Position yourself as an expert
Once you've decided your brand and what you do, position yourself as an expert. Becoming an expert in a subject takes roughly 10,000 hours. Which means whatever you're dedicating yourself to should be something you like and enjoy.
Being an expert means being the best at what you do. You're not just another retailer, consultant, or designer - you are the BEST one. And people should hire you or buy from you because of your expertise. No matter if you're an underdog, or first in your business, always striving to become an expert in your field will move your career and business forward.
How do you begin to position yourself as an expert in what you do? From selling handbags to building your own consulting business, you can position yourself by:
Leveraging your experience
Have 20 years designing and selling handbags? Don't forget to include that piece of information when people are looking for you. Even if it's on your About page and not throughout your site, make sure people know that you have extensive experience in what you're talking about.
- A varied career is just as important as one in the same industry or field. By working different types of roles, you can gain different experiences that you wouldn't have had otherwise. Don't discount experience just because it was broad instead of narrow in focus.
- Showcase your wins. People don't need to hear the ins and outs of every role you held in 20 years, just let them know what they can expect. Show your biggest wins, not the daily grind.
- Publications and awards show industry validation. Let me people know if you've been published or received marketing/engineering/crafting awards. Industry validation can serve as another barometer of experience.
Leveraging your background
Don't have 20 years experience at 23? Think about how your life experiences have shaped your unique perspective and personal brand. It doesn't have to be a grand story like Slumdog Millionaire
It can be a simpler story and background that draws people into what gives you a unique advantage: like growing up on a ranch, being raised by entrepreneurs, working since you were 12, or growing up an Army brat and moving every 6 months. Everyone has something unique to say about themselves.
- You have value to add even with less experience. You can want it more, work harder for it, and stay open to new ideas. Don't forget to leverage what you have, even if it isn't years of experience.
- Don't discount yourself. Just because you're new at something doesn't mean you can't become great with time, mentorship or practice. Everyone who once started was also a beginner.
Creating valuable content
Showing someone in another industry that you have a valuable perspective might mean creating content that would inspire them. Develop a blog that speaks to that potential employer or client that let's them know that you know what you're doing. Before jumping in, have an idea of who you're trying to target and what you want to be known for.
Have an idea of what type of content you can be consistent in creating. Do you love writing? Write. Do you love talking? Podcast, live stream, or videos. Do you love social? Think Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. No matter how you enjoy developing content, make sure you can keep delivering even when times get busy or stressful.
- Be consistent. Within one year, this company created the #1 ranked swimming pool website in the world by blogging.
- Create content you would want to read. What would be helpful to your client or customer? Write with them in mind. And if you're bored reading your own words, chances are they are too.
- Keep an idea log. You never know when you'll be feeling tapped for an idea. By starting a journal and logging ideas as you have them, you can save them for a next piece of content.
Getting more experience
Gain experience in exactly what you want to do. You may have spent 20 years, or 4 months, building up your current level of expertise when you decide who your ideal client or type of work is. Don't throw you previous experience out the window, use it to win the work you really want to do.
Even if you are in web design, and decide you only want to do sites for Instafamous Frenchies (a type of client I would love) then try and gain more French bulldogs in your portfolio. You can be very specific about what you want and see if becoming a more specific expert, only Frenchie sites, brings you more happiness and expertise.
- You can always learn more. More experiences, both good and bad, keep you learning and help inform future decisions.
- Choose what you want and go for it. Let people know what you want to do, go back to school if you need to, and then work hard to make it work. If you want to hear about how Nicole Elle did it, listen here.
- Say no to the opportunities you don't want. It's ok to say no to things you don't want to do. Choose how you spend your time wisely and leave room for what types of clients or work you want!