You’ve no doubt read countless blogs parroting the same advice about becoming an “expert” in whatever field you work in. They claim that if the public sees you as a true professional in the industry it will lead to more sales and heightened respect for your company. For instance if you show you know everything about bird seed, every bird fan in the world will know your name and why they should listen to you.
But is this all really necessary? Just how important is it for every single bird seed buyer to know that you’re the smartest bird person alive? Can it actually backfire? Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons and see if one makes more sense.
Let’s tackle some of the cons first since they don’t get as much coverage. One of the most obvious is saturation. How is everyone in your industry supposed to become an expert in the field? The short answer: they can’t. That would be ridiculous. It’s like being a superhero; if everyone has super powers, then nobody is special anymore.
So it’s only reserved for those who want to go the extra mile. You decide that you want to go that extra mile others aren’t willing to and become that expert you’ve always dreamed of being. The trouble is, you may actually be hurting your brand.
Yep, it’s true – let’s say your company thrives on the “down home” feel of a small business. Would becoming a huge fancy-pants expert help you? Or would your customers feel like you’re losing the plot and abandon ship for another small-town business?
Another problem, albeit a “first world” problem: becoming an expert could mean less time with your business. If others are clamoring for your time because of your expert status, it could mean you don’t have as much time to run your business the way you want.
If the scenarios above are of no concern, it may be in your best interest to at least TRY to become an expert. Whether or not you do could be entirely beside the point as simply going for it can raise your profile.
Honestly, any chance you can take to get yourself out there, you should take. If that includes becoming a know-it-all to some people, it’s most likely going to make up for it in other areas. For every ten people you lose because you’re too “big time” for them you’re going to reach another 30 or 40 newcomers.
As far as taking time away from your business, that is a real concern. However, this also may be worth it in the long run, especially if you have good employees and practices in place. The more exposure you get, the more your business can thrive, which should be the end result you want anyway.
So ultimately it’s a bit of a wash as far as final answers go – it’s all up to what you consider to be the best path for your business. Is it worth possibly hurting your brand or taking time away from the business to pursue an “expert” reputation? While it sounds bad, it just might be in the long run.
How much of your news and views do you get from “experts” in your business’s field?