Become an Expert in Your Field: Strategically Branding Yourself as a Subject Matter Expert By: Jackie Robinson
If you want to stand out from the competition at work or in your business industry, then you need to be seen as an expert in your field. Having a degree in a certain discipline or work for years in the same industry does not automatically deem you as an expert, however, they are extremely beneficial. You have to strategically brand yourself as such. No one will do this for you. You have to take deliberate steps and actions to build your reputation as an expert. Just telling people that you’re an expert is not enough. You need to demonstrate it.
Here are a few simple strategies to help you develop yourself as a subject matter expert.
First and foremost, make sure that you’re educated on what you’re doing. If you’re working in the marketing department of a company and you want to be seen as the go-to person on anything related to marketing, then you need to know what you’re talking about. Below are a few things you can do to educate and re-educate yourself, and position yourself as an expert in your field.
Demonstrate Your Knowledge
People look to experts for the how-to, the tips, the processes, the templates. Motivational quotes are inspiring and very helpful but giving them alone does not show you as an expert.
By sharing your knowledge you’ll also build your confidence. Tell me one person that was ever seen as an expert that didn’t believe in themselves and what they were doing. Can you name one? Not likely! With knowledge comes confidence.
It’s one thing to talk about what you know, but it’s something else entirely to actually demonstrate it.
Be a Great Communicator
People have to understand what you can do and why you’re the best one to do it. This means that you have to understand and foresee the questions others may have about your area of business. You also need to be prepared to solve problems and offers solutions based on your expertise. Experts often communicate like consultants. You have to not only know the right answers or information to give, you have to know the right questions to ask.
Always Act With Integrity
Don’t take credit for things you haven’t done. Name your sources if the information is not yours. Identify the source you got the statistics from or cite the passage or author you might take some information from. This does not make you less than an expert. Experts often quote other experts. Remember, we had to do this in high school and college English classes. It’s relevant in business too.
There will always be things an expert is not so good at or answers they may not know. No one knows everything, not even a person who is considered an expert. Don’t try to be an expert in areas you are not, yet.
By following these simple steps you’ll become the person with the answers. People will see you as the expert you are. You will be the source that others call on when it relates to your area of expertise. What a great way to boost your career or grow your business!!
I have always believed that what’s closest to you has the most profound impact on you. I still believe that to a certain degree when it comes to certain things. But, while on vacation in Cancun this year, I realized different.
First let me say, that was the best vacation I have experienced so far. An all-inclusive resort, days on the beach, time in the pool, special activities, and a birthday celebration with 15 other people was time very well spent.
While on that vacation, I experienced something that never ran across my mind. Being the business woman that I am, I promote, advertise, and market my business whenever possible, as long as it aligns with my brand. I wear my own products, like t-shirts, hats, and fragrances. I use my own accessories, coffee mugs, tote bags, mouse pads, portfolios, etc. Of course, I took some of my gear on vacation with me so one of the days while on vacation, I was wearing one of my SheBoss-branded t-shirts and sun visors.
As I left our room and went to grab something to snack on at SPOON, one of my favorite spots at the resort, I was walking and a young lady stopped and said “Hey, I’ve seen that on Instagram”, as she pointed at my t-shirt. That was totally unexpected. Talk about brand recognition! I was in Cancun, Mexico and another guest of the resort recognized my brand! Although brand recognition does not always equate to a purchase, it lends to brand development, which is just as important. That made me feel really good and I couldn’t wait to get back to my room to share the experience with my husband and post about it on Facebook.
I reflected on it for a little while and came to these conclusions, as it relates to entrepreneurship:
My final reflection is…….
You are the most effective representation of your brand so wear it, speak it, live it, promote it and be it! Do this as often as possible, even if it appears to annoy those who are not entrepreneurs and have no idea how hard you have to push your brand in order for it to be successful. Go hard with no regrets! Promote your brand, even while on vacation, you never know who might recognize it! Entrepreneurs are always “ON”!
Have you thought about Retirement?
No. Maybe, Kinda.
You have no clue.
If so, you are not alone.
First thing first. Yes, it is definitely all about the money before, during, and after you retire. Are you saving any money today in your employer offered plan or you own 401(k) as a entrepreneur?
The money you save and invest today for retirement has to last for your lifetime. So the piggy bank will not do.
I heard something in the 1990's that still resonates with me today, and it is true. From birth to age 18, we need our parents, age 25-40 we need our good looks, age 40-50 we need a great career, and after age 50, you need cold Cash!!
Plain and simple, as we say in the South. If, can, and when one can retire comes down to two factors, and you did read it right here: (1) Money and (2) Debt.
