When I talk about “personal branding” I talk about having expertise. Being a “subject matter expert” (SME). The groups I talk to usually have significant SME, because they are usually professionals with years of experience.
One thing I haven’t talked about yet, but it has been on my mind, is how to attain guru, or expert, level. My favorite way, and the way I think lends the most credibility, is to have someone else say you are the expert!
For me this happened once I had my LinkedIn book published, about 18 months ago.
Writing a book for expertise is a two-edged sword, because any ol’ expert can do it pretty quickly and easily, … which means any non-expert full of fluff can do it quickly and easily also.
But think about it – how much credibility is there when YOU call YOURSELF an expert, vs. when SOMEONE ELSE calls YOU and expert?
So then the question is, what can you DO (in addition to, or aside from, writing a book) to have people call you an expert? I’ve got lots of ideas – what are yours?
6 thoughts on “How I Became The LinkedIn Expert (and Update On LinkedIn for the Job Search)”
I think if I see one more person call themselves an expert, guru, (fill in the blank) I may just ask why they think so or what has earned them the title.
Seems to me if you are one you do not need to say it.
Jason & Paul,
Now I have to go through all 93 professional and social profiles created over the years. Lot’s of work. Can I leave “All-Being, Master of Space, Time and Dimension” in place however?
I once had a guy give me his email address as BobSmithCEO@BobSmith.com, Ack! That’s way beyond the expert mentality.
You *have* to be a subject matter expert if you want to stand out from the pack – but you don’t have to get SME tattooed on your forehead…
The first thing you need to do is research deeply – how can you be an expert if you don’t know what people have discovered before you came along? Reading appropriate blogs is a good first step. Networking with other people – from novice to expert – in your field is the next step.
Aggregate this knowledge, organize it, and write about it. First write on blogs like this. As many suggest, you should spend some time (days, weeks) reading the blog before you start espousing your wisdom. When you’re ready, you can start writing short comments.
These comments become part of your personal brand simply because they are indexed by Google. And since JJ is a high-ranking site on Google, that will help your aim of becoming an SME.
When you truly have something to add to the discussion, you can start your own blog. Meaningful articles, well crafted, will eventually gain some followers even if you don’t market the blog. But if you combine various free listing sources like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, at some point, the sheer volume and quality of your work will have made you a subject matter expert – without ever making any claims.
Next step, as Jason has proved, is to write that book that’s rumbling around in your head. At some point, you will be asked to start speaking. As you speak, and as you are interviewed, it will become apparent to all that you are an SME – or a bag of hot air.
The reason for doing all this is simple: if you are an expert in some area, you are more likely to get hired, or to get clients for your own business. People prefer to hire other people with a track record they can see and assess.
@Paul – I hear people do it all the time… you do too, I gather? :p
@Brad – lol – that is beyond expert … master of all :p
@Walter – great ideas on steps to take to become an expert… very tactical…
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