How to Brand Yourself as an Expert Without Wasting Your Time

Updated: August 1, 2012

Stanley Lee

Share this article

This is a guest post by Stanley Lee.

Why do you want to market yourself as an expert?

What do you fear the most on your specialization journey?

If you want to earn more respect without getting severely penalized for expertise not working out, read on.

The End of Specialization

Malcolm Gladwell gets misquoted a lot. When he mentioned 10,000 hour rule, he was referring to the outliers. The phenoms, not experts.

While there are no shortcuts, you always have the option to follow a system that allows you to fail cheap.

I want to show you this process. Before then, I would like you to do something for me.

"It takes 10,000 hours worth of effort to become a phenom at a trade." Tweet Now

The Anatomy of the Fail-Cheap System

Step 1: Gather Inventory of Your Expertise

You may gain some ideas from the following suggestions:
  • What publications do you read regularly?
  • What do you do on a Saturday morning?
  • What do colleagues typically approach you for help with?
Feel free to add more rituals to your system of finding your expertise.

Step 2: Find Demographic Market

Brainstorm thoroughly on who you may benefit. Complaints in comments of existing blogs and conversation may give you some clues. If you’re really stuck, try asking other experts in the same field.

Pioneer and expert are two different types of professionals. If you’re not a pioneer in the subject, there are definitely other experts whom you can gather demographic information from.

Step 3: Verify Your Marketability

This is one of the steps where you have to hustle hard. Perfect timing to ask as many questions of your prospects as possible. The questions you ask will highly depend on the expertise you’re testing.

Their answers will verify whether you can offer benefits to them by leveraging your expertise. Make sure you test out one expertise offering at a time before you decide to move on to another.

If none of your existing expertise is of any use to the market, try some rapid skill acquisition in an underserved market.

Step 4: Compile Your Solutions Package

Once you hit the jackpot in terms of interest, compile the solutions addressing the relevant responses to your questions. Using the same responses from your prospects, you can then…

Step 5: Share Using Appropriate Channels

The most likely avenue would be low-hanging fruit type of publications that your prospects read. You won’t have to deal with the minutiae on the social media platforms, and evergreen benefits from publishing on the popular blogs will remain.

While you share your solutions, you may want to put together a decent landing page so that you can…

Step 6: Collect and Leverage Feedback

This is when you will be rewarded your hustle. If you have executed all the steps properly, you will have more feedback than you can possibly handle.

Since value is created by having the right expertise, connections, and timing altogether, you could be accumulating value creation ability each time you iterate this process.


If you followed these steps, going broke or wasting input on out-of-demand expertise should not be a possibility. Josh Kaufman, Dale Stephens and Scott Young are sound proofs of becoming experts at whatever they are learning in a short amount of time.

The time to leverage the expert economy is now.

I want to hear from you on how this strategy is working out.

img img

Subscribe to the Expert Enough newsletter.

Get our latest articles sent to your inbox weekly: