Positioning Yourself as an Expert (when battling with imposter syndrome)

By Jennifer Hall | Podcast

Dec 11

When you want to position yourself as an expert but you don’t completely ‘feel‘ like one, it can be a tough endeavour. Especially since you’re aware that it’s critical to your success in becoming a market leader or even just being seen as credible.

In this episode we cover:-

  • The mindset shift that allows you to be a confident expert despite the imposter syndrome. 
  • The strategic shift that will not only position you as a credible market leader but will also see your marketing become a highly effective conversion tool.
  • The three things that will WOW your market to believe in you as an expert.

Links mentioned in the episode-

Email – jen@jen-hall.com

Book a Call with Jen – bit.ly/claritycallpodcast

Join Jen’s Facebook Group – Unrivalled Experts

Read Full Transcript

Please note this transcript is machine generated so it is not perfect and should be used for reference only, you will get the best from the podcast by listening to it in it's designed format.

00:00 This week on the Expert Unrivalled Podcast, we are talking about how to position yourself as a credible expert even when you're struggling with impostor syndrome. I can't wait to get stuck in

00:19 Hi there, Jen here, your business positioning coach and market leadership expert. I'm really excited to dig into this episode because it can be really hard when you know your stuff, but there's still those elements of doubt that creep in, that prevent you from really showing up as the true expert that you really are. And as always, if after listening to this episode you want help with positioning yourself as a credible market leader in your fields and you'd like to talk about how we can make that happen to become the number one choice in your markets, just book a call at bit dot Lee. That's bit.ly/Claritycallpodcast. So there's a few things that I want to mention around the word expert. It's a very triggering word and it can really affect us because we put it on this pedestal where we think it's this thing that is almost unreachable.

01:19 Now, the first thing that I want to say on the matter is that yes, actually you would be correct. It is an unreachable target to be a true, true expert. This is my belief because at the end of the day we have to make this mindset shift around becoming an expert. You will never know everything about every situation. You will never be a true expert from the point of view that everything is constantly changing. Things aren't static. Things evolve. They change. And so what you previously knew is almost not irrelevant, but it has to adapt and change with it. So it's important to realize that you will never know everything about your subject matter. So if it helps to kind of let yourself off the hook for at least the moment, then it's going to help you to move forward. Realizing that really what you're striving for is unachievable.

02:20 But you can be an expert in comparison to your ideal client, to the person that you are trying to help. Because if we look at the people that you're trying to help, you are an expert in comparison to them, particularly if you have walked in their footsteps. If you have walked beyond where they are and have achieved what they want to achieve, then you definitely are an expert. If you have worked with somebody in the past to help them achieve particular results and you have done this a few times, you now have a proven process that you know works. You are an expert because you have taken someone through a repetitive process. I would potentially even say that the latter part of what I said around even if you haven't walked in their shoes that you are, you are showing someone through because there is an argument that just because you have, you know, gotten through a particular process that just because you've been through it, taking someone else through, it's a very different story.

03:31 And I absolutely agree with that. Doesn't mean you can't. Absolutely, not saying that people who have experienced that you know, their challenge and they made the comment that they can't help other people do it. You absolutely can. But it is a different set of skills and tools that you also need as well as the experience that you've been through to help other people through it. So the real test and the real Mark of success for me is the fact that you can take people through that process. So the people who I'm talking to you on this particular episode is not the people who are starting right at the beginning of their journey, who perhaps have just experienced it for themselves. Yes, you are qualified to now help someone else through that. But I don't think in all honesty that you can cast yourself as an expert at that stage because in order to help other people through it, you would need to prove it in order to be charging the amount of money that you want to charge for it.

04:30 You would need to have proven that you've got people through that to charge and position yourself at that level. So it's about recognizing where you are and understanding that. But I also think that there are a lot of people out there who for instance, let me give you an example. I spoke to guy about two, three weeks ago and he kept saying, well, if anybody in the game, six months, I've even been doing this six months and actually what it was, he's only been doing it for six months in his current guise, in the current position that he was in. But actually he's been doing it for at least 20 years in various other positions. And that's the thing we have to recognize is actually all we truly seeing the full extent of our talent. Are we truly seeing the full extent of all expertise.

05:24 I know a lot of people who come out of the corporate environment and are set up as a business and they keep saying that they're new now they're new to business. They're not new to their skill or their talent. And so he's recognizing how long have you truly been doing what you do, taking into account your entire history. So you have to take a long an honest view of it. Are you discounting your history or on actually do you need to start taking stock of how far you've come or are you truly new? The subject matter. And if that's the case, then if it's the case that you do need to prove yourself to help other people in order to see that what you've been through, how you've done it can actually help and serve other people. Then start that because it's only by beginning that you will ever truly become an expert.

