You don’t have to know more than anybody else in the world, just more than the reporter and the audience.
6 min read
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It’s vital to position yourself as an expert to the media and in your business so journalists and potential customers will take you seriously. There are many beliefs that stop business owners from saying they’re an expert from “I don’t know enough” to “I haven’t been in business long enough” to “It feels big-headed to say I’m an expert.”
If that’s you, here’s something to think about: the definition of an expert in the Oxford English Dictionary is “A person who is very knowledgeable about or skillful in a particular area.”
That doesn’t mean that you have to be in business for many years, or know everything in your niche, it simply means that you know a lot more than the average person does. If you’re passionately enthusiastic about what you teach you must be very knowledgeable and skillful in your field, regardless of how long you’ve been in business.
Crazy but true: My first media appearance was on a national radio show with six million listeners even though I had no website, no subscriber list and no dog training business, which was the topic I was being interviewed about! I chosen to be interviewed because I dared to call myself an expert even though I didn’t have a business. I knew I had valuable information to share. At the time I had a complementary therapy business but was passionate about dog training after getting two parson terrier puppies. I wanted to transition into a brand-new business and that one interview positioned me as a dog training expert and created numerous opportunities before I had even launched my new business.
Here are 10 ways that say you’re an expert to the media without actually saying the words “I’m an expert.”
1. Your track record.
You’re a problem solver, what you teach solves your target market’s problems and gets great results. It’s good to have statistics if possible such as “I’ve had 10,000 people download my vegan restaurant app which shows them how to find the best vegan restaurants from where they are.” When you’re a problem solver or an inventor of something and have either statistics, testimonials or examples to back it up, then you’re automatically seen as an expert in your field.
2. Write a book.
You’re an author of a published book that’s relevant to the topic you’re pitching or being interviewed about. If you’ve had a bestselling book or you were number one on Amazon for six weeks, then this is very credible information to pass on to the media. It will automatically position you as an expert in your field.
3. Just keep getting interviewed.
You’ve done other media interviews. There’s nothing more reassuring to a journalist than when they see that you’ve been interviewed before and that you’re ‘media savvy’. The best way to present your media experiences is to create a media page on your website or a standalone press kit. Include a link to direct journalists to your past interviews when pitching a story idea. It’s a great way of impressing journalists by presenting yourself as a leading authority in your niche.
4. Highlight your qualifications.
You’ve got qualifications related to the topic the media are looking to feature. Journalists may not always know the credibility of the qualifications that you have, but having qualifications in your field automatically positions you as an expert in your field.
5. Judge competitions.
You’ve been a judge in a competition or show that’s relevant to the topic you’re pitching or being interviewed about. Being a judge automatically says that your opinion matters and that you’re able to critique and give constructive feedback. When you’ve been a judge in your industry, it screams “expert” to the media and to your potential clients.
6. Awards you’ve received.
You’ve been nominated for, or received, an industry award. You don’t necessarily have to win, the fact that you’re nominated says that you’re a leading authority in your niche. Local newspapers in particular love to run stories about people in their area doing good. A quick call to your local newspaper telling them about the award could easily result in a feature.
Another way that says you’re an expert is if you’ve been endorsed by a well-known person or company. If you have a great testimonial from a big player in your field, or even from another industry, it’s great for credibility (make sure you get their permission first before linking your name to them). The same is true for sponsorship. If you’re sponsored by a well-known company or brand remember to include this in the “about me” section of your pitch.
8. Business success
Do you have a seven-figure business? Simply by having one or more million or multi-million-dollar companies positions you as an expert to the media (regardless of how long you’ve been in business) and would be very attractive to the right journalist.
9. You’ve had a breakthrough in your business.
Let’s say your sales have substantially increased every week for the last 30 weeks, this indicates you’ve found a successful formula. Naturally you’ll need statistics or some proof to back it up, but this type of data automatically positions you as an expert in your field. It also says that you’re knowledgeable, creative and someone who has great information to share with other people.
10. You have tangible experience in your field.
Let’s say you’re a mother or father with six children and you’re pitching a story about parenting. Simply having six children will say that you’re a qualified expert to talk on this topic.
So, now it’s your turn! Be proud, be confident and claim the expert slot in your niche. If you don’t believe that you’re an expert or a leading authority in your field, then no one else is going to believe it either. So, go for it!