Build Your Business Expertise is the second video in a four-part series that outlines three business growth strategies for how to be successful as a business expert. Post One: How to be Successful as an Expert in Business
Why do you need to build your business expertise?
The biggest mistake a business expert can make is to presume your expertise is like data on a computer and you just have to press a button and it will all come out as and when you need it.
That might work in some situations, and it won’t work in all situations. Plus, it’s not something you can rely on over time as your experience will slowly and steadily decline in value.
Instead, the more value you can provide for your clients:
- The more money you can make
- The bigger difference you can make
- The easier it will be to attract great projects
- The easier it will be to work with inspiring people
- And the more likely you will be successful as an expert in business.
And the key to adding more value starts with you and your business expertise. Simply put, we all need to spend time to deliberately build our business expertise over time.
In this post, I’ll share the three specific ways that you can grow your business expertise to help you become more successful as an expert in business.
Now, let’s dive into our big idea for today: Three powerful ways to build your business expertise.
1 Know Thyself
Our first way to build your business expertise is to start at the start. If this is about your business expertise, then we need to start with you: Who are you?
If you don’t know who you are then it’s very difficult to know what you do well and ultimately what you could help other people with.
Our first strategy for building your business expertise is to know thyself. This is an idea that was held dear by the Ancient Greeks and came from Socrates. In Latin, it’s ‘Nosce te ipsum’.
My big tip for getting to know yourself better is to complete some psychometric tests. Essentially these are questionnaires that can shine a light on how you see the world, what your preferences are and what your strengths might be.
Action: Do Your Strengths Test
My personal favourite is the Strengths Finder tool because ultimately this is what your clients are going to pay you for – to work in your strengths and do something they cannot do for themselves. Plus, they’ll suggest ways to speak about your strengths with others.
Three strengths tests to consider:
- Gallup Strengths Finder – I found this to be best for me and worth the small fee you will pay.
- VIA Character Strengths – a free strengths analysis
- Marcus Buckingham Stand Out Test – has a great section on how to speak your strengths to others
All three use different names and categories for your strengths and it’s just a matter of finding the one that resonates best for you.
Action: Ask your Colleagues and Clients
My second big tip is to talk to your colleagues and to ask them: What am I good at?
The trick here is to ask a range of people who know you in different situations so you gain a wider perspective on your business expertise.
Action: Rate Yourself
To check if you need to build your business expertise in this area, take a moment and give yourself a rating from zero to five.
The first question is: How well do you know yourself?
- Zero is I’m not sure what I’m good at
- Five is I know what my superpower is.
The second question is: How well can you tell others about your expertise?
- Zero is I don’t know how to talk about what I’m good at.
- And five is I have mastered the art of sharing what I’m good at.
2 Grow Thyself
Our second way to build your business expertise is grow thyself.
Your business experience and expertise – and ultimately the value you can provide to clients – is just like a garden. You can grow this into a beautiful thing by continuing to learn. Or if you do nothing it will be overrun by weeds.
In most cases, your experience and expertise are losing value every day as new and different technologies and situations emerge and new and younger players step into the market.
Action: Decide What to Learn
The first part of this is: what to learn? My big tip is that you stay focused on the business expertise that provides value to your clients.
Ask yourself: What could you learn today that would add the most value to your clients tomorrow?
While you could go and do an accounting course so you could do your own bookkeeping, this may be of less value than growing your expertise.
Action: Decide How to Learn
The second part of this is to decide how you want to learn. This might include gathering more information:
- Watching business-relevant YouTube videos or TED talks
- Reading a book a week
- Joining a mastermind group to learn from colleagues
- Doing a course
Also consider, that learning is not just about consuming more information. I find is the best way to learn is to teach other people what you know. The big bonus here is that you may be able to make some money from what you teach or from the products you create This might include:
- Running a training program
- Writing a book
- Creating an online course
- Publishing content to attract customers
You need to find your best way to learn and grow thyself.
Action: Create a Learning Project
The simple action here to build your business expertise is to grow thyself through creating a learning project.
