Subscribe to Inc. magazine
GREAT LEADERS

6 Tips for Becoming a Credible Expert

Being an expert can help you grow business. But you have to have credibility to succeed. Here Inc. columnists share how to be taken seriously.
Advertisement

The business world is more competitive than ever.  Companies are looking for every advantage to gain a following. They are using content marketing and digital distribution to bombard prospects with tons of information both true and false.  You need to find new ways to stand out and gain credibility as an expert in a meaningful way.

Don't just assume because you post information that it will be considered as truthful or compelling. Do your homework. Find sources to substantiate your work and make sure it's targeted to mean something to those who are truly prospective clients or you may as well be talking to yourself.

Here are additional insights from my Inc. colleagues.

1. Make it About Them

In order to stand out as an expert in today's crowded world, your advice and leadership needs to resonate one important attribute  - empathy. The team members you work with and customers who buy from you want to know they are dealing with a real person who understands them and their needs in a meaningful way.  Empathizing with their situation and authentically sharing how you overcame similar obstacles cements your authority to show them the way through. Eric Holtzclaw--Lean Forward

Want to read more from Eric? Click here.

2. Show Instead of Tell

Remember the old saying, "Those who can't do, teach?" The digital age makes that more true than ever. Your credentials or what you've studied don't impress your audience. Instead, they want you to show that you've produced quantifiable, verifiable results. This is why Gary Vaynerchuk is among the top social media experts, why Tony Hsieh is considered a customer service maven--heck, it's why people flock to see Martin Scorsese movies on opening weekends. So, action item #1 for building true, lasting credibility? Start accomplishing, and talking about it. (Bonus: Start accomplishing for others.) Bill Murphy Jr.--DC Bill

Want to read more from Bill? Click here.

3. Do the Write Thing

The best way to be seen as an expert is to write well and to write often. You can write a book, a post for your company blog, a guest post for another blog or publication, or even a LinkedIn update or tweet. The more you read and write, the better a writer you'll become, and the more you will be seen as an expert. Just show the world you've got the "write" stuff! Dave Kerpen--Likeable Leadership

Want to read more from Dave? Click here.

4. Apply the Basics

There are 5 levels to building expertise:  read, write, apply, speak and serve.

  1. Read to learn and grow.
  2. Write to refine your learning and understanding.  Sharing your written point of view builds your perceived expertise.
  3. Apply your insights to real problems to validate your approach or refine it to work better.
  4. Speak to others about lessons and successes from your attempts to apply your insights to real problems.
  5. Serve others by gifting your time, talents and treasures.  Helping others become experts is the highest level of expertise. Lee Colan--Leadership Matters

Want to read more from Lee? Click here.

5. Be Transparent, Authentic and Visible

While the amount and frequency of information that bombards us daily may send heads spinning, that same information is responsible for producing more experts in more fields. Competition is steep but people still want to deal with real people whose companies are values driven. Ask not what your followers can do for you, but what you can do for them. Produce valuable content that demonstrates character and caring; build authentic relationships, and be of service to your community. Once people get to know the genuine person behind the product they will stand in line to do business with you. Marla Tabaka--The Successful Soloist

Want to read more from Marla? Click here.

6. Build Your Platform

There's an old saying: Walk like a duck, be a duck. In other words, if you present yourself as an expert--and have the skills and knowledge to back it up--then people will view you as an expert. The key is to present yourself as an expert in as many high-visibility venues and in as many ways as you can. Write a book on the topic of your expertise, start a blog, write articles, get interviewed on the web, radio, or television, give presentations and workshops, and contribute your expertise to nonprofits. The more you do to build your platform as an expert, the more credibility and personal visibility you will build along with it--catapulting you to greater success in the future. Peter Economy--The Management Guy

Want to read more from Peter? Click here.

Like this post? If so, sign up here and never miss out on this weekly roundtable.

 

IMAGE: Getty Images
Last updated: Jan 8, 2014

KEVIN DAUM | Columnist

An Inc. 500 entrepreneur with a more than $1 billion sales and marketing track record, Kevin Daum is the best-selling author of Video Marketing for Dummies and the executive producer of Amilya! on 77WABC New York. Sign up here and never miss out on Kevin's thoughts and humor.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.



Register on Inc.com today to get full access to:
All articles  |  Magazine archives | Livestream events | Comments
EMAIL
PASSWORD
EMAIL
FIRST NAME
LAST NAME
EMAIL
PASSWORD

Or sign up using: