Whether you’ve been in your field for a while or you’re just starting out in your career, becoming an industry expert is easier than you think. Now is the perfect time to dive in and develop your personal brand so you can begin positioning yourself as an expert.

Let’s begin with a little exercise. Think of three people you consider to be industry experts in your field. What characteristics do they have in common? How do they present themselves? Have you ever wondered what it takes to be one of them?

Whether you’ve been in your field for a while or you’re just starting out in your career, becoming an industry expert is easier than you think. Now is the perfect time to dive in and develop your personal brand so you can begin positioning yourself as an expert.

Here are my 8 pieces of advice on becoming an industry expert:

Do your job, and do it well.

Before you can ever be perceived as an industry expert, you first need to be an expert at your job. That means having a clear understanding of your role and what is expected of you, and possessing or developing the necessary skills to excel at your job.

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Craft your elevator pitch.

There are two important elevator pitches you should prepare. The first represents who you are, what you do, and what value you bring to the table. The second represents the company you work for, and the value-add it provides for your customers.

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Related: An Answer to “So, What Do You Do?” The Guide to Crafting Your Elevator Pitch

A polished, practiced elevator pitches demonstrate confidence. Being able to clearly articulate your role and value play a huge role in whether or not you’re perceived as an expert.

Establish your social media identity.

Build out your social media profiles so they are a direct reflection of your personal brand, and use them as a means of establishing credibility as an expert.

Make sure that every post is clean and appropriate, and reflects the version of yourself that you want representing your personal brand.

Educate yourself on the latest news and trends.

Figure out what publications are popular among people in similar roles. What is your boss reading? What is their boss reading? Where do the people you follow on Twitter get their information?

Subscribe to them. Sign up for newsletters to be delivered right to your email inbox. Take a few minutes each morning to go through them — but don’t drive yourself crazy trying to find the time to read each and every one of them. Pick out what seem to be the most important issues. Keep a little notebook with you to jot down what you learn about topics you encounter that you aren’t familiar with.

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If you want to stay up on broader, daily news topics, sign up for newsletters like theSkimm, who will give you the facts without bogging you down with the details.

Figure out who the other experts are.

Think back to the exercise we started with. Who were the experts you thought of? Dig a little deeper, and ask yourself: who do they consider to be industry experts?

Once you figure out who these people are, you can ask yourself again what characteristics they have in common, and how they present themselves. Make a conscious effort to present yourself in a similar way.

Advocate for yourself.

Start calling yourself an expert. How else will people know that’s what you want to be considered if you don’t tell them?

Fully embrace it as a part of your personal brand: put it in your elevator pitch, and make it clear on social media that that’s the image that you’d like to portray.

Get social.

Find these other experts on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. See what conversations they are having, and find a way to contribute (make sure to have some discretion – you don’t want to butt into a personal conversation or offer too many unsolicited opinions).

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Jump into Twitter chats.

If you’re not sure how Twitter chats work, check out our step-by-step guide to keep up with the conversation.

Twitter chats are a great way to share your knowledge and expertise, as well as network with those other experts.

As a marketer, my personal favorites are #MillennialTalk, #AdweekChat, #SMXChat, and of course, #G20Chat. There are so many other great ones out there – don’t be afraid to do a little research and exploring to see what else is out there.

Related: 5 Twitter Chats for Millennials and 5 Twitter Chats for Millennials Part 2

Benefits of Being an Expert In Your Field

  • People will look to you first for answers.
  • Your opinion will hold much more weight.
  • You’ll have a credibility factor you might not have had before.
  • You’ll be taken very seriously as a professional.
  • You’ll stand out among your colleagues, and impress your boss.

Are you an expert in your field, or are you taking steps to do so? I’d love for you to share your experiences with me. Follow me on Twitter and let’s get those expert conversations going!

Experts aren't born with it, they've just followed these steps! And you can do it too.