Making Money as an Industry Expert

BY: ON TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2011

Putting yourself out there as an expert in your industry can easily produce more exposure and demand for your business, helping you to ultimately earn more money. By sharing what you know to the rest of the world, you can position yourself as an authority in your business niche. In order to create an “information empire,” you need to get really good at something. The Donald Trumps and Bill Gates of the world did not become successful simply by being in the right place at the right time – they found something to get excited about and became an expert in their chosen interests.

Chances are, you are already an expert at something others may willingly pay you money to teach them. If you want to put the money where your passions are, consider these pointers for making a living as an industry expert

Create your brand identity according to your specific area of expertise

As soon as possible in your entrepreneurial career, pin point what you are highly knowledgeable in. This will become the starting point for building your personal brand. Develop one consistent “message” that you want others to know about you as it relates to this knowledge. Take this brand and run with it, wherever you happen to go. From personal networking groups and live speaking events to your website and social media profiles, make sure you are conveying one concrete message to the world. By doing this, you will establish yourself as an expert and stick out in peoples’ minds.

Educate yourself and become a life-long learner

The most important part of being an expert is to stay abreast of new developments and knowledge as it pertains to your interests. Continue to stay on top of new technologies, upcoming events and discussions of topics that relate to your area of expertise. Read industry journals, online articles and studies on a continual basis so you can be the first to talk about this information with your followers. By doing so, you will have fresh material from which to build more powerful presentations.

Focus on your specific area of expertise to establish yourself as an expert

While there may be others in your industry who are experts, you can easily dominate your industry as the go-to person in a critical area of this industry. That’s what launched Lloyd Princeton’s career as the premier expert in the interior design and architecture industry. Despite this market being a highly competitive area in which to become a leader, Princeton decided to focus in on the marketing and management aspects of the business. He founded iMatchDesigners to connect high-level design projects with the most appropriate creative talent. Princeton offers this advice to budding experts: “Specialize in your field and don’t try to be a generalist. I think that the biggest mistake people make when starting out is doing a little bit of everything.” Princeton further adds that, “Specialists (think doctors) make gobs of money because they have studied something specific and become authorities through experience.” In Princeton’s case, he has become so specialized that he now commands a hefty hourly rate for his unique expert services as a business manager to interior designers and architects!

Connect with other experts in your industry

A great way to further bolster your status as an expert is to interact with others who are experts. By associating with others who are at the expert status, you automatically elevate yourself as someone knowledgeable in your industry. Additionally, by networking with other experts you will find opportunities to collaborate on upcoming events such as webinars, information products, classes and speaking tours. This can be a very effective way for putting yourself in the right company with others who share your passion and drive for what you do. This kind of association will also help you to form bonds with others who will most likely promote you to their networks, further expanding your circle of influence.

Learn to be an effective speaker in your field

One of the hallmarks of a true expert is being able to communicate clearly to others about your ideas. By developing strong verbal communication skills in front of groups of people, you can spread your message to a wide audience. This will further establish you as a “guru” in your chosen industry and may lead to some fairly lucrative speaking engagements. Remember to start out small as you gain confidence, and then start actively seeking opportunities to speak to larger groups of people who will be interested in what you have to say.

Document your ideas in writing

In order to become the premier expert in your field, the next step to earning a living is to transfer the information in your head to published works. That is what has helped distinguish Bonnie Buol Ruszczyk, founder of BBR Marketing, a company that specializes in marketing for professional services firms and professionals, from others in the financial and accounting field. Ruszczyk advises, “The more narrow your niche, the easier it is for you to reach your intended audience and convert them to clients. It's also easier for you to really dig in and serve your chosen industry, and make a name for yourself.” In addition to being the president of the Atlanta Chapter of the Association for Accounting Marketing, Ruszczyk is an active contributor to industry press including “Accounting Today” and was recently nominated for the 2011 “Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting”. By sharing her experience in a written format, Ruszczyk has become a true thought-leader in her market, earning more clients and opportunities as a direct result.

Educate and influence others in your field of expertise

The best gift any expert can give to his or her followers is to enlighten their minds with honest information. Education can be a powerful tool for increasing your status as a guru and passing information onto others. There are many ways to do this today, from eBooks and Internet classes, to webinars and videos. Choose the method(s) that best work for your particular area of expertise, and learn to listen to what people are asking for. It’s easy to make a decent living just by putting together a comprehensive educational program, which is distributed to paying students.

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If you want to earn more money as an expert, it’s very possible in today’s information-driven society. The real task is up to you to decide what you are most passionate about and go after it in a big way. Focus on what you are best at, do your homework and find your place among the gurus of the world!

About the Author

Tess Taylor

Tess C. Taylor is a Web Copy Writer and Business Consultant from Charleston, South Carolina. In addition to being a 15 year veteran in Human Resources, Tess has had over 2,000 articles published on various small business, online marketing, green lifestyle, entrepreneurial and career topics around the globe.

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