Over the weekend, I visited a local bookstore (which probably looked more like endlessly chasing my two year old up and down the aisles while she tried to break a world record for most books consecutively knocked off shelves in one aisle.) At one point, I stopped and noticed how many books are available to help people achieve more in life. What about books and topics that help people get better at their craft? Sure, there are books on being a better Realtor or Insurance Salesperson. But, what about articles or books for people who are already an expert at their craft? Here are 6 ways you can deepen your knowledge base and enhance your expertise
1) Host Seminars and Workshops
I haven’t met too many business owners who hold seminars. But, the ones who do them consistently rave about their effectiveness in terms of gaining more clients and becoming an authority on a specific topic. It doesn’t need to be that complicated. One friend of mine holds seminars at the library every month. It takes him about an hour or so to prepare, two hours of time at the event, and he’s received dozens of new clients. Also, when he’s talking with a prospect, he’s able to invite them to his seminar. What a great marketing tool! Because he has done the homework on the topic, and has the experience of giving answers to candid questions from a live audience, he can reference very specific scenarios, issues, and their solutions.
2) Write a Blog or a Book
Although technology has made is very easy to publish both a blog and a book, it still helps to enhance your expertise. Writing forces you to evaluate your subject matter, content depth, and target audience. You may think your target audience loves hearing about your specialty, but until you write something on the topic and get firsthand feedback, you’re simply guessing. Having the confidence of data (in the form of clicks, likes, or comments) to support your subject matter is invaluable.
3) Mentor Someone New to the Business
An often overlooked, but wildly effective, way of building your brand is to mentor someone. It forces you to consider the “why” in routine activities. It also can be very personally fulfilling. I love Benjamin Franklin’s quote on Mentoring: “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” Mentoring someone in your business expands your way of thinking, shows others you’re giving back, invests in your future (and the future of someone else), and can enhance your expertise.
If you graduated college before 2000, can you imagine how much more is being taught on your particular industry in school? Even if you graduated college before 2010, there are new forms of technology and ways of thinking that could be implemented in your business that you may never have heard of unless you take on a mentoring relationship.
4) Network Like Crazy
Gaining exposure to how people react to your sales pitch, 60 second commercial, personality, or branding is vitally important to your expertise. Think you’re not getting feedback from people at networking events? The feedback can be nonverbal, evasive, or upfront. You have to be paying attention to other people’s cues. Are people falling asleep because you drone on and on about how great your customer service is (everyone says their customer service is great, by the way) or are people engaged with the thought of the value you can bring to them personally or professionally? Engagement at networking events is a key indicator that you are enhancing your expertise.
5) Take an Unrelated Class
Going back to school can be a great way of rejuvenating your mind and tapping into fresh and exciting possibilities. Being around other people who are also learning can be a great way of altering your way of thinking. The class doesn’t need to be related to your field of work (although that helps too – unless you’re only taking the class to tell others about how smart you are). Even exploring business classes on social media at a local community college can be a great way of enhancing your expertise.
6) Volunteer Your Time in an Unrelated Fashion
Volunteering exposes you to new people and gives you a different perspective than you may be used to. It could help you realize how thankful you should be or it could help you see how other people live their life. When talking to people in a casual setting you can learn about what’s important to them instead of constantly trying to pitch your business or service. Whether it’s through a local church, non-profit, or school event, volunteering is a great way to enhance your expertise.
What have you done that has been a powerful way of enhancing your expertise? Please share!