A recent Forbes article highlighted the “imposter syndrome” that plagues many female professionals.
“Stop Apologizing And Start Being An Expert: A View On Female Entrepreneurship”
Thanks to their encouragement, she overcame her “imposter syndrome.”
In response to author Vanessa Loder’s seven tips for female entrepreneurs to own their expertise, authority marketing specialist Lisa Williams illuminates these issues even further.
While the Forbes article focused mainly on female entrepreneurs, Williams says these principles apply to all entrepreneurs or service-based professionals who meet the following criteria:
Anyone who makes a living by charging for their advice, expertise and experience.
Those who are experts in their area, but have never thought of themselves as such.
Those who want to increase their outreach to ideal clients in order to put their expertise before them.
Those who feel like they are the “best kept secret” in their industry.
Anyone who would like to become a more recognized expert.
1) Claiming I’m an Expert
The Forbes article tells women not to be afraid to refer to themselves as experts because, relative to the average adult, they are experts in their respective fields. In other words, expertise is relative.
“How many people, if they’re truly honest, feel comfortable calling themselves an expert?” Williams asks. She has a counterintuitive solution: “we really shouldn’t refer to ourselves as the expert.” In the quest for more credibility, Williams says, “if we are positioned properly, others will see us as an expert and put that title on us.”
2) Expertise is Only if We Are Degreed or Credentialed
“Not by a long shot,” Williams says. She is in agreement with Loder on this point, “the school of hard knocks does indeed count. Degree or not, actual experience may carry more weight today among those you serve in the world of reality TV,” Williams says. “Out with theory and in with practice.”
3) The Greater Benefit of Being Quoted as an Expert
While “simply claiming yourself as an expert can help you to become an expert,” as Loder puts it, Williams counters, “isn’t the idea really to be seen by others as an expert or authority? Having third-party media quoting and interviewing you, and talking about your expertise is far more effective than naming it and claiming it.” Lauded businesswoman and TV personality Barbara Corcoran echoes this sentiment, “When you are constantly quoted as the expert in your field, everyone believes that you are.”
To gain authority, “entrepreneurs must get in and stay in the media — be quoted and interviewed as a subject matter expert, sharing your expert opinion on current challenges your ideal audience is experiencing, and offering education and information that speaks to their needs and concerns,” Williams says. In essence, positioning yourself as Seth Godin’s Purple Cow, the stand-out authority in your industry, worthy of remark.
4) Manufacture Your Authority
As Loder says, “It’s ok to feel uncomfortable, do it anyway.” Williams says, ”Some may call this manufacturing your authority.” Case in point: Kim Kardashian, the originator of modern celebrity, has attained fame for nothing at all. While being an easy target for people who are appalled at the lack of perceived reason she has for being famous, “there is no doubt that she has successfully become an authority on celebrity, and benefits from that authority by being at the top of mind for press opportunities. She is standing out in her industry (purple cow), and creating a niche for herself,” Williams says. Yes, Kim Kardashian is a successful entrepreneur, whether you like it or not, and she is an example of someone who has positioned herself as a celebrity, but not claiming to be one herself. Williams adds, “This also works for a professional or entrepreneur in any industry.”
5) How to Become the Hunted, Not the Hunter
Loder states that, “When you claim your expertise, people are attracted to your knowledge and want to work with you.” Williams agrees with this statement, “People become attracted to your knowledge and want to work with you when your expert or celebrity status makes you stand out among your competition.” Claiming and sharing are different, Williams says. “Instead of calling yourself an expert, you can say, ‘I was recently featured in entrepreneur magazine with a panel of experts about your topic.’ When you share information that positions your expertise, it draws your ideal prospect to you without you having to sell yourself. You start to become the hunted, and not the hunter.”
6) Build Your Confidence as an Expert
Loder’s sixth point, “If you can’t say it to yourself, you can’t claim it in the world.” This point comes down to confidence, Williams says. “Being featured in major media outlets can build your confidence in being an expert. If major media such as ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox affiliates feature you in articles and press releases, I guarantee you that the feedback you receive from your clients and prospects will begin to strengthen your confidence, far more than you just claiming it to the world.”
7) Prove It With Social Media
“There are many ways to tell someone that you are an expert without saying those words,” Williams says. For example, you could share your “humble brags.” “After you have been interviewed, received an award or featured in major media, share a screenshot of the article and say, ‘I am honored that this local media outlet saw the value in the services I provide.’ Share this post across your social media platforms, in an email to your prospects and with colleagues. This is considerably more effective in making something go viral.”
“Every business owner desires to gain traction and notoriety in their business. You no longer have to sit and hope that one day the media will find you — always remember, ‘media begets more media,’” Williams says. “The question is: will you continue to try and claim your own expertise, or will you find out how to walk into it?”
“Ladies, don’t be intimidated; and gentlemen, gender isn’t a factor in being positioned as an expert or authority in your industry. It is imperative for anyone in business.”
About Authority Marketing Specialist Lisa Williams
Lisa Williams helps entrepreneurs and service-based professionals to get great results faster.
Lisa is the founder of Media Authority Marketing and Authority Book Consulting, LP. Her latest venture, The Purple Cow Authority, was inspired by the concept of the “Purple Cow,” or someone who stands out from the crowd. The company helps professionals to become remarkable — literally worthy of making a remark about — and leverages the media to build a client’s brand, thereby increasing authority, credibility and expert status. Find out more at SetYourselfApartMarketing.com.
Company Name: Media Authority Marketing
Contact Person: Edie Edwards
Country: United States