11 Non-Obvious Ways You Can Build Your Expertise In Your Field
Constantly growing in your field and hyping yourself up as a credible source is important if you want to make your way up the career ladder, but how do you build your expertise in your field? If the idea is to announce to your industry that you have arrived and that you're a force to be reckoned with, it's not enough just to participate in office meetings and slay with projects. While things like that will definitely get you a gold star from your boss, there's one thing wrong with focusing all your efforts in that direction — your genius is trapped behind office walls! Others in your field can't see it because it's confined to the floor you work on.
So the solution to that? You need to find non-obvious avenues to flex your fingers and share your expertise with others. The more that you pop up on people's feeds, favorite articles, and industry blog posts, the more that they'll subconsciously tag you as a credible expert. So it's time to push away from the cubicle desk and begin to build your reputation outside of your office. While that might sound like a big task, it's actually quite easy — below are 11 non-obvious ideas on how to portray yourself as an expert in your industry.
1. Find Your Favorite Expert, And Copy Them
The best way to start becoming a credible source in your field is to find an expert you admire, and see what they're doing to build their credentials. "Who is really good at what you want to do? Which experts are held in high regard by their peers and immediate supervisors? Whom do you want to emulate? "Dorothy Leonard, a Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, asked. See what kind of websites and portfolios they have, what they're doing on social media, and what they're doing after office hours, and use that as your beginning blue print.
2. Start A Blog
A quick way to show your knowledge is to create keyword rich posts that delve into different aspects of your field and niche. "Having a blog is a wonderful outlet and source for your thoughts on subjects you have expertise in. If you have around 100 info-rich posts under your belt, people will believe your authority. As they say, quality over quantity," Paulina Zymon, a Content Strategist and Senior Designer at Digitas Health, shares in an email interview with Bustle. Not only will you be able to teach others with your articles, but people will also be able to find you easier as they're led back to your blog.
3. Create A Landing Page
This is kind of like an "About Me" section, but taking up a whole website. The beauty of a landing page is that it's just one page, so it's easy and quick to create. "Consider this your digital elevator pitch. Your website tells your story as they scroll down the page, taking the viewer down an interesting narrative about your professional past—and where you want to go next," Zymon explains. It shows you're focused and well prepared to keep moving forward.
4. Try Multimedia Options
That's right, it's time to bust out the microphone. "Shareworthy content isn’t limited to written words. You can also create shareworthy content and share your knowledge and expertise via audio and video," career writer Susan Gunelius from Forbes suggested. You can create an interesting podcast sharing tips and news about your field, or create tutorial YouTube videos to further establish your expertise. Give it a try!
5. Write An eBook
Are you a social media strategist that knows how to help bloggers get ahead? Or are you a travel writer that has 101 tips on how to survive hostels? Whatever your niche, write an eBook with your tips and share it across your platforms and other websites. "Create an eBook and offer to share it with their community," John Jantsch, a marketing consultant, recommended to entrepreneur site Duct Tape Marketing. In order to hit a larger audience, find other blogs and sites that have to do with your niche and see if they'd like to promote your eBook as part of a marketing strategy. Whichever way you go, being a published author gives you major credibility.
6. Guest Blog On A Site
You can pitch to be on a small-ish blog or the blog portion of a legit website — the size of the audience doesn't matter as much as proving that other people respect you as an expert source. "Find a few blogs who focus on your area of expertise and connect with the content strategist who leads the blogging efforts for the company or organization. Make a pitch to write about a topic of interest to the blog's audience — and offer to do it for free," Kaleigh Moore, an entrepreneur writer suggested to business development site Grasshopper., recommended. Being invited to guest post shows other people trust your authority.
7. Encourage People To Recomend You
Sometimes you need a second party to prove you really know what you're talking about — and that comes in the form of a recommendation. "Build up recommendations on Linkedin. Ask for reviews on your podcast. Retweet the people who mention your genius. Leverage those elements of social proof to show others you really know your stuff," Moore advised. You can also highlight clients' glowing reviews or a boss' "good job" email in your portfolio or website, furthering your credentials.
8. Create A Pinterest Portfolio
If someone has a website and portfolio, you get the idea that they're serious about their career. But if they take it a step further and get even more creative, you get the feeling they're well invested in their industry. That's where the Pinterest portfolio comes in. ""Having a Pinterest board that focuses solely on your personal branding is another great way of getting your name out there. Post up your website, a screenshot from your blog, any projects/articles/visuals you're proud of, and photos of you at events. If they're repinned, that's earned media right there!" Zymon explains.
9. Ask To Be Quoted In Articles
If you read certain blogs or specific industry sites, don't be afraid to reach out to specific writers and see if they need credible sources for their topics. More often than not, the answer will be yes. "Don't be afraid to reach out to certain niche writers about getting quoted on subjects you have expertise knowledge on," Zymon advises. It's an easy way to get your name and experience out there.
10. Create A Networking Group
What better way to show the world that you're well connected in your niche than being the head of a networking group? "Even if it's just getting coffee with a couple of industry people you vibe well with once a month, creating a networking group (and sharing photos) makes it look like you have strong connections in your field," Zymon offers. And who knows — the more comfortable you get hosting these events, the bigger and more impresisve they can become!
11. Use Instagram In New Ways
Instagram doesn't just have to be for your pumpkin spice lattes — you can also use it to show how invested you are in your industry.
"Instagram has become such a valuable platform and it can be used for just about anything. From showing the behind-the-scenes at industry events to sharing the mini side projects you're currently working on," Zymon points out. You can use it as a tool to show what you're learning, what you're creating, and how you're constantly active in your field. From sharing articles to industry-specific inspiration on your account, you can further cement that your finger is constantly on the pulse.
Try these tips out and see how much more noticed you become!
Images: Marlen Komar (1); Bustle