HOW TO BECOME A STAR EXPERT?*
The benefits of a Star Expert to herself/himself and her/his company are obvious in professional services. The company grows and develops backed by the halo effect with the Star Expert or Experts.
The majority will be thinking that a lot of years are needed to become a doyen Star Expert. Yes, if you let things go and don't put in any extra effort, you need at least 25 years to become a fifth level internationally recognized superstar. Actually, give or take around five years for each level. However, studies show that some experts can exceed these levels in as little as 10-12 months. Contrary to popular belief, they do not have the luck of the devil nor raw talent. It's all scientific.
There are seven components that are necessary to become a Star Expert. First of all, you should be aware that these components are intertwined, complementary elements. It is not possible to climb one at a time like stairs and you can’t complete one and move on to the next. It’s necessary to carry them out collectively and need to succeed. The experts who combine these seven components are the ones who climb the five levels of being visible quicker.
1. Devoting yourself to becoming a Star Expert: Becoming the star of the sector does not happen by accident. A vision and then a lot of hard work is needed in order to win a gold medal at the Olympics. Being a Star Expert is no different. A lot of effort, good strategy, planning and programming are essential.
2. Developing a strategy for the Star Expert brand: It's necessary to develop a strategy in order for you to create a brand for yourself. Thus, it is necessary to pay attention to convey a consistent message from both online and offline channels.
3. Creating visibility among the target audience: You may be the world’s best expert, but without an audience, you will struggle in the dark. Star Experts can gain visibility through many channels: by being present in online channels, socializing, through business negotiations, partnerships and taking entrepreneurial risks. Most experts don’t gain recognition so quickly because they shy away from sharing their specialized knowledge as blogs, videos, articles, and instead share it only with their customers.
4. Strengthening your field of expertise: If you don't have an expertise, you cannot be a Star Expert. Being visible, known, recognizable doesn't work when it comes to presenting your knowledge. Expertise is based on continuous self-improvement and learning. Those who put their ego aside, ask questions and learn can become Stars.
5. Improving your communication skills: Most Star Experts are number one in communication. They are also extremely comfortable when speaking in public. Not everyone has the natural ability to address or write to the public, but if the Star candidate believes s/he is lacking in either one, they can definitely improve themselves by consulting a professional.
6. Being an instructor: One of the most common characteristics of Star Experts is that they can easily explain complex issues. This is one of the most important issues for customers. The fact is that the most powerful Star Experts are also the best instructors. They motivate those around them, excite them about their niche subjects and inspire them. Above all, they educate their followers.
7. Receiving the help you need: Possessing all the requirements to become a Star Expert is easier said than done. Overcoming each component may not be possible in terms of both time and ability. For example, it may be a good idea to get help from experts on how to optimize your ranking in search engines for an article you have published. Actually, don’t hesitate to request help when and where you need it. Even fifth level experts require help according to their needs.
When we observe those who have climbed up the ladder faster, we can identify three extra components that they have applied in addition to the seven listed above.
8. Focusing on a niche subject: Aiming for a narrower target group will pave the way for Star Experts to set themselves apart from their competitors. This in turn will smooth the way for branding. A niche area of expertise allows the Star Expert to be recognized twice as fast.
9. Adopting content marketing: While each Star Expert creates their own brand by offering quality content, the quick ones adopt content marketing as a strategy. The ones who rise faster start creating content on their expertise earlier, they produce more content, share more frequently and share through more channels.
10. Writing a book: 85% of the quick Stars wrote a book focused on their specialty topic in line with their strategies. Writing books speeds up visibility and acts as a catalyst to being invited as speakers at events such as TED Talks, media interviews and conference presentations. Of course, it doesn't necessarily have to be a book. Sometimes writing in a blog that the entire industry reads will also do the trick, but a book is the fastest and most guaranteed method to speed this all up.
Of course, there are some tools and techniques that Star Experts apply to be more visible. It's necessary to examine the resources from which Star Experts attract new customers in order to understand these tools. Research among Star Experts indicates that the methods that work best from among many resources are, references/recommendations (27%) and giving speeches at events such as conferences and seminars (26%).
It makes sense that search engine results rank higher, since all the tools and techniques you apply become more effective when you invest in Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
When we examine the tools and methods utilized by Star Experts to attract customers, we see that each one utilizes in general an average of 16 different tools. It is possible to see the top 10 tools in the table below. As can be seen below, these tools are also the tools primarily utilized by content marketing.
Although the most popular tools used by Star Experts vary, the big picture changes a little when it comes to ranking the most effective tools. Although they are not as popular, we can see that some tools are very effective, for example SEO or personal web pages. Nonetheless, we see that the effects of some very popular social media channels are relatively lower. This does not indicate that social media is useless.
Professional e-mail addresses can be given as an example. We are all aware that trust in an expert who doesn't have a professional email address disappears instantly. A Star Expert who aims to be generally visible should utilize all channels even if the effects are not as high as such. However, there is evidence that cannot be ignored in this table, which is the effect of the book. Since writing a book is not a piece of cake, most Star Experts will not consider it, but Quick Climbers will.
The best of the best top 5 tools can be listed as follows when considering all this data.
2. Online videos
3. Blog posts
4. Star Expert featured news articles
5. Being a keynote speaker
The only surprise in this list is the second one, Online Video content. This recently popular medium is being used frequently by the most famous experts, and is very noticeable. It should be noted that all of the top five are none other than content marketing.
These are the strategies, tools and methods required to become a Star Expert. In light of this information, now is the time to create a Star Expert Program in your company. How? This will be addressed in the upcoming post.
* This blog has been written with the use of the information given in the book “The Visible Expert: How to Create Industry Stars and Why Every Professional Services Firm Should Care” (2014, Hinge Research Institute) written by Lee W. Frederiksen, Ph.D., Elizabeth Harr and Sylvia S. Montgomery and the research conducted by the Hinge firm for this book.