Not another f*cking expert

Posted on:07. 11. 2013

By Cliff Findlay

You may have come across the same issue as myself; everyone is an expert. Literally everyone. There are hundreds if not thousands of self proclaimed experts who can tell you how to win more business, how to set up a social media campaign or indeed how to groom your dog.

A huge amount of these so called ‘experts’ seem to be focusing on social media as it is the buzz word, however the explosion has happened across and in all industries. Now everyone is an expert, running seminars, webinars offering downloadable books on how to’s and not to’s, buy my DVD set, read my blog, follow me on twitter, blah blah blah.

The world is FULL of experts. So how do you stand out above the noise? And equally, how do you recognise an ‘expert’ from someone who actually knows what they are talking about?

Good content is key. If you write good stuff then people will often pop back in to read what you have to say. However, I’m sure that there are many people with lots to say who never get heard. So good content is only really applicable when you have an audience. Therefore you need to attract an audience in the first place before you can keep them.

Creating headlines that catch people’s attention, saying something that is confrontational, hitting a nerve or resounding with your target market's wants and wishes therefore are key. For instance, my headline could have read ‘how to become and spot an expert’, but how many people would read it? Would you? The moment I make it more confrontational people may read it. So stand up and be counted. Shout from the roof tops, be clever, funny, different but whatever you do don’t create a headline that just moulds into the already mounting pile of ‘stuff’ out there.

An interesting stat that I heard the other day: More information is created and shared every two days now, than all the combined information ever generated up to and including 2003! Mad. So remember, what you are writing takes time and effort. The least you should do is make it attractive so people read it and most importantly, allows you to stand out. You’ll not please all of the people all of the time but then do you want to? If people disagree with what you have said so be it, at least they have read it!

Think about your target market, what issues they have and what might appeal to them. Then create an article and a headline that will attract those people to read it. Simples.

How do you spot and expert from an ex pert?
Linkedin, testimonials, case studies, website. Have they done it before and how many times have they done it before? For instance I am constantly being told by senior executives that there are hundreds of social media gurus, who have never run a social media campaign and yet wish to tell my clients how to do one. Business colleagues tell me that when they look under the person's or company's skin there is nothing there. So do your background checks.

Anyone can write information about a subject that you know nothing about or they can just copy and paste from other people's documents that do know what they're talking about. You’ll never know the difference. If you did then you wouldn’t be reading the documents, you’d be doing it for yourself and writing them! So check their references and speak to their clients, both past and present. This way you’ll get a good idea if they are worth employing and if what they are saying has any credence. At least this way you have some sort of history to work from and will be taking less of a risk. So the million dollar question;

Why should you listen to me?
No idea. Maybe it is my 26 years of working in the advertising and marketing world? Maybe it is because  over 20% of my connections on Linkedin giving me glowing references. Maybe it is because I speak off the cuff,  am straight to the point and want to help? Whatever it is, please feel free to comment, kick me, call me, test me, whatever you would like to do.

Am I an expert? Who knows. Maybe ask my clients.

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