If you want to increase your capacity to close deals and become a magnet for new clients, one of the best things you can do for your personal brand is to become an expert in your field.

An expert is an authority, someone who knows his stuff and that other people look to for unique problem-solving insights.

So how do you become an expert? You’re most likely already good at what you do. That’s why you’re able to make a living working in your chosen profession. Your knowledge and skill set solve the problems of real people so well that they’re willing to pay you for it.

But how do you go beyond “proficient” to the coveted expert-level status? How good to you have to become to really consider yourself an expert? Do you have to be the best in the world at what you do before you can say that about yourself?

Here’s the thing about the “expert” label: it’s not about how you see yourself, but about how other people see you. There’s no specific point at which you become an expert, nor is there a fancy certificate telling you you’re one. All it takes to become an expert is for other people to consider you as such. It’s all relative. Once people are coming to you for authoritative advice in your industry, you can safely say you’re an expert.

As you can see, the key isn’t only being proficient. That’s essential, but it isn’t the full equation. Becoming an expert requires putting your name out there, providing valuable information, and helping people. That’s marketing.

Following these strategies will help you become well-known within your industry, connect with a broad client-base, and strengthen your personal brand.

Create Educational Resources that Prove your Expertise

One of the most basic ways to show people you’re an expert is to provide free information that less-knowledgeable people can use to solve problems you’re already resolved. Website content is the most convenient way to do this. Through blog posts, infographics, podcasts, and videos, you can put together useful guides for your audience.

To get the most out of your content, make it in-depth. That shows you’re very knowledgeable about your subject-matter, rather than merely regurgitating what you found on Wikipedia. Don’t be afraid to publish posts above 2,000 words.

Also, flesh out your work with personal experiences and first-hand data. This gives you credibility and shows people you have a unique perspective to share.

Speak at Industry Conferences

Speaking at events can be intimidating, but it’s one of the surest ways to achieve expert status. Network to build connections with popular speakers in your industry and hustle your way into small speaking opportunities. As your reputation grows, so will demand for you.

Write a Book

Along with speaking, writing a book is a big sign to others that you have real experience and knowledge. You don’t have to write a 1,000 page monolith. Even a short ebook featured on your site is great for building credibility.

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Get Featured in Industry Publications

Read and become familiar with the magazines, blogs, and journals in your field. Make contact with the editorial staff, pitch your ideas, and contribute. Readers will start recognizing you as an industry leader.

Although the path to becoming an expert isn’t easy, it is simpler than you may think. Hone your skills, network, market yourself, and persevere–eventually you’ll reap the long-term fruit of being an expert.