Do you walk the walk? Although it is possible to write about a subject based solely on research, if you want to present yourself as an expert you should not only talk the talk, you should walk the walk. That means knowing your subject through personal experience.
I got an email from a self-professed guru the other day, offering yet another money-making program. Although much of what he writes is good in that it provides useful information, it does not have a soul. What I mean by that is that his stuff is written as if he went to the library and looked up how to do these things. None of it is based on his experience, and it lacks the little insider touches that can make how-to information so valuable.
When you market yourself as an expert, prove that you know your stuff:
Show your credentials. Tell them why you are qualified. That might be through formal training, but it should also include real-life experience.
Tell your story. How did you acquire your expertise? What “war stories” do you have about learning what you know? Have you worked with leaders in your industry? Do you have clients we would all know?
Admit your mistakes. It may be counter-intuitive, but admitting to mistakes can make you a more credible expert. Anyone who has learned a subject has made mistakes along the way. Own up to your mistakes and tell what you learned from them. Let them see that you are human.
Share the details. Go beyond the broad overview to share some of the insider secrets that only an expert would know.
Don’t hold back. Tell them everything you know. As you do, you will learn even more.
Interact. Fake gurus do not want to interact with their “followers” because they risk being exposed. Answer questions and respond to the comments of people in your audience.
Be positive. Be successful by building yourself up, not by tearing down your perceived competition. You are unique and there is no one who offers exactly what you can.
Demonstrate you have more than book knowledge in your subject and people will look to you as an authority. Ultimately, being a credible expert is about being real. Being a real person and sharing real knowledge.