Why being an industry authority is better than being an expert
Being referred to as an industry expert is a high compliment. It means you have a level of knowledge that exceeds the competition within your field. That being said, it doesn’t always mean you know how to translate this knowledge to people outside of your industry. Being a subject matter authority is having the same expertise but understanding how to share what you know with a broader group. That is a key distinction; you’ve got the material and you know how to talk about it.
On a recent episode of the Brand Therapy podcast, Brand Strategist Petra Zink explained why the difference is so important. She discussed how an expert is known for what they are doing, but an authority is “able to share what they know in a way that makes sense to their audience”. This communication is incredibly important for those wanting to cast a wider net and attract more attention to the projects they are developing.
This is something I run into often with content writing. People have great ideas, they’ve done the leg work and they’ve created something amazing but…they don’t know how to describe it without an excessive amount of jargon. It’s an extremely common problem. Particularly if you’ve been working in an industry for the better part of your life, you just assume everyone knows what API, CTC or BOF mean. You talk about a Rotorvane or a Finished Floor Level or the Binance Smart Chain and you figure people who visit your website will get the gist.
I can tell you now, they don’t.
And when they don’t understand what you’re talking about, clients and audiences feel uninformed and nervous about buying your product or service.
This can be critical for companies that are trying to attract investors, build a client base or sell a new idea to the market. You’ll find some people who already know the basics of what you’re doing. But what about the rest? People who aren’t willing to do extensive research to get involved in what you’re offering.
You have to ask yourself, is there a way to present this information that is more inclusive and can help build your brand. Can you break down your NFT offering to sell to someone who is new to the game? Can you present your startup idea through a series of infographics? There is a myriad of ways to make all the incredible information you hold in your head a little lighter.
Being able to talk about what you do in an accessible way can be learned. To get started, it would be helpful if you can find someone to look at your content with fresh eyes; someone that doesn’t work in your industry who might be able to give insight into how new users will experience your material. From there, simplifying your information can go a long way. I’m not saying to dumb it down but using language and metaphors that are more commonplace can open up your content to more people.
Being an authority comes with a lot of perks, including getting chances to share your hard work with interested parties. It’s extremely beneficial to use a critical eye, examine how you speak about your project and determine if you fall within the expert or authority category. It can be a game-changer.
Dominique Roy is a Content Strategist and Writer who specializes in helping businesses grow their client base through engaging website content. Contact her today.