You already are an expert.
According to the famous physicist, Neils Bohr, “An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made, in a narrow field.”
I take a more liberal approach.
An expert is someone who knows more than me on a given topic.
Most of your customers would agree. If you know more about a topic than they do, you are an expert to them. If it is a topic of which they would like to learn more, they will seek you out.
So accept the fact that you are an expert. The next step is to learn to share that expertise.
Here is a three-step process for learning how to share your expertise well:
- Boil down your ideas into two or three main points. Make them simple points that are easy to remember. Label each point with some catchy phrase or title.
- Find evidence to support each point. Reports, quotes, examples and especially anecdotes all work well for this.
- Choose products you sell to help make your points. Your products bring the points closer to home, help establish your position as the expert (you are walking the walk), and connect your expertise to your store.
Once you have done those three things, you can then choose the platform(s) you wish to use to share. Here are just some options you can use:
- Facebook – The plus side is that you can use pictures, the downside is that you have to be brief and to the point.
- Email Newsletters – A little more room to make your point.
- Your Website – Give yourself a page on yor website just for sharing your expertise. It helps brand you as the expert in your field for your locals, and helps build trust with non-locals who have never heard of you till they clicked you in a search.
- A Blog – WordPress and Google have blogs you can set up for free in seconds.
- Youtube – Another free service, you can even post your videos to Facebook, your website and your blog.
- Press Releases – Pass your information along to journalists and bloggers. Let them promote your expertise.
- Speaking Engagements – Your local service groups (Lions Club, Rotary, Exchange Club, Kiwanis, etc) are always looking for speakers. Plus, most towns have women’s clubs, mother’s clubs, networking clubs, etc.
- Classes in your store – Probably the easiest of all. Clear out a space in the store. Announce the topic and time. Share.
There are plenty of opportunities to share what you know. And share, you must. Sharing builds trust with your customers. Sharing makes your customers smarter and more loyal. Sharing creates opportunities to reach out to potential new customers.
Be the expert you already are. Be it willingly and generously. To paraphrase Carl Rogers, Who you are is good enough, if only you would be it openly.
PS Afraid to speak in public? Start simple. Practice your presentations by first giving them to your staff – a friendly crowd. First, you empower them with that knowledge so they can be experts, too. Second, they will be forgiving of your mistakes, but also quick to point them out, which will help you improve. Third, because of the familiarity, you will be less nervous.
Great post Phil, one day people will catch on.
Thanks Joel. I think too many entrepreneurs sell themselves short in the "expert" category because they know other people in the industry smarter than them. They forget that while their peers may be smarter than them, they are smarter than their customers. And they can leverage that to their advantage by training and teaching their customers to become smarter.