5 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD POSITION YOURSELF AS AN EXPERT
If you’re building an online profile or a business around your expertise and you’re shy and hesitant in putting yourself and your qualifications out there, this episode is for you.
In a world where anyone can, and indeed does, publish anything online it’s not always easy to find quality information and advice. In fact it’s sometimes damn difficult. Added to the fact that there’s thousands of bloggers with a Google education creating hundreds of posts and information products by the day, it can be difficult searching for the true experts in their fields.
Which is why in this episode I’ll share five reasons why you should position yourself as the expert so you can grow your conscious business and make a bigger impact.
Now I’m not advocating for anyone to just go out and call themselves an expert (we already know there’s enough self-proclaimed experts out there), I’m talking about professionals who have well and truly earnt their stripes and who are downplaying their expertise and playing small. So if that’s you, it’s time to talk.
Podcast: Play In New Window
Before I talk about the reasons why you should position yourself as the expert, let’s look at the reasons why you may be holding yourself back. But before I do, I’d like to share a story with you…..
Around the age of 10 to 11 years old I was badly bullied at school.
I was the smart girl in the class. A smart girl in a small country primary school. There were only 10 girls in my year level and I was the only one who went on to higher education. In fact I believe only three of the ten girls in my primary school class actually completed secondary school.
I was top of the class. I won all the spelling bees and maths quizzes, and as these were often conducted out loud in front of the class, my achievements were very visible. School work was easy for me, but I was also good at sport and was kind my classmates.
Sadly they weren’t kind to me.
Early in Year 5, the girls in my class turned on me and I was badly bullied for the remainder of my time at primary school. I couldn’t even turn around in the classroom without having a girl say nasty things to me, loud enough for me to hear, but not loud enough for the teacher to hear.
I lived for weekends and would get anxious every Sunday evening when I knew I had to gather all my strength to face up to the bullies for another week of hate the following morning.
I started playing with the girls in the year below me. I sat next to the boys in class (which just opened me up to more teasing) and counted down the days until I started secondary school.
When the time came to start secondary school I’d developed the unconscious belief that I couldn’t be smart and successful and be liked.
So throughout secondary school I just did what I had to do to get by. I was disruptive in class, didn’t complete my homework and frustrated teacher after teacher who were tearing their hair out trying to work out why their smartest student (and by this time I was the smartest girl out of 100 students) just didn’t care.
I cruised and downplayed my talent all through secondary school. Getting Bs when I was an A+ student. Even my parents grounding me for half of Year 10 to try and get me to prioritise my homework didn’t work. I didn’t want to top the class because I didn’t want to be disliked.
It took a wakeup call in Year 11 when I was suspended for skipping class to get me on the straight and narrow. This wake up call, together with the positive influence of my new boyfriend who was very academic and ambitious, helped me realise my potential and more importantly, helped me see that my intelligence was a gift and my life would be much better if I used it.
So I knuckled down in Year 12, blitzed the year and sailed into my first choice at university where I ended up graduating with First Class Honours and was offered a graduate position at the commencement of my final year of study.
You could say that that was a happy ending, but time and time again throughout my career that deep-rooted belief kept coming up…always at a subconscious level and always with the same outcome, that I’d play small.
I distinctly remember being offered an opportunity to participate for six months in leadership team meetings at the largest industrial site in Australia as a development opportunity to help get me ready for upper management. I was the only person on site to be offered the opportunity and I was selected based on my performance and ability to think out of the box.
My default answer when I was offered in my mind was NO. Of course I told them I’d think about it.
But I was curious to why I wanted to say no. What was stopping me from accepting this opportunity for development?
That old belief.
I knew I had colleagues that would hate that I’d been selected (and I was right – some were ropable!) and I just didn’t want that kind of negativity aimed at me. It was actually during a hypnosis session where I explored why I didn’t want to take this step forward to be more visible when clear as day I was taken back to my year 5 and 6 classroom. During hypnosis I felt all those old feelings again and for the first time ever I could see how the story had played out for years. I also made a pact with myself that I was going to get over this and just do it anyway and have others just deal with their jealousy. My need for friends wasn’t as great as it was when I was 10 years old. I’d be okay. And I was.
Why You’re Not Currently Positioning Yourself As An Expert
So why am I telling you this?