06:20 Okay? So it's important that you understand where you are on your journey or are you one of these people who are completely discounting the journey and actually you should be taking stock of what you've been doing. And don't be disheartened if you're listening to this thinking, well no actually I am that person or I'm new to my subject matter. That's totally fine. Everyone has to start somewhere. But where you need to start is beginning to help other people. And you've got to do that, but it's about charging for that help appropriately not charging as a seasoned expert that has X amount of years of experience. It's looking at, okay, well I'm starting new and I do need to prove myself. I recognize that, so let's try this out. Let's get some clients under my belts at an appropriate charge. In all transparency, letting them know that it's a new program.

07:14 You're not new to necessarily that the skill because you've done it yourself and you want to help other people do the same thing. Okay, who wants to work with me? Who wants to try this out? And getting those testimonials and those case studies under your belt that will prove to others and yourself that you have something that you can stop truly, really charging its worth. So it's recognizing where you are in your journey. It's recognizing that no matter how far you are on your journey, you will never know everything. And it's really interesting the journey of becoming an expert. When you first start out in something, you get really excited. You perhaps start reading a book and it opens up your mind and you read this fantastic book and you get inspired by what's in it and you start thinking, wow, okay, I can really help other people implement this, this, this information.

08:05 Because when I look back at my life, I've done this and I've done this and I can now start helping people. Now the problem with that is that that book is a contained amount of information written by somebody who is trying to extract all of their thought processes, their knowledge, their facade philosophies on into one concise document. And so you'll never fully experience a full picture through doing that. But a lot of people, get inspired and they're off on their first journey . They are full of confidence. They're ready to go, they're ready to show the world how they can help them with the new knowledge. And then they hit this wall when they realize, okay, wow, I, I've started journey, but now I'm actually recognizing that I don't know everything, but I also don't know enough. And people can go one of two ways.

09:06 They can either give up on doing what they feel truly inspired to do or they can recognize where they're at on their journey and they can actually take a turn and go, okay, I may not know it all. So let's start to find out more about this, that open up that can of worms and that recognizes that now, so many people stay here, they stay at this level for years and they carry this feeling of, Oh my gosh, I don't know it all. I don't have enough information with them. Even though time and experience has taken them through a process, we're now actually they do know a lot more than they did. Still recognizing that they won't know ever know everything, but they certainly know enough to help a particular person. Which brings me on to my next strategy because I think mindset is really important to to get your head around and to realize the fact that you won't know everything, but in terms of actually creating a solid strategy that will really help to not only position you as an expert, but also really help you feel comfortable in your zone.

10:21 And it's about setting boundaries. It's about understanding your remit about where you're able to help and and where your expertise start and finish. Because a lot of people can get a lot of ego onto their belts and they're like, Oh, I know I know a lot about everything. Some people can go the other way where they're not battling with imposter syndrome, but actually they've got a lot of a lot of knowledge that they think, Oh, well I work for everyone and this is the thing as we know it, not everything works for everyone. Sometimes we have to recognize that yes, it worked for you. And yes, it works for this specific type of person in this specific situation. But start taking those people outside of that circle and everything starts to become a little bit more vague and they've not ticked all the correct boxes.

11:14 And so will it still work? And quite a lot of the time the answer's no, no, it won't. No, it won't work because you are an expert in helping someone very specific. And this is the strategy that I want you to start adopting. Now this strategy again will not only help you feel confident, wand will not only position you as a credible expert, but it's going to make your marketing super, super effective and clear like a laser. And that is specializing and niching. Okay? So when we talk about niching, it can be, it can be confusing to a lot of people because they think a niche is just like picking an industry. While I work in this industry, that's my niche. But what I want you to think about it, in this day and age, we need to start thinking about micro niches because the market's so saturated.

12:03 We start, you need to start thinking about, okay, how can I micro-niche and by micro-nicheING we can start to become a true expert very, very quickly because you start putting remits and boundaries in place. We can start to understand, okay fine, I know that I need to hone in all of my learning and development into this specific area because trying to learn a subject on a very broad level can take you a very, very long time. But when you start looking at a specific person, and this is what I, how I want you to think of micro niching or what you think of micro niching as looking at an individual who has a specific problem, a specific goal. When you do that, you will find that they won't be on their own. There will be other people out there like them, but you have to start with one person.

