Quick, what is your definition of an "expert"? I ask this question because when talking with various CEOs and thought leaders, I often explain that my definition of an "expert" is someone who knows more than you on a given subject matter. The point being is that everyone is an expert on something--whether you know it or not.
It is our confidence in our expertise, however, that determines the degree in which others choose to listen to you and do business with you (or not). Someone who lacks confidence in his or her own knowledge and abilities will struggle as a leader. While others who may have much less knowledge and skills, but present their insights with confidence will be perceived with a higher level of expertise.
This week, I had the pleasure of speaking with Tim Fargo. Tim is the President of Tweet Jukebox and is best known for co-founding insurance fraud investigative company Omega Insurance Service in 1996, which was acquired by First Advantage in 2003 for $20 million. Omega Insurance was ranked an Inc 500 company two years in a row.
Why Confidence In Your Competency Matters
As much has already been written about his previous company, Omega, I wanted to know more about what Tim Fargo is up to these days. This is where we got into a fascinating discussion about confidence in your competency. This insight emerged as we were discussing the context of his new company, Tweet Jukebox, a platform for scheduling your insightful Tweets and curated content to help grow your audience.
"There is a positive correlation between your confidence in your competence and people's perception of your competence. If you lack confidence in your competence, it shows," Tim Fargo explained. "When you get really good at something, your tendency is to think that everyone knows what you know. But the truth is, they don't."
Most inbound marketing experts will tell you that despite how much content is out there, there is still a tremendous need for thoughtful insights that are specific to your profession. This is because when a potential customer is seeking advice and information, they are looking for experts to answer their questions and provide the insights they seek. The world is changing at a rapid clip and our survival instinct is to look for experts who can guide us to make the right decisions.
How Your Confidence In Your Competency Helps You Grow
One thing about digital marketing and social media in particular, is that this medium is very measurable. As of the writing of this article, Tim Fargo has an impressive Twitter following of over 205,000 followers. So I asked him about what he did to build and grow this audience and how it has helped his business growth.
"If you want to grow an audience, you need to deliver real value and constant trust," Tim Fargo explained. "When it comes to Twitter, every link you post is a promise of value to your audience. That is, you are making a commitment that you believe the information you are providing will be worth your audience's time."
If you recall my previous article, "In the Game of Twitter-World Domination, Meaningful Engagement is a Touchdown", Tim Fargo shares very similar themes to Marji Sherman (who is also a member of the more than 100k followers club). But his ideas around confidence in your competency really stood out.
"You know those listacles that say '3 ways to save your business'?" Tim Fargo asked. "You might think that this is a bold claim, but people want that guidance and leadership. Even if the 3 things you come up with are not the end-all-bell-all, if you're leading with your most confident thinking, your insights will be picked up by your audience who is likely struggling and not sure what to do. The more authoritative your voice is, the more likely your advice is to be followed."
The same holds true for your business. At some point your client is going to look to you for expertise. If you fumble around or your body language is screaming out your lack of confidence in yourself, then it's unlikely that your client will embrace your recommendations. Conversely, if you "stand and deliver" your best thinking with confidence, your enthusiasm will be contagious and your recommendations will have a higher probability of being adopted.
Saving Time with Tweet Jukebox
If you are in agreement with Tim Fargo's recommendations about having confidence in your competency and you are ready to present your insights and ideas to help grow your audience, his freemium platform, Tweet Jukebox, can save you a lot of time. Rather than scheduling your Tweets, you can now upload all your words of wisdom (as well as select pre-currated content from other experts) and let Tweet Jukebox send out your best thinking to your audience on a frequency you establish (i.e. 4 times a day).
As a former two-time Inc 500 business owner, I suspect that Tim Fargo will continue to help other entrepreneurs grow their businesses using the insights he's learned. I suspect we will be hearing more from Tim Fargo in the future. The question is, will we be hearing more from you and your specific competency?