the only thing stopping them from creating a fab business. They’ll be so happy they found you to do this for them, or to show them how to do it! We need to really look at how far we’ve come and remember that we were once that person who had no idea, but learnt how to do it and now can help others out doing it.
Cheers!

Jason Gracia January 4, 2013 at 4:32 pm

Angela,

Thank you so much for bringing this up again. It’s an issue that plagues most would-be experts and entrepreneurs, and the more we can chip away at the myth, the more doors we open for action and opportunity.

It reminds me of the Curse of Knowledge, that pesky rule by which people who know something have a difficult time seeing the topic from the viewpoint of someone who doesn’t know it.

A quick fix is to talk with someone outside your field. You’ll see in seconds how much of your education and experience you actually take for granted. You can also turn to articles, blog posts, and books in your field. More often than not, you’ll see simple tips that seem so obvious to you–but not to the average reader.

Thanks again, Angela!

Jason

PS. Thank you for your kind words about the post and my responses. I highly respect Corbett and his audience, as I do everyone willing to learn, so it’s my duty to deliver. And I’m just getting started. : )

Muhannad January 3, 2013 at 7:30 pm

That’s an awesome post, Jason! Pure quality beats everything else – again!
Working on my own startup, I can totally relate to this: marketing and co. can bring you some short-term success, but it remains short-term.

Although I’m not that far with my project yet, I’m convinced, that quality beats the short-term marketing success and will lead in the long-run to (greater) success – thanks, Jason!

Jason Gracia January 4, 2013 at 4:34 pm

Muhannad,

Congratulations on seeing the big picture and playing the long game. Though developing our expertise requires time, effort, and a bit (a ton!) of hustle and sweat, it’s worth it in the end.

Good luck with your new venture!

Jason

Anton January 4, 2013 at 2:44 am

Hi Jason,

great post and thanks for sharing it.
I also think the biggest mistake people make, is not to stand out and show their expertises.
They always try to get the low haning fruits.

Cheers
Anton

Jason Gracia January 11, 2013 at 12:18 am

Anton,

I couldn’t agree with you more. People underestimate the power of their impression. If they only worked to develop their expertise and communicate it to their target audience, they would be leaps and bounds ahead of where they are now.

If you have true expertise, it’s your obligation to let your market know about it. They deserve the best in treatment and results. If you can offer both, you need to let them know about.

Thanks for dropping in and best of success to you, Anton.

Jason

Amy Van Horn January 4, 2013 at 7:36 pm

Jason,
This was an incredible article and reading all the comments was equally helpful. I am used to being an expert in my full-time job as a Reading Specialist at an elementary school but I have recently opened an on-line boutique and I have a long way to go before I feel like an expert in any facet of this endeavor! However, I am doing my best to learn how to market my products and myself and so many of your points were exactly what I needed to hear. It is remarkable to me that you have given such invaluable advise completely free of charge.
Thank you so much! I look forward to reading–and taking–more advice from you soon!
Amy

Jason Gracia January 7, 2013 at 1:24 pm

Amy,

Congratulations on taking the courageous step toward your own online business!

When first starting out, one of the best ways to improve your brand impression is through testimonials. And a great way to gather testimonials is through free trials, free coaching sessions, free product samples, etc.

Simply offer something free to your visitors, readers, or customers in exchange for an honest testimonial about your product or service. Even better, put together an in-depth case study to really demonstrate your abilities.

Good luck!

Jason

Chris O'Byrne January 5, 2013 at 6:20 pm

Here, here on the public speaking. Every time I give a workshop, I not only make a decent chunk of money, I also see a big boost in my business as several people want to take advantage of my services. I could probably skip all other forms of marketing, do more workshops, and still grow my business.

Jason Gracia January 5, 2013 at 8:51 pm

Chris,

The power of the platform is incredible, isn’t it?

I remember going to a seminar with my dad as a kid and sitting next to a guy who seemed to be an average, though warm and friendly, person. It turns out he was the featured speaker.

