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 have goals, hopes, and secret dreams.
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.
I’m creating an overview of problems. This will give me fodder for articles, books, courses, and help me be more organized when I work with people 1-on-1.
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.
A blog post. A video. A forum post.
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.
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Marcio CS says
Hey, Henri, great article! 🙂 Yesterday i invited the visitors of my website and my mailing list’s subscribers to answer a free survey i created at Survey Monkey, to check what people are seeking and how i’m helping them, and if it’s working. I think it’s the 1st step you said above. I hope this survey will guide me to a better way to help my readers. All the best to you, my friend 🙂
It definitely will, as long as you ask the right questions. Thanks for the reminder about surveys. I’ve used those quite a bit myself. Will update the article to throw that bit in.
Marcio CS says
Awesome, Henri. Glad to help 🙂
Ravi Sagar says
Well this is another great article from Henry. This applies to all domains. For instance someone who is into technical field can also use this approach by writing free blogs and videos.
Just that it requires lot of efforts and dedication.
Filled with the usual practical tips and step-by-step process. LOVE it. Will be following this structure more going forward and using Evernote (such a useful tool).
Also, thanks for linking to your interview with Carol on how to make a living writing https://www.wakeupcloud.com/9/ will be looking into this in order to provide additional income whilst I shoot my blog to the stars.
Thanks Jess. Evernote is surprisingly useful. I dismissed it for years until I saw how I could use it.
jason goldberg says
I always enjoy reading your posts and don’t comment each time I think they are wonderful, so my apologies and my thanks, all at the same time 😉
You rock and I love you inside-out perspective on the world!
Thanks Jason. Funny you should mention inside-out, I was just taking a break from re-reading Somebody Should Have Told Us by Jack Pransky.
jason goldberg says
That is awesome! It is even funnier that you mention Pransky as I just finished reading The Inside-Out Revolution by Michael Neill who studied under George Pransky.
I was turned on to him by my coach Steve Chandler and I am loving the 3 Principles-related ideas. I am integrating them into my life and my coaching practice.
Great minds my friend 🙂
Great minds, indeed. The Inside-Out Revolution is on my (very soon) to-read list 😉
Update: Just finished the book. A great, quick read. Highly recommended.
Wow! Another magic here. And its even more magic for quoting my first mentor (Zig Ziglar) since grade three. I believe it will be great to keep us alert of such people.
Anyway, your words are really great and meaningful. Just before reading your blog, a friend contacted me asking for help. I turned her down at first.
Later, I read your article and I immediately contacted her with the promise of giving her the help in a week time.
From my understanding, helping others also serve as a key to our future wealth creation.
You have really opened my eyes to a real world of beauty where people help one another. Great work Henri. I really cherish your writing. Keep it up.
Glad to hear that, Enchill. Keep rocking!
Thanks Julien. I truly appreciate the kind words. And it’s great to have you as a part of the Lifestyle Liberation Academy. Your enthusiasm is an inspiration to me.
You seem to have a way of reading my mind, Henri! Your posts always come at the perfect time.
I’ve been trying to work out how to grow my website. The answer has been right in front of my eyes, I just needed your clarity to point it out.
If I can solve people’s problems I will establish myself as the go-to expert. In my case, your suggestion to “coach to gather data (for free if needed)” is perfect for my architecture and residential design niche.
Thanks so much for your advice!
Glad I could help, Brodie 🙂
Never disappointed with what I read here. I am going to start going through old emails, FB posts etc.and collect problems. I love the ZZ quote too. If I still had a bulletin board I would put that up there right now. Thanks Henri 🙂
Good stuff, Erika!
I came upon your article during a search for “how to become an expert” since this all so new to me. I’m just starting out the gate with my blog and was beginning to feel overwhelmed, fearful. You truly was a great doctor for me today. I enjoyed your article and did hang on your every word.
Thanks, Mamie. One step at a time does it 🙂
I see the cold weather hasn’t stifled that lovely clarity you have when it comes to passing your inspiration along then, lol. Great blog Henri. I’m looking forward to reading more in 2016, and I’ll take this opportunity to wish you and your family a safe and Happy New Year 🙂
Susan Suehr says
As usual you have so much substance. Thank you so much, thisis a great because you showed us how to do it and where to go. Very informative.
Great post! Thanks for the tip to use Evernote – I will start doing that right away. I already use Evernote to keep notes on my ideas for posts and ebooks, but didn’t think to use it to keep notes on the problems I hear.
Marge Piatak says
Hi Henri – Every word in your post was helpful & I am especially grateful that you included your use of Evernote. I never took the time to learn how to use it correctly, so of course, it made no sense to me.
After reading your post, I found a great “How To Use Evernote” blog (no doubt from a go-to expert) & am committed to learning how to use it effectively. Great timing for my new fb page and website: Conscious Pet Connections – both in the start-up phases.
Warm wishes – especially in Finland – for a Blessed and Loving 2016!
Great article Henri. Everyone who has a dream to pursue, can use guidelines or a road map to navigate them to doing what they love.
Have a great and prosperous new year.