The Dictionary definition of an Expert?: a person who has special skill or knowledge in some particular field. My definition of an Expert: YOU!

Trust me, this was one of my biggest stumbling blocks when starting my business…given that I came from the field of medicine where one of the most famous worldwide heart surgeon “experts” performed his miracles...ahhhh...I had no confidence that I, little Ann, could EVER be an EXPERT!
Well, I’ve overcome that belief and today I want you to also.

Here is my proven system for authentically positioning yourself as an expert.

Step #1: Read and Study in a field that you are passionate about
The first message I heard that helped me came from Earl Nightingale, motivational speaker and creator of motivational products – he said one hour per day of reading/study in your chosen field is all it takes. One hour per day of study will put you at the top of your field within three years. Within five years, you'll be a national authority. In seven years, you can be one of the best people in the world at what you do. So I have done that in the field of entrepreneurship for the last nine years.

But what about the first year – I was studying and reading and out there speaking – how could I feel like an expert?

Step #2: Write and place articles. Nothing gives you “expert” status like being published. Write short articles (500-900 words is 1-2 pages) on your topic. Get your articles placed in publications online and in print that your potential client/customer reads. Have a “call to action” at the end of the article. Send the article to your local professional association. Make copies and give them out everywhere you go! At the end of the article tell the reader to take action! You can give your website link for a free tip sheet or booklet. Now, that person is in your “leads list.”

Step #3: Lose the Fear of Speaking
You owe the world your life. That’s a big statement huh...I wanted to be sure you were still awake! AND I truly believe you do. The world doesn’t owe you anything. You were put on this planet with your own unique gifts to share and it’s your job to share them with others and prosper as you do so. Simple. So get out there and share yourself with the world.

Find a way that works for you. I enjoy speaking in situations where I am facilitating interaction among the participants. I’m not as fond of “keynote” speeches where I am the only one speaking for any length of time.

So 20 minute talks with Q&A or workshops and seminars where I can have people interact is the way I do it. This is a top method of becoming known as an expert.

If you want more support on this, join our Success Circle –I’ll be conducting a 6 part teleclass on just this topic.

Step #4: Get Testimonials
Testimonials help build trust. Haven’t you ever bought a product or service because the testimonials made you say “I want THAT!” A good testimonial talks about a problem, how you helped the person solve it, and concrete results.

Even when you’re just starting out, you can get testimonials. Listen very carefully to your first clients...any positive feedback is a testimonial. Ask them if you can use their words... I always write the testimonial for them, building on the few words I heard. I send it to them, asking if I can use it as is, or if they’d like to edit it. I always want to include their name and geographical location –this makes it feel like it’s the real deal and not made up. I also offer them the opportunity to have their email and/or website included.

You can also send your product around or invite someone to experience your service and get their testimonial. It helps if you get recognizable names, but people with the right titles or degrees can also help. Start where you are. A good testimonial from an “unknown” person is still worth its weight in gold.

Here’s the latest one I received. “After participating in Ann Ronan’s coaching program, I got very clear on my ideal work and realized that I was happy being an employee... just not with the company I was with. Then the Universe helped me move forward... I got laid off. Within a short four weeks of making this decision and creating a plan, with Ann, for finding ideal work... I landed the new perfect job (in this economy during 03/09!). In fact, I had 3 job offers - amazing. Of equal importance, Ann was instrumental in helping me use my precious 4 weeks off for rest, personal growth and focusing on things that I normally did not have time for. It was truly magical.

If you too are yearning to create your ideal work - whether in an organization or in your own business - then look no further than Ann Ronan -- an investment in her program is well worth every dollar.” Diane Hankison, Melbourne, FL

Author's Bio: 

Ann Ronan, Ph.D. is an author, speaker, certified career coach and self employment expert, and vision generator.

Ann delivers smart, simple ways for people to acknowledge what they love to do and do more of it. Her articles, products, and books have motivated and inspired readers in numerous print and online publications. She regularly leads coaching programs, tele-seminars and live retreats, bringing the message to audiences internationally that living a passion-based life will bring prosperity and success.

She was recently selected from a nationwide search to be featured in Discover Your Inner Strength. The book features best-selling authors Stephen R. Covey (Seven Habits of Highly Effective People), Brian Tracy (Million Dollar Habits), and Ken Blanchard (One Minute Manager).