Dan Keller covers a great article What Makes Someone An Expert At Blogging. It is funny because this is something that a lot of people will hear covered at social media related conventions. Now, it is not always focused toward being an expert in blogging, but also being an expert in your niche.
In 2009, there was a whole big uproar on Twitter with people running around saying they were a ‘guru’ or ‘expert’ in one thing or another. It was actually happening in such frequency that it was becoming quite annoying and apparent that some kind of definition had to be set.
However, there in lies the problem – how can you define something that is subjective to a person’s views? Where you might think someone is an expert, another might not.
While is might be a good idea to broadcast yourself as an expert, it might seem a bit arrogant to others who might not agree. You can have thousands of followers and subscribers, but are you really influencing them?
That is what an expert does – they influence people. Micah Baldwin once wrote in an article at Mashable called HOW TO: Measure Online Influence:
Influence is defined as “implicit or explicit effect of one thing (or person) on another,” which online can be further simplified to “can someone’s words (and/or video) make you think or do something?” While this certainly can be negative (think of Jim Jones or David Koresh), let’s focus on the positive.
It becomes easier to understand influence when it’s broken down into its core components: Brand, Expertise and Trust. While there is much debate around online branding, it is clear that personal branding is important to online influence.
Are people taking your advice to heart and exercising it on their websites and out in the world? So, as I have been hearing… even if you have influenced 1 person, you are an expert. You can smile and know you made a difference. However, it is nothing to brag about. If you have a blog, obviously you are trying to share what you write with other people. As you influence more people, you are building yourself as an expert in your niche. Chris Brogan is a prime example of an expert. People are taking his advice and using it. They are also crediting him for his efforts. I even have been influenced by him.
So what can you do? Connect and engage in conversation with people. It really is that simple. That is how your small mom and pop local store do it. They build a relationship with their customers. When they do, their customers avoid those big flashy stores, even if they are a few cents cheaper.
To you, what makes a person an expert?