Why Calling Yourself an Expert is a Bad Idea

Everyone on the internet is an expert these days.  That’s always been the case, even in the nascent days of newsgroups.  There is always some person out there that is going to think that they know more than you on a particular subject and will be happy to pontificate for hours.  One of the more important things that I’ve learned is that nobody is truly an expert on anything.

That isn’t to say that you don’t know more than the next guy about a particular subject area and shouldn’t specialize.  In fact, that is probably one of the better ways to market yourself as a freelance writer.  However, when you start calling yourself an “expert”, you come off as a self-important ponce who probably charges too much.

Let’s examine the question of what an expert is.  They are typically someone who is at the very top of their field in terms of respect level.  Warren Buffet, for example, is considered an investment expert.  Not the internet marketing guy who has released two e-books on investing.  Which one is more likely to call himself an expert?  Yeah, that’s kind of my point.

While most of the marketing books you’ve probably read tell you to “position yourself as an expert”, a certain amount of transparency and humility is probably more preferable to your buyers in the current economic climate.  I’m not saying don’t tell people you have a great portfolio, a corresponding education, or any of the other things that tell your buyers that you are qualified to do what you do.  Just get rid of the trumpet section on your website or blog that screams “I’m an expert, NOBODY KNOWS MORE THAN MEEE!!!”.  Your bank account will thank you later.

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