There are many things I've been asked since Heather and I wrote the Go-To Expert. One of the most common is about how somebody can define themselves as an expert. A common reaction being marketing yourself as an expert seems a bit narcissistic (good word for this time of the morning). Therein lies a problem, being the The Go-To Expert is good for business, but calling yourself expert might not be? This post explores when is the right time to publicly call yourself an expert.
Who calls themselves, expert?
My response is to consider who calls themselves expert and what they mean. More importantly, what's the difference between an Expert and The Go-To Expert? Which do you want to be marketing yourself or your firm as?
When trying to become the expert many people focus on skills development and what they think is important to clients. Then, having achieved a level they think relevant they start marketing themselves as expert.
But,.their focus is often internal:
- 'Their skills development'
- 'What they think is important to clients'
You could argue its semantics, and subtlety, but it's an important point.
You can't proclaim yourself the expert.
A focus on what your clients, potential clients and sector want is the only way to be The Go-To Expert in your sector. Even then you can't claim to be the expert.
It's down to your audience to define you as The Go-To Expert. Your focus has to be relentlessly client facing, in terms of support, skills, and everything else. Marketing yourself and your personal brand in terms of what clients say is how others are going to find you.
So, for me, there's a difference between an expert and The Go-To Expert. That difference is all about client focus. Only one of them makes the client approach you.
How would you define an expert that you might seek out? How would you adapt that to think about marketing yourself?