When I talk to people about starting or running a business, they state things like “I am not an expert like you”. Initially, my reply has always been, “thank you, but I’m not the same person as I was six years ago when I started”. I had common knowledge about certain things, but I did not have a vast knowledge of my industry. However, now I crave to learn more and to build upon my expertise. Becoming an expert takes lots of work. Don’t get caught up with fake guru’s or experts. You can become the real thing.
Say Yes & Learn Later
This is something I learned at the very beginning. Customers would ask me, could I do gift wrapping before ordering. I would say yes, not knowing how I would handle the actual process or what to charge. When I was asked to speak at several colleges in the Spring of 2012 I just did it. I’ve never really been a public speaker, nor did I, know how to command the attention of a room. Last year, a friend asked me to design a graphic for an NFL ESPY award event. I was learning graphic design at the time. Not amazing at, it. I said yes and everyone loved the graphic. Say yes, even when you don’t know “how to” do accomplish the goal. That’s what Google is for. Don’t overextend yourself, though.
Find Your Voice
One of the best compliments I have received is, that someone loved the voice I have on my blog, social media, and digital prints. They know it’s mine, and I didn’t pull it from others. Find your voice in your industry. Create a stance and go with it. I am blunt, direct, and don’t hold hands. I can be sweet, but direct at the same time. My voice is unique to me and my audience appreciates it.
Give Away Information
The reason I don’t give away free consultations is because I already impart content at no cost. You can find tips, resources, and insight; on here, my weekly newsletter, and social media. Free content everywhere for everyone. Some are so afraid to giveaway what they know. However, this is how you gain the trust of your audience. People who have become clients after enjoying my content say, “since you were giving out these gems for free, it made me look forward to getting my custom consultation”. Certain information such as wholesale, customer acquisition, and a few others, I do however, discuss in paid consultations only.
Constantly Create Content
The content you curate for your audience can be for sale or you can give it away. However, what is most important is to constantly be sharing tips, resources, or more with them. I prefer writing content over video content. In the upcoming months, I will try to break this habit by re-launching my YouTube channel. The best thing you can do is create content the way your audience learns. What’s so funny is, I see comments on my social media that say “follow her company she has great advice on that subject”. That goes back to my voice.
Ignore The Fakers
Everyone is blogging about business, everyone is hosting a webinar, and everyone is a consultant. Not everyone doing it is qualified. I receive emails all the time from people saying “so and so stole my money, she’s a fraud”. There’s a plethora of people in the market who are just looking to make a quick buck. Stay focused on your craft. I see people copying me all the time. One well-known blogger a couple of years ago said she was going to write Ebooks because I inspired her. Nothing came of it. Her audience wasn’t interested.
You don’t need to amass a million followers to become an expert. I tell my audience all the time, I have less than 7K followers with both combined accounts, and I still make a nice living for my consulting company. It’s about people who believe in you and support you. I know several of my followers who own every digital product I have put out. I love them for that. My friend Erica, who is a teacher, buys my Ebooks and supports my business wholeheartedly. She likes being a teacher; no business aspirations at this time.
How are you working on building your expertise for your industry? What does your audience want to know more about that you could share?