Our last thing on the schedule for today is a keynote speech from Deborah Gilboa, MD. Dr. G is an internationally renowned parenting expert, family physician, keynote speaker, author, and mother of four boys. I’m loving that she’s talking to us about claiming our expertise, because I’m in the process of doing just that.
If you claim your expertise, you get on TV, you get columns, you get book deals, you get to be a keynote speaker, you get endorsement deals.
Look back at your content to see what it is you’re an expert in. Ask people what they think you’re good at. Why does your audience value you? Just ask them! People like to be engaged when you are not trying to sell anything.
T + E(all) + POV = YOU
your training + the sum of your experiences(personal as well as professional) + your unique point of view = YOU
Focus on the things that you are good at and enjoy. Deborah is a family doctor, but she went to undergrad for theater. She was in the field for six years and then decided she needed a change. That’s when she decided to be a doctor when she grew up. Once she was in med school and started her residency, she realized that no one wanted to get up and talk in front of people, and most of the doctors who did were not good at it. Her theater experience came in really handy. She happened to be very pregnant while doing one of her presentations, and they ended up wanting her to talk about parenting. Every step led her down her unique path that has gotten her on the Today Show and Good Morning America, in the Wall Street Journal and Parents Magazine.
Look at the silos in which you already are. Where do you already have a foothold? We’re already in the digital world if we have a blog or are doing social media. Maybe you’re in publishing, from an article in the PTA newsletter or a self-published book. Maybe you’re in speaking because you’ve given a talk to the Lions Club or done a video webinar. Maybe you’re in media because you’ve been quoted in the local newspaper. Maybe you have a foothold in social good if you’ve RTed charitable organizations or worked with the UN on a humanitarian campaign.
You don’t have to be good at everything. Start with one silo and do it. Be “that guy” that people turn to on your area of expertise.
So you’re an expert…
How does anyone know you’re an expert? You have to tell people. Toot your own horn – not to make more money, but so you can do more good. What is the problem that you’re perfectly placed to solve? Maybe it’s how to run your family from your parent’s hospital room. Maybe it’s how to offer legal expertise to bloggers. You have to tell your friends so that can reach out for a quote, ask you a question. When people quote you, you’re helping them. Even if they would have given the same answer, by asking you, they look more professional. Experts are okay with asking other experts. If you quote people, you sharing not only your expertise, but the expertise of other people.
Don’t just tell your friends. Tell your communities, your Facebook groups…you don’t know who you know. There are thousands of connections that can help you (and others) by happenstance.
Let MORE people know who you are! Anyone who sends you email or snail mail deserves to know what your expertise is in. If you are important enough for them to send you information, you’re important enough to tell them what you do.
Go to HARO to be a source.
What is HARO? HelpAReporterOut.com is a resource for journalists who need expert sources for articles they’re working on. You can sign up as a source and get daily emails listing queries from journalists who may need to hear from YOU.
- Pick a topic you know well.
- Start with a compliment. “This is a really important topic, and I’m glad you’re writing about it…”
- Give two juicy answers.
- Powerfully pitch your expertise. “This is why I’m the best person to answer this for you.”
- Tease more answers. “I have three more examples I could give you on this topic, and I can’t wait to hear from you so we can talk about it more…”
- Promise QUICK turnaround. You don’t even need to be specific about timing, just that it will be “quick.”
Where do you need to be?
Ask people who have experiences related to your expertise where they went to when they needed answers. Maybe they went on Facebook and talked to people. Maybe they looked for videos on the subject or podcasts that interested them. That’s where you need to be.
You don’t know who you know, but (especially if you’re in this room at this conference) you probably know at least one super-connector. The people who listen to you when you talk and say, “Oh, do you know this person? You need to talk to them. Let me introduce you!”
Never take a no from someone who doesn’t have the authority to give you a yes. Don’t yell at the person who answers the phone when you call customer service; they literally can’t give you what you want, so be nice to them and politely ask to speak to their manager or whoever it is who really can help you.
How to get paid to do all this.
Never do something for nothing, but nothing does not necessarily mean free. Money can be great, but sometimes doing something for free has benefits that can’t be measured in dollar amounts. You might get a killer testimonial or reference, or someone in the audience when you’re speaking might be a Big Decision Maker.
Every time you say yes to something, you say no to something else. It could be your kids, your exercise, your Netflix binge, your sleep… You deserve these things. Know when to say no to an opportunity so you can say yes to something else that’s important to you. But you do owe it to humanity to solve the problem you are uniquely able to solve, so know when to say yes!