You can be on Entrepreneur’s cover!

How to Be Seen as an Expert in Anything What does it take to be seen as an expert? It's a bit different for everyone.

By Timothy Carter

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

It pays to be seen as an expert. Depending on your goals, being seen as an expert could help you get leverage in a tough negotiation. It could help your brand achieve more visibility and earn more trust from its customers. It could also help you build your career, giving you access to more job opportunities and a better growth trajectory.

But here's an unpleasant truth about the modern world: being an expert and being seen as an expert are two different things. There are experts who don't get the respect they deserve and there are non-experts being treated as if they're true authorities.

Related: How to Build Your Business Through Public Speaking

Fake news and other controversies aside, building your own perceived expertise can be incredibly valuable. And it's a lot easier than most people would expect.

The components of expertise

What does it take to be seen as an expert?

It's a bit different for everyone. For some people, wearing a suit and speaking in an authoritative manner is all it takes to be seen as an authority. Others are more discerning.

In any case, perceived expertise is usually attributable to some combination of the following:

Credentials. You need definable metrics that, more or less, "prove" you're an expert. A degree from a respected institution or an official title can go a long way.

Originality. There are likely thousands, or even millions, of people claiming to be experts like you. So what makes you different?

Confidence. How you present yourself matters. Eloquence, grace, and authoritative confidence can all help you build your image.

Connections. Many people evaluate authority by proxy, whether they admit it or not. The people you work with can significantly influence how you're perceived.

So how can you earn these for yourself?

Earn credentials

Your first job is to earn the credentials you need to be seen as a credible expert in your field. In some industries, there's almost no getting around it; you'll need to get a college degree or a formal certification. In other fields, you can establish your credentials through other means. For example, you could work for several years in your chosen industry or you could contribute to some impressive research breakthrough.

Related: 7 Public Speaking Habits of Successful Entrepreneurs

In any case, you should have something concrete and measurable to prove your education, experience, or skills in a given area. This is arguably the most arduous and most important aspect of your expertise-building journey.

Start a blog

Next, you'll want to start creating content. It's one of the best ways to prove that you know what you're talking about, it's an easy way to differentiate yourself with original thoughts and it's low-hanging fruit for self-marketing. Build an archive of several dozen posts and try to write new content in your area of expertise at least once or twice per week.

Get active on social media

Much of your growth as a perceived expert will come from your interactions on social media (whether you like it or not).

Related: How Your Business Can Succeed With Social Media Marketing

There are several important elements to your strategy here:

Syndicate and distribute your work. Social media is the perfect outlet to distribute your written content and other work. As your audience grows, your work will get more visibility – and you'll have an easier time convincing others that you truly know what you're talking about.

Join groups and get involved in discussion. Visibility doesn't accumulate by itself, no matter how much you know or how much you've done; that's one reason why some experts never get the recognition they deserve. If you want to build your authority and reputation, you need to join groups and get active in discussions. Answer questions, give your opinion where appropriate and don't be afraid to debate people.

Build your network. Spend time building your network as well. Connect with the people you meet in groups. Reach out to people you know in real life. Get your follower counts up and start climbing the influencer ladder in your industry. The more people in your network and the more authoritative those people are, the more expertise you'll be seen to hold.

Partner and be affiliated with trusted brands

Finally, you'll need to start partnering and earning affiliation with trusted brands. That could mean getting a piece of work published in a serious journal or magazine, securing a Fortune 500 client or even just getting featured in a piece of mainstream media. Once you secure these connections and affiliations, you can use trust badges (or something similar) to show them off.

The road to being seen as an expert can be a long and difficult one, but it's worth the expert. With a better reputation and more visibility, you'll have a better chance of achieving your goals – whether you're interested in building a business from scratch or just climbing to the next rung of your personal career ladder.

Timothy Carter

Chief Revenue Officer of

Timothy Carter is the CRO of the Seattle digital marketing agency He has spent more than 20 years in the world of SEO & digital marketing leading, building & scaling sales operations, helping companies increase revenue efficiency and driving growth from websites and sales teams.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Business Solutions

Grab Microsoft Project Professional 2021 for $20 During This Flash Sale

This small investment is well worth the time it will save your team in organizing and monitoring project work.

Business News

James Clear Explains Why the 'Two Minute Rule' Is the Key to Long-Term Habit Building

The hardest step is usually the first one, he says. So make it short.

Side Hustle

He Took His Side Hustle Full-Time After Being Laid Off From Meta in 2023 — Now He Earns About $200,000 a Year: 'Sweet, Sweet Irony'

When Scott Goodfriend moved from Los Angeles to New York City, he became "obsessed" with the city's culinary offerings — and saw a business opportunity.

Business News

Microsoft's New AI Can Make Photographs Sing and Talk — and It Already Has the Mona Lisa Lip-Syncing

The VASA-1 AI model was not trained on the Mona Lisa but could animate it anyway.