13:02 Then we have to look at, okay, who else shares this same problem and find the common threads between these different people who may vary in some respects, but there will be definite tick boxes to say, okay, this person is in this specific situation, they suffer from this particular problem and they want this particular end goal. And if you can start labeling these people in context. So let's say for instance as an easy example, they could be a male diabetic who is overweight, whose problem is that they want to lose weight because it's having an adverse effect on their health and the goal is to lose weight. Okay. You know that these people are, there are more than one of them. There will be more than one of them, out there, but they have those common threads. And you know that actually if you plough all of your focus into the learning development around that specific person.

14:07 And it might be that you arrive at this because your history is the fact that maybe you, you were a diabetic or that you had a family member that was diabetic who was overweight or there's some kind of experience because at the end of the day, I'm talking about this very technically and this is for another episode. Absolutely. But we also want it to be in alignment with, with something we're very passionate about. So we need to make sure that the person we're picking to specialize in helping is somebody that we're very passionate about helping and finding that why behind the reason why you're looking to help that particular person. But by getting very specific, you can start putting boundaries around, okay, well if they're not diabetic, then that's not who I knew. I might be able to help them. But, can I truly, and so it's about putting those boundaries around it and going, okay, so find the person I specifically help in my, all of my my coaching or my training or my consultancy or the my programs or whatever service it is you put together for this particular person of a spoke to, to somebody with diabetes who is overweight.

15:09 Who has those extra extra problems that you need to take into account. So not only is that going to help you feel well, way more confident because you started to really specialize in going, I'm going to make sure I find everything out about this and really focus in on and honing my experiences and my skills and my knowledge around this area. You can start to really own those expertise. So that's point number one. Point number two, the people who you serve are going to be grateful because they know that they're dealing with a specialist. And my biggest tip for you, if you're really struggling with the word expert, is to position yourself as a specialist because by specializing over time, you will inevitably become the expert because you are constantly refreshing your knowledge and learning development in this area. So yes, as things change, you will never know everything, but you will do your utmost to keep up in this area.

16:06 And do you know that, that it's totally feasible to do that because you could hone in those expertise. Again, you know, you're not necessarily a scholar. You are a talented business though, with something to share with the world. So you've got to know your boundaries. You have to know your remit of where you can fully and truly become that expert. You can't be an expert in everything. So specializing is the best way to become the true expert at at the point in which is possible, not that unreachable, unreachable, Oh, I know everything. Expert a tree racks, but will understand that they can't know everything because of the different factors and variables and a true expert knows where their boundaries are. So really understanding and specializing in helping those specific people is going to help you. It's going to help them because they are going to be wow.

17:01 Okay. In a lineup of people who help people lose weight, I'm going to want to pick the person who specializes with my specific problem. I didn't want to go anywhere else because they know my situation. They know how to deal with the extra problems that I have being a diabetics at. Therefore you're the obvious choice for me and that carries through into your marketing. If you're clever about it, you can take all of this into your content or how you position yourself on how you put yourself out there on your profiles to say, this is what I specialize in. You become known in your market as the go to person for that specific thing and it massively helps to bring in new leads for you to get referred because unless you become known for something specific, it's very hard for people to refer you, but when someone goes, Oh, do you know what?

17:54 I know just the person. This specializes in exactly that. Let me addition out food. It's so and so they will be able to help you because they've helped X amount of people in the past and your exact same situation. Get through that or achieve that and you will become known in your circles, in your industry for that thing. And that really helps to propel those leads to propel your positioning and to help to build that confidence in other people as well because they need to believe in you. And I'm going to come to talking about that. The three things that are going to help you to position you as a credible expert for other people to make their market go. Wow. But I just want to pause and just to give what I've just said, as much credit as it deserves because it is something that is so simple to do, but yet so many people fail to do so.

18:52 Do you recognize it? You will never know everything but start specializing . Pick a particular individual and you will absolutely help yourself, both in your mindset and your market in terms of helping them believe in you as a credible expert as well, and positioning yourself in that way. Now the three things that are going to wow your market and help them believe in you as a market leader, as an expert, as the GoTo business for helping people just like them. So obviously the first step is specializing, but then the next things that you can do is something that everybody talks about, but not everybody does. Yes, it's becoming more prevalent, but you'll be surprised how many people have it in the pipeline but never actually ended up finishing it or they never actually end up doing it properly. And that is writing a book and writing a book with the pure goal of positioning yourself as a market leader, as an expert in your field.

