These days, everyone’s an expert, right?

Everywhere you look, you’ll see someone claiming they’re an expert in something, even though it might just be a one hour a week hobby on the side. If you’re engaged in doing anything specific, you’re almost automatically an expert, it seems.

Helen Zhang 02
Creative Commons License photo credit: China Shutter Bug

Now, granted, it is true that in the world of information marketing, anyone who knows more than the prospect is, by definition, an expert. However, I feel this no longer cuts it in this age of ‘instant expertise’.

Let’s take social media as an example. It’s a good example because almost everyone using social media today lists themselves as an expert. 🙂

  1. You learn how social media works, and understand how to build a presence. Congratulations, you’re a user-level ‘expert’.
  2. You learn the methods by which social media is used for business and promotion, and learn to use them well. Congratulations, you’re now an expert in actually utilizing social media.
  3. You learn, on your own, some tricks that improve the effectiveness of the usual methods, and actually invent some NEW method that builds on the existing, and creates some new wonderful results. Congratulations, you’re now a bona fide social media expert.
  4. You create some fantastic results for yourself and your clients with this discovery, and therefore are not only a known quantity but finally a proven expert.

Now, which of these levels would you hire your social media expert from?

Obviously, level 4 would win, or level 3 in case pricing was prohibitive.

If you’re in category 1 or 2 and manage to sell your services, more power to you. But at the same time, is it really right to sell expertise at a stage where it’s more like the blind leading the blind? Or at best, the one-eyed man leading the blind.

Now, I’m all for people making their own income and giving credit where credit is due. But in the same spirit, we must recognize that not everyone is a true expert. As Ray Edwards so aptly put recently, some things are just not made better by being instant.

Becoming a real expert is one of those things.


Carry on! 🙂


PS. Just to make it clear, I’m not a social media expert myself. This was just an example. I have, however, helped social media marketers gain some unbelievable exposure in my time. Call it just another task in a day’s work as a working copywriter. If you’re interested in increasing exposure, converting more sales, or launching a product, fill out the form for free evaluation on my copywriting showcase site. I’ll get back to you as soon as my current obligations allow.
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