How to Establish Yourself as an Expert
We can all agree that it’s important to get the most out of your career. If you’re anything like me you’ve put in the years at school (and have the debt to prove it) and majored in a subject that you wanted to launch into a thriving career. You’ve been in your field for several years and are still exciting about the next the phase. You might also be a tad bit anxious about how to navigate to the next level where you're the thought leader for your organization and in the industry.
In order to get the most out of your career, you should work to establish yourself as a subject matter expert. Expertise is the byproduct of a combination of education, skill, and experience in your specific field. You already possess an in-depth knowledge of the industry. It's time to articulate how skilled you are at identifying problems and providing time and money saving solutions.
With bias as a blogger, I believe that writing is a simple way to create credibility and position yourself as a subject matter expert in your career field. It can open doors to new opportunities and even increase revenue through consulting, speaking or training others.
Here are four ways to establish yourself as an expert.
Use your social media platforms to establish creditability in your industry.
Whether you absolutely love makeup and cosmetics or deplore politics or sports you can write about. Using platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook to promote thought-provoking pieces of literature (not random status updates) is an easy way to showcase that you’re in the "know" in terms of current trends and best practices. After a while, people will look forward to your comments on that subject matter and seek your opinion on issues within that area. If you choose this route to establish your legitimacy in your field keep it consistent and don’t mix your personal ideas with professional, research-driven opinions.
Identify the most popular publications such as business and scholarly journals in your field and reach out to be the editor to ask if you could contribute.
You could also collaborate with bloggers who are within your area of focus. A few years ago, while I was working to complete my certification in nonprofit management from the University of Illinois, I reached out to the editor of the Nonprofit Quarterly. After a few emails, I was granted the opportunity to contribute several articles on topics impacting not- for- profit organizations. These Nonprofit Quarterly articles, coupled with my experience working for a nonprofit organization, as well as the new certification positioned; me as an expert on nonprofit issues. That eventually led to small speaking engagements (which I added to my brag sheet).
Use the platform Medium.
Similar to a personal blog, Medium is a platform created for quality, written ideas. It provides a clean reading experience that focuses on engagement, depth, and viewpoints. It’s a great platform to use because Medium has the ability to engage readers through stories on particular topics. For example, those seeking distinct articles on a specific subject would be exposed to those tailored topics. Readers aren’t overwhelmed with unwanted information, unlike other online platforms where people can provide their opinion in an ad hoc way.
Publish an eBook.
If you’re up to the challenge, self-publishing an eBook is another way to establish authority in your industry. Creating the content for the eBook can be seamless. Best of all, you can combine previous scholarly writing pieces that you’ve posted in the past on social media platforms. You can also modify recently published work in journals or on platforms like Medium to create a full body of work. You can sell your eBook on sites like Amazon or offer it for free to those in the industry looking for results. Now that's expertise!
Climbing the career ladder doesn’t have to be such a grueling task. Yes, it takes hard work but it’s worth the investment of time. What other strategies have you used to establish expertise in your field? Comment below.