You might want to stop reading, grab a pen and write down some of the things you’d like to learn – or perhaps need to learn – and how might do this.
Also, look for ways to practice sharing your Intellectual Property. Top athletes do a lot of training to be so good on game day and you will too if you want to be successful as an expert in business.
3 Claim Thyself
Our third way to build your business expertise is to claim thyself.
Ultimately, your business expertise is something that you need to claim. As an example, I was running webinars before my colleagues – almost 15 years ago. At that time, I had people telling me to become the webinar expert. While I was proud of the quality of the webinars I ran; this was not an area of expertise that I wanted to claim. For me, the webinar was how I presented my business expertise, but it wasn’t the expertise I wanted to be known for.
Your expertise is not a given. It is something you must claim.
At some point, you must put your stake in the sand and claim your territory. You need to say, ‘I am an expert in this…’ I’m not saying you need to be the world expert. You simply need to know enough to be able to help your clients.
And I’m not saying you have to stand on the rooftops and yell it out to everyone that walks by. They’ll probably lock you up if you do that. At the very least you must put it on your website.
Ultimately, at some point – to be in business – you must put an offer out to your potential clients – and this requires you to claim your business expertise.
Action: Rate Yourself
To find out if you need to claim your expertise, consider where you might relative to these two questions:
- Are you claiming enough territory? It might be time to stand up for yourself and say, ‘I can do this’.
- Are you claiming the right/wrong territory? Do your clients and colleagues see you as an expert in that area. If they’re not asking you for helping in this area, this might be a hint that they don’t see you as an expert in that area of business.
Depending upon how you answered these two questions you might need to:
Action: Make a Bigger Claim
If you do need to make a bigger claim of your business expertise, then you may want to talk this through with a colleague or coach to see what you might need to do differently.
Summary: Three Ways to Build Your Business Expertise
Let’s wrap up what we’ve covered here. There are three specific ways that you can grow your business expertise to help you become more successful as an expert in business.
1 Know Thyself
The first way to build your business expertise is to know thyself. My two tips here are:
- Complete some psychometric tests such as the strengths finder to learn more about your expertise.
- Talk to your colleagues and ask them: What am I good at?
Don’t presume just because you do something easily and automatically that it is not valuable to other people.
2 Grow Thyself
The second way to build your business expertise is to grow thyself. The two approaches here are either:
- Learn something new to become an expert in it,
- Teach something you already know to develop it further.
3 Claim Thyself
The third way to build your business expertise is to claim thyself. You need to:
- Have the strength and confidence to claim your territory and say, ‘this is what I’m good at’.
- Claim the right territory where you are truly an expert. Remember, you only need to know more than your clients to be able to progress in their business.
What to focus on right now?
Which one of these three business strategies is the best way for you to grow your business expertise in the next 30-90 days?
1 Starting Out in Business
If you are just starting out as an expert in business, then you probably need to start with: know thyself. Do some tests to find out what you’re great at and talk to your colleagues. Until you are clear about what your strengths are and how you can help your clients, you will struggle to be successful as an expert in business.
2 Already in Business
If you already have some expertise and have been in business for some time, then you probably need to: grow thyself. Remember, your expertise has a use-by date. You need to update what you know and grow new areas of expertise. Look for things to learn and teach. You might even be able to develop a way to teach others that grows your expertise that also earns you some fee-paying clients – double bonus.
3 Not Cutting Through
If you are in business and not cutting through, not gaining the recognition you think you deserve or you’re not attracting the right clients, then take a look at: claim thyself. It’s highly likely you’re either not claiming enough territory or you’re claiming the wrong territory. One of the best ways to do this is to ask your colleagues and clients – what expertise do I provide?
More on Build Your Business Expertise
This post on Build Your Business Expertise is Part 2 in a series on How to be successful as an expert in business. Here are the links to the other posts in this series:
- Part 1 – How to be successful as an expert in business
- Part 3 – Know your clients thoughts – three critical questions
- Part 4 – Share what you know about business success