Love this joke!
Q: Do you know how old I’d be, if I spent the next twenty years learning how to play the piano?
A: The same age you’d be if you spent the next twenty years not learning how to play the piano.
It’s absolutely never too late to grab hold, develop your expertise, and profit from what you enjoy. Beyond the obvious fears, the ever-changing technologies can make this task even more daunting. But the truth is that the internet can only help you develop and grow your expertise, as well as market and profit from it.
Question: how can you strengthen your skills as an expert online? AND how do you establish your online credibility as a real expert?
Answer: in many of the same ways you’d strengthen your credibility in the “real world.” In many ways, the internet makes this even easier.
- Keep up to date – with the internet out there, it’s easy to find exactly the information you need to keep on the cutting edge. Sites like Technorati and Postrank will find you the best blogs in your field.
- Education – always increases your credibility. Whether it’s a local class or an online course, increasing your knowledge doesn’t just increase your credibility, it improves your expertise many fold. There are many free online courses being offered by reputable universities.
- Social Networking – as always, your business success or failure often relies on who you know. On the internet this means your willingness to share information in order to increase the number of contacts in your field. This helps grow your internet presence, grow your credibility within the community, as well helping you to grow your potential client base. Joining Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, logging in to them regularly, and participating in conversations and forums will in a short time generate an entire community for you.
- Conferences and events – keeping a foot in the real world while using the internet to your advantage is essential. Attending professional conferences provides you an invaluable opportunity to network as well as to present your work in the form of a paper, or a talk, or participating in a panel. There are also more casual and frequent professional events happening all the time. Logging on to Meetup.com, will inform you about all sorts of open meetings for specialized groups, whether they be for technology professionals or knitting enthusiasts, all excellent venues to meet people, share your ideas, educate, and build up your reputation by showing off your expertise.
- Visibility – a crucial do-or-die element to internet success. Needless to say this will be the subject of many future blog posts. If you’re an internet novice, for the moment, baby steps are best – join Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn – get to know them, and learn about blogging platforms like WordPress.com or Blogger.com.
I’ll take a much closer look in my next posts on how exactly to create a strong internet presence and use it to your advantage. As always, feel free to leave a comment or drop a line!