You need more money and zero debt. Do you know your true income? Do you know your expenses? Do you know what it costs you to live every month? Can you still live the same when you retire if your income is less and less frequent?
Retirement planning begins as soon, and as early, and as often as possible. Gainfully employed, business owner or entrepreneur, you must begin contributing immediately to an investment vehicle: 401(k), or Individual Retirement Account (IRA) (Traditional or Roth).
For 2019, each individual can contribute $19,000 to their 401(k) and up to $7,000 in and IRA
For business owners, you have options, Profit Sharing, KEOGH, IRA, etc. And you can contribute in 2019 up to $59,000 or 25% of your net earnings to a retirement investment vehicle.
Sounds like a lot of money every month? It is, but if its for you to be secure and comfortable for the rest of your life… Isn’t it worth it?
Are you asking how? Here's how:
Want Results?.… Execute these Three Actions:
(1) Automatic Withdrawals From Your Gross Pay. Start small with 3% or enough of a percentage to get the maximum matching from your employer. Business owners can do the same from weekly and monthly Revenue.
(2) Get Out and Stay Out of Debt. All of it. Mortgage, Credit Cards, Auto Loans, Student Loans, Business Loans. When you are free of debt payments you have money to save and invest.
(3) When Your Pay or Business Revenue Increases, Do Not Live On It. Increase your contributions until you are contributing the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) maximum annual dollar limit for individuals and business owners.
The first step is to take the first step and do something different than what you are doing today to secure your life. Whether you are in your 30s, 40s or older, get started.
Plan, execute, and never look back. You will be secured and in the driver's seat for the rest of your life.
Click and Download Free Retirement Planning Guide for Individuals and Business Owners.
You will hear about the importance of mindset on a regular basis. Mindset is extremely important when it comes to being successful at whatever it is you are trying to do. However, mindset is not enough. You have to have the right skill set to be able to successfully do the things you have your mind set on.
Mindset and skill set go hand in hand. So many people aspire to be entrepreneurs and I think that is great! But not everyone has the skills needed to function as an entrepreneur.
Check out this entrepreneur skill set list. This represents only a few of the skills that successful entrepreneurs possess. If you don't have all of them right now, it's ok. All of these skills can be developed.
If you believe you need assistance with sharpening your skills in either of these areas or other professional or career development areas schedule a FREE exploratory call with Jackie Robinson, "The Success-Ability Coach" at www.shebossunlimited.com.
When you hear about or think about branding, most people think it’s for businesses only. The reality is, YOU, as an individual, are a brand. In fact, everything about you represents your brand. That could be a good thing or a bad thing. In essence, your personal brand is your reputation. Its what people think about when they see a picture of your or hear your name. Its what people associate you with. Its what people remember about you. It’s the story of who you are and what you represent. Know this, how well does your brand represent you?
WHY IS PERSONAL BRANDING IMPORTANT?
It just is! The way life is set up in our current time, everyone needs to realize that they are a brand and they need to develop it to get the most out of life, and to reach goals. The more successful you want to be the more important your persona brand is.
For example, recruiters, employers, colleges, boards, event planners, groups, associations are all going to research you and your brand when considering any kind of dealings with you. This has become the new norm and no one can get away from it. I personally Google people that I am interested in collaborating with or trying to connect with. It’s pretty much a habit now. If you are considering or will consider any of these, you need to develop your personal brand:
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO DEVELOP YOUR PERSONAL BRAND
Developing a personal brand is a process and it will require you to commit some time to start it and maintain it but it is well worth it, IF, you are serious about advancing and growing in your career and meeting personal and professional goals. If you really want to level up and show yourself as a true SheBoss, start your personal branding process by doing or considering these things:
If you want to step out of the box and create a personal brand for yourself and don’t want to do it without guidance, schedule a FREE exploratory call with me to determine exactly what you might want assistance with and how I might be able to assist you. Log on to www.shebossunlimited.com to schedule your appointment.
Jackie Robinson is the Founder & Chief Empowerment Officer of SheBoss Unlimited, LLC. She is a success-strategist and certified professional development coach with an emphasis on diversity. Jackie has over 20 years of experience working as an advisor, training facilitator, and learning & development professional. She is also a published author and working on the release of her 2nd book, SheBoss Unleashed: Show Up as a Woman and Lead Like a Boss.
