Imagine you went to the doctor with a mysterious pain.
And within five minutes, he told you exactly what was wrong, why, and how to fix it.
One week later, you were pain-free.
Would you trust him?
Would you go back in the future?
You see, to become the go-to expert in your niche, you need to know your audience better than anyone else.
You need to understand their problems and frustrations.
And you need to know how to help people move toward what they want.
The better you get at this, the more people will come to know, like and trust you.
Take Yourself as an Example
You want to get somewhere, but something is stopping you. (There are always things stopping you, because that’s how life challenges you to grow.)
So you seek solutions. And how do you react when you find someone who knows exactly what you’re going through? Just them describing your frustrations makes you pay attention, doesn’t it?
It implies that they have answers.
And when you find someone who not only understands you, but helps you move forward, you feel ecstatic, because it’s like finding a golden needle in a giant pile of, well, unpleasant goo.
The question then becomes, how do you learn the frustrations of your audience?
How to Become the Go-To Expert
There are three steps that I go through:
- Collect problems
- Find answers
Let’s start with número uno:
1. Collect Problems
In order to uncover the problems of the people you help, you have to become a collector. Here’s a list of things collectors might do:
- Read books
- Listen to their audience
- Coach to gather data (for free if needed)
- Lurk in forums
- Read blogs (and their comments)
- Look at Amazon book reviews
- Use surveys
- Listen (did I mention that already?)
You get the point. Collectors pay attention, because they want to learn more, so they can be of greater service to others.
I collect problems in Evernote. You can use any system as long as it keeps you organized, and you actually use it.
I create a note for each new problem. If I have an idea for the solution of that problem, I’ll jot down my thoughts.
2. Find Answers
So now I’ve got the questions and/or problems in Evernote. What next?
I pay attention.
The mere act of writing down the problems makes me more likely to find the answers, because my subconscious is on high alert.
Ideas will start popping up when I’m taking a walk, reading, or washing the dishes. I’ll be drawn to certain books. While I’m reading, passages will jump out at me.
I seek out answers as best as I can, but at times it feels like the answers seek me out.
Once I start coming up with solutions, no matter how small, I start sharing them.
I notice how people react. I gather feedback. And I listen.
Feedback gives me more data to put into my notes, which helps me understand you even better, and that helps me help you move forward.
Nifty, isn’t it?
What If You Don’t Know the Answers?
If you don’t know the answer to something, find someone who does.
If I don’t know something, I’ll read a book, an article, or interview someone (like I did with Carol on becoming a freelance writer).
I’m not trying to find all the answers right away. I’m in no rush. I let my subconscious, and my heart, guide me.
And I don’t rehash information. Whatever I share, I’ve tested. So I learn, I experiment, and I make it my own.
I make sure it works, because my priority is to help you dance through the ups and downs of life.
The Most Important Part of Standing Out
So, to stand out, and to become the go-to expert in your niche, get a white coat, and put it on.
You are the doctor for your audience.
Start collecting their problems, and start looking for answers. Begin asking yourself: How can I help someone right now?
Because the more you can lessen people’s pain, the more they will gravitate toward you.
Turning your passion into a thriving business starts with helping one person with one problem.
As Zig Ziglar once said: “You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.”
And in the end, helping others makes my heart smile, so that’s what I do.
I hope the same is true for you.