My man Ryan Hanley published an interesting post on Danny Brown’s blog. It’s well written, provocative, and it has been gnawing at me for the last day.
Ryan states that too many people are calling themselves experts. As a result real expertise is being commoditized. In other words, since everyone can call themselves a “guru”, “ninja” or expert then the real population of bona fide experts are getting drowned out.
My concern is that everyone is running in fear. No one wants to assert leadership. Good people are afraid to stat their expertise fearing that they will be hounded and flogged by the “expert police.”
Frankly, I don’t think the problem is fraudulent “gurus.”
The problem is too many timid experts.
I have reviewed and consulted with dozens of bona fide experts who are being held back because they don’t feel worthy of their reader’s attention.
I can see the signs immediately…
- A watered down “About Us” page
- Timid meandering blog posts that have zero impact
- Constant sucking up to other so-called experts hoping to get “status by association”.
- Aggressive self-flagellation to prove they are just like everyone else.
- Non-existent blog traffic because their readers are going to somewhere else for an expert opinion
In the end, many innovative, exciting, and I dare say “expert” voices are inadvertently muzzled.
Call Yourself an Expert If…
I want you to call yourself an expert as soon as you possibly can. Real experts make money. Real experts grow active audiences. Real Experts are in control of their lives and fulfill their destinies. I love experts and I wish I met more of them.
So let’s swing the anti-expert pendulum back the other way a bit and agree that you are an expert if:
- You can demonstrate results: If you are an expert dog trainer then be prepared to prove that you can indeed teach old dogs new tricks. Ideally your top promoters should be your audience.
- You can teach: Experts that can transfer their skills to other are fascinating. Your blog is your teaching platform. As an expert you must be a prolific teacher. I’ve voted many experts off the island because they are more skilled at creating buzz words then making complex ideas simple to understand.
- You can inspire: Funny things about human beings is that they won’t change unless they are inspired. You won’t get results and earn the title of expert until you can make your audience take action.
That’s it – Get results, teach, and inspire. True experts can do all three. Can you? If so, it’s time you stepped up to the plate and took a swing.
Why Some Experts Give Others a Bad Name
I know that there are false-experts out there. These folks are skilled promoters who take credit for the sunrise and sunset. You can tell right away that they don’t have a clue. In fact they consistently fail my three-point test:
- They can’t demonstrate results: They rarely if ever can point to quantifiable results. When they do, they point to easily manipulated vanity metrics.
- They can’t teach: I’ve read expert posts that were vague, obtuse, or just plain wrong. No matter, because false experts always gather sycophants that are quick to praise their garbage.
- They can’t inspire: They do just the opposite – they scold, label, and disempower their audience. Watch out for the folks that are quick to label people as haters. They might be hated for a reason.
Here’s my advice: ignore these people and move on. Build your expertise and prove that you are worthy of being an expert.
Let’s Focus on You.
I think we can agree that there are people out there that make our skin crawl. However let’s not focus on them. Instead, let’s focus on you. Tell me, what makes you a knowledgeable expert in your field? I want to celebrate you. Tell me about it in the comments below.