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Small Business Owner? Put Your Knowledge To Work And Get Known As An Expert

By: Roberta Guise

Roberta Guise who (according to her clients) "kicks butt!" works with small business owners and professionals who want to build a profitable stable of customers and save money on ineffective promotions. With her one-on-one coaching and consulting, Roberta also develops, guides and transforms talented, ambitious experts who want to be known as the go-to guru authority or leading thinker in their field of expertise. An award winning marketer, Roberta writes and speaks on how to get a distinctive marketing edge and be extraordinarily visible. Her consulting practice, Guise Marketing & PR, is headquartered in San Francisco. To receive your complimentary copy of her new report "The 9 Point Marketing Success Method For Small Business Owners" visit

If you're a professional businessperson and you're serious about your chosen field, you should strive to be known as an expert. Why? Because it will force you to dig deeper into your field, you'll solidify your knowledge, you'll provide significantly more value to your clients, you'll generate more income, and you'll be publicly acknowledged for what you know.

I know some of you reading this will cringe, because you think it's arrogant and too self-promoting or pompous to call yourself an expert. One colleague told me, "We can't know everything." Another professional flat out refuses to be called an expert, even though she's by far and away the acknowledged leader in her consulting field.

Being an expert - acknowledged authority is another way to say it - doesn't mean that you know everything. It doesn't mean that you're pompous either. It does mean that you have a significant depth of knowledge in your field, that you communicate what you know, and your ideas are accepted by the media, and by publishers (should you decide to put them in book form), as well as being broadly available. Why would clients hire you if you weren't expert in what you do?

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In her book, Necessary Dreams: Ambition in Women's Changing Lives, (Pantheon Books, 1994), Anna Fels tells us that it's human nature to seek acknowledgement or recognition for our efforts and accomplishments, and that without that affirmation, long-term learning and performance goals frequently are not reached. So, why argue with nature?

Let's face it: everyone loves a winner, and experts are high on the winning scale. Being around winners makes us feel that we're in good company. And that's what our clients want. Branding or marking yourself as an expert is not only good for you, it's good for your clients and customers.

Wear The Hat

While there's no step-by-step process as in a cookbook recipe, you can readily establish yourself as an authority if you follow these few guidelines.

  • Adopt the mindset that you are indeed an expert, and the rest will fall into place if you stay with it.
  • Know your field inside out. If you don't, you're not an expert. Be able to let what you know roll right off your tongue, and put it into straightforward, written and spoken presentations that showcase your important ideas and opinions.
  • Be the messenger of new information in your field. If you have your own new ideas or concepts, you need to put them in writing, get them branded and packaged, and distribute them all over. They are your contribution to the existing body of knowledge.
  • Apply your knowledge and expertise through your work with clients. Having hands-on experience gives you your own stories and case studies that are uniquely yours to draw from; use every opportunity to apply your knowledge and see how it works in practice.

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    Present information in a new way. Alan Weiss, author of Million Dollar Consulting (and 23+ other books for consultants and speakers), turned the concept of value on its head by showing consultants how to set fees based on measured value that results from their work. What ideas do you have that are contrarian or buck conventional wisdom, that you can prove are valid, and that you can make accessible and get distributed to a broad audience?
  • Write and speak knowledgeably about your field. This will build your credibility beyond that of a professional running a successful business.
  • Let people know that you're an expert. The hallmark of an expert is visibility. People will start to say, "I've heard your name!" To get visibility, send your writing to publications that accept article submissions. Make your writing available on Web sites other than your own, like this article is. Write a newsletter. Write a blog. Suggest a regular column for a publication. Better yet, syndicate your own column. Suggest story ideas to editors that feature you as their primary source. Stay in touch with editors and journalists by letting them know how you can provide valuable, expert content for their stories. Pitch your ideas to TV/cable and radio. Get paid and paid well to speak.
  • Show your passion for what you do. You'll come across as even more credible, and your ideas will resonate better with your audiences.
  • Not mandatory but advisable: get a Ph.D. in curiosity. Be inquisitive. Know what's going on outside your usual interest zone. If you don't already have it, develop a childlike amazement for everyday stuff.

Think about it: You've spent years developing your expertise, building a strong foundation of experience and knowledge that enriches both your clients and you. Why not purposefully present yourself as an expert or authority, and share your wisdom for the benefit of many? Whether your ideas offer new insights or help transform people's lives, your wisdom is a gift you can share many times over.

© Copyright 2009, Guise Marketing & Public Relations.

The author assumes full responsibility for the contents of this article and retains all of its property rights. MarcommWise publishes it here with the permission of the author. MarcomWise assumes no responsibility for the article's contents.


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