Self Proclaimed Expert

It’s always helpful to know an expert.

Regardless of their field or area of expertise, it’s comforting to know that you can trust what they say.

People enjoy being introduced to experts. “Hey Pete, Nancy mentioned that your garbage disposal isn’t working. My buddy Dave can help you. He’s a plumbing expert.” Pete’s going to feel pretty good about putting his trust in this guy Dave, right? But it’s much harder to trust someone who just calls himself an expert. “Got a problem? I can help. I’m an expert!” It’s kind of off-putting. No one really wants to be around a person like that. “Hey everyone, I just want you to know that I’m an expert, so if you need anything...you know, I’m an expert, so…” You wouldn’t trust that this person is an expert would you? You’d probably think he’s overcompensating for something. Either that, or he’s an egomaniac.

So it’s perplexing that, while it’s easy to see that this is a bad way for someone to present himself, it’s exactly the way that some brands try to market themselves. “Attention, internet! We’re experts! Buy from us!”

As a business owner, you might be thinking, “Isn’t that essentially what marketing is? Shouldn’t I present my business as a group of experts?” You’d be right to think that, but successfully marketing your brand takes more finesse. It’s true that you need to market yourself as an expert because, if you didn’t, your audience wouldn’t see any value in your brand.

However, there’s a fine line between showing expertise and displaying unbridled egotism.

A Little Humility Goes a Long Way

Maybe you really are an expert. Maybe there is no one on the planet who knows more about your industry than you and your employees. That doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from some humility. It’s important to remember that you are marketing to actual people. If your only claim to fame is your knowledge and expertise, then people probably won’t find you very interesting or feel compelled to purchase your product or use your service.

You can add personality and humanity to your marketing efforts by highlighting not only what your business is doing, but also what others in your field are doing. By acknowledging the success of those outside of your brand, you show your audience that you have more to offer than self-promotion.

The best way to convey expertise is to display confidence. A confident person isn’t threatened by the successes of others, nor is he arrogant about his own. He’s simply honest, and that is the approach your brand should take to marketing. While it’s important to share your successes, you shouldn’t be afraid to share your missteps as well. Know that your brand’s audience is intelligent, and give them the benefit of your honesty.

The goal of your marketing plan may be to exert expertise, but you can only do that by earning credibility - and credibility cannot be earned without honesty.

If your small business isn’t seeing the engagement you’d like from your social media marketing efforts, or you’re struggling to find your place among competitors, take a look at your marketing strategy.

Does your brand sound like someone who can’t stop talking about himself, or does it resemble a well rounded, confident person who you’d like to be around? If it’s the former, then it’s time to rethink your strategy.

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