I’m Not an Expert

I’m not. It’s that simple.

I’m also not an authority, a guru, a maven, a diva (my husband might argue with that one) or a queen. Hubby brings me coffee every morning, which helps keep my “princess” fantasy alive, but I know I’m not really one. I’ll never be a ninja, a wizard, or a rockstar (although I do like to consider myself a musician/songwriter of sorts.)

Seriously, when I look at Twitter profiles* sometimes, I just have to laugh. Self-imposed titles of importance really do not impress me. If I have to tell other people how great I am, am I really that great? Am I trying to convince them or convince myself? I think the words of other people can carry more weight when it comes to evaluating someone’s professional level of competence. I would surely choke on that much bravado.

Interestingly enough, Dan Zarrella analyzed the effect of using authoritative words in Twitter profiles and found that, “users who included words like, ‘official,’ ‘founder,’ and the dreaded ‘guru’ tended to have more followers than the average Twitter user.” I guess those words do carry weight for some people.

I love Scott Stratten’s (author of the book, UnMarketing) Twitter profile: Author, Speaker and kind of a big deal on a fairly irrelevant soc media site which inflates my self-importance. 

Okay. So why would anyone want to hire me if I don’t have the experience in business that makes me an expert in my field? In his book Unmarketing, Stratten makes the distinction between being “an expert” as opposed to being “the expert” in your field. If you’re not an expert of sorts, he says, why would anyone want to hire you? Maybe it goes back to what I just said about the words of other people carrying more weight…perhaps it’s a little more acceptable when someone else says it. Trust me, I don’t need to place any more pressure to perform on myself than I already do. Slipping out of the “expert garb” helps with that, too.

I feel like I’m still learning. I learn something new every day. Things change so quickly in the digital world, I rarely feel like I have a firm grasp on much of anything. As the saying goes, “It’s a journey, not a destination.”

Call me a consultant. Call me a strategist. Call me hardworking and creative. (Ha – just call me!) But please don’t call me an expert.

*Footnote: I am only referring to people who take themselves seriously when using those names. It’s okay to have a little fun!


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