Recently I attended a highly informative webinar on an unusual topic – how to become an expert.
I always thought you become an expert by studying hard for years and years in a field that is narrower and narrower. For example someone who is an expert on how to change diapers of 2 year old kids and not just at any time but just after they wake up.
My wife was so good at passing off this task to me that I truly believe I have become a world renowned expert on this matter :0
Seriously though, becoming an expert is less than half the battle. Being perceived and accepted as one is the most important battle to win.
The world will not beat a path to you just because you are an expert. If you do not agree then you are just a bitter and lonely expert!
But what is all the fuss about becoming an expert. Why does being perceived as an expert matter more and more. It matters because the world is becoming less plain vanilla and more hostile for the generalist. Why would anyone do business with you if someone carries the halo of an expert about him AND offers the same services as you.
In fact the need to become an expert is stressed more and more in marketing circles. But this is the first webinar where I came across profound insights on how to actually become one.
So as funny as it might sound we now have an expert on experts. Brendon Burchard is the founder of Experts Academy. Here is what he has to say about becoming a highly paid expert.
An Expert – An informed person who gets highly paid for their insight.
4 Key Areas of Expertise For An Employee
For those of us who work for others i.e. have a career, there are 4 key areas of expertise. You will also notice that these areas have a progressive relation from one to another.
1) Business Creator -> A person with this exertise is a growth minded individual. He focuses on the question “How do I bring more business to my business?” An entrepreneur is a good example of a business creator. But even an employee can become an excellent business creator.
2) Business Operator -> A person with this expertise makes things happen. She focuses on operational excellence and cost control.
This is also the next step in the evolution of a business. Typically an entrepreneur creates a business using the first expertise. Then his managers and staff work at improving the efficiencies.
3) Business Innovator -> A maverick who discovers additional value by being different. A person with this expertise shakes things up by bringing in new ideas. He focuses on competitive advantage.
If a business creator focuses on the market to create more business a business innovator focuses on the competition to derive more distinction and competitive advantage of his company.
4) Business leader -> focuses on people development and talent and leadership pipeline.
To sum up you need to become an expert on all four areas to become an indispensable employee. A good trait in the current economic situation.
But these have a stacking effect. You can become great just by mastering one or two areas.
Some real life examples.
Carol Bartz currently the CEO of Yahoo is a business creator and a legendary business operator. She brought Autodesk back from dead and is known for her managerial control.
Another example, Wang Chuan-Fu, CEO of BYD, a super smart businessman from China, has singlehandedly taken China to the top of the world pecking order in manufacturing batteries for electric cars. He is a great business creator. However BYD is Wang and Wang is BYD. There is no one to take his place. Wang is not a business leader in that sense.
If you are not an employee but a self employed businessperson, that is an entrepreneur then there are 5 areas to focus on becoming an expert at.
1) Speaking. This is one of the most highly paid industries. Anthony Robbins, if you have not hear of him then you have not heard of the self improvement industry, is paid 250,000 dollars for a one hour speech
2) Seminar. Conducting seminars in your area of expertise.
3) Coaching. This is a rapidly growing category.
5) Products – Books, reports, podcasts etc.
8 Things Experts Do
1) Choose Mastery -> An expert selects one or a few areas and then dives deep into those areas to build mastery. An opportunist on the other hand gives in too easily to boredom and frustration and moves on to dig new holes elsewhere.
2) Study their subject and interview other experts, intensely looking for patterns and best practices. Those who succeed are those who listen.
Studying your subject requires that you read in your area of expertise.
3) Create arguments on what to pay attention to, what things mean, how things work and how things might turn out.
To really understand what the above statement means just watch a business channel on TV such as CNBC. You will have experts giving their take on the latest economic event or stock index.
4) Simplify complex ideas by building frameworks.
5) Write, speak, record, package their knowledge through books, blogs etc.
6) Campaign their expertise. Not promote but campaign. Promotion is a one time point of contact with the customer whereas a campaign is sustained contact with the customer. Research indicates that a prospect buys on the 7th contact on an average.
7) Real experts charge expert fees ( and boy are they high. Just think lawyer, doctor.)
8 ) Focus on building a business that offers distinction (from the competition), excellence and service.
How Do You Know an Expert
In other words what does it take for a prospect to perceive you as an expert.
There are 11.
1) Position (Title, Job etc.). A ‘Vice President of Marketing’ title carries more weight than huh ‘Manager-’.
2) Personal Path (Their journey of struggle and success). If you are looking for an expert to teach you how to go from personal bankruptcy to financial freedom would you look for some one who has achieved exactly what you were looking for from exactly similar circumstances or a hot shot MBA from an Ivy League business school with specialization in personal finance.
I would chose the former.
3) Progress (Show actual results)
4) Products (Books, articles etc.). Personally for me a person that has written a book has an extremely good chance of an expert status in my world.
5) Praise (testimonials)
6) Paying clients (A roster of clients that have actually shelved out money)
7) Press / Performance ( As seen or quoted in the media)
8) Promotions ( You the prospect have been told about the expert)
9) Partnerships (Others believe in this expert therefore you should believe in her as well)
10) Philosophy. Even if you have none of the rest but are known for your brilliant philosophy then you are an expert.
11) Popularity ( most viewed, visited, sold etc.)
There you are. Simple and clear cut steps to become a well known expert.
So what do you want to be an expert on. Shoot me your comments.
Do you really think this works. Shoot me your comments.
I want to be the expert on the best personal growth information available out there.
Getting you this article to you is one such step in my path to that goal.
What is yours?