Okay, this needs to be said:
We are drowning in a sea of “experts”.
With anyone able to call themselves an expert, it’s given rise to the hack job, the wannabe and the self-titled “gurus” who offer shoddy service.
“Not me” I hear you say (and I believe you, you’re a Harrisonamy reader 🙂 )
But here’s the problem…
Even as a proper expert, this landscape is dangerous for your business.
Because the noise of the mediocre is stomping all over the whispers of talent.
Customers are confused
Since everyone these days has a website, blog, newsletter, autoresponder, free report, it’s harder to separate the wheat from the chaff.
and having those pieces of content marketing in place for your business is not enough to prove you can be trusted.
Knowledge is not enough
A study on the Psychology of Experts by James Shanteau at Kansas State University concluded that to be seen as an expert you needed to exhibit certain traits in addition to knowing your stuff
As Shanteau states:
Knowledge is a necessary, but not sufficient condition for expertise.
Which means unless you’re displaying these following traits, it’s likely you’re being ignored by the very people you can help.
1: Show extensive and up to date content knowledge
Displaying up-to-date knowledge or your niche is critical. Just a couple of ways you can do this includes:
- Sharing relevant stories in social media from industry blogs
- Using your blog to comment on the latest academic studies, articles and relevant news stories.
2. Display perceptual or attention abilities
This is a fancy way of saying you can spot how to solve your customer’s problem (when they can’t).
How can you communicate this?
- Case studies of recent clients
- Critiques or evaluations on your blog (for example as a web designers, you could offer to feature someone’s website and then analyse in your blog how you would improve the design)
3: Know what is irrelevant
Shanteau found that experts know what can be ignored when it comes to getting the job done.
For example, doctors knows what symptoms you should be wary of and which are just little “quirks” of the human body.
You can prove your worth to your customers by telling them what’s really important when it comes to their problems.
This helps to cut through the overwhelm and will be a welcome relief to your audience.
So you could include blog posts such as:
The only social media site you should use as an orthodontist (and why you can ignore the rest)
The number one training program for a beginner’s marathon
3 ways to beat the blank page and start any sales page
4: Simplify complex problems
Can you deconstruct relevant legislation to your customers?
Perhaps put together a “beginner’s guide” to a tricky subject?
Your audience is busy, so if you can give save them time by simplifying the complex the value of your content will increase.
5. Handle adversity better than others
We turn to experts when things go wrong so if something is troubling your customer, this is a chance for you to keep your cool.
The sites that took a stance on the recent SOPA legislation, and campaigned against it notched up expertise points for ability to simplify the complexities and show others how to proceed.
So what can you do?
Providing answers and help in your blog, email marketing or products positions you as someone who knows what to do when they have a problem.
But if a crisis appears on a larger scale you can respond by issuing more authoritative content such as a free report, or a white paper. For example:
How to recession-proof your business
How to protect your job in light of new employee legislation
Get your asking price even with house prices falling
If you can stay calm and gathered whilst your audience are stuck or anxious, you will become an indispensable source of assistance.
6. Adapt knowledge to exceptions
With increasing numbers of content mills and sites regurgitating theory-based “how-to” advice, content quality has decreased.
For example, the blogging arena is filled with people telling you that to build a successful blog you have to create quality content, post regularly, interact with your community, etc etc.
That’s a lot of same ole same ole to stand out in.
But you can create more unusual posts such as:
- Use These Copywriting Tips When You Feel Like A Fraud
- There is No ROI in Social Media Marketing
- The “Content is King” Myth Debunked
If you apply your expertise to situations outside the norm, you’re going to illuminate your expertise over someone who’s read a couple of books.
7: Communicate your expertise
“An expert is anyone who can persuade someone else that he (she) is an expert” (Dino & Shanteau, 1984).
Now, you might think that unfair, but as Shanteau discovered, knowledge is not enough.
To be honest, I don’t care about the hacks.
What I find most tragic is the expert filled with value and waiting to be discovered.
Use these above steps to keep communicating your message, cut through the confusion and prove to your audience that there are amazing resources still around on the Internet.
And you are one of them.
Please reTweet this (using the green retweet button at the top) if you think real experts deserve to be seen and heard!
What do you think?
What kind of experts do you take notice of and which ones do you ignore? What traits can you see in yourself and which ones attract you the most to someone?
Let me know in the comments below.
If you want to know more about getting your message across as an expert – sign up for the weekly Fast Copy Fridays copywriting tips, and you’ll also get details of the next Personality Entrepreneur Sales Page Boot Camp.