As an expert, you have extensive knowledge of a particular subject garnered through research, education, and experience. This ever-deepening knowledge informs your perspective; it is at the heart of who you are and how you want to make a difference in the world. You are always listening, learning, and taking the time to understand the problem behind the problem.
You've built your career on your hard-earned knowledge and experience. And while you are well-regarded by your colleagues and clients, you still feel like a well-kept secret.
Being great at what you do isn't the same as being known for what you do.
To be recognized as an authoritative expert in your field, you must do three things:
- Share your ideas. You cannot build your reputation as an expert if you don’t share your ideas publicly. Giving voice to your BIG idea — your bold, insightful, and galvanizing idea — forces you to think more deeply so you can communicate it clearly. When you test your idea in the marketplace, your audience can evaluate it. The feedback they provide allows you to refine your idea further. Every time you share your idea, you demonstrate your expertise, expand your influence, and magnify your impact.
- Demonstrate your credibility. You cannot build your reputation as an expert if you don’t demonstrate your credibility. In a world where everyone claims to be an authority, you can stand out by clearly signaling to your audience precisely what makes you a credible expert. Your credentials may include degrees and certifications, where you studied or worked, testimonials, and public appearances, including speaking engagements, podcast appearances, media mentions, and bylines.
- Cultivate your community. You cannot build your reputation as an expert in a vacuum; you need a community. Your community includes the people to whom you wish to be of service. It also includes your colleagues, friends, and collaborators. Your community challenges and celebrates you — and you do the same for them. They expose you to different perspectives and help you refine your ideas by providing thoughtful and relevant feedback. They also help you spread the word by sharing your ideas with their communities.
When you write articles for publication in industry trade journals or business magazines like Entrepreneur, Inc., and Fast Company, you not only share your idea with the publication’s readers, but you demonstrate your credibility. These publications vetted you; they reviewed your credentials and, by choosing to publish your work, are signaling to their readers that your perspective is valuable. You can reinforce that perspective by sharing the most relevant credentials in your contributor bio. By writing articles that provide smart, actionable advice, you build your community even further.
There are many ways to become recognized as an authoritative expert. Still, it is impossible to achieve that goal if you don't share your ideas, demonstrate your credibility, and cultivate your community. The world is a noisy place. By sharing thoughtful and actionable insights, your audience will come to value your perspective, and your voice will be heard.
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Erica Holthausen is the founder of Catchline Communications and a strategic thought partner to consultants who wish to build their authority and increase their visibility by publishing articles in industry trade journals and business magazines like Inc., Entrepreneur, and Insider. To learn how to raise your profile, register for Pitched to Published, a free monthly Q+A focused on writing, pitching, and publishing articles.