When you attend a networking event like a Chamber of Commerce breakfast or a Meetup group, and it starts with attendees introducing themselves, do you use the word expert in your introduction?
Almost no one does. And that’s a huge missed opportunity.
At last month’s Publishing at Sea cruise for authors, I paid close attention when we met at the cocktail reception even before the ship left port. Only two of the two dozen authors used the world “expert” in their introductions—Laurie Weiss of EmpowermentSystems.com and me.
The following day, I presented a session on “How to Become the Go-to Expert in Your Topic or Niche, Even if You Write Fiction.” Many authors are already subject matter experts. Others, especially those who haven’t started writing yet, aren’t. Expertise isn’t only about what you know. It’s also about what you do.
Here are only a few of the things experts do: write books, blog, create and share content on their topic, make themselves available for media interviews, are quoted by others, teach classes, do consulting, publish a newsletter and podcast. There are many more. But even if you do only a few of those things, may very well be an expert.
Here 27 places online and offline to promote your expertise, assuming you already have some level of expertise.
On your nametag.
A nametag with the words “Privacy Expert” will generate far more questions than a nametag with a first and last name. Not convinced? Try it.
In your bio and media kit.
Start with the bio at your website. The word expert should be fairly high in the bio so people know immediately that you know your stuff.
- In your email signature.
- In all your marketing materials.
These include flyers, brochures and things you might not have thought of like trade show banners. I double-checked my trade show banner just now and noticed I didn’t use that word and should have.
- On your book jacket.
That includes the back cover or the inside flaps.
- On your social media profiles.
This could include the banner photos at the top, like your Facebook banner, or the written profiles.
- On your LinkedIn headline.
This is the short, two-line blurb that appears to the right of your photo.
- In author resource boxes that appear at the end of articles or guest blog posts you write.
- At your blog.
The “About” section is perfect for this. Or use the word in the name line under your photo.
- In your speaker introductions.
Mine begins “Publicity expert Joan Stewart….” so audiences know immediately that I know my topic. By the way, never let the person introducing you write the introduction or you’re asking for trouble.
- On the homepage of your website.
Use it high on the page so the search engines can find it.
- In titles of YouTube videos.
- In the titles of Playlists on YouTube.
A Playlist is a group of videos on a similar topic.
- In YouTube video descriptions.
You have a lot of room to write a video description that includes keywords. Use all the real estate.
- In press releases.
Especially in the headlines or sub-head and the first paragraph.
- In the short tagline after your name, like this: “Shawne Duperon, Forgiveness Expert.”
- On book review and book recommendation sites.
This includes your profiles on these sites as well as reviews you’re writing. Example: “As an expert on Civil War history, I loved this deep dive into the important roles that women nurses, spies and civil rights advocates played in the war.”
- In directories.
These include directories of professional associations in which you’re a member and online directories. Google your name and see what you find. Don’t forget about your alumni directory published by the college you attended.
- On Amazon.
This includes your Author Central profile, book reviews you write, and the descriptions of your books. See Secret publicity sauce on Amazon: Author Central profile.
- In paid ads.
These include pay-per-click ads on sites like Facebook.
- In forums and discussion groups.
Lots of in-depth discussions take place here, and many group members join to get answers to pressing questions.
- During media interviews.
You can weave your expertise into the conversation, like this, “In the 20 years I’ve worked as a small business financing expert, I can’t remember a time when…”
- In pitches to journalists and bloggers.
Are you answering queries from HARO (Help a Reporter Out), the media leads service? If so, read journalist Russell Working’s tips on 11 ways to craft better HARO and ProfNet pitches.
- In your 10-second elevator pitch.
When you’re at an event and other attendees introduce themselves, pay attention to how many people use the word “expert” or “expertise.” Almost no one!
- In testimonials you give.
These include written and video testimonials.
- In your email newsletter.
If you don’t have a newsletter but you send emails, you can refer to your expertise within the body copy. And why not the subject line too? Like this: “A plumbing expert’s advice on avoiding frozen pipes. ”
- On pages at your website where you describe your coaching or mentoring programs.
One of the best resources for learning about expertise, especially if you’re a professional speaker, is the The Expertise Imperative White Paper written more than a decade ago by five top speakers in the National Speakers Association.
Do you refer to yourself as an expert in places that you don’t see listed above? Share it in the Comments.
And if you like this list, please share it in your LinkedIn Groups or anywhere experts hang out.