We’ve all done it. Questioned our expertise and believed we weren’t worthy of putting our opinion forward, or standing up to be counted.
It’s what I refer to as the Expert’s Dilemma; it goes something like:
- Your head is buzzing with a lot of great information yet no obvious way to package it into a clear and compelling message that attracts the clients, networks and media attention you’d like.
- You’re often confounded when you see your competitors in the media, even though they probably know less than you about the topic, and yet, there they are.
- It sometimes feels like getting access to journalists and coveted speaking opportunities is some kind of “secret club” you don’t know the password to.
The problem is, these are self-limiting beliefs, and in reality they simply aren’t true.
The most important thing to remember is that self-limiting beliefs can only hold you back. By changing your perception of how you see yourself and embracing your expertise, you can make a difference in people’s lives and their businesses.
Personally, I have struggled for some time with calling myself an expert. It took the realisation that I have something to say which could help people and a decision to own my success before I could step into the spotlight.
So how do you overcome the Expert’s Dilemma?
- Figuring out the Why
First thing’s first; you need to ask yourself why you are looking to build your profile as an expert. If it’s purely promotional, you will struggle to develop emotional connections with people.
The key is to be transparent and genuine, and really believe in yourself. People will only consider you as an expert if you believe in yourself.
- Setting the Stage
After determining what you want to achieve from PR, the next stage is to define your personal brand. Personal branding is central to how people perceive you, so it’s important to pick your niche and stick to it to avoid confusing your audience.
Developing an elevator statement or pitch is an important part of personal branding that clearly explains your role as a thought leader. Not only are they an effective way of making great first impressions, but they can also lead to new business and customers.
- Turn on the Spotlight
At stage three, you’re starting to shine. You’ve done your planning and it’s now time to illuminate your role as an expert and thought leader.
The first step is to create a personal website where you can promote yourself. A great website will not only increase your exposure online, but you will also gain more control over your online identity.
Blogging is another great tool to increase your profile and allow you to connect with your audience in an engaging way. Blogging takes time and effort, so be sure to do your research and consider your audience before taking to the keyboard. The key is to write often, and write well.
Another step to becoming a recognised expert is to network and build relationships with your audiences. Attend functions, connect with local businesses and make yourself known to anyone who’s interested.
- Use the Media to Shine the Light
By stage 4, your role as an expert will start to take shape; you will start to use the media to share your expertise and reach the people that will influence your success.
Approaching journalists can be a daunting task, but the best way to get your story out there is to shape it in a way that’s attractive to the media. Journalists only pick up stories which they consider to be newsworthy, so it’s worth taking the time to create a great angle. Creating strong relationships with journalists, knowing the publications you’re pitching to, and sending it to the right inbox is also worthwhile.
- Own The Light
The final stage of the transformation from unknown to expert is to step into the social media spotlight. Social media is a critical step in developing your profile as a thought leader, and it’s an essential tool that allows you to communicate directly with your audience.
Before jumping into the deep end, take a moment to think about your goals and what you want to achieve from social media. Having a goal will help you to determine which platforms will be the most effective for boosting your profile, and to manage your time online.
To read more about overcoming the expert’s dilemma and tools to over come it, grab a copy of my book From Unknown To Expert.
Here’s to seeing you in the spotlight.