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Yes, it is true, we wear many hats. We are believers, wives, mothers, sisters, daughters, friends, co-workers, teachers, doctors, lawyers, judges, authors, speakers, coaches, fashion designers, mentors, etc. The list is limitless. But, do you know who you really are? When someone says, “Tell me, who is ___________________?” (fill in the space with your full name). Do you respond with, “Wow! That's a loaded question!”, then proceed listing the many roles you play? How many different hats do you include? Many times, it’s your unconscious narrative. You easily identify yourself with the roles you play or the different hats you wear, but you never stand up and say who you really are. Will the real YOU, please stand up?
You are W.O.M.A.N.!!
Warrior! Wearing the whole armour of God, you are equipped with everything you need. You are stronger than you believe. You have greater powers than you know! You are a warrior.
Overcomer! No matter what life throws at you. No matter the level of difficulty, you stand firm and conquer it! You are an overcomer.
Masterpiece! God spoke EVERYTHING into existence, but you…He created! You are the crown to man's head. You are a magnificent masterpiece created in His image! You are a masterpiece.
Anointed! You are appointed & positioned to be man's helpmate. Your love, support, wisdom & knowledge puts everything in alignment. Everything connected to you, everything you touch…prospers! You are anointed.
Nubian! You are a royal priesthood. You are a giver of life. You build nations. You are highly intelligent and when man looks upon you, he's stricken with your beauty. You girl, rocks & rules! You are a Nubian queen!
Yes, you play many roles! Yes, you wear many hats, but recognize who you really are…You are a Proverb 31 W.O.M.A.N.!!
So, I ask you today… Will the Real YOU, please stand up!?
I often visit with my friends about the journey of womanhood. Where we’ve been, where we are and how we’ve arrived at some of the places in our lives. A common denominator is the sting of overwhelm that most of us have felt, but usually don’t talk about. As women, we are challenged with the heroines of our childhood, both fictional and non-fictional, who’ve made it look easy. They swoop down in their beautifully fitted body suits, brightly colored capes and high heeled boots, with every hair in place and their makeup unflawed, as they tackle the villains of the day and fight the obstacles that attempt to stand in their path along the way. It’s an amazing scene, but one that I have not been able to live up to after many years of trying!
When I think about the things that pull me into the lulls of lack, I am failing to recognize that I’m there because I miss the realization of what it took to make it to that place. Let me explain; when I was a young new mommy working my way through the day to day tests of motherhood, my daughter would sometimes have these massive diaper explosions, where remnants of the disaster would ooze onto her usually soft pink or pastel colored outfit. I remember the feeling of utter disbelief as her small face would look up at me as if to ask “what now, Mommy?” Along with the second expression of the same question peering from my husbands’ eyeglass covered, brow raised gaze. The truth is, I waited for my out of body experience, where I would watch in amazement as this quintessential version of me would rise up confidently without pause, and save the day with her superfast diaper changing skills and extra outfit (that of course she had tucked away for emergencies) in hand, scoop up my precious baby girl, rush off to the ladies room and return moments later as if she’d just stepped away to powder her nose. This never happened. I quickly realized that my fantasy would never be my reality. That my out of body experience was a dream that would be put on pause until after the other six hundred and fifty two things were completed – or at least attempted – so that I could retreat to my bed for a few hours of sleep and continue my dream of the adventures of the woman that I waited for anxiously to snatch my body. What I didn’t recognize was the outstanding job that I had done to make it to that point of the day. I mean, I’d actually made it out of the house with my little person while not forgetting the other necessities for the outing. She was clean, prior to the explosion, and so was I! We’d actually accomplished a great feat to make it out of our house, and that simply was enough. But in that moment, I couldn’t see any victories.
After four decades of living, with nearly two of those spent as a wife and a mother trying to measure up to who I thought were the Wonder Women of life, I’ve finally found my own recipe for seeing success in myself!
Don’t Beat Yourself Up! I am not perfect and it’s not personal, even if it is. I don’t set out each day to make myself look bad, perform mediocre or fall short in my day to day tasks. My plan is always to get what I have to do done, but sometimes things are tossed my way that throw me off. It’s not personal if I forget to do something – it’s a reminder that I’m not perfect and that’s ok, because I will always strive to do my best.
Girlfriend, you’ve got this!
A few weeks ago, I wrote about the importance of your brand and that its true value is held in its core, the substance. Now, while that still holds absolutely true, I don’t want you to think you can ignore the visual elements of your brand. The visual elements are the details that triggers the consumers’ interest. Did you know that appearances or first impressions really do matter? It is the #1 element that initially determines a perception of you and your business. Our unconscious mind starts from whatever objective data is available (such as your appearance & first impressions) and then works to shape a more complete picture we consciously perceive. You see, as humans, we process images 60,000 times faster than we do words. We are able to recall images quicker and faster than we do words. Appearances & first impressions has the ability to make or break your business. You’ve heard the phrase, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression”, right? Well, it’s absolutely true!
