Do you think becoming an expert in your business niche requires countless thousands of hours of labor and experience? There was a time when this was the case in industry; and it may still ring true in certain pursuits. But in today’s fast-paced digital world, deliberately focusing on some basic steps can gain you the expertise you need to become recognized as an expert in your chosen field in as little as 12 months. Does this seem too good to be true? Examine the steps below and follow them to increase your knowledge regarding your chosen topic.
Read Up On Your Topic
Internet shopping, purchase reviews, and digital books make searching for the top writers in any field a simple exercise. Choose the top works from recognized industry experts and read up on your topic. You can also ask for suggested works to read in industry forums and from other individuals in your circle of influence who are engaged in a similar business. Try to read at least 10 books on your chosen niche over the next 12 months.
Listen to Relevant Podcasts
Podcasts are an excellent way to leverage free time to learn more about a topic. Driving, exercising, or just relaxing over a cup of coffee can be prime times for listening and digesting information. Search for podcasts in your target business niche and follow the most highly rated podcasters. Listen to archived sessions as well as new content. The conversational approach podcasting takes to discussing issues and topics is a prime way to get relevant information in context and is easily understood.
Follow the News of Your Business Niche
Subscribing to a few business news outlets is a key to staying current on all the relevant news in your chosen business niche. Scan articles daily and highlight any you wish to review when time permits. Add these articles to your reading time or scan them over lunch. News provides differing perspectives on trends, current events, surprise happenings, and industry leaders. Keeping current on the news in your business niche is a great way to bone up on knowledge of your chosen topic.
Follow Industry Experts
Every business and industry has experts who share their knowledge and observations. This can be through social media, blogs, magazine articles, company websites, and more. Discover the names that are repeated most often in your business niche and follow their blogs, writings, and social media accounts. They will likely have a great deal of free available information concerning your topic. Scan article topics and titles and bookmark relevant pieces for later reading.
Build Your Own Network with Others
Connect with industry leaders through the internet on sites like LinkedIn and reach out to them. Respect their time as busy professionals and begin small. Ask for a bit of their time and send a list of questions. If they respond favorably with answers, explore the possibility of a video call or face-to-face meeting to get to know them and their business story. As you get to know them, they will get to know you as well, and these connections can pay rich dividends in the future.
Join a Networking Association in Your Niche
Associations provide opportunities to network with industry professionals, participate in educational seminars, and gain relevant content on topics of interest to those in your business niche. You can meet with local experts and create connections for future learning and business opportunities. A surprising number of advances and profitable moves are made due to connections within networking communities.
Enroll in an Industry Course
Investing in educational seminars or courses offered by industry leaders is a prime way to immerse yourself in a topic. Some local community colleges may offer relevant courses for affordable prices. Another prime option is utilizing online sites that offer quick topic courses. Searching the internet for these may reveal many affordable options from which you may benefit greatly.
Attend Conferences and Trade Shows
Industry-sponsored conferences and trade shows are excellent opportunities to hear from and connect with top thinkers and leaders in seminars and training sessions. A plethora of learning and networking opportunities will be located in a single location and they are well worth your time to attend. In just a few days, you can learn from and connect with a host of leaders face to face instead of spending months pursuing these same individuals through more impersonal means.
Participate in Industry Advisory Groups
Most industry associations have advisory groups that offer numerous opportunities to impact and inform industry direction and regulation. Join one of these working groups and get to know other motivated members and their business agendas. You will gain valuable insight into the inner workings of your chosen business as well as receive first-hand knowledge of important trends and their effect on the industry at large as well as you own business.
Offer Your Business Knowledge to a Nonprofit Organization
Many nonprofit groups need access to industry experts but cannot afford to pay a fee for their expertise. As your knowledge grows, offer your services to these groups for free. You will gain an awareness of how these groups impact your industry as a whole as well as increase your knowledge of how nonprofits and your industry rely on one another. Your position as a business representative to the nonprofit can also open up important connections in your community and business niche which can further establish you as an expert in your field.
Becoming an expert in your field cannot happen without effort. The steps above provide a framework for systematically increasing your knowledge and making important personal connections within your business niche. Following these steps can establish you as an expert in your field in as little as 12 months, but the process doesn’t end after a single year. The business landscape is constantly changing and making the above steps regular habits will ensure you stay at the top of your field as trends come and go and your business niche undergoes significant change.
What steps have you taken to become more knowledgeable in your field? Would you be considered an expert in your business niche? How did you gain that status? What advice would you give our readers? We’d love to have your input! Share your insights and suggestions in the comments below.