Pick a niche. Become an expert. Build credibility.
This is some of the main advice you will get when you start learning about how to start a successful online business.
It’s not necessarily bad advice*. Just a little…vague.
(*Except for multipotentialites. If you’re a multipotentialite trying to pick a niche can drive you crazy. Go to Puttylike.com instead and read Emilie’s articles about finding an overarching theme and smooshing your interests.)
When you’re just starting out, it’s not at all clear how to get to expert status. You know a little but not nearly enough to be considered an expert. How do you get from here to there? How do you “become an expert”?
It’s actually pretty simple.
Note: “Simple” does not mean easy. It also does not mean fast. Becoming an expert is a process. It takes time and it takes work. This isn’t something you can achieve in a week or two.
Here’s how you do it.
First of all, you need to love your subject/niche/field. Becoming an expert requires a lot of learning. If you aren’t eager to learn about the thing(s) you want to be an expert on, you probably won’t be willing to put in the time and effort it takes to reach that level.
Tip: When you come across a subject where the more you learn, the more fascinated you are, that’s probably a great area for you to try to become an expert in.
Another Tip: Be willing to surprise yourself. I am very much a creative, art loving, right brained type of person. I never expected to become so fascinated by business and marketing.
Once you’ve found a subject you love, start learning as much as you can!
Read blogs, books, and magazines. Watch videos. Take courses and buy products. Dive in and soak up the information like a sponge. Do what you can to find and learn from the current experts.
You have to at least understand the basics of your subject before you move on to the next step.
Tip: Learning as much as you can about everything you’re interested in will help you figure out what you really love learning about. Some things you’ll get bored with once you’ve learned the basics. Others you’ll find more and more fascinating the more you learn.
When you’ve got the basics down pretty well, you can move on to the next step in becoming an expert: Start teaching people.
“But I don’t know enough!” you say. “I’m not an expert yet, I’m just a beginner. I can’t teach people!”
Yes you can.
You may not be an expert yet, but how did you learn what you do know? From other people, right?
Someone wrote those articles, posts, and books that you read. Someone created the videos you watched, the courses you took, and the products you bought.
You don’t have to know everything to teach someone, you just have to know more than they do. TWEET THIS
Remember, we ALL start as beginners. Even the top world-famous experts started out knowing absolutely nothing about their subjects before they started learning about them. If you know the basics, you can teach the basics while you learn the more advanced bits.
Which brings us to the last step, keep learning! (This is why you need to love the subject/niche/field you want to be an expert in.)
Most subjects will always have more to learn. There will be details and nuances that you can only understand after learning enough of the basics. History that would have been boring without knowing what you know now. Techniques and tips that wouldn’t have made sense when you were a beginner.
If you stop learning once you think you’ve become an expert, especially in the online world, you risk stagnating, becoming dated and out of touch. And if that happens, you’ll no longer be seen as an expert.
That doesn’t mean you have to learn absolutely everything about a subject. Just make sure what you know, and more importantly what you teach, is up to date.
So, to recap, the steps to becoming an expert are:
- Find a subject you love.
- Learn as much as you can about it.
- Start teaching people.
- Keep learning.
It’s simple, but not easy. It takes time and effort. And you absolutely can accomplish it if you put in enough time and enough effort.
What are you going to become an expert at? What are you already an expert at? Are you teaching people yet? Let me know in the comments!
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