What matters more: Becoming an Expert or an Authority? | PR Strategies


expert-authority-online-blog What’s your single biggest question about how to become a subject matter expert? – my 1700th update on twitter.com

Thanks to everyone who sent in a question, I came up with this post with strategies on how to become known as the go-to person in your niche.

In doing some research I found this subject matter expert definition on the iSixSigma site:  The Subject Matter Expert is that individual who exhibits the highest level of expertise in performing a specialized job, task, or skill within the organization.

I’m wondering if SME or subject matter expert is a term that’s most often recognized in the corporate world. Are people looking for experts, authorities, professionals?

Expert Definition – having a high degree of a specialized skill

Authority Definition – having a degree of power

Professional Definition – pursuing a profession at a high level

Let’s strip out the title search for now and focus on how to clarify your niche, build your expertise and gain authority using guidance from other leading thinkers online.

1. First, Clarify Your Niche

Ask yourself these questions . . .

Who do you like to work with?

What are you good at?

When do people, organizations or companies need your expertise?

Where do you want to work?

How do you want to make a difference?

2. Then, Build Your Expertise

Stuck getting started? Why beginners have an edge on experienced experts from Willie Crawford 

It’s not about how much you practice, it’s about how you practice from Kathy Sierra on Creating Passionate Users: How to Be an Expert

Develop expertise through deliberate practice from Philip Brewer on Wisebread

Why become an expert? experts can charge more from Matthew Moran on IT Toolbox

3. Gain Authority with Attention

Authority comes from attention by Monica O’Brien on Twenty Set

Become a subject matter expert with social media by Bryan for The Monster Blog

How to become an authority in your niche: content strategies by Dosh Dosh

Tips for finding your authority: check your thoughts, speak with authority, study other authorities by Ryan Imel for Copyblogger

102 tips on how to publish an authority site from insidecrm

20 ways to quickly become a subject matter expert on LinkedIn by Barbara Rozgonyi [me!] for Wired PR Works

Your Turn

What do you – or your community call you? Are you an expert, an authority? Which term do you prefer? Why?

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About Barbara Rozgonyi

Barbara Rozgonyi publishes WiredPRWorks.com and directs CoryWest Media, an integrated social media marketing and PR firm. As Social Media Club (SMC) Chicago’s founder, Barbara is a recognized spokesperson for brands, bloggers and the social media marketing PR industry. Barbara invites you to join the Wired PR Works community on Facebook or to contact her regarding interviews, partner promotions or speaking engagements at 630.207.7530.

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