The popularity of online courses has exploded over the past few years. And, while the popularity and prevalence were expected, the COVID pandemic made our learning virtual in ways we couldn’t even begin to imagine.
Which makes it hard to stand out in the course creation world.
So, to help you out, I’m sharing 4 ways that you can establish yourself as an expert. Plus, these are things that you can start doing in just a few minutes a day to get known, liked, and trusted by the exact people who need your course.
The 4 things you should do include:
- Tell people about your expertise
- Take advantage of educational opportunities that you encounter
- Find ways to attract the people who need you as an expert
- Build symbiotic relationships with niche-adjacent business owners
Establish yourself as an expert by telling people what you do
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen this—a comment on social media catches my attention and I go to the person’s profile. And I see either no description of what they do or a phrase like “business owner” or “girl boss” or something equally vague.
It drives me crazy.
Seriously. When you have a unique set of skills that can help a specific set of people, you need to make that known to people.
Share specifics on social media. Discuss it with people who need your expertise in thoughtful and helpful ways. Talk about it at dinner parties (when it’s relevant, of course).
You’ve got skills and expertise, so don’t keep it a secret!
Here are 2 ways that you can implement this approach today:
- Go into your social media profiles right now and, at the very least, list what you do. And be specific—don’t just put that you’re a business owner, say what the service you offer or what niche your expertise is in.
- Come up with your elevator pitch that highlights your expertise, tells who you work with, and encourages them to want to learn more.
Make the most of teaching opportunities
It’s one thing to tell people you’re good at something, but showing them you’re expertise takes it to a whole other level. For most online course creators, you’ll run into people either online or in-person who you can help.
A great way to establish yourself as an expert is to find small opportunities to teach these individuals. If someone asks you a question, give them a helpful answer. Taking a little time to explain something to someone is a powerful way to demonstrate your expertise AND make a connection with your target audience.
My absolute favorite place to find these small teaching opportunities is on social media. In most business Facebook groups, people will post questions they have. When I see questions where I can help, I post an answer. My goal is to have the longest, most helpful answer. (See Brian Dean Skyscraper Technique).
Does it take a little extra time? Yes.
Does it work to grow my visibility as an expert? Absolutely.
Does every person I help become a client? Nope.
And I’m ok with that.
Because I was able to help the person who asked the question, and they now see me as somebody who knows her stuff.
Plus, if you use this technique, all the other people who see your comment could learn from you, as well. You’ve now given your expertise to a group of people, not just one!
You can start doing this right now by choosing one place on social media where your ideal audience spends time and often goes to look for answers. Set a timer for 5-10 minutes per day to go in the group and answer questions. You’re not going in to specifically promote your business, but to find opportunities to add value and serve.
And, of course, since you’ve already told people what you do in your profile, you’re advertising without saying a word.
Attract the right people to establish yourself as an expert
You can tell people all about your expertise and teach a lot of people a lot of things, but if you aren’t attracting the right people, it won’t do much good. You want to make sure you’re able to attract those that need your expertise and your course to address their challenge.
My favorite way to attract the right people is with a quiz.
You can appeal to your target audience with the topic or theme of your quiz. Your word choice and images are an excellent way to attract the right people. You can even call them out them out in the description on your cover page!
And the result pages are especially powerful in building your visibility with your audience.
They show you understand the issue that people in your audience struggle with. Plus, you give them a path that they can take to solve their problem and the resources they need to move down the path.
As you’ve now caught the attention of those people that need your expertise, one thing to remember is that you want to be strategic in how your help them.
In your quiz results and the follow-up email sequences, you want to educate them to the point that they want to buy your product or course or coaching. You don’t want to give all of the same education, or they won’t have any reason to buy from you.
I heard from someone way smarter than me that you the goal of a lead magnet is to help your subscribers solve one, small issue in a short period of time. But you only share enough to be helpful and then lead to them taking the next step. You might tell them why your method works and what they need to do, but not your unique method.
Once you effectively establish yourself as an expert, they’ll be ready to buy from you to get your method for handling their challenge.
If you don’t have a lead magnet that attracts the right people, I recommend starting a list of the challenges your target audience faces. Once you find a challenge that your expertise can address and think about how you can quickly help them address one part of that issue and then strategically lead them to your product or service that they need.
I’ve seen people who create successful lead magnets with checklists, graphics, ebooks, workbooks or worksheets, videos, templates, challenges, webinars, and pretty much any other thing you could think of using as one.
Build symbiotic relatiohships with others who work in complementary fields
That’s a long way of saying develop relationships with other business owners that benefit both of you. (Can you tell that I taught elementary science?)
If you write website copy, you might develop a relationship with a web designer who has a Facebook group. Facebook group owners often want guest speakers that can share their wisdom. You could do a Live and talk about 5 pages that every business website should have, then highlight your.
Your designer friend was able to provide value to their audience, you were able to establish yourself as an expert in front of a group of people who are interested in website copy, and you were able to explain (pitch) the services you offer without seeming pushy.
To get started with these mutually-beneficial relationships, make a list of people in your network who might be interested. Think about ways you could work together and then talk to them about it.
And now I have a final word of caution.
My final word
When you’re working to establish yourself as an expert, you want to do so in a way that doesn’t come across as too pushy or inauthentic.
No matter whether you’re telling people what you do or sharing your educational expertise, don’t make it about you. It’s more effective if your expertise fits naturally into the flow of the conversation.
As a matter of principle, I never include a sales pitch in my first comment or discussion with my target audience. It might make me a bad salesperson, but it has helped me develop great relationships with other people without driving turning people off by being too pushy.
That’s it! Let me know which of these 4 ways that you plan to establish yourself as an expert today.