I remember when I got my first referral in my first business. I felt like I had made it as a business owner. Someone trusted ME by telling someone else about ME. Unprompted and Unscripted.
The referral? “Hey, Joan! Meet Bob! You said you needed help with your computer, and I think Bob does that sort of stuff”
Of course, years later I realized it wasn’t as impactful as I thought it was at the time. People liked me, but they had NO idea what I did!
In the work that I do, I feel SO blessed to come across so many people with amazing knowledge to share. And they do it passionately and unconditionally. Then over time, they get tired. Not so much about giving to people. But tired of watching other people with LESS knowledge excel past them in the visibility.
Because, like me back in my first business … no one really knows what they’re an expert in. And before investing in branding, and ads, and networking groups … I learned that there are three core reasons for why this happens.
1- You’re Afraid of What People will say/write About You
I know. You’re thinking .. “Bob! I’m not afraid to share what I know!”
Are you sure? Ask yourself … are you sharing what you know with the intent of getting it in front of as many people as you can? Or, are you sharing what you know in a comment here or there, because it’s safe?
It takes a lot of courage and vulnerability to put yourself out there and stand behind your expertise. You take the risk of people disagreeing with you. Or challenging you. Or just leaving a mean ass comment that makes you feel belittled. That can be debilitating.
First … know that those are NOT credible people replying to you. In fact, they are likely NOT people your knowledge can help. I classify these people as Alfred does in “The Dark Knight” when we write “some people just want to watch the world burn”
The courage comes into play when you can ignore those “haters” and continue to share your expertise and help impact those who can benefit from it. And you will see visibility increase exponentially when you share it with passion.
And as you share more, remember to BE POLARIZING about the subject. Don’t please everyone. Don’t be bland. Stand behind what your knowledge is saying.
2- You don’t REALLY Appreciate the Value of Your own Knowledge
When you have something that is innate in you, it becomes so natural to you that it doesn’t feel extraordinary in any way. Think about swimming. Maybe you learned on your own, but there are others who PAY people to teach them. What about cooking? Maybe you learned from time in the kitchen with your Nona but there are others who have a fridge full of takeout leftovers.
When it feels that natural to us, we struggle to assign it value. And what makes that worse is .. when we LOVE what we do, we feel guilty in assigning value.
Here’s the thing. You can’t feed the hungry on an empty stomach. If you want to truly help and serve and have the impact you desire you need a system that will allow you to do that. And that system requires funding. It’s just how our economy works.
When you don’t need to worry about the money you can focus on those you help. And when you assign a value on your knowledge it helps filter out “Askholes” which is the kryptonite for any Expert!
3- You Talk WAAAAY too much!
Can I tell you that sometimes when I ask someone for their experience, they love to talk and talk and talk and talk and talk over and over and over and over and over because they feel so excited that someone wants to know more and they have so much to share and they just want to share and all they can do is share as if they’ve had 10 cups of coffee inside an hour, but with extra sugar because they are so excited ….
The truth is, I know deep down you don’t actively listen because you feel insecure about the knowledge you share. See point 1.
The idea that we share what we know makes us feel like we have to validate that our knowledge has worth, so we try and share EVERYTHING we know in one sitting.
And THAT my friends is overwhelming. So when someone leaves a conversation like that, they will NEVER remember anything from it.
Take a step back. Really listen to the question being asked. And provide a direct answer OR ask for more information to allow you to draw a direct answer. Your expertise contains the most impact when it’s provided in a format that your ideal audience member can absorb.
IN A NUTSHELL
To make the most of your experience and knowledge, you have to take the following steps NOW:
- Stop fearing opinions of people who don’t matter. Ignore them.
- Stop underestimating the value of your own skills and expertise. Embrace it.
- Stop talking too much about your competence. Show it.
And that’s it. Make these three shifts in how you dish out knowledge today and gain an IMMEDIATE increase in your visibility.
Wanna know more or chat about this topic. Join me Tuesday evening at 8: 30 pm (Eastern Time Zone) on my Facebook Page as I talk LIVE about this subject!