Tips for the Apprentice Expert

Write a one-paragraph biography of yourself such as you might see listed at the end of a seminar description. How can you describe yourself in a brief and interesting way?

Make a list of 10 tip sheet subjects. Write one of them. Now make a list of all the ways you can use this list. Pick one and go for it.

Find 5 potential affinity groups (see Gale’s Encyclopedia of Associations or ask your reference librarian for a similar publication). Send for information and study it. How might you be of service to them?

Challenge yourself to expand your mastery in one area. Join Toastmasters, for instance, if your speaking skills need to be polished, or take a class in marketing your articles. Keep learning more about your subject, too.

Make a list of 6 basic questions a radio or TV interviewer might ask you. Turn them into a sample interview in Q&A format and add to your press kit.

Consciously watch experts in action. What can you emulate? What would you avoid? If you can find an autobiography of an expert you admire, read it for clues about how they built their reputation.

Make an appointment with a portrait photographer and get a picture of yourself that you love. Use it on your brochures or marketing material and always offer it to a magazine that’s publishing your article or conference where you’ll be speaking.

Avoid the common mistake of thinking One Big Appearance will clinch your career. No, not even Oprah. Establishing yourself as an expert is an ongoing process that needs to be nurtured and built one step at a time.

Imagine you’ve been invited to speak at your local Rotary luncheon. Write an introduction to give the person who will be introducing you to the audience.

Print your favorite tip sheet on a bookmark to give as a handout. Don’t forget to include contact information for yourself.