19:58 So as I said before, specializing is very important to get right first of all, before you attempt this step. Because if that is your goal, then you have to make sure that you have identified the specific people within that market that you are helping so that you know that you are writing a book for those people so that it positions you to those people specifically. But being specific and being really laser sharp in doing that is very, very important. Before you even attempt to write a book. And I'm going to do a whole other episode on writing a book because I wrote mine in in two weekends. So I'm gonna talk about that another time on that, exactly how I went about doing that. But it is totally possible, but you've got to just get it done.

20:55 But obviously in stages don't do it until you're ready, until you've got clear on who it is you're helping. And before you've had that real experience. Again, if you are just starting out in this, you're helping these specific individuals, you need to have a bit of research and experience, under your belt before you have enough content to put into that book. But don't wait for ages and ages and ages, creating a good structure and ensuring the title is right and showing that you are, the messaging is written exactly for those specific people within your market is going to be enough people. I sat on a table and I sort of bring out my book and that, wow, it's not every day you sit on a table with an author, people are really bowled over by it. For me, you know, it's always has, it has been a dream for me to write, to write a book.

21:51 It's not been necessarily a childhood dream, but when I, when I did it, what a, what an achievement and it's, it's a cracking book as well. If I do say so myself, I'm really chuffed with it. Don't get me wrong and I don't want to patronize other people by saying, wow, look at you. But that is the impression that people have. When you say you've written a book, if you've written a book, they automatically expect that you are an expert in your field because if you've got enough content to put into a book format, then people automatically think, okay, well we must know this stuff. So there is a great positioning tool and I'm not suggesting that anybody who was other than experienced and qualified in their fields and has already proven what they've done to help other people should attempt it. But if you have, if you prove, if you've got a proven skill that helps other people achieve something or that can inspire somebody a certain way, absolutely.

22:49 Writing a book is a great way to do it. It's not something that everybody has to do, but doing that is very, very important. Other people choose to replace writing a book for something like, I'm hosting a podcast for instance, but podcasting positions you as an expert as well. If you're able to provide enough content to create umpteen number of podcast episodes, people are like, wow, they really know this stuff. So you have to think about it strategically and not put it too much on a pedestal because it is totally achievable to do. It's achievable to write a book. It's achievable for you to start up a podcast, especially when you have that experience under your belt and it must be helps to position you to your market and for them to see you as a credible expert. The next thing is content. So when we just talked about books and podcasts, you've also got other content as well.

23:43 So we're talking about perhaps even we could talk about writing blocks. So if you're not ready to necessarily hit the stages quite yet, but you're quite happy writing a blog or running workshops on a Facebook live, anything like that where you are honing in on your expertise and sharing value again, positions you as an expert to other people because not everybody is comfortable or, or an expert in their field when it comes to your particular topics. So showing that and demonstrating that to the world will again make me think, wow, they really know their stuff. And it's about being consistent with that content as well. So people understand that you're not just that one trick pony, that you can consistently do that and he didn't listen to the episode around your content plan for market domination in 2020 then make sure you do. Because in that, I'm not going to leave at the point I talk about adding in opinions and thought leadership into your content because if you do that, that will seriously position you because when you own your own opinion and that you inject that thought leadership from a perspective of really understanding what's going on for your markets, people really listen up and they're able to pick a side and get behind what it is that you're fighting for.

25:10 So definitely go listen to that episode because that's going to really help with that content piece to help you inject what you need to do in order to position yourself as that quite a bit expert. But content massively helps to do that. But you have to realize that obviously people are bombarded every day by content and so it's about creating that content that's really going to stand out, that's really going to grab attention. That isn't just recycled from other people stuff that is really your voice and from with your twist on it, when you put your twist on your content, that's when people start to pay attention. But anyway, I said I wasn't a labor the point go and listen to that other episode cause it's really good and it's going to help you with creating that content. But the next thing I want to talk about that really helps people to go, wow, that's amazing.

26:03 Is running an event, running an event positions you as somebody as a force to be reckoned with. In fact, so let's, let's call it that. You are somebody that has taken the time to say, look, I'm going to create an event for this specific market. Again, gotta be clear on here is just speaking to you before you can do any of these things. I'm going to create event just for these people and I'm going to perhaps curate other people who also compliment what I do that also help this group of people and I'm going to pull these people together. People, this was my great business friend. Andy's thoughts. he said this to me when I was, I was having a wobble. You know, I talk about, imposter syndrome because we all suffer from it. Everybody, no matter what part of the journey you're on, whether you're seasoned or not, we all suffer from imposter syndrome at one one point in time, I was having a wobble over my own event that I ran about six months ago and he said to me the amount of people who were just so amazed that you have the ovaries of steel to get out there and have the confidence to put on an event, and because it's risky business putting on an event, it's an emotional roller coaster.

