You can use your expertise to educate prospects and customers and better market your business. Oftentimes the only thing standing in the way of recognition of your expert status is visibility in the marketplace.

But for many of us, it’s difficult to sing our own praises. So we need to create and gather evidence.

Here are five ways you can build your folder of evidence and get yourself noticed as an expert:

1. Write

Whether it’s a blog post you turn into a regular email, an article you pen for a publication (commonly known as a “contributed article”), or a full-fledged book, writing useful and enjoyable content is an excellent way to communicate your expertise.
💡 WEBSITE INSIGHT: Regardless of where your writing is published, be sure to include it on your website, too. Build your expertise portfolio on your website.

2. Get accredited

You don’t need to earn a university degree to achieve validation you can use to brand yourself as an expert. Certificate training courses abound in everything from inbound marketing to automotive repair.
Learn what your market values and invest in the accreditation.
💡 WEBSITE INSIGHT: Once accredited, make sure you receive some sort of badge that you can add to your website. Include ALT text that describes the honor and names the accrediting institution. Why? Because people often search for vendors based on specific criteria, such as “Hubspot inbound” or “minority-owned business.”

3. Teach a class

Do you live near a community college? Consider teaching a course there as an adjunct faculty member. Many communities also offer educational courses in everything from pottery making to financial planning that you could use to educate others while solidifying your credibility as an expert.

4. Secure testimonials

Jottful customer testimonial supercut

Nothing says “expert” like other people speaking favorably of your skill. Request and share customer testimonials and get quotes and reviews from people who are highly respected by your market.
At Jottful we invest heavily in gathering these proof points. We keep a folder on our shared Google drive and we are constantly adding more items to it, including:
  • Quotes from customers and partners in a spreadsheet. We add columns so we can quickly find the examples we need (e.g., what feature the customer most appreciates, which industry the customer is in, etc.).
  • Screenshots from social media posts our customers write about us
  • Before/after images of our customers’ websites, using screenshots
  • Video testimonials that we sometimes share individually but also edited into this highly impactful supercut video
  • Press and influencer mentions in both online and print media
💡 TIP: If you aren’t storing all this information somewhere, start this week! Your would-be customers need evidence that you’ll be able to deliver on your promises. Nothing is more convincing than your actual customers talking about why they chose to work with you and how much they value you and your products.

5. Speak at events

Dawn Verbrigghe tech talk

Conferences, meetups, clubs, and more — there’s no shortage of events where speakers can share their know-how and advice. Assemble a calendar, then begin reaching out to event coordinators, putting yourself forward as a speaker.
💡 TIP: Use the other evidence of your expertise (accreditations, classes you’ve taught, past speaking roles, etc.) to pitch for a speaking spot. For example, we often share this video of Jottful’s CEO, Dawn Verbrigghe, delivering a talk about entrepreneurship called “Isn’t this supposed to be an overnight success?” when pitching for similar talks. Over time you’ll find that people start reaching out to you.