be-an-expertIt’s no secret that the marketplace is crowded. Trust me when I tell you that with 22 million solo-preneurs (known as non-employer businesses by the SBA), there’s lots of people who do what you do clamoring for attention amongst your Audience of One™ (you might call this your target audience or ideal client). Everyone wants to be seen and heard and gain exposure because they are an expert.

And honestly, who can blame them? Being a known expert is definitely the key to building a business that allows prospects to find you and not the other way around. Think about it; experts get booked on TV, they keynote major conferences and events, basically they get paid to share their thoughts on topics they’ve become known to command. Being an expert is definitely the goal of most entrepreneurs and small business owners because that means your need to spend countless hours trying to find one or two clients is over.

It means you’ve truly arrived.

That’s why getting Stacia’s question made perfect sense to me. You see, I know exactly how she feels:

“Hi Darnyelle. I am a multi-passionate entrepreneur who is trying to establish myself as an expert. But I am struggling. Can you tell me how to establish my expert status so that I can get some traction in the marketplace?”

Check out my response to Stacia’s question in this week’s episode of Incredible Factor TV:

In my opinion, expert status is about thought leadership. One way you can develop your thought leadership platform is to follow the following four steps:

1. Define it – your area of expertise. While there may be many things you’re passionate about and there may even be many things you know a lot about, there is one thing that stands above the rest, that is more innate in you. There is one thing that quickly becoming an expert in it isn’t a stretch. There is no course you need to take, you are already well equipped to share endlessly about this one thing. What is it? What is it about this particular topic that appeals to you? What is it about this topic that is a sore spot for others? What knowledge can you share about this topic that will ease their pain and solve their problems? Even if you are like Stacia and have multi-passions, choosing one to start with and become known for is pivotal to your success and longevity.

2. Own it – Ownership is 9/10 of the law, right? Right, so that means that you need to take firm ownership of the fact that when it comes to this topic, no one does it better. There is no one who can match your strategies, your expertise or your manner of conveying the information. In fact, when you enter a room, not only do all heads turn in your direction, your energy tells them immediately that you’ve got “it.” When you own your thought leadership platform and declare yourself an expert, you have to stand boldly and declare that you are the “bees-knees” and those seeking transformation come looking for you (and you alone) to gain access to breakthrough strategies in this area. When you name it and claim it, you’ll instantly begin to rise to the top because in today’s marketplace, no one hires a generalist. People are willing to pay for assistance from specialists.

3. Unleash it – this step is all about action! You’ve got to get up, get out and make things happen. I’ve said countless times that it’s seldom about what you’re selling but always about how you package and position it. When you understand that, you take action to consistently position yourself. You must take the time to get out there using marketing strategies that validate your expertise and get you known consistently. In this phase, you have to be consistent with creating content, speaking, blogging, and eventually writing a book. After all, you are truly an expert when your subject of choice has a book with your name on the front cover.

4. Leverage it – once your platform is established, it’s all about leverage. Leverage is the process by which you maximize your hard work and ensure that all recognition, clients and exposure as a result of that hard work comes your way. If you haven’t yet, you are definitely writing a book in the leverage phase. While there are some who suggest starting your platform with a book, I believe that you have to build up to the book by validating that what you have to say, people actually want to hear. When you do it the way I suggest, not only is your platform stronger, but your book will actually work for you and take you places you otherwise wouldn’t be able to go. In this phase, you are also gathering social proof that tells the masses that you are THE one to see when it comes to your topic of choice.

And remember, when you position yourself as an expert, you’ll stand out in the noise of the marketplace, be able to charge more and gain media attention while doing your divine work in the world.

Now I want to hear from you, what’s your two cents?: Are you an expert? How did you stake your claim? What steps did you follow that you can share that will help others in our community establish their thought leadership platform?

©2014 by Darnyelle A. Jervey. All Rights Reserved. Darnyelle A. Jervey, MBA, The Incredible Factor Speaker, Business Coach and Marketing Mentor, is the founder of Incredible One Enterprises.com, Incredible Factor University® and the Leverage Your Incredible Factor System®, a proven step-by-step program for more clients, more income and more leverage in your business. For more information and a FREE audio CD “7 Critical Mistakes Entrepreneurs Must Avoid When Unleashing Your Incredible Factor So You Attract More Clients, Make More Money and Gain More Leverage” just fill out the form below.

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