Would you consider yourself to be an expert? I know many of the people I speak to day-to-day would cringe at the idea of calling themselves an expert, and yet they are experts at what they do.
According to Wikipedia, an expert is "a person with extensive knowledge or ability based on research, experience, or occupation and in a particular area of study."
Which means there are a whole of bunch of people out there who are experts in their fields. But sometimes they can be fearful of using the 'e' word.
Perhaps they don't want to seem conceited, or look like they're bragging. Or maybe they don't have the self-confidence and belief in their own abilities to say they're an expert.
As a PR coach, I help entrepreneurs to leverage the media to position themselves as experts. By being quoted in newspapers and magazines or appearing on TV and radio, they can cement their status as an authority in their field and show off their knowledge and expertise.
But often people are loath to do this, because they just don't consider themselves to be true experts.
One client I was speaking to recently, a nutritionist, is an expert in clean eating. She has a huge following on social media, a successful podcast, and she really knows her stuff. She's got a qualification in nutrition and has spent years studying and working with clients.
'But I'm not as established as some of the nutritionists out there,' she told me. She reeled off the names of some high profile clean eating experts, before telling me she wouldn't want to call herself an expert, because she hasn't had as much success as these particular pros.
I had to remind her she knows so much more about her subject than the average person that she would definitely be considered an expert by the majority of the general public.
There are so many others who have a similar mindset, and are scared of putting themselves out there. But it's high time we went out and owned our expert status!
So here are four simple things you can do right now to become an expert in your field, even when you feel like a fraud.
1. Get clear on what your area of expertise is
What's the one subject that you could confidently write articles on or talk to journalists about? Try to get as specific as possible. What's your specialist subject? If you're a parent coach, perhaps you specialise in helping children who are fussy eaters? Or if you're a personal trainer, perhaps you've trained in post-natal workouts? Get clear on what your zone of genius is - the specific area of expertise that you've trained in, or have experience in, and that you are passionate about.
2. Submit guest blog posts
Writing a guest blog post is a really effective way to show off your expertise to a new audience. Look at the blogs that your ideal clients are likely to be reading, and approach them by following the contributor guidelines (also known as 'submission guidelines'). Think about the subjects you know the most about and that you enjoy writing about, and suggest articles on those subjects. Remember to include a strong bio in your profile, which mentions all of your credentials like your qualifications, how many years experience you have, any books you've had published, and if relevant, the number of followers you have on social media.
3. Appear on the radio
Podcasts and radio shows often feature experts and are another way for you to demonstrate that you know your stuff. Again, you want to find the ones that your ideal clients are likely to be tuning in to. Get in touch with the presenters or producers on the show and offer yourself as an expert who can comment on specific subjects.
4. Get featured in newspapers and magazines
If you appear in a newspaper or magazine you gain instant credibility from a third party, which helps in your quest to become an expert. You may be able to write a guest article, or you may be asked to give comments for a feature. Get in touch with the newspapers and magazines that your ideal clients are reading, and send them a press release telling them about your latest news. Once you get the coverage you can put the publication's logos on your website, so that any visitors to your site will immediately see where you've been featured.