You already are a Subject Matter Expert (SME).
Believe it or not, you already have enough knowledge to add value to the lives of others.
What we will talk about, in the next lines, will prove to you that the two things you need to do to start adding more value are:
- Pay attention to your context and the needs of those around you
- Be courageous enough to share
First, you will need to listen. But listen with your eyes too, and with your heart, not only with your ears. Then, you will have to be vulnerable. You will need the courage to take the first step and share, and by doing so you will develop the confidence to continue doing it.
You can change the world, and the way you can do it is by changing one life at a time.
If you are reading this you are already on the path of value, because it means that you are curious and searching for knowledge. Most Americans don’t even read 1 book per year. This means that if you read a couple of books a year, on a specific topic, you are an SME to all of them that haven’t read those books.
Then, you can take it a step beyond and actually take action. By using that knowledge that you got from the books to get some results, you’ve shown you have a process that you can share with others that want the same results. The key is to track and document that process.
Throw in a couple of TED Talks, some conferences or events, and there will probably be a few that will know more than you about the topic. Again, the key is to put that knowledge into actions. Nobody cares about what you know; people care about how you can help them achieve a result or solve a problem that they have.
The reach of your expertise is correlated to the number of people you have helped with it. Keep track of that process and document it with testimonials or case studies. That is all you need to become an SME.
“Do or do not, there is no Try”
Yoda, as usual, was right. You just have to do it.
The biggest obstacle that we face, to become SMEs, is ourselves.
The problem is that we all think that we have to be the very best to consider ourselves experts at something. This is because if you want to become and expert, and you have been taking steps to achieve it, most probably you are an A-Player.
You are always looking up, reading the top books on the topics you want to build expertise. You look up to the influencers in your area.
This is where you have to stop and look down. Pause for a second. Remember that 25% of Americans don’t even read a book each year. That means that you can easily be an expert when compared to at least 75 million people.
Do you still think you are not at SME?
Please allow me to share a personal story that will not only give you actionable information but may help you decide to take action and start adding value to the life of others.
The important point is not what I did, is the result that I was able to help others achieve.
Getting Things Done
Not so long ago I only had around 200 contacts on LinkedIn and my most endorsed skills where English, Spanish, Microsoft Word, and PowerPoint.
Don’t get me wrong, those are good skills to have, but those aren’t the ones that are core to my personal brand.
After reading many books on the topic of LinkedIn, such as LinkedIn Riche$ by John Nemo, and also reading other recruiting, job-search, and copywriting books, I know have been able to build an All-Star LinkedIn profile.
Yet, I know not everyone will care about this. The most important part is not that I now have over 1200 contacts, or that I have many endorsements and several recommendations.
It is not important that I have been contacted by 3rd parties on the platform because they’ve found me thanks to the strength of my profile or because they found one of my articles on LinkedIn Pulse.
The most important aspect is that I have also helped others accomplish it.
Recently at the SURE Incubator, where we Stimulate Urban Renewal through Entrepreneurship, we did a session on LinkedIn.
Not only did we received great feedback from the entrepreneurs after the session, but we also helped them get to All-Star level on LinkedIn.
Go Above and Beyond
Are you searching for a job? Or maybe you want more leads for your business? If so, LinkedIn can be a great tool for you.
BizLatte has put together an excellent resource so that you can be an All-Star on LinkedIn. It is a simple step-by-step guide that will show you everything you need to do to improve your presence on the platform.
You can check the guide here: I want to be a LinkedIn All-Star!
See you at the All-Star lounge!