Welcome to the age of search engine and social media where anyone with a smartphone and internet connection can google up some information, share it with others and tomorrow calls himself an “expert”.
A guy who has managed to get 1,000 Twitter followers and 3,000 Facebook friends by sheer chance now parades himself as a “social media expert”.
Because you have managed to garner 84 likes and 55 comments on a Facebook post, then that automatically qualifies you to be a social media guru.
A guy who just joined Fiverr like yesterday starts calling himself a “Fiverr Lord” because he has made few thousands of dollars.
After all, the thought of being an expert sounds really cool. Isn’t it?
You seem to know everything about something without having to prove anything.
Unfortunately, the word “expert” is thrown around carelessly that people are confused who is indeed the “real expert”.
Since, being called an expert is more a less a cliche now, customers have lost their trust and confidence in the word.
So that means when someone you want to hire start advertising himself as an expert you begin to question his sincerity.
“Is he saying this just to get my money”?
And of course, since some marketers understand the psychology behind the use of the word “expert”, they throw it carelessly on their sales page and ad copy.
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There’s a problem with parading yourself as an expert.
The moment you start calling yourself an expert, you place a lid on your personal, business and career growth.
It’s a way of yelling to the world,
“I have arrived”
“I know it all”
“You don’t understand, I know what I’m saying”
“I am done…I have read a million books on marketing”
And guess what that does to you?
It brings you to a point where nobody’s opinion matters.
It also brings you to a point where you’re unteachable.
Calling yourself an expert brings you to that point where you become stubborn and adamant.
Whenever a friend invites you to a seminar or conference, you ask your proud self, “what new thing will those old men teach again that I don’t know”?
“Never become so much of an expert that you stop gaining expertise. View life as a continuous learning experience.” – Denis Waitley
Remi Owadokun of The Total Makeover Program once said, “be careful of “see finish” syndrome”
Nothing stunts a person’s growth more than this “disease”
You become a stagnant water that produces nothing but a foul smell.
When you refuse to learn knew things but decide to console your ignorance with the “expert” status, you become a noisy cymbal that produces nothing but noise.
“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. ”― Alvin Toffler
If you rely on what you learned 5 years and still call yourself an expert then you’re really backward in thinking.
When you call yourself an expert, you place this huge wall between you and your potential customer.
You make them feel like they are down here and you’re up there – high and mighty.
People do not care how much you know (or of an expert you are) until they know how much you care.
But when you start blowing your trumpet people begin to question your authenticity.
People only care about your result.
What can you do?
What is in it for me?
How can you help me?
Telling a customer that you’re a social media strategist does not help them in anyway unless they can see how that affects their businesses or lives positively.
When you parade yourself as an expert you’re unconsciously closing your ears to the opinions of others.
And when customers feel that you know too much, and that you don’t appreciate their opinion or contribution, they turn away from you.
Rather than claim to be experts, let’s strive to become experts.
That way, you’re teachable and approachable.
You give yourself the room to grow and become better.
You are never satisfied with what you know, you want to know more.
You want to connect with people who are ahead of you in your field.
You know that it is a journey and you enjoy the ride.
People can easily forgive your mistake because they know that just like them you’re in the journey of learning.
Instead of going about blowing your trumpet, leave it to your fans and clients.
Let them decide how much of an expert you are.
And this would only happen when you consistently provide result over time.
It would only happen when you keep showing up to serve value to your community.
Don’t parade yourself as an expert.
Give yourself the permission to fail, make mistakes, learn, relearn and unlearn.
See yourself as a life long learner, always seeking new ideas, always trying new strategies and always learning.
No matter how many years you’ve spent in your field, there is always room to learn more.
And that’s what is awesome about not being a self-acclaimed expert.
You’re always open to increasing your knowledge, sharing ideas, embracing new strategies and in the process truly helping your clients overcome their challenges.
Does calling yourself an expert help you attract clients or help you build credibility? Share your thoughts below!