Becoming an Expert in Your Niche

Successful entrepreneurs don’t attempt to be “Janes of all Trades” — they strive to be experts within their particular niche.  Last week I asked the question –

What steps have you taken to become an expert in your niche?

Our panel of experts weighed in and I am pleased to share their answers with you today.  The most common theme is the need to keep on learning.  The moment you stop, is the moment you are no longer an expert.  Enjoy!

There are a number of things I have done to become an expert in the productivity and organization industry.  My training started early, because I was born in an organized household. Both of my parents had their own ways of organizing and making sure that things got done and both of them had very different ways of doing things, so I learned from each individual.  Even at a young age I read numerous books on how to be organized because it was a topic that interested me and I thought that I could always learn more and do better myself.  In college I studied many business and management operations procedures and learn how to turn that interest of organizing into something that would apply in the business world.  I worked in the corporate consulting arena for a number of years, but ultimately decided to start my own business focusing on productivity and organization.  When I decided that this was the route that I wanted to travel, I began reading even more.  In addition, I joined the National Association of Professional Organizers and the National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization and attend as many learning events as possible and earn certificates.  I also network with colleagues and clients.  I believe learning is an ongoing activity and that we can all continue to grow our expertise in the field that we are interested in.
Stephanie LH Calahan (@stephcalahan), Founder of Calahan Solutions

I have created a blog, where I interact with my target audience –mothers.  Through my blog postings and interactions, mothers can relate to the ups and downs I have as a first time mother, as well as balancing motherhood with a business.  If mothers feel comfortable with me, they will be more inclined to buy or refer my product to friends and family.  In addition, I participate in webinars and read books to stay up-to-date on market trends.
Robin McCoy-Ramirez (@rmccoy1234), Owner/Inventor of SoothEaze

I read everything.  But it is more than reading.  It is about taking what you have read, not just from your topic but from outside your topic as well, and integrating it to create a broader and deeper understanding. Then share it. Do not keep your brilliant ideas internalized. Share them with the world. Use your peers to hone and develop your ideas and never stop striving to learn and understand more.
Lauren MacEwen (@laurencubed), Primary Strategist and Creator of SM Cubed Consulting

Although I am a social media marketer, I love to show my professional strengths away from the computer — through in-person meetings and presentations. I especially love teaching adult education courses where live questions from the students test and demonstrate my expertise.
Lisa Kalner Williams (@sierratierra), Founder of Sierra Tierra Marketing

Becoming an “expert” in my niche requires constant learning…which paradoxically makes it clear just how much I DON’T know.  🙂

I follow industry blogs, forums, discussion groups and social media to keep my finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the wedding industry. I’ve also devoted myself to the study of internet marketing and learning psychology in order to help my clients use these principles.

But most of all, I really work to listen to our prospects in all my communications with them.  In order to give them expert assistance, I have to be an expert listener so that I know exactly what they need and want.
Stephanie Padovani (@bookmorebrides), Co-founder of Book More Brides

The ultimate steps that I have taken to become an expert in my business is EDUCATION, READING, SHADOWING and EXPERIENCE!  These are the four keys that made me an expert in my business.  I am constantly taking a class, seminar, conference or workshop so I can stay up on the latest trends in event planning.

1)  Reading is truly FUN-damental…its food for the brain and soul.  You can never read enough about event planning (or your industry)…(I think its time that I add to the collection and write my book.  I have so much to share).
2)  In the beginning of learning the business, I shadowed an A-list event planning from Los Angeles and to this day I still attend her conferences.  It never ends.
3)  Experience is the teacher of life.  You can never go wrong with life experiences.
4)The learning never stops and when you think it is time to stop learning that’s when your no longer an expert.
Mattie Stevenson (@ABEventPlanners), Founder of Above & Beyond Event Planners

To always stay abreast on industry trends, seek new knowledge & share expertise through writing & public speaking.
Tokiwa Smith (@tokiwana), CEO of Kemet Educational Services

I immersed myself in the subject matter – personally and professionally. I started a new-media company devoted to it. After developing a brand, I branched out to other forms of media (newspaper, radio, magazines). I surrounded myself with other experts in parenting to learn from them. I kept working at it, and continue to work at it. It’s a non-stop process, and I love it!
Elisa All (@ElisaTalk), Co-Founder of iParenting Media

My sincere thanks to all our respondents this week! Openly sharing your expertise and experiences is a huge asset to this blog and the readership. I wish you all a wonderful week and hope to see you here again.

This week’s question is –

Joint Venture Partners can really help you grow your business. What are the most important criteria when selecting JV’s?

Why should I join the discussion?

Because this online forum is a great place for us to exchange ideas, learn from each other and network. My goal is to unite successful women entrepreneurs to share our insights and solutions to the challenges we most commonly face in our businesses.

How do I get involved?

Every Monday I will post a new Question of the Week. This is a great opportunity for you to bring your expertise to the table. Using the NEW link below, please submit a one paragraph response by Saturday, and the following week I will share our community responses on my blog.
To submit your response CLICK HERE

I look forward to your response to this week’s question! If you have any questions you know where to find me. Have a great week!

One Comment

  1. Posted January 10, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Elisa, Thank you so much for sharing this information with your audience! Loved your contribution this week, and hope to have you contribute in the future. 🙂 Shannon

One Trackback

  1. By Becoming an Expert | Elisa All on January 10, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    […] Last week, she invited me to respond to her latest question: “What steps have you taken to become an expert in your niche?” I thought it was a great question, and was happy to contribute. You can read my response, along with several other fantastic replies from women entrepreneurs, by clicking here. […]

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