Are You an Authority or Influencer in Your Field?
“Subject Matter Experts” (or SME’s) are considered authorities in their area of technology. They are often called upon to solve big technical problems that arise. In fact, their jobs primarily involve troubleshooting problems.
“Influencers,” on the other hand, are the people who have the ability to articulate how to use a technical solution to grow a business. These are the people that are called upon to help close big contract deals. They also are key influencers when decisions must be made to move companies to the next level of excellence.
The Online world of business also has “subject matter experts” and “influencers” – in fact, you are probably aware of some of them.
Which one do you want to be?
The reality is that not everyone is cut out for the “influencer” role. However, if you plan on making money with your business, you must be considered an authority in your niche. You must find a way to “get your name out there” – to build your brand, your reputation, and your credibility – to become a “subject matter expert.”
How Do You Become an SME?
For a start – you do it the same way it has always been done – stay in constant learning and development mode. You read, you study, you talk to the experts, you develop your own materials, etc.; but, you also have to “talk” to the people you will be serving.
For example: If you are a massage therapist specializing in treating sports injuries, it would be wise to find out where athletes and their trainers spend time on the Web and join in their conversations.
Participate and observe! Listen and learn! This is a great way to uncover their questions and challenges and develop your own unique responses to help them with their problems and their professional development. And . . . share your expertise. Write case studies and post them to your website or blog then spread the word with the social media tool of their choice.
Becoming an authority takes dedicated time and effort; but, if you want it badly enough, you can do it.