UNDERSTANDING EXPERTISE – THE FIRST KEY TO SUCCESSFUL SELLING

What is an expert? It’s someone who knows more than you do about a particular topic. They have expert status because of their credentials, their visibility, their following, or their quality content. Expertise is a very important element of marketing, especially on the internet. Online customers are looking for answers, and they want it from trusted sources who clearly know what they’re talking about. If you can establish yourself as an expert on specific topics, your products and services will virtually sell themselves.

There are many different ways to demonstrate your expertise, and none of them involves anything dishonest. You don’t need to fake it.

expertise the key to successful selling

PICKING YOUR NICHE

Everything you do in business begins with choosing your niche. Start with something you already know about through your personal experience, your job, or your interests.

If you’ve had serious, positive relationships in your life, you might choose to become a relationship expert. If you’re an avid reader of self-help books, you can take that interest and turn it into an area of expertise. Your job in the security industry gives you insight into security issues most people don’t know about.

Look at your areas of knowledge and experience and see if there are particular things that a large group of people don’t know about.

FOLLOWING YOUR INTERESTS

If you don’t want to focus on an area you already know about, another method of niche selection is to choose a topic you’d like to learn about. It doesn’t matter if you’re not an expert already. If you’re willing to put in the time to learn about it, you can become an authority on that topic. You can become a real expert, and share that knowledge with your audience.

 

DEMONSTRATING YOUR EXPERTISE

You can demonstrate your expertise in a variety of ways. The most common and easiest way is by providing content about the topic. Share your knowledge and experience with your readers, and they’ll see you as a trusted source of information. As you gain more visibility, customer testimonials, endorsements and other forms of social proof will also help.

 

THE EXPERTISE GAP

The “expertise gap” is the difference between what you know about a particular topic and what your audience knows. In other words, it is what you already know how to do, but others haven’t learned yet. Understanding this is an important part of building your expertise. You have to understand your customers and their level of knowledge about your topic.

For example, if you’ve lived abroad for 30 years, you’re an expat expert. Write your content for people who are just setting off abroad like you were years ago. Or, if you already know how to set up a basic WordPress site, you can teach others how to do the same, even if you’re not an expert in other areas of online marketing.

 

BUILDING A PORTFOLIO

Your bio should say more than just “an avid wine lover.” It needs to show your expert knowledge and experience. A good way to do this is by building a portfolio. Publish articles wherever you can and create eBooks to sell in online stores and for Amazon’s Kindle. Write guest posts for other blogs. Join official organisations and participate in events. Conduct seminars for local groups, or even classes at local colleges. Write press releases for distribution to online and offline publications.

Create a long list of all the things you’ve done that show you know your topic well. Then use those to construct a detailed bio or “About” page on your website.

 

ESTABLISHING EXPERTISE TAKES TIME

It’s impossible to establish your expertise overnight, especially through honest means. It takes time and dedicated effort. You have to learn about your topic, create a great deal of content, build your credentials, and grow an audience base. However, each year that you’re out and about, teaching about your subject, adds tremendously to your reputation as an expert.

 

Activity:  Download the Work Sheet

  1. Think about what you know that others don’t, even if it’s very basic. If you are already working in a specific niche, focus on what you know about that topic.
  2. Note at least the 3 areas where people could benefit from your knowledge.
  3. Pick the one that interests you most.
  4. Brainstorm at least 5 ways or places where you can demonstrate your knowledge.