Are You Claiming To Be An Expert On Your Podcast?
Doesn’t it seem like everyone is?
If you listen to a lot of podcasts, you may have noticed: there are a lot of experts out there. Everyone seems to be claiming they’re the best at something. That may even be true.
And yet, there’s also the feeling people are skewing their credentials in much the same way you might embellish your CV.
This leads to questions. What is an expert? Why should I listen to you? Why should I believe you? What makes your opinions valid?
Is it someone who has years of experience? Big success? Training? A degree? And do you need to even be an expert to have a podcast?
Let’s take a closer look at all of those.
We’ll start with years of experience.
This one seems like a no-brainer, right? But where and how were those years spent? There’s a difference between someone who did a ton of community theater in a small town, and someone on Broadway. Duh, right? And yet the small town actor may be claiming abundant experience on stage.
Having said that, there are people who have no experience but are excellent at teaching a subject. Take football coaches as an example. L.A. Rams head coach Sean McVay never played in the NFL, yet he just led his team to a Super Bowl victory. There are many teachers and coaches who never reached the pinnacle of their profession, yet are excellent at molding students into the top tiers.
Next, what were the successes you garnered along the way?
By success I don’t necessarily mean large amounts of money, or lots of followers, though there is a place for those. Some fields, like real estate or business, do focus on the bottom line, and that’s okay. For others, tell us of your little victories, how you added value to people’s lives.
If you’re going to mention these, you might want to make sure your awards can be easily googled. And it’s okay to mention ones that are specific to your field. But I can’t stress this enough, you do not want to be caught making things up. Things have a way of coming back to you, even years down the road.
How about a diploma? Does a degree matter?
Obviously, podcasting is the Wild West, but a degree would go a long way towards establishing credibility on some topics, especially if it’s also backed up with experience. Also, be careful about where you get your degree. At least make sure the school is accredited.
Like degrees, this can help establish credibility, but where you received your training matters even more. Unlike accredited colleges, training comes in all types and sizes. If I spend hours on YouTube investigating a topic, can I call that training? If I take a Udemy or Creative Skills online course, can I call that training?
What if the training is from a company that can back up their knowledge with an incredible client and user base? What if the training company can point to students that have succeeded? Great!
So if after all this, you still want to call yourself an expert, let’s discuss a few more things.
Somewhere in your podcast, preferably near the beginning, you should give a brief description of why you’re an expert. It doesn’t even need to be more than one sentence. But you need to state it somewhere. Many don’t explain it on their podcast, and they don’t put it in their show description.
You may also be too vague. “I’m an expert on Hollywood entertainment” doesn’t hold much weight. But if you follow it with “I worked for years at MGM” or “I was a writer for TMZ,” that adds the credence you’re looking for.
This isn’t about bragging. You don’t need to go on and on about all your accomplishments. Just pick two or three of your biggest and most relevant. If you don’t want to go into details in an episode, at least put something in your description.
Right now you may be concerned because you’re not an expert, or you don’t feel like one. You do not have to be.
A tragedy or some other life event may have happened to you, and it’s something you know a lot of people can relate to. Your experience may not make you an expert, but it gives you and your audience a chance to grow together. You and everyone listening can learn from guests, or learn from each other as everyone shares how they went through the same event.
Maybe you’re passionate about a certain topic, say horror movies. Again, there’s nothing wrong with you and others having fun sharing opinions. And if your love for something shows, your listeners won’t care if you’re an expert or not. Follow almost any Disney show. Most of those podcasts are hosted by fans.
By the way, am I an expert? I’ve never claimed to be, but you decide.
I have over 30 years behind a microphone, as a major market morning radio personality, as a reporter, as an anchor, and as a voiceover pro. For over a dozen years I had to write and produce new content every day for a four hour show, from news to comedy. I’ve conducted thousands of interviews with celebrities and newsmakers.
Over those years, I’ve learned a great many techniques that translate well into podcasting, and I’m enjoying sharing them.
If that’s enough for you, great! If not, finding another expert is only a google search away.