With this information in mind, you can’t ignore the power of the visual branding elements. What are visual branding elements? They include, but not limited to your logo, business card, attire, grooming, website, brochures, social media platforms, landing page, professional photo, packaging of products, book cover, media kit, speaker reel, audios & videos. These examples represent a “peek inside your business window”. Before a consumer decides to inquire or to learn more about you or your business, they will take a “peek” inside your business window. What will they see? Will the appearance of these items trigger interest or not?
Make the right first impression by taking the branding aspect of your business very serious. Do the research. Hire a branding agency, if warranted. Don’t rush through the process.
You only get one chance! WOW your consumer from start to finish! KJ is the owner & Master Brand Expert of KJ Strategy Design Studio with over 25 years of experience, with numerous awards, accolades & nominations for her work, including being named as one of the Top 25 Purpose Driven Women to Watch, one of the Top Sales Trainers, awarded & honored at the annual Making History in Heels for her contribution to the community as a woman-owned business, just to name a few. She is a trainer/speaker, helping faith-based women owned businesses, educational institutes (educators, student-athletes & students) to understand how a strong personal brand breeds a positive culture of diversity, creating exponential results & profit. Book her to speak at your school, conference or event and/or for a free-30-minute Brand Discovery Chat.
You’ve heard the old saying, “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover”. And while the human mind will forever initially do just that (which is why appearance and your presence should look great), it’s the substance that will determine the ultimate value of your brand. Now, don’t misunderstand, our worth is determined by God; however, if you’re not committed and dedicated to doing the work, you are not able to inspire, impact, influence & leave a positive imprint on the minds and hearts of those you encounter.
Too many times, our focus and time is spent on the exterior: a sexy logo, a beautifully designed website, top notched business card, best looking banner, gorgeous social media feeds and even our personal exterior of makeup, attire, shoes & accessories. But, upon closer review, the substance of what is being delivered is not up to par. Too many times, we are super excited to launch a product or service that the time, research, planning & adequate funds needed are not applied to the process. The product or service would actually be the solution needed to solve a major problem, but because the due diligence and process was seen as a “waste of time” and/or too long, it was rushed or totally eliminated and now the end result doesn’t hold any value.
Remember, the magic is in the process! Spend time in your prayer closet to better understand how God wants you to proceed. Research, research & research. Understand your targeted market’s needs. Understand the market/industry. Develop a marketing strategy. Map it out. Determine costs. Conduct a beta-test. Complete an analysis. These are just some of the steps and work you should be conducting before launching. Once the “main course” is cooked, you can now begin setting the table. You now are ready to send out invitations requesting the presence of others to an intimate, well-cooked and scrumptious meal in a brand-tastic atmosphere.
KJ is the owner & Master Brand Expert of KJ Strategy Design Studio with over 25 years of experience, with numerous awards, accolades & nominations for her work, including being named as one of the Top 25 Purpose Driven Women to Watch, one of the Top Sales Trainers, awarded & honored at the annual Making History in Heels for her contribution to the community as a woman-owned business, just to name a few. She is a trainer/speaker, helping faith-based women owned businesses, educational institutes (educators & students) to understand how a strong personal brand breeds a positive culture of diversity, creating exponential results & profit. Book her to speak at your school and/or for a free-30-minute Brand Discovery Chat.
I remember when my daughter was younger, I would come home and tell her Mommy needs an hour for me time. I have always believed in "Me Time" but ask me did I do it consistently? No, I didn't, but now...
As women we have so much to do and so little time to do everything. Have you ever felt like your world was caving in on you? You know that feeling, can't concentrate, not organized, emotional, and so on and so on. This happens when we don't have me time to regroup and get restored. I know you are probably thinking what does she know about my workload or my family, you're right I don't but what I do know is if you don't start allowing me time in your life your career, your family, and your dreams will falter and or fail, it's called life burnout.
Me time is nothing but making sure you take care of you. You may be asking well how do I take care of myself? It starts with designated a time every day to do whatever relaxes you.
Me time is nothing but making sure you take care of you. You may be asking well how do I take care of myself?
Tonya is a speaker and Henri Award nominated author. Tonya is the CEO and founder of Godsdiva, LLC and The Worth Within Project, her company vision is to teach women about their worth through speaking engagements and workshops. If you would like to book Tonya please visit www.godsdivallc.com.