I figure that like me, you’ve been dimming your light and not being the visible smart girl or expert. And I know this because I’ve seen similar stories play out with my coaching clients. Perhaps you can relate to some of the following reasons why you’re not positioning yourself as an expert…
- You’ve been out of your professional field for some time, perhaps while raising young children, and you feel like your qualifications and experience are no longer current or even valid (fraud syndrome).
- You fear the comments and attacks that come when you stand out – either from your real-life circle of friends, others in your profession or anonymous online trolls. We all have a primal need and desire to be liked which is why comments like “Who does she think she is?” or “Does she think she’s better than us or something?” can really hurt and make you want to blend in with everyone else.
- You’re acutely aware of all the things you don’t know. Almost every scientist I know is cautious at proclaiming their expertise. They’re aware of what they know as much as they’re aware of the vast amounts of knowledge that they don’t know and the result is they’re humble and resistant to calling themselves an expert.
- Maybe members of your profession have been slow to jump into the online world. They’re busy being doctors, lawyers, engineers and scientists and might have dabbled a bit on Twitter or LinkedIn but have no idea what a personal brand is, let alone how to package up their experience and expertise into online offerings to break or reduce the cycle of getting paid by the hour. Perhaps you fear that being the trailblazer and standing out online will open you to criticism from members of your professions for leaving the pack.
5 Reasons Why You Should Position Yourself As An Expert
So we’ve explored some of the reasons why you’re not putting yourself out there as an expert, let’s now look at the reasons why you should be positioning yourself as the expert in your field.
1. You’ll Help People Find The Quality Help They Need
There are people out there who are searching for information and services compiled and delivered by credible people with the relevant experience and qualifications. Make it easy for them to find you!
Put it this way, if you’re a mum struggling to manage your young child who suffers extreme food allergies, who would you prefer to follow online? A mum with kids with allergies who is blogging about her experiences or another mum with kids with allergies who just so happens to be a medical doctor who understands and can unpack all the medical reasons behind x, y and z with an easy to understand evidence-based approach?
I know which one I’d prefer to learn from and it’s not the blogger. I also know that I’m not alone but it can be hard to find who is an actual expert in the online space. By communicating your qualifications and experience and positioning yourself as expert, you’ll be making it much easy for your client to find you!
2. You’ll Empower Other Experts
When you empower yourself, you inspire others to step into their power too. And then all of a sudden, standing out isn’t as lonely anymore. You’ll soon discover that you can gain new friendships by being a member of a community of experts, either in your field or in other fields of expertise. A network of experts supporting experts to do their best work is an amazing place to hang out.
3. You’llEarn More
Leaders in their field get paid more. And the more you earn, the bigger impact you can have. It’s as simple as that.
4. You’ll Attract Media Opportunities
Media are constantly looking for credible experts to feature. By positioning yourself as an expert you’ll help journalists find you or if you pitch to them, your submission will go straight to the top of the pile.
In the past week alone I’ve been contacted by ABC podcast and Sydney Morning Herald for sustainability features. This wouldn’t happen if I didn’t position myself as a sustainability expert and be a leader in that space.
5. You’ll Make a Bigger Impact
By positioning yourself as an expert and helping clients and media outlets find you, your business will naturally grow and be default, you’ll be able to make a much bigger impact.
What do you call yourself as an expert?
If you’re a Doctor – call yourself a Doctor!
Put your qualifications on your About Me page and/or at the bottom of each and every blog post to give your followers reassurance.
Not a doctor but a leader in your field? Call yourself a leader!
I refer to myself as the Leading Voice on Eco-Living, soon to be the Leading Voice on Sustainability. Because I am. I’ve worked consistently in the sustainability space for 24 years this year, have a first class honours degree in environmental engineer and a Masters of Science degree in environmental chemistry. Leading voice resonates with me as that’s what I aim to be. A leading, credible voice on sustainability issues.
Stepping into the spotlight and positioning yourself as a leader in your field in the online space can be a very scary thing at the start, but the benefits to you, your business, your clients and the world are so worth it.
So be the expert that you are. Shine your light and own your qualifications and experience. You don’t need to hide them from the world.
If you’re ready to make a bigger impact with ease you can now work with me via my Conscious Coaching Taster Sessions or my High Performance Conscious Business Builders Coaching Package.
For more strategies and support to help you grow your impact-driven business online, join my FREE Conscious Biz Creators Facebook Community.