The second his foot touched the stage, he transformed in my eyes, along with everyone else’s.

There is magic on that platform. The instant you stand before the crowd, you become the authority, and maintain that power and position long after the light go down.

If any hopeful experts have the chance, speak in public. Develop your signature talk, practice until it shines, and share it with the world.

Jason

Pablo Ruiz January 8, 2013 at 9:18 am

Great article Jason!
I recently started implementing some of the points you mention like writing in my own blog, trying to position myself as an expert in my area and giving free coaching classes.
Still a long way to go, though :)

Jason Gracia January 8, 2013 at 10:18 am

Pablo,

Excellent work! The difference between your average online business and your expert online business can be thousands of readers, subscribers, and customers.

This is definitely an area we should all focus on, so congratulations and keep it up.

Jason

PS. I would add a photo at the top of your site with the tagline, Co-Founder, InfinixSoft. I would also, if possible, list the companies that you advise. These two things will instantly boost your authority.

Pablo Ruiz January 8, 2013 at 3:09 pm

Hi Jason, thanks for the advise! I really appreciate it. I was actually thinking about doing that after reading so many sites talking about adding photos.
You mean adding a photo of me next to the blog logo/title? Or adding something below, between the logo and the posts?

Just subscribed to your own blog, about to start reading the report. :)

Jason Gracia January 8, 2013 at 6:56 pm

Pablo,

If I were you, I would place a high-quality, professionally-shot photo of you next to your logo in the header. Here are a few examples…

http://alibrown.com/
http://www.rochemarketing.com/
http://ryanlee.com/
http://lewishowes.com/
http://marieforleo.com/
http://www.jasongracia.com

Jason

Greg Jeffries January 8, 2013 at 12:35 pm

Wow! Excellent excellent tips and bullet points.

It’s so refreshing to come across a very high quality post that shares simple ACTIONABLE items that others can take to significantly improve their sucess.

Great job!

Jason Gracia January 11, 2013 at 12:23 am

Greg,

Thank you so much. Helping people like you spread their message and their valuable information is what I love to do, so it’s truly my pleasure to serve. Sounds cliche, but it’s true!

Jason

Aaron Hoos January 11, 2013 at 4:00 pm

Love this post! I’m just in the process of splitting my business into separate brands, ultimately to have a bit more control over their trajectory and possibly to sell one or two in the future. This was a timely post to make me think about how I want to establish my authority in each of those brands. I particularly appreciated the underlying message in a couple of the points: It not only takes experience and knowledge to be an expert, it also takes courage.

Jason Gracia January 14, 2013 at 1:57 pm

Aaron,

Thank you so much for joining the conversation.

It sounds like you have some really exciting things going on. Congrats!

You are absolutely correct. Being an expert starts inside, as with most things in life. It doesn’t matter what mask you wear–if you doubt your own value and authority, people will sense it in seconds and move on.

You must proudly claim your status as an expert and charge forward. This doesn’t imply perfection or the end of learning, but instead an acceptance of your true value and ability to help others. This, as you said, takes courage.

Congratulations again on all you’ve done and best of success in what’s to come. If you need any help, please let me know at jasonmgracia@gmail.com.

Jason

Simeon Howard January 19, 2013 at 2:19 pm

I am no stranger to the school of “Fake it ’till you make it”. Self-doubt is not something you can afford in any business, and that is a lesson that some people unfortunately never learn. I’ve found that exhaustive education is the best way to build up any fake confidence until the real thing kicks in.

Whenever I deal with a new client, I like to challenge myself to know more about their business than they do by the time we meet. Sometimes there’s only time to get as far as knowing the right jargon, but anything is better than showing up and having to ask clients to explain what they’re talking about.

Also, now that every phone carries a good internet connection, every trip to the bathroom can be a trip to wikipedi! Even if you were stuck on something, you can leave and then walk back into the room like you understood what was going on all along.

