They say content is king. But anyone with a good Internet connection can publish content. In fact, the Internet allows anyone to market themselves as an expert. This funny video mocks just how easy it is. Warning: there are a few cuss words tossed in.

So, how do you separate the “wanna-be” experts from the real thing?

Do your homework. Get to know the person or the company. Read their content and understand their motivation.
Here are a few areas that experts tend to excel in:

  • Blogs – Does the expert post content regularly—at least weekly? Is it full of buzzwords or does it actually say something that provokes your thinking? Jim Harris’s OCDQ Blog does just that, as does Ted Cuzillo with his Datadoodle blog.
  • Websites – Does the expert offer helpful, educational content? Teradata has one of the largest resource libraries available on their site.
  • Twitter – Does the expert stay top of mind with meaningful tweets? Kognitio, Initiate, Tableau, and Composite Software have discovered the power of Twitter.

Finally, you can feel pretty certain that you’re listening to an expert if they’ve published a book. Yes, anyone can self publish, but it takes quite a bit of discipline to produce a couple hundred pages of content. Some of my favorite experts who’ve published books are:

Jill Dyche (@jilldyche) “Customer Data Integration” “CRM Handbook” and a few others!
Phil Simon (@philsimon) “Why New Systems Fail” and “The Next Wave of Technologies”
Mike Stelzner (@mike_stelzner) “Writing White Papers”
Casey Hibbard (@casey_hibbard) “Stories that Sell”

Of course, anyone who does all of these things has raised their credibility as an expert—as all of the book authors do.

As a person or company that would like to be perceived as an expert, are you publishing content (big or small) on a regular basis? Is it quality content? Do you provide supporting facts to back up your opinion? Are you committed?

Love to hear who you think are good examples of experts who know how to use the Internet as a publishing medium to share their knowledge.

5 Comments
  1. Excellent post Terri!

    Although NSFW, that video is not only hilarious, but sadly so true regarding so many self-anointed social media experts.

    The internet and social media have greatly impacted the evaluation of what it means to be an expert in any field.

    One of the primary benefits to blogging is it provides a way to demonstrate your expertise. It is one thing to describe yourself as an expert and another to back up that claim by allowing people to read your thoughts and decide for themselves.

    Best Regards,

    Jim

    P.S. Thanks for the kind words about my blog 🙂

    • Thanks for the comment Jim. It’s important that people and companies really stand back and take a look at how they are being perceived in the public eye. Are you sharing your expertise or just thinly-veiling your sales message? I continually encourage my small business friends to publish content that demonstrates their expertise, but it’s a change many aren’t used to.

  2. Terri

    Thanks as well for the kind words about me. I’m flattered to be put in such company. I just hope that I can keep up with folks like you! 🙂

  3. So funny! Thanks for sharing – and mentioning me. Much appreciated!

    Casey

  4. Terry;
    It was really funny – thanks for sharing! But the sad part about it is how true it is. This post, written by Greg Sattel of DigitalTonto was aimed directly at the phenomenon and although it’s not humorous, it does a great job of providing a few tests to ensure you have a real guru instead of a fake one on your hands: http://www.digitaltonto.com/2010/6-ways-to-spot-false-gurus/ I think he added a related post which talks about spotting real gurus, too.
    If you did a Twitter search about 6 months ago for “Twitter Gurus” you would have found less than a few thousand names. Today it’s more than 15,000 (the guru in the video’s “Doing it for 6 months rings true, right). By this same rate of arrival, there will be millions of Twitter gurus in another 6 months. Whatever happened to real time-on-task expertise?

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