Hello from sunny, friendly Manitoba! The canola fields are in full bloom and I couldn’t be happier to be spending some holiday time in my second provincial home, Manitoba!
Some food for thought while I am away….
You stumble upon someones social media profile and read that they have labelled themselves an ‘expert’ in their given field. Or, you read the tweets or posts of someone you follow who gives off the impression that they know what they’re talking about but you wonder to yourself, how do they know so much (or worse, why do they think they are an expert in [insert field]?) It makes you then question whether you could be technically considered an ‘expert’ in your given field.
What constituents an expert anyways?
- Is it schooling?
- Number of hours worked in the industry?
- How knowledgeable you are on the topic compared to others in the field?
- Number of followers you have in your social media networks and the influence you have?
Now a days, it is easy to be an expert in anything and be labelled as such. The internet, technology and social media have helped provide people with a platform to showcase their skills and talents. People now have access to people, communities, tools and resources like never before. Endless tools (that are free!) help people promote who they are and what they can offer to others.
So back to the initial question then, what constitutes an expert? Is there really a right answer to this question?
People with many years of schooling are highly regarded as an expert in their field. People who have been identified by their peers and continue to give talks/teach in their field are considered an expert. People with large social media networks are often regarded as experts by their followers because of what they share and the value they bring to their network.
To be considered an expert in your field, it comes down to how you are seen by others.
If you are the “go too” person in your field on a specific topic, then people most likely will view you as an expert. How you have positioned yourself in your field by what you’ve said, how you’ve said it and how you’ve made people feel all help establish yourself as an expert.
Referrals and testimonials also help speak volumes to your expertise. If you are good at what you do, you will come highly recommended by your peers which will help others see your value.
To be an expert, you have to be trusted by people. That is something that hasn’t changed over time regardless of new technology, social media or the internet. These tools have only helped enhance how many people can see you as an expert. The fundamental reason why experts exist, still lies in how you make others feel, how people see you and whether they trust you in what you are talking about.
Gain people’s trust. Be THAT expert in your field.