Owning Your Expertise: You’ve got the know-how, so now what?

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July 12, 2016

If you’re an expert on a certain topic but nobody knows – are you really an expert?

Now, the art of being an expert isn’t simply about shouting your qualifications from the rooftop. Before you can tell people that you’re an expert, you need to show them. There are a number of directions you can take to showing off your expertise, but the best bet is to combine all of the strategies for a multi-directional approach.

Let’s start with your website, which will often be the first impression you make on prospective clients. As today’s generation tends to shy away from the phone, they’ll most likely try to learn as much as possible about you from your website. Thus, it’s essential to provide them with your bio, your portfolio of work, any press features that you’ve had, as well as testimonials from past happy clients.

Beyond your website, there are plenty of ways to get your work in front of the right people. Becoming a media expert and building your guest writing portfolio can be invaluable when it comes to projecting yourself as an expert in your chosen field. When exploring media options, ask yourself what topics you can write about. Are you on top of all of the current trends? Do you have a lot of experience working with clients from a certain culture?

Once you have an idea of what unique topics you have to offer, it’s time to research the best channels to present your brand. Pay attention to the content that already exists on the site and be sure that you are able to add to the conversation with your expertise.

For each media outlet that you deem a fit, reach out to the editor via email to introduce yourself and pitch a few of your best story ideas. Be sure to explain why you’re a resource and how they can contact you. Even if they don’t pick up your pitches that go-around, they’ll still have your name and contact information on hand if something else comes up.

Once you’ve established some beneficial media relationships and have built a writing portfolio, it may be time to consider branching out into speaking engagements. While not everyone views himself or herself as a public speaker, the opportunity to share your expertise with many people solidifies yourself as an industry leader.

With your topics in mind, take a look at what kind of conferences and events that your targeted audience tends to attend. It may make sense to start out speaking at local events before moving up to national conferences. When researching speaking opportunities look at topics that are already being covered – you’ll want them to fall in line while still being unique and eye-catching. When you first start out, your topics may seem pretty basic but rest assured that they will continue to evolve and expand as you grow your speaking repertoire.

When it comes down to it, remember what makes you an expert. Your knowledge is unique to you – while others may be experts on the same topic, there is always something that sets you apart so don’t be afraid to think outside the box. You’ve worked this hard to get to where you are – it’s about time your name is in lights!


Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding PR and wedding marketing firm OFD Consulting. Ely is a sought-after speaker, adjunct professor in the field of public relations, and a self-professed royal wedding enthusiast. 


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