Whether you are self-employed, employed by an organization, or a freelance contractor, developing a reputation as an expert can lead to new assignments and it can open up professional opportunities. Your reputation will help to build your brand. Your brand is what separates you from everyone else.
First realize that you don’t need to be the world’s foremost expert on something. Being an expert means knowing enough or being good enough to accomplish your projects and assignments well. Becoming an expert does not happen overnight. In addition, it's not just about your in-born talents. What makes people exceptionally skillful top performers in their field are:
- Focus enables you pay attention to the task at hand. In addition, it helps you to ignore all the possible distractions that can pull you off your path.
- Experience allows you to leverage what you have learned so that you can apply it to the next opportunity.
- Keep working on assignments. You are going to have to put a lot of time and dedication into becoming an expert at anything. Doing so will improve your competency and skills. Remember that "practice makes perfect".
- Humility will ensure that you understand your current level of expertise. In turn, you will look to learn what you need to move forward. Additionally, it allows you to see the importance to reaching out to others for assistance when needed.
Turn your Expertise into your Brand
- Teach others what you know. When you can teach something, you are perceived as someone that must know a lot about that subject. Mentoring is a terrific way for people to develop a positive impression of you and your abilities. In turn, they may tell others.
- Promote yourself via social media and other marketing tools. When doing so, focus on facts, not opinions. Tell the stories of your successes and where you implemented your expertise. It's difficult to convince others you are an expert simply by telling them you are an expert. When you demonstrate examples of your expertise, they believe that for themselves.
- Advocate the subject of your expertise. Write articles or posts in blogs, comment on blogs and articles written by others, seek out and accept speaking engagements, and get interviewed by local newspapers and radio programs. With these opportunities, explain the topic of your expertise and why that is important to the reader/listener.
- Expand your range of talents. Emphasize other skills that compliment your primary skill set. That demonstrates that you have a broad knowledge base in addition to your expertise. Also, you will not pigeon hole yourself into just one skill set.
Once you are seen as an expert in your particular field or with a specific skill, you will begin to establish your brand. That will open up the door for higher paying jobs and new business opportunities. In turn, that will help you to fuel your success even more.
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