This microbook is a summary/original review based on the book: But I'm Not an Expert!: Go from newbie to expert and radically skyrocket your influence without feeling like a fraud
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In a global market as competitive as that of our age, becoming an expert is not only about mastering your profession, but also about knowing how to market your mastery. Regardless of the title, Meera Kothand’s book “But I’m Not an Expert!” should help you most with the latter: it is a great “step-by-step roadmap to getting that coveted expert tag even if you‘re starting with no list or social media following.”
So, get ready to learn how to position yourself as an expert – and how to use that position to build trust and new relationships, as well as convert more clicks into purchases!
Gone are the days when one could be an expert in some general field of study, such as, say, literature. In the 21st century, you have no choice but to try to become an expert in something more specific – such as Shakespeare, or, better yet, Shakespeare’s view on women.
Business is no different: if you want to attract an audience, you need to choose a niche and develop your skills in that direction. Simply put, if you’re not thinking in terms of niches, then you’re not thinking about becoming an expert at all.
The ideal expert niche – in the words of Kothand – is the “one where there’s a match between a hungry market that is actively looking for help with solving a specific set of problems and your ability to deliver what they want.”
So, it’s not all passion and perseverance: you have to find a way to combine these with the actual needs of the market. Otherwise, you might end up stuck with a hobby that you won’t be able to ever monetize.
Staking claim to your expert status is all about knowledge, and knowledge, in the online world, is all about creating and curating valuable content. Let’s see how you can do that!
Value is not “massive free guides, downloads, lengthy how-to content, and tutorials.” Value is “changing perceptions and mindsets. Value is being the person your audience turns to, to make sense of it all. The person who shows them not just what they could do, but what they should do. [...] Valuable content also adds to the body of literature or content already present in this niche.”
Changing perception and mindsets? Adding to the body of literature in the niche? Considering the fact that there are probably hundreds of high-quality articles on any given topic already, you might think this is practically impossible!
It is not, says Kothand. Although she agrees that “nothing is original” and that “pretty much everything has been done,” she also reminds us that simply differentiating yourself from the others might be enough. “The idea is not to be radically original,” she writes. “The idea is to differentiate yourself.”
According to Kothand, there are three characteristics of content considered valuable universally. She calls them “content levers” and thinks that each one of your articles should be definable along their lines. So, in other words, your article will be valuable if it:
There are four types of articles “that work really well to claim expert status.” They are:
The marketing funnel includes no less and no more than five different types of people. It’s your goal to transform the first type (strangers) into the last one (customers and brand advocates). And here’s how you can do that:
It’s important to note that nothing is more difficult than turning a stranger into a reader or subscriber. So, focus more on that part and don’t rush to the bottom of the funnel.
Kothand defines authority as “the ability to get others to listen to you.” Of course, everybody has the dream of achieving something of that sort, but not everybody is capable. Especially if you’re starting from scratch, this may seem as not merely difficult, but unattainable. However, Kothand believes that you can do it! Once again, you need to go slowly and step by step.
To get featured on authority sites and podcasts (that is, “to borrow authority”), you just need to follow these seven simple steps:
In addition to borrowing authority, you can also build it. A great way to do this is by solving a specific problem in your niche through a challenge. In Kothand’s definition, a challenge is a “short burst of activity tied to a promise or outcome that you’re helping your audience attain.”
One challenge usually runs for 3 to 7 days and consists of daily emails with supplementary material. To prepare it, just follow these seven steps:
In addition to a challenge, you can also try to create interactive content (live coaching, live transformations, quizzes, and assessments), consider using HARO (help a reporter out) or even self-publish your own book. Neither of the three is difficult, and they should all get you a ton of authority points!
“Marketing doesn’t have to be about blowing your own trumpet,” writes Kothand. “There are several subtle ways that you can market yourself and build your credibility as an expert. Because being seen as an expert is as much about your social proof and visibility as it is about the depth of knowledge you have.”
Using the six laws of persuasion analyzed in-depth by Robert Cialdini in his bestseller “Influence,” Kothand has developed an “expert online business” marketing strategy that is both actionable and backed by science:
A sort of a compendium of actionable how-to manuals, “But I’m Not an Expert!” will certainly not make you skilled enough to be an authority in any field, but it will definitely show you thousands of ways to “sell” your competence as that of an expert.
Brief, but useful.
“Even when you write about topics you are passionate about and enjoy,” Kothand writes, “always look to solve problems for your audience.”
Meera Kothand is an email marketing strategist, Amazon bestselling author, and founder of Create Planners. She has been featured on m... (Read more)
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