Brandon Bear January 20, 2013 at 7:48 am

Awesome post. I think the majority of bloggers, specifically, don’t understand this point. If you are the expert you have so much more authority behind your words.

Jason Gracia January 21, 2013 at 1:32 pm

Brandon,

First things first, thank you. :)

Second things second, you couldn’t be more right. People have a vast catalog of knowledge and know-how, but rarely shine a light on that expertise. It’s not about bragging or boasting, as some fear, but about letting people know how you can help them. And, to be honest, it’s also about helping people avoid the wrong avenues of assistance. There are too many false prophets online; we need the real ones to stand up.

Jason

Jason Gracia January 20, 2013 at 2:12 pm

Simeon,

Thanks for dropping by! I agree 100% that education is key to becoming a highly-paid expert. And ‘fake it til you make it’ is sound advice as far as confidence goes, as long as you come with valuable information that can make a difference. We can never fake value. We must be true experts if we are going to claim expert status.

Jason

Víctor February 17, 2013 at 9:11 am

Jason,
thank you very much for this article, I think it is really useful.

Greetings from Barcelona

Víctor

Jason Gracia February 18, 2013 at 10:07 am

Victor,

You’re very welcome. Thank you for taking the time to read the piece and post a comment!

Jason

Tom H March 5, 2013 at 1:46 pm

These are some awesome tips and ways to get started. I am so glad you didn’t jump on Sell Your Wares on Social Media bandwagon. So many people are trying to market their businesses to the people who are already their friends. I am a member of a Coaches Group on Facebook and every other post is a Coach pitching Coaching. The group is ALL COACHES! You have to step outside of your existing circle of influence if you want to be seen as an Expert!
Tom

Jason Gracia March 6, 2013 at 4:23 pm

Tom,

What a great insight.

You are absolutely correct–you have to be willing to go outside the comfort zone to enjoy true happiness and success, whether in your job, business, or personal life.

That’s where all the good stuff is!

Jason

deola March 30, 2013 at 5:55 am

Awesome post! Fear and lack of self-belief is also a major factor. Most of us have life looking to others (grades,school,teachers,friends,family) limiting us from reaching our dreams.

My own challenge is multiplicity of skills. Which is best? Howd do I position? Are questions I battle everyday.

Jason Gracia March 30, 2013 at 3:12 pm

Deola,

Thank you for reading and for taking the time to share your thoughts. When it comes to focus, I want you to spend your time on the areas that A. You do best and B. Have the greatest positive impact on the business.

If you’re not an expert at a particular area, outsource it as soon as possible. As an expert, your value comes in doing the things you do better than anyone else…as long as that also delivers a strong return for your company.

You may be the best at designing your website, but if that doesn’t substantially boost the business, you may be better off sticking to the aspects that help you grow.

Jason

Arthur Burlo October 27, 2013 at 11:41 am

Great article. really full of insight. But what if one isn’t ready yet to claim “expert status”. I mean if I am not yet sure whether what I am doing will indeed help people or won’t?

Should I still force it on myself or just keep waiting?

Jason Gracia October 28, 2013 at 6:45 pm

Arthur,

Thank you for reading and sharing your question!

You bring up two important points. First, you must know what the market wants. Are there other websites, blogs, newsletters, books, etc covering your topic? While many new entrepreneurs believe competition is bad, it’s actually fantastic. It proves the market.

Second, if your area of expertise is indeed in high demand, then you must become a student of your topic like never before. You have to deliver real results. Read every book you can find. Talk to every expert you can find. Watch every video, listen to every podcast.

When you have a deep knowledge of your topic, test your skills. Find three people who need help in your area and offer your services free of charge. Learn everything you can from the experience…make note of your strong points and, more important, of your weaknesses. Then improve. Then repeat.

You must know the market and your topic. Handle those two areas and you’ll be safe calling yourself a true expert.

Jason

Arthur Burlo October 31, 2013 at 8:03 am

Thank you for your answer. That was very helpful! :)

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