Have you noticed how everybody is an expert these days? The Internet is positively rife with blogs, e-books, webinars, online courses and workshops offering to help you do, be or have just about anything with a little expert help. (A collective roll of the eyes, I know it’s easy to dismiss ‘expert opinion’ especially in the very crowded and competitive online market.)
It seems that anyone with a little skill or knowledge can claim to be an expert in his or her field, but is this so called expertise nothing more than marketing hype, or is there more to it?
Marketers and entrepreneurs, all tout the idea that you need to position yourself as an expert in order to become a trusted authority to win the hearts and minds of customers.
And once you achieve trusted authority status, your business or blog is well on its way to financial / readership / fandom success.
Now I can’t deny the power imbued in the words expert and trusted authority, after all they’re very persuasive and psychologically charged words. The words expert and trusted authority command your attention and it’s no wonder they get used / overused in the media. How many times have you heard “experts claim…” in news and current affairs reports, read it in magazine articles, and seen it in TV commercials?
I’m betting quite a lot. You’d think that we would be immune to all this expert information and opinion. Sure we filter out stuff that doesn’t interest us, but the undeniable persuasive pull of experts and trusted authorities has a special X factor that is difficult to resist and ignore.
To illustrate the point, remember the eighties Oral B toothbrush commercial where they can’t show the guy’s face because he’s a dentist? The authoritative voice over at the end claims ‘Oral B the toothbrush more dentists use.’ Well it worked a treat on me, I’ve been using only Oral B toothbrushes ever since. Why? Because if it’s good enough for a professional dentist, then it’s good enough for me too.
But that’s not the only reason. This particular commercial worked on me because I had a fear of going to the dentist and I’m not alone in my fear. Obviously the ad worked on some subconscious level, that if I use Oral B toothbrushes I don’t have to visit the dentist. Crazy, I know but there you go, even as a copywriter who understands the psychological machinations at play it’s hard to ignore an expert.
That’s pretty powerful stuff for something as trivial as a toothbrush. It works incredibly well across all types of professions, products and services despite the fact that everywhere you look there’s another expert flaunting their thing.
Even though I’ve yet to achieve the kind of rock star status of my peers and competitors, I acknowledge that showcasing your expertise certainly helps establish you as an authority people trust making you the smarter, sexier, successful choice. How about you?
Keep watching this space 🙂