27:22 Oh, people gonna turn up. Are they going to love it? Am I going to get great speakers? Am I going to be able to deliver? You know, in all the stresses and everything else that goes on with running an event. Now I'm not really selling it to you. I appreciate it because I've just named all the things that are now probably going, Oh my God, it sounds quite stressful and yet it is, but it's also extremely rewarding and it's rewarding emotionally. It's rewarding because it's great fun, but also it's rewarding because while does it position you as somebody to listen to because people think great, wow. Again, they must really know their stuff if they're confident enough to put on an event for us in this, for these specific people to help us achieve X goal, and this is one of the reasons that events fail is because people put on an event for the sake of putting on an event instead of thinking about their audience and thinking about, okay, what's the purpose of me running this both for my audience, but also for me?

28:19 How is this gonna work on both levels? So being strategic about it's about your events, is it really, really important being strategic about the content in which you put into those events? Events are really, really important as well, but it does position you. It gets your name out there because you've got to promote it at the end of the day and getting out there and amongst your market with this event, promoting it and shouting about it. Even if people don't come to the event, they're still looking and looking at you from afar and well, it's like a fab event. Is this going to be amazing? They all go, here's somebody to listen to. They are a force to be reckoned with within this industry because they are tackling this problem. They are helping people achieve this goal and that's incredible. That is genuinely what people think, whether they write home about it or not, that these are the kinds of things that help position you as the person to listen to in your market and the secrets.

29:16 All of this is, and new one can be an expert and anyone can put on an event. Anyone can write a book, anyone can write a blog and anyone could start a podcast. Anyone can do it. It's just the case. What separates out the people who achieve expert status and to achieve the expert level with integrity, I'm talking about not just in terms of what other people think of them, but in terms of actually who really truly achieves the expert status in which I'm talking about what's possible. Not knowing everything but knowing enough to be an expert for the person who hasn't quite got there. What separates them. Other people that do the things that help them get there. The people who choose to put the boundaries in place, they choose to specialize in an individual. They choose to put the learning and development and the investment and time that goes in to knowing all they possible as possible to know about their problem, about their goal and how to achieve that goal on the impact of what's going on for them in terms of their circumstances.

30:28 Who puts the effort into getting, going through the stress of creating an event through working out the tech and starting that podcast podcast to putting in that deadline and just putting that pen to paper and writing that book or finger to finger to a recorder. Can't think of the word key. That's what separates the people who make that expert level and not because it is effort. It does take time. It is a journey, but you are separated from the people who never make it just by taking action just by doing the things that you need to do in order to get there and some of these things can be done at the same time. You know, people would argue, well you can start writing a book as you go and record it as you go. One of my great, another great business friend of mine, Sanai Floyd, wrote a great book called paid in full and that was something that she wrote as she went.

31:33 She recorded and documented every step of the way from being in debt to then making a huge profit and so she started writing it from the first day of when she decided I'm going to get out of this debt. She reported it and then she, at the end, after she'd been through the journey, she pulled it all together into a book. So there is no kind of rule on when you can start doing things and that's the thing. You have to start where you're at, but be a bit clever about it. Be strategic. Think about things about how you can start right now to get to where you want to be. I'm balls to imposter syndrome because we will never get rid of it. It's always going to be a constant battle, a new level, a new devil as they say, so own it, realize it, get it and move on.

32:25 Reject imposter syndrome because it will always be there. You will never know everything but know enough and keep that learning and development going into your subject matter because things will be forever. You're going to have to keep up with it, specialize, know your boundaries, know your remit. I'm really focusing on serving and helping a specific person and you will automatically reach that expert level without you ever realizing it. So I've hope you've enjoyed today's episode. I certainly have enjoyed recording it as per usual. Do. Make sure that you hit me up at the Jen@jen-hall.com to email me with any aha moments. Any other questions, anything you'd like to hear on the podcast? Do you let me know? Do reach out, and as always, if you are looking to speak to me on how you can start positioning yourself as an expert to get known as a market leader in your field, then do book a call with me a I will see you in the next episode.

About the Author

Jen Hall is Business Clarity Coach for Coaches, Consultants & Experts who want to become Unrivalled Go-To Experts. Jen not only gets you clear on your micro-niche, message and what makes you unique and desirable, but she helps you to define what makes you an irrefutable offer to the market so you can position yourself as a high-end 'must have' option for your prospects. She is a Multi-Award Winning Speaker and Best Selling Author of Expert Unrivalled.