10 Things That Make You An Industry Expert

Sam Tetrault

Sam Tetrault

Content & Copywriter - Follow us on social media to stay in the flow!

Sam Tetrault

Content & Copywriter - Follow us on social media to stay in the flow!
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How long does it take to become a so-called expert? While Malcolm Gladwell was the one who identified the 10,000-hour rule, there’s a lot more that goes into this title. What if we told you there are 10 things that make you a surefire industry expert?

In today’s world, it’s easier than ever to learn a new skill. Whether you’re trying to advance yourself within your space or be taken seriously as a thought leader, digital tools place a wealth of knowledge at your fingertips. That being said, a quick scroll online reveals there are a lot of people claiming to be industry experts and gurus. Is this really possible? Are all of these people making a statement in their industry?

Unfortunately, the same digital tools that make it easy to learn also make it easy to put on the aura of expertise. Expertise is defined as reaching a high level of performance. In other words, this is someone acting on the top of their game. Just putting time into practice and research isn’t enough to become a real, trusted industry expert. You need a deliberate, goal-oriented practice that pushes you outside of your comfort zone. 

Anyone can be an expert, and experts come from anywhere. However, gaining true expertise is far from easy. It takes hard work, dedication, and the right steps. In this guide, we identify the 10 things that make you an industry expert others can trust. 

Your Content Is Top-Notch

First, industry experts don’t keep to themselves. They’re constantly producing high-quality content. This primary source content is built on your own expertise and know-how, though you’re not afraid to rely on the teachings of others when needed. Additionally, this content isn’t random. It’s crafted with the up-to-date needs of your industry in mind. 

Content Graphic for 10 Things That Make You An Industry Expert - SpeakerFlow

Content comes in all shapes, sizes, and formats. While most people think of written content like blog posts, the list doesn’t end here. It also includes:

  • Videos
  • Infographics
  • Downloads
  • Books and publications
  • Podcasts

With 92% of marketers reporting that content is seen as a business asset, it’s not optional. Still, it’s not enough to throw together some thoughts and hit publish. Your content needs to always be high-performing, reflecting true understanding and expertise. This is a situation when quality is better than quantity. 

Over time, your content becomes its own primary source, expanding your circle. High-value content builds trust and your reputation. It’s also an opportunity to sell yourself, your speaking skills, and your consulting services. Every great industry expert knows the importance of top-notch content. If you want to engage your audience, you need to create content that puts them first. 

You Collaborate With Industry Experts

Second, industry experts don’t silo themselves away in isolated towers. They know the value of collaboration. When you work with others in the industry and share ideas, you build on existing industry knowledge. This gives you the opportunity to access a wider audience. When you’re associated with someone trustworthy, people trust you as well. This is what it means to share influence. 

Collaboration Graphic for 10 Things That Make You An Industry Expert - SpeakerFlow

Though many people mistakenly think industry experts like to claim they’re the best, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. In actuality, they’re more likely to say, “Look what we can accomplish together as an industry.” The true experts value togetherness and collaboration. Every time you work with someone outside of your circle, you’re opening yourself to learning something valuable. 

When two professionals bring together different skill sets and strengths, the world becomes a wider place. Who knows how you might be inspired to push yourself further? At the very least, you gain fresh perspectives. Growing your network has never been more essential in today’s digital landscape. Though it sounds simple, you have to be open to collaborating with industry experts if you want to become a top expert yourself. Nobody reaches the summit of success alone. 

You Have A Niche

Next, you have to discover your specific lane of focus. Known as a niche, this is when you identify a segment of a larger market to focus on. When you have a clear segment in mind, you can recognize the unique needs and preferences of this market. As the saying goes, “A jack of all trades is a master of one.” While it might make sense to focus on selling to everyone, your expertise should only focus on your niche. 

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At SpeakerFlow, for example, our focus is expert business owners spinning their wheels. While our content might be useful to people outside this niche, we’re building trust amongst our audience. How do you get started with a niche? The best way is by building an ideal customer profile. This lets you define what audience you serve the best. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What are your passions?
  • What problems can you solve?
  • Is there a market for this niche?
  • What are the demographics of your ideal audience?

Be honest with yourself when answering these questions above. Your niche is at the intersection of your passion and your expertise. You can’t become an expert anywhere if you don’t first define where you want to do so. Focus is key. 

You’re Highly Visible Online

With that in mind, industry experts are easy to find. You never have to spend a lot of time searching for an expert’s social presence, online content, or digital footprint. In short, when people Google you, you want them to find you. The world is a changing place. Your physical impression is only one side of the coin. Your digital presence is in many ways more important, and it can make a difference in your success. 

Visibility Graphic for 10 Things That Make You An Industry Expert - SpeakerFlow

With over 4.57 million people on some type of social media, the world is changing fast. If you’re not easy to find online, most people won’t know you exist at all. This makes it harder to build trust, land partnerships, and earn income long-term.

How can you boost visibility online?

  • Name: Use a clear, consistent name for your website and social media pages. Not only is this a good branding practice, but it helps people find you. 
  • Engage: On social media and beyond, engage with others in your industry. This boosts your reach, making you an active player in your space. 
  • Post consistently: Don’t post once in a blue moon. Create a posting schedule for your blog and social media pages so they always look active and fresh. 
  • SEO: When curating a digital presence, give some thought to Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This means using targeted keywords and optimizing your page for search results. 
  • Share content: Get in the habit of sharing your own content and other content regularly. When you’re open to sharing, others are more likely to return the favor. 

