Someone stood up, in the middle of my talk and pointed at me.
I locked eyes with them and they shouted “you don’t really know what you’re talking about do you?”
Everyone in the audience heard the question and all eyes turned back to me. I was completely stunned.
In shock, I couldn’t get a response out. I just stood there for what felt like hours, starting back at this person who had found me out.
The room went completely silent.
I was stood on stage, microphone in hand, lights blaring into my face.
The crowd was in the hundreds, I could barely make out any faces. I felt sweat running down my face, into my eyes.
They’ve finally figured it out. I’m a huge fraud. My life is over.
And just like that, my entire career disappeared as people finally realised that I haven’t got a clue what I’m doing.
This is apparently the biggest fear for public speakers.
Many comedians are terrified that someone in the audience will stand up and declare “you’re not that funny are you?”
Being caught out, un-masked, proven as a fraud. I believe this is the number one reason people don’t like to call themselves an expert.
It’s terrifying putting yourself on the line, claiming you know what you’re talking about, when deep down you’re still figuring it out.
I’ve got some good news for you.
We all are.
I’ve been lucky enough to attend networking events, masterminds and group sessions with some of the biggest names in marketing, sales and content.
Every single time I’ve caught up with the organiser or leader, they’ve said to me “I was sure that this was the time they’d finally catch me out”. Even the experts we look up to, can’t believe they’ve got away with it this long.
So evidently, the problem doesn’t lie with believing we are an expert. Because even legitimate experts still worry that they’re not as smart as they make out.
So what does make an expert? How do you become known as an industry, niche or funnel expert?
It’s not a title that’s handed to you, that’s for sure. I think a lot of people mistakenly believe that there is a board of certification that addresses people who have shown aptitude in certain areas.
“For your continued research and dedication to conversion optimisation, I now pronounce you as a conversion optimisation expert. Congratulations.”
It doesn’t happen like that. Let’s look at what experts do.
- Write books
- Give talks
- Appear on interviews
- Write blog posts
- Record podcasts
- Create communities
- Answer questions
Do they do this before or after being called an expert?
All of this is what they do BEFORE they’re called an expert. And, they might not call themselves an expert, but they do believe they have something worth sharing.
Now what do they get AFTER becoming an expert? They can command higher fees. They get more interesting projects. Customers seek them out. They attract more leads.
I’ve got a video here talking about how to become an expert in the funnel game (or any niche).