Establishing yourself as an industry expert has just as much to do with how you perceive yourself as it does how others perceive you! Becoming an expert is a process of not only building trust and credibility with potential clients but also about building confidence so you genuinely feel like an expert.
The great thing is that these qualities build on one another – the more tangible steps you take to share your expertise and build trust with your potential clients, the more your confidence and belief in yourself will grow, and vice versa! As you begin to see yourself as an expert, your clients will sense your confidence and through that positive energy begin to trust you more.
So, how do you work towards establishing yourself as an expert in your field, especially if you are just starting to build your practice? Here are a few actionable strategies to get you started:
As we mentioned, seeing yourself as an expert is just as important as others seeing you as one. To begin growing a sense of confidence in your expertise, start by looking within. It can be helpful to do some journaling to gain awareness around any self-esteem, fear of rejection, imposter syndrome, or confidence challenges you may be experiencing. The simple act of bringing these things to light and acknowledging them will begin to release them. Here are a few journal prompts to get you started:
Where and when do you feel the most confident in your business and the least confident?
Write down the statement “I am an expert at X (insert your niche or specialty)”. Notice how that feels. Do you feel any resistance to this statement? What emotions, thoughts or memories does this bring up for you?
When you think about putting yourself out there as an expert, do you notice any fear around what other people might think or say about you? Try on the affirmations “I am safe to share my expertise with the world” and “I give myself permission to put myself out there.”
Be Intentional With Your Pricing
Pricing services can be challenging for many health and wellness professionals, especially when first starting out. You may be unsure of how much to charge, and also feel uncomfortable asking for what you are worth. While it’s normal to feel this way, it’s important to become comfortable with your pricing as this is an essential part of establishing yourself as an expert.
When there is a healthy and fair financial exchange between you and your clients, they will value your services and see you as an expert. As well, this will allow you to serve your client without feeling drained and mitigate any risk of resentment that can come with undercharging. All of this adds up to create mutual respect between you and your client, which is an essential component to building your credibility as an expert.
Another component to intentionally pricing your services is the ability to create a sustainable and scalable business. When your price point is in alignment, you’ll be able to grow your practice which will also help grow your confidence in yourself – an important piece of feeling like an expert.
Show Off Client Testimonials
At some point in your journey, you’ve been given positive feedback. Maybe it was through a direct conversation with a client, a response you received from a feedback form, or a compliment from a colleague or mentor.
Casual or formal, make these compliments work hard for you by sharing the testimonial so other people can see it: on your website, Practice Better bio page, social media, email newsletter, or wherever you are marketing your business and talking about what it’s like to work with you.
Testimonials are a powerful form of social proof that verify your expertise! There’s no better way to look like an expert than having other people vouch for you. As well, the act of collecting and sharing these testimonials in itself will help build your confidence and belief in yourself, allowing you to embody the role of “expert” even further.
Share Your Expertise With the World
Sharing your expertise with your community and followers (who aren’t necessarily paid clients yet) is a great way to build credibility as an expert. It will not only give clients a taste of the value you can offer, but the act of sharing your expertise over and over will also build your confidence.
So where should you start and what should you share? Start with your ideal client’s biggest pain point. Then think about what they are searching for at their desks or when they can’t sleep at night. Maybe there are some common questions that you are asked regularly, or perhaps a few simple recommendations you share with most people. Consider what topics inspire you and your audience, and what will feel engaging for your audience to consume.
We recommend considering a variety of content mediums and platforms such as:
- Social media (read more below!)
- Blog posts
- Email newsletter
- Podcast or podcast guest
Be Active on Social Media
A great place to start engaging with potential clients and asserting yourself as the expert is social media (think Facebook, Instagram, YouTube). Give yourself about 15-30 minutes a day to post something meaningful to each platform, including new content and engaging with your community.
Post about what you know and what you specialize in. Look to provide value in your interactions, educating the client, giving them tangible takeaways, and sharing what you offer. Think about your content from the lens of “Why would my potential clients care about this post?” and “How am I helping solve their biggest pain point?” Get creative and let your personality shine through. Don’t overthink each post, but try to provide value in everything you’re sharing.
Another important thing to remember is that you can’t just post into the void and expect results. Social media is social. After posting, take a few extra minutes to engage with anyone who likes, comments, or shares your post. Engagement and consistency are key when building a loyal following – and the more your name pops up, the more people will recognize you as an expert.
To establish yourself as an expert, you have to first trust and believe in yourself. It’s important to remember that no one feels like an expert all the time and that will build as you become more comfortable with your area of expertise.
Your current and prospective clients won’t know what you know until you tell them. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and share some of that knowledge in order to become an industry expert.
The act of sharing your expertise over and over again will both help you build your confidence, and will allow your community and followers to start building a sense of trust with you and see you as a true expert.
Practice Better is the complete practice management platform for nutritionists, dietitians, and wellness professionals. Streamline your practice and begin your 14-day free trial today.