You’re Easy To Reach

Similarly, industry experts are also easy to reach. While this doesn’t mean posting your personal cell number everywhere, you should make it easy to contact you. If people have to jump through hoops just to find your email address, for example, they’ll just move along. It should be as quick and seamless as possible. 

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Not only does this apply to including contact information on your website and social pages, but you should also respond to DMs and messages. If someone takes the time to send you a message, you should treat them like a real human. Though many so-called experts have an air of superiority and ignore these messages, this sends the wrong message. You want to be approachable and trustworthy. 

While you shouldn’t bend over backward to give detailed responses to every single person, get in the habit of responding regularly. When you’re humble enough to answer, even if it’s just a brief “Thank you,” people remember that interaction. Everyone wants to feel heard, and this is a simple way to stand out. 

You Have More Than One Offering

Sixth, industry experts don’t just offer one thing. They know that the business world can be unreliable. They diversify their income and don’t put all their eggs in one basket. In other words, they have more than one offering for customers or clients. 

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For example, industry experts don’t just speak professionally. They also offer a variety of products and services to share their thought leadership as much as possible. This could be through books, online courses, free content (their own and collaboration with others in the industry), workshops, consulting, and so on in addition to speaking events.

If there’s one thing we can learn from the COVID19 pandemic, it’s that you have to stay agile. If you build your entire expertise around a single aspect of your business, you might be creating a fragile house of cards. Instead, consider alternative ways you can serve your audience. Not only does this make it easier to add value to your audience, but it’s an opportunity to grow your network. 

Your Personal Brand Is Up-To-Date

Additionally, industry experts take personal branding seriously. They know branding isn’t an afterthought. Your brand should be professional, but it should also be a reflection of you. The right personal brand is up-to-date with the latest design trends, and it’s also engaging within a specific niche. Your brand communicates a clear message, and it brings your identity to life. 

Personal Brand Graphic for 10 Things That Make You An Industry Expert - SpeakerFlow

What’s included in your personal brand? 

  • The story you’re telling
  • Your logo or business name
  • Color palette
  • Layout and user experience of your website
  • Brand voice
  • Fonts
  • Imagery and visuals

Think of your personal brand as a first impression. It’s a way to get people to remember who you are and why you’re different. In fact, it can even pay off. By presenting your branding consistency, you can increase revenue by up to 23%. With that in mind, if you haven’t updated your branding in the past few years, now is the time. Far more than just the “look” and “feel” of your brand, this impacts the functionality of your entire business. 

Your Marketing Channels Are First Class

Next, if you want to see what sets apart an industry newbie from an expert, take a look at marketing channels. Whether you’re sharing a blog post, newsletter, or email series, industry experts always over-deliver. What do we mean by over-deliver? We mean each post, update, and interaction is value-focused, SEO-optimized, and meaningful. 

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You can’t create content or marketing materials for the sake of it. You need a clear strategy behind each action. When you’re intentional with your marketing channels, your audience takes notice. One great first step is to analyze the competition. From there, discover ways to build relationships and outperform other industry leaders. 

Always work with your audience in mind. They’re your biggest supporters, and each action should be for them. If you want to land more sales and engage your audience, you need the right strategy. This means keeping an open mind to adjustments, feedback, and updates. Your marketing channels are always evolving to meet your audience’s demands and industry changes. 

You’ve Worked With Noteworthy Clients

Furthermore, industry experts have been working in the space long enough to have a list of noteworthy clients. This isn’t something that happens overnight. The definition of “big” or “noteworthy” depends specifically on your industry. Identify top players in your landscape and build these connections, even if you just start small. 

Noteworthy Clients Graphic for 10 Things That Make You An Industry Expert - SpeakerFlow

If you’re creating amazing content and building relationships with other leaders in your industry, you’re on your way to working with noteworthy clients. These achievements are earned, not bought. There are no shortcuts. While all clients are an opportunity to build upon your skills, some carry additional weight. 

When you work with big-name clients, you’re leveraging social proof. This comes in the form of testimonials, reviews, and endorsements from past clients. With a reported 87% of people checking out reviews online before making a decision, don’t underestimate the power of social proof. It truly pays off. 

You’re Not Satisfied With “Just Fine”

Last but not least, industry experts aren’t easily satisfied. They know “just fine” isn’t good enough in today’s world. There’s no such thing as getting too comfortable. No matter your industry, things move fast. People are always looking for the shiniest new thing on the horizon. If you’re not always adapting, changing, and growing, you risk being left behind. 

Satisfaction Graphic for 10 Things That Make You An Industry Expert - SpeakerFlow

If you want to be a well-known industry expert, you need to always create content, share ideas, and practice what you preach. Consumers are savvier than ever before. They can spot ingenue experts, and they don’t have the patience for these games. You have to always lead by example and be open to improving. 

While you don’t have to commit the infamous 10,000 hours to become an industry expert, you do need a plan. This isn’t something that happens by accident. It’s all about leveraging your personal expertise, passion, and audience to build a future-proof career. Becoming a leader improves your income potential, but it’s also an accomplishment to be proud of.

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