Branding as an expert is about creating a public perception that you are an expert. This perception can set you apart from the competition since people trust experts and they love to do business with them. However, personal branding is not about shameless advertising. It’s about excelling and making the best out of your true passion or ambition. So being a real expert is as important as creating the perception. I’ve written before about the reasons why you should care about personal branding.
You can brand yourself as an expert in 5 steps. The time you will need to implement these steps will vary depending on what you are now and how dedicated you are. While it could take just days for some, it could also take months/ years for others. The steps are given below:
Step 1. CONCEIVE an Idea
“An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less.”
The first step is to form an idea about the niche area in which you want to be an expert. It’s always a great idea to choose a field which you are truly passionate about. Most successful people are the ones who are emotionally and personally involved in their work. Unless you are passionate, you won’t have the energy to overcome the obstacles and thrive as an expert. If you are confused about what field to choose, try reading ‘5 Steps to Discover Your Passion‘.
What is most important in this step is that your brand should be focused. Branding yourself as a ‘Business Communication Expert’ is better and easier than branding as a ‘Soft Skills Expert’.
Step 2. CREATE a Plan
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
In this step you create a detailed description of your brand. Visualize your life as a super expert and include whatever you see in the description. You need to describe every single aspect that defines your brand. For example:
- What’s his skill set?
- What’s his level of expertise?
- How he interacts with people?
- What he eats/drinks/wears/drives?
For inspiration, you can observe how your successful role models are doing it.
Step 3. COMMUNICATE like an Expert
“For the person who perceives, perception itself is the reality”
As mentioned before, branding is about creating a perception. Whether you communicate verbally in person, through email or through social media, communicate like an expert. It doesn’t matter whether you are really an expert or not. Just fake till you make it. Create a professional online identity so that you stand out from the rest. Some tips to communicate like an expert are given below:
- Communicate confidently. Never doubt your knowledge /skill.
- Speak like human. Use technical jargon only when needed.
- Give your own opinions on topics.
- Accept when others are right and learn from them.
- Tell stories to make your points.
- Help people and soon they’ll see you as an expert.
Step 4. CONNECT with the Future Plan
“Planning without action is futile, action without planning is fatal”
This is the most difficult step. This is where you bridge the gap between the actual ‘You’ and the ‘Brand You’. Learn the skills and reach the level of expertise that your brand requires. As per 10,000 hours principle, you can achieve mastery in anything with 10,000 hours of practice. I’m not sure whether this is right but continuous practice in a chosen niche will definitely perfect your skills over time.
The gaps in other brand attributes are relatively easy to fill provided you have enough money and time with you.
Step 5. CONTROL your Brand
“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.”
The brand attributes you have defined may not hold well in long term. To control your brand, keep an eye on the latest developments in your field and adjust your brand attributes accordingly. You will need to learn new skills, adapt to new technology and communicate differently as the world changes.
The steps mentioned above are not very difficult to implement. However, since 95% of the people do not care about personal branding, you will have a huge advantage if you do it.
Share your own ideas if you have any.