Establishing Yourself as an Expert in Your Field

If you’re a member of my Facebook group, you may have participated in my recent workshop centered around attracting higher-paying clients.

One of the biggest concepts that I wanted to iterate was that you probably already have the skills, experience, and education that you need to attract higher-paying clients, you only need to develop the confidence in yourself to be able to talk to these ideal clients and tell them why they need your services.

One of the best ways that you can develop this confidence is by establishing yourself as an expert in your field. If you see yourself as an expert and your audience sees you as an expert, they will see the value in your work and respect you from the beginning of your working relationship. 

So how do you become an expert?

The most important piece of advice that I can offer here is to offer services that you are passionate and excited about. I can’t even begin to tell you the shift that happens when you find the thing that you’re passionate about.

When you’re passionate about the service that you offer, your audience can tell. They can hear it in your voice, they can read it in your words, they can tell by the quality of your work.

When you’re truly passionate about something, you want to keep learning and growing in it. 

As an example, when I was trying to figure my life out and trying to pivot from a product-based Etsy shop owner to some kind of service provider, one of the stops I made along the way was offering to help people set up a print-on-demand shop. It made sense, because I used a POD service for my own Etsy shop creations (I made the designs and outsourced the production), but I really didn’t care too much about talking about it. I think I wrote two blog posts and then I was just like, “Well, that’s all I have to say about this.”

If I’m being honest with myself, I didn’t really want to find clients, because it just didn’t sound like fun to me.

When I landed on brand design, though, it was like a lightbulb went off. I began to learn everything I could about brand design (and eventually strategy), and then I began sharing the things I had learned with my audience. It wasn’t a burden to learn more; I wanted to do it. I found it interesting and fun to learn about. I’ve been able to find ways to relay the information to my audience in interesting ways, because it’s interesting to me.

Doing client work is also always so much fun for me. I love learning about new design concepts, looking at and developing new color palettes, and learning about typography. It’s fun for me. It’s exciting. It’s satisfying.

My desire to learn more has turned me into an expert in this area. My audience knows that they can come to me with questions and that I’ll be happy to answer them. They know that I can solve their problems. They know that I’m the person who can solve their problems because I know up with enthusiasm and passion. And when I show up and serve them the brand identity design of their dreams, they’re thrilled but not surprised. 😉 

Okay, so now let’s talk about how to position yourself as an expert! In other words, now that I’ve convinced you that you’re an expert, we’re going to work on helping you show others that you’re an expert… because you can’t help people if you keep your expertise to yourself!

Three Steps for Positioning Yourself as an Expert

Show up and give value.

This one can be a little tricky because I’m also a huge proponent of not giving away your services for free. It can be really hard to draw the line, and I can’t say exactly where it needs to be drawn for each individual person. I can, though, give you an example from my own personal brand.

As a brand strategist, I’m all about helping people go beyond surface-level when it comes to understanding their own brand. I teach that it’s important to know the why behind your business, exactly who you can help and exactly what transformation you can offer them, and I might even give general tips based on your industry if you come to me with questions. I’ve been known to give feedback on DIY logos and brand boards. I offer all of this for free, because I want to show what I know and be seen as an expert.

(Wondering where I draw the line? Some things that I do for my paying clients that I won’t do for free include: deep dives into a business, competitor research, building color palettes, etc.) 

Speak up!

What I mean by this is – offer to guest post on a blog with an engaged audience of your ideal clients. Offer yourself to be interviewed on a podcast with someone who shares a similar audience. Go into Facebook groups and offer value to people who are asking questions (see above!).

The more visible you are and the more people who will be exposed to your content, the more likely it is that you’ll be found by the right people who are looking for your service! 

Be consistent.

This one is both the easiest and the hardest thing here! It’s easy because all you have to do is show up consistently. It’s hard because you need to show up consistently. 😉

Consistent isn’t the same as constantly – you don’t need to be showing up on every social media channel and posting in every Facebook group every single day, or writing a blog post 5 days a week… but you do need to be showing up regularly, whatever that means for you.

For me, it looks like spending about 20 minutes in the evening posting in different Facebook groups, posting about 5 times a week to my Instagram feed (and regularly posting on my Stories), sending an email about once a week, and pre-scheduling content to be pushed out in my Facebook group twice a day.

But it’s more than just consistency in the frequency in which I show up, it also has to do with how I show up. My brand voice is strong.

My goal is to educate, empower, and encourage.

My fonts and colors are consistent.

I have a strategy behind my brand, and that’s what helps me show up consistently.

The most important thing that I want you to remember is that you don’t need more training, you don’t need more education, you don’t need to take another course.

You already have what you need to attract your dream clients.