How To Get Paid for Your Expertise

Everybody is an expert!

If you hear this tired expression long enough you begin to succumb to the thinking of the masses – that there are very few true experts.  When you do this, you begin to think less of your expertise, and are therefore less likely to get paid for it.

2011.4.10 Expert
The truth is everybody is an expert in some way, but not many realize this because they believe what they know is common knowledge.  It's easy to know something so well that you fail to recognize, and therefore, capitalize on its value.

Here are three considerations for getting out of that rut and getting paid for your expertise.

Realize The Value of Your Expertise 

To get paid for the value you offer the world you have to firmly believe in its value.  This may be the greatest challenge for all of us.  Any number of market influences can get you thinking that your expertise is common knowledge, so you devalue it.

If you don't highly value your expertise, then nobody else will. This means realizing the value of your time and accumulated years of experience, and then putting a price on it, and for the most part holding firm to that.  

Do you feel you offer more than your competition?  If so, then you should be comfortable charging more for it.  The key is your belief in what you and your business bring to the marketplace.  That's where the value exchange takes place – and it is the only place where it can be measured.

Market Knowledge + Technical Expertise = Value

To have value in the marketplace you need technical expertise and market knowledge. Understanding your market is vital for packaging that expertise in a way that makes it practical and useful.

This is why I believe it is more important to understand your customers than to be technically skilled. While my expertise with social media is solid, it is my ability to explain it to small businesses in ways that they can understand it and make it work in their companies that significantly increases its value.

When you package your expertise for a specific community, you immediately establish your value by demonstrating your understanding of their needs. This is one of the reasons blogging is such a powerful medium for helping small business to get paid for their expertise.

Brand Your Expertise by Personalizing It

When all things are equal people do business with the companies that they trust. To build a sustainable business you have to personalize it in a way that aligns you with your ideal clients. This is how you brand your expertise – increasing its value in the process.

I've found that one of the best ways to do this is to either add something or take something away from the standard market offering.  This isn't as easy as it may seem, but when you discover what does the trick for you, you'll find it much easier to get paid for your expertise. 

If you have celebrity power of some kind, which could be as simple as being the local guy or gal that is a successful product of the community, that adds to your expertise. It gives your customers one more reason to work with you.  

My method for personalization is to take away what is irrelevant to my customers.  Social media is like so many other marketing tools.  It is only valuable if you use it, and you aren't going to do that if you are overwhelmed by too many choices.

Social media is helping to create experts in every industry by allowing them to cut through the rhetoric and demonstrate their skill for helping specific communities.

You may as well be one of them.  After all, everyone is an expert.  The challenge is only a matter of believing, packaging, and personalizing. 

Feel free to share this with your friends by clicking on the Facebook Like button.

And please consider subscribing to to learn more ways to profitably grow your small business.

Until tomorrow,  Jeff  

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  1. Perfect timing Jeff! I think social media can add to the challenge of feeling like an expert if you run in circles of people who think like you. I’ve been reflecting on this lately, so your post has helped put things in perspective!


  2. Great to hear Jen – thanks for stopping by. 🙂


  3. Thanks Jeff. This is a great article and I absolutely agree. It’s very easy to think your skills are shared by everyone. Coming from the customers point of view is essential also.
    Great tips.

  4. Your welcome Tess. Thanks for sharing.