4 ways to convince your audience that you’re an expert

Published: 14 November 2018 By Harvard Business Review

4 ways to convince your audience that you’re an expert

When you’re just starting out in a field, it may be hard to persuade others to listen to your ideas, even if they’re groundbreaking and valuable

 

Creating original content is the single most effective way to develop an expert reputation.

Creating original content is the single most effective way to develop an expert reputation.

 

If you have a PhD in a subject, or you’ve worked in an industry for 20 years, or are considered an expert because you write for a certain publication, you have an increased ability to influence others. But how do you get people to listen to you if you don’t have those credentials?

When you’re just starting out in a field, it may be hard to persuade others to listen to your ideas, even if they’re groundbreaking and valuable.

Here are four strategies to help you overcome that perceived lack of expertise and ensure that you can make an impact.

1. Borrow others’ expertise

If you’re a thoughtful curator of the best ideas in your field, even if you’re not developing them yourself, others will start turning to you for guidance.

2. Find commonality with your audience

Forming relationships with like-minded people establishes trust because you have similar backgrounds or experiences. This technique makes them far more receptive to hearing from you.

3. Be strategic about how and where you’re applying your persuasion techniques

Try “powermapping” – identify who the relevant decision maker is on an issue, who she listens to for advice and how close you are to those advisers. The goal is to create an “echo chamber” effect, in which, even if you can’t reach the target audience directly, you can ensure that they will hear about your position favorably from a variety of sources.

4. Start creating an expert reputation as soon as possible

Creating original content is the single most effective way to develop an expert reputation. Though the best channel will vary (photographers and chefs should double down on Instagram, while it’s less helpful for attorneys and insurance brokers), blogging is a good bet for most professionals. Because reporters looking for comment almost always start their articles with an online search, if your name keeps coming up as someone writing about the issues, they’re likely to contact you, reinforcing your expert reputation with third-party validation.

In association with Harvard Business Review

 

Previously published in The Irish Times.

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