Ever met an expert that you thought was an expert, only to find out you knew more than he or she did? Or better yet, that he or she does not even study the subject matter relevant to the field? Well, unfortunately, I have and from that point on, decided I did not want to be a non-expert, expert. When and if I claim expertise, I rather hold truth to the matter and be the expert I say I am.
To ensure ongoing learning, I gave myself a list of things to do and things to pay attention to, to ensure I am truly growing in my field, and better yet, am the expert I say I am.
1. Become a Master of Research
No, you do not have to go back to college and get a Degree in Master of Research, but you do want to embrace the disciplines of such. The foundation of learning goes hand-in-hand with research and study. Professional researchers gather information, find facts, and become trusted sources for advice on given topics and subjects.
2. Incorporate Tools You Can Use
Employ search engines like (Google.com, Yahoo.com, and Bing.com) for online research. Use tools like Google Keyword Tool (adwords.google.com) for finding the most popular or in demand keywords or keyword phrases for your niche or topic of preference. Use of the right keywords and keywords phrases are vital to the life of a niche, especially if you are looking to be found by the search engines and ranked well for maximum exposure. Be an early adopter of Google Alerts (google.com/alerts). Know what’s going on in your field and the industry as a whole. Google alerts is a quick way to find out what the latest and greatest topics are on Google’s radar.
3. Learn and Speak the Lingo
Every writer is unique in their own style, their own approach, and their own voice and Yes, you should be. However, in all of our uniqueness, we also want to remember when communicating, that we are speaking the language our audience will understand; be it literally, by jargon, slang or other. We want the audience of focus to connect and understand clearly. For example, sharing tips on social networks is a great way to communicate and interact with audiences. However, if I were to post the latest news on (Encephalopathy) instead of the latest tips on (Mulch) and my audience is a group of professional Garders looking for advice on landscaping, would they understand the intention of my communication? How many would even take the time to try and find out? Even if my intention were to make some underlying point, I would have to be immediate and clear about my intention or risk losing audience. It does not take much for misunderstanding or for some to go astray because they just don’t have time to figure out the underlying meaning. Therefore. be clear in your message, be concise to your point, and speak the lingo of your audience.
4. Get to Know Your Audience
Be open to communicate with your audience. Learn who they are and what their interests entail. Never be afraid to ask questions. Ask for feedback, encourage them to contact you. These are the only ways you will truly learn what questions they have, what suggestions they would like to offer, or what concerns are lurking about. Engage with your audience and you will have a better chance of understanding the needs of your audience and can target your communications and expertise around them.
5. Who’s the Key Players
I recommend when doing your research, find out who the key players are in your industry and niche. See and learn what it is they are doing and also what things you can learn from them. False pride benefits no one and adds no value to your learning. If you see there are things you need to know and can learn, be willing to allow mentors into your space.
Do not allow false pride hold you back from growth potential. There is no shame in admitting when we have things to learn. Some even say, the best leaders are the best learners and those that stop learning, typically stop growing and ultimately leadership crumbles.
There is also a saying I keep in mind often, “a city is not built in a day” nor “is it built by one person” -author unknown.
Bottom-line is — seek help, ask questions, be of good service and replicate the same.
Crystal Watts is a web publisher and writer for websites24seven.com – expertise and passion includes web technology, marketing, and media.