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How to Become an Expert with David C. Baker

Liston Witherill
Liston Witherill
2 min read

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You’re the best at what you do and have the resume to prove it, but still, you wonder how to become an expert, or at least, be considered as one. What are the qualifications or characteristics? David C. Baker, also known as the “expert’s expert” according to the New York Times, joins me today to talk about how to establish yourself as an expert.

David is the author of The Business of Expertise, an “expertise manifesto” that motivates and encourages entrepreneurs to become experts themselves. A bona fide expert himself, David brings years of wisdom and knowledge to this episode, and I’m very excited to share this one with you all.

In this episode, we’ll be talking about:

  1. What an expert is
  2. How to recognize clear boundaries in sales
  3. Content vs. insight in establishing expertise

So what makes an expert, well, an expert? According to David, it’s someone who is “regularly paid to dispense their thinking.” Insightful thought processes are at the root of expertise, along with a constant thirst for knowledge. Exercising your mind and continually learning solidifies your credibility as an expert, and inspires others ask you and learn from what you already know.

When it comes to being an expert, confidence is part of the package. You need to position yourself in a way that lets others know who you are, and what you’re all about. Use this confidence to set you apart from other competitors in the sales ring.

Being mindful of this confidence can also prevent you from growing attached and invested in a sale that may not have actually happened yet. The poise you present shows what you can do for the client, but don’t start really caring until you’re officially hired. There are boundaries to be aware of, so make sure those are not crossed by attaching yourself to the sale too soon.

Another way to build your credibility as an expert is to provide more insight, and less content. As David puts it, “content is ignorable.” You read something, it registers, but by the next day, you’re not really thinking about it. Insight, however, takes a point of view and almost forces you to agree or disagree with what’s being said. It’s thought-provoking and gets audiences to really think about why they do or don’t agree with you. Posting controversial topics, though, is not the message here—just take a risk, and see what results.

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