We are in a world where the people that earn the big money, who occupy the top 1% of their careers are usually not just those who are good at what they do but those are good at what they do and are known for being good at it.
We have seen this time and again, in every industry. A situation where a few individuals are so visible they are considered the stars of the industry. The media quote them; they get selected to deliver keynote speeches at events; they are interviewed by TV talk show hosts; publishing houses sign them up to write books; they sit on panels and are invited to become members of boards of highly reputable organisations.
You may have expert knowledge of your field but you will not enjoy the extra-ordinary career benefits that come with expert status if you are not widely recognized as an expert. And there is basically just one way by which you could become widely recognized for your expertise: make your expertise visible.
Without making your expertise visible, you will be ignored and some other guy who is probably not as knowledgeable as you are in your field but has made the bit they know visible will attract more clients and command more authority and respect than you.
When you make your expertise visible, you become well known as someone who is an authority, a thought leader in your field. As a result, the following happens:
Your Company’s Profile is Raised. – There is a phenomenon known as ‘halo effect’. It’s a situation in which an individual possesses one visible trait which leads to their other traits being viewed in positive light. This phenomenon plays out very strongly when it comes to the positive impact that professionals with a visible expertise have on their company. When consumers view a professional as a high-level expert, they unconsciously extend the positive view to the expert’s company. As a result, the company’s credibility and brand awareness is significantly raised.
Your Presence in Your Company Helps it to Attract More high-Profile Clients – As more and more people become aware of your expertise, more and more of them will seek you and your company out to be their service provider when they have a problem in your area of expertise. Even if you do not end up handling their case or attending to them directly, they are likely to be happy to be assigned to some other professional at your company. Such clients tend to have the attitude that every other person at your company is probably as great an expert as you. And if you run your own company, you will corner a chunk of the market because people will seek you out specifically.
You Become More Valued By Your Bosses/Board – This seems obvious. As you grow in stature and lift your company along with you, it’s only natural that you will rise in value with your bosses or board as the case may be.
You Get Promoted Faster – who should be promoted faster if not the guy whose profile lifts the company, enhances its reputation, attracts clients and facilitates partnerships?
The Media Seeks You Out – Whether they need quotes for articles they write or whether they want expert opinion on their shows, journalist and TV talk show hosts will seek you out when it comes to matters that have to do with your field.
You Are Invited to Sit on Boards – When board selection committees and executive search firms look for candidates to select for board positions; they pick those who have come to their attention as experts in their field. By making your expertise visible, you get noticed and may be selected for a board position.
You Are Invited to Participate on Panels on TV and at Events – Whether it is a talk show host or a conference or a workshop organising committee looking to constitute a panel of experts to discuss a topic, the people they usually turn to are those who are well-known as experts in the field.
You Get Invitations to Speak at Events and Deliver Keynote Speeches – If people are going to spend their time listening to someone speak on a topic, they will prefer to listen to someone whom they consider to be an expert on the subject. Organizing committee members know this that is why they usually select people with a high profile to deliver speeches and keynote addresses at events. By making your expertise visible, you get onto the radar of such selection committees.
You are Able to Charge Premium Fee for Your Service – Establishing yourself as the expert, a go-to guy in your field will mean that you will have the latitude to charge significantly more than the average rate for your industry – and people will pay.
You Earn Significantly More Than the Average Professional In Your Industry – Perhaps the most intriguing effect of being a visible expert is that you earn way beyond what the average practitioner in your industry earns. To start with, by charging a premium fee for your services, you rake in more money. Beyond that, you earn income from your other engagements, such as being compensated for delivering a keynote speech at a conference or a lecture at a workshop or for serving on a board.
All these further amplify your status as an expert, an authority in your field, bringing you more opportunities and opening more doors.
NB: This is the first part of this article. The second part will dwell on: How to Make Your Expertise in Your Field Visible and Enjoy Extra-Ordinary Professional Benefits. It will be published here in a few days.