HOW TO BECOME A RECOGNISED SUBJECT MATTER EXPERT

16 Jan 2017

If you're looking for advice, who are you going to listen to? An unqualified newbie you've never heard of, or someone who's recognised as being an expert on their particular subject? We're willing to bet it's the latter!

Becoming a subject matter expert can have a number of benefits for you and your organisation. One of these is that it can help you get more exposure in the media. If a journalist is looking for someone to interview on a particular subject, a recognised expert has far more credibility than an unknown.

But it's one thing to be an expert in your chosen subject area, and quite another to actually be recognised for it! Here are some tips to help you become a recognised subject matter expert on SourceBottle.

1. Read widely

To be recognised as a subject matter expert, you first have to have an extensive knowledge of your subject. Reading, listening to podcasts and talking to other industry experts is a great way to build your expertise, and this is something you should be doing on a regular basis. Set aside time each day or week to read up on the latest research and developments, so you’re always up to date with what’s going on.

2. Build your credentials

Credentials are what give you credibility. They can come in the form of education, qualifications and experience. If you’re new to an industry or you don’t have much experience, see if there are any courses you can take to help build your credentials. Becoming a member of a professional organisation or group is also the key to becoming a registered subject matter expert. If you can get involved in an organisational capacity, this will build your reputation even further.

3. Network regularly

Never underestimate the power of networking when it comes to building your profile within a certain industry. The right connections will give you opportunities to collaborate with other industry experts, and build your reputation through association. You can network online or in person. No matter how you choose to do it, networking is well worth spending regular time and effort on.

4. Seek out awards and accolades

Most industries have specific awards that are given out on a yearly basis. For many of these awards, you need to submit an entry for consideration. Getting in the habit of regularly putting in award submissions gets you in the race, and if you do receive an award, you’ll have fantastic verification of your subject matter expertise.

5. Become an influencer

If you're serious about establishing yourself as an expert, you can build your online influence and following by regularly publishing industry insights and sharing your expertise on social media or your blog. One of the first places a journalist will look for verification of your credibility is online, and maintaining an active presence makes it more likely you will be selected.

By becoming a recognised subject matter expert, you are building your personal brand, and this in turn can help you build a professional brand that will strengthen over time. A strong professional brand can help you find new employment opportunities, or attract new customers or clients to your business.

Here on SourceBottle, we have hundreds of journalists looking for subject matter experts to interview on a wide range of topics. By following these steps and taking the time to learn how to become a subject matter expert, you can boost your chances of being featured in the media, leading to a higher profile and more opportunities for you and your organisation.

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PS: It also helps if you have an Expert Profile stored on SourceBottle. An Expert Profile subscription gives you the opportunity for your profile to be 'pitched' to journalists and bloggers looking for experts with your credentials and expertise, in response to their call outs. You'll also be featured periodically on the SourceBottle home page and 'Find a Source' page (to journalists/bloggers as they search) AND get exclusive access to monthly educational programs, webinars brought to you by expert guests and speakers.

For more information on how to upgrade your subscription, check out our Set up your 'Expert Profile' Subscription.

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