An expert is a very skilful person or someone who has knowledge representing some form of mastery in their given field. Often, experts are called specialists or professionals on a career or work basis due to their high level of knowledge in their area of expertise.
How does one become an expert? What are the steps from novice to expert? There are several ways that we can position ourselves as experts. But let us have a look at three major stepping stones:

1. Finding a skill: Whether you are a photographer, painter, chef or digital marketing specialist; what sets you apart from others is your identified skill. What can you do more than anything else in the world?
It is not always an easy task to find what you know how to do so try any of the following:
– Ask family/ friends what they think you know how to do well.
– If someone were to pay you for something, what would that thing be?
– What skill/ talent/ ability do you have teachable knowledge on? In other words, what are you so good at that you can help someone else in that field.
For a photographer, your skill may seem obvious. But don’t stop at the generic level, niche down to the photo category that works best for you and helps you stand out.
Remember that to be an expert is to be a specialist, and to be a specialist is to have that one thing that you do excellently well and have teachable knowledge on.

2. Building a skill: Now that you have your one thing, it’s time to improve it. There are various means to develop your knowledge. For photographers, building your skill ranges from taking courses to participating in competitions and then, practice practice practice.
Other skill-building techniques include:
– Acquiring the right certifications
– Seeking feedback and improving yourself
– Reading extensively
– Seeking out new methods, recipes, applications, strategies, etc.
– Finding a mentor or a pro to guide you
– Getting creative
– Endless practice
The most important key to building your skill is learning to pass your knowledge on by teaching. Once a student can successfully gain another student, they then become a master.

3. Marketing a skill: Two important strategies to becoming an expert are building authority and authenticity.
Authority is the persuasive power that one has due to their level of experience and expertise in a given field. It is the confidence that people give you knowing that you do what you do in the best way possible.
Authenticity shows that you are unique and you stay true to your cause.
It is on these two bedrocks that we must market our skills. By showing authority, we prove to people that we know what we are doing and we have been tried and proven. By showing authenticity, our customers can trust and rely on us knowing that we provide a unique experience every time and use our unique selling point to deliver what others cannot.

Making an expert is a process that never stops because we never stop learning. As new technologies and strategies emerge, we must continue to evolve to ensure that we do not get outdated or out of touch with the world.
Remember that to be an expert does not only involve proving that you are an expert but being one. Practise your skill, never stop learning, always ask for feedback and stick to your one thing.

Do you feel like an expert already?
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Thank you for reading.