(The image above is of a good friend Laurie Guest of SolutionsAreBrewing.com . She is a prime example of an expert not only in status/appearances but also in knowledge)
Do you know what makes you an expert? It is not a college degree. It is not years of study. It is not a deep understanding of a complex topic.
The primary thing that makes you an expert is that you stood in front of another group of people and shared your opinion on how something should be done.
In any conference audience, the expert is the person standing that is only 10 feet from the person sitting. They both may have equal intelligence and wisdom. But as soon as you stand on any platform you are assumed to be a thought-leader on a topic. (Sidebar: You will eventually have to back up your mouth with your brain, but that comes later).
This is why (in the virtual world) it is so important to blog/podcast/write books/make videos. That is you standing up on the stage in the virtual world. I talk to a lot of smart people that want to go into public speaking. But they are not producing any material for people to read. They are waiting for the perfect speaking situation and THEN they will become an expert in their field. Screw that. Start typing. Turn on the camera. Get in front of any audience ASAP. The moment you make your voice heard, you will have instant authority. And what is frustrating is that sometimes the people on the stage are wrong. I’ve seen other speakers in my field present a topic and the information is 100% inaccurate (Not on opinions. On facts. Like “they sky is blue” kind of stuff) . It doesn’t matter. They are standing and I am sitting. They are the expert in the room.
My point: Start typing. Start producing content. Start finding ways to spread what you know. Every blog post starts with one reader. Every video online starts with one view. Every podcaster starts with one listener. And every email list starts with one subscriber. The people who consistently produce content are the experts.