You Don’t Have to Be the Expert

Information powers the Internet. Every day hundreds of millions of people are looking for answers: how to make more money; how to kick a ball further; how to break into acting; how to find love; how to raise a child; how to change the chassis on a Land Rover Defender…

Lots of people have problems they need help solving. You could provide them with the information they need.

Expertise comes in several forms

  • In hospitals there are consultants – experts who have never picked up a scalpel – who will advise surgeons on how best to perform an operation because they know huge amounts about a particular procedure or new developments in a particular field;
  • Sports coaches rarely have the skill of their charges yet are integral to success because they are experts in producing a certain result;
  • Many bestsellers (e.g. Think and Grow Rich, 70m+ copies sold) are the result of authors not being experts in a topic but being great researchers and interviewers, collating and presenting useful information skilfully.

Realise that expertise comes in several forms – all valuable, all saleable:

  • Personal expertise (i.e. you personally have the know-how);
  • Researched expertise (i.e. you are not the expert but you have collated valuable knowledge from various sources);
  • Results expertise (i.e. you solved a problem yourself, e.g. “How I lost 3 stone in 90 days”)
  • Journey expertise (i.e. you are embarking on a project and you share your lessons with your audience, e.g. “From ass-kicked to kick-ass: my journey from wimp to mixed martial artist in 365 days”)
  • Teaching expertise (i.e. you have a gift for passing knowledge onto others).

Takeaway points

  1. People pay for knowledge, experience, coaching, support and –  ultimately – results. They are forgiving of who delivers the advice, as long as it works.
  2. You don’t have to be the expert.
  3. People who are not experts are already making money in this industry by playing the role of researcher – going out there, gathering useful information, talking to experts and packaging the solution for others.

Action steps

  1. Write down one for each of the following:
    – something you know a lot about or a result you achieved (either in your personal or professional life);
    – something that interests you, e.g. a hobby; a sport you like watching; or something you love to talk about;
    – something you know little about but would like to learn more.
  2. Beside each subject you’ve identified, identify the type of expertise you will bring to the table – personal, researched, results, journey or teaching.
  3. Identify just one problem in each subject area that you could solve.

Photo credit: Rupa Panda via Foter.com / CC BY

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