Wait a minute. What if you’re not an expert?
Many of us are talented in various ways, and very good at doing some things, but we’re not experts.
We toss around the word “expert” a little too easily. I call other people “experts” and I’ve been called an expert, but I don’t call myself one.
I don’t think there are nearly as many true experts as people who claim to be, or who are labeled as such.
Yet so-called personal branding “experts” often tell us that in order to truly brand ourselves, we’ve got to brand ourselves as experts at something.
I Googled the phrase “brand yourself as an expert” — in quotes so I’d only get results on that specific phrase — and came up with more than 350,000 results. That’s a lot of people handing out misguided advice.
So if you’re NOT an expert at anything, does that mean you can’t brand yourself? Well of course not.
Branding is about defining the value you offer the people you’re trying to influence. And it comes from differentiating what you have to offer over others offering similar value.
In job search, you need to identify and target employers who are a good mutual fit . . . those who need your unique combination of qualifications, skills and personal traits.
You may not be an expert at any one thing, but you’re probably really, really good at doing a few things that will help your target employers meet their current challenges.
Branding is also about being authentic. Don’t put yourself out there as an expert if you’re not one. Tell it like it is.
photo by Walt Stoneburner