Establish Yourself as an Expert and Profit With Joan Stewart

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Joan Stewart
My promise is to show people how to become an expert in their niche, or their industry, or their topic.  Remember, expertise doesn’t have only one definition.  Expertise is a ladder, and you’re constantly climbing the ladder of expertise.  So, if you’re at the bottom, we’re going to help you get on the top couple of rungs and then show you how to keep on climbing.

The benefit of this is that experts get the gigs!  Experts sell the books.  Experts get the paid speaking engagements.  Experts get the paid consulting assignments.  Experts get mentees; they get protégés.  They get people in their coaching program.  They get the moolah!

Getting the Credentials to Become an Expert

I always hear people say, “I’d never try to pass myself as an expert.  I’m not the person in the world who knows the most about my topic.”  You don’t have to be.  You only have to know more than most other people.  That’s to be an expert at the bottom rung of the ladder, and we’re going to talk about how to do that.  Then, you’re going to learn how to keep climbing to become even more of an expert.

Overview of What it Takes to Become an ExpertExperts

  1. You’re going to want to identify and study the top experts in your niche industry area.  You’re going to learn from all of the other people who have already done it.  That’s the first step.
  2. You’re going to read 10 recent books on your topic.  Now, you might not find 10, and if you can’t, then find as many as you possibly can.  Don’t say to yourself, “Wow.  This niche is filled with a lot of experts.  I can’t possibly steal business from them.”  There’s enough business out there for all of us.
  3. Attend conferences, seminars, workshops, training events, either locally in your own community, if that’s all you can afford right now, and then branch off and go to the national ones.  This is going to do a lot of things for you.  We’ll go into this in a little more in-depth later.
  4. You’re going to start applying your knowledge by doing things that experts do.  In other words, as you start to become an expert on the bottom rung, you’re going to start to do things with that expertise.  The most important message that I have to deliver about expertise is, “It’s not only about what’s in your head.  It’s not only about what’s in your brain.  Expertise is about what you do with that knowledge.”  Experts do specific things, and we’ll talk about those in a minute.
  5. You’re going to keep always climbing the ladder of expertise, and don’t stop at your comfort zone.  When you’re in your comfort zone (and I’ve learned this from personal experience), that’s when you get into trouble, and that’s when the money stops flowing in.  I’m going to give you a good example of what I’m talking about, something that happened to me earlier this year.  I got way outside my comfort zone, but I learned how to do something really cool, that I’ve always wanted to do.

top expertsStep #1 – Identify and Study the Top Experts in Your Niche

Identify and study the top experts in your niche, and the best way to do this is to just use Google.  It’s the best search tool on the planet, and you can just go and type in, “Top 5 Internet Marketing Experts,” or “Top 10 Dog Breeding Experts,” or “Best,” or whatever.  I promise you that you will find something.  You will be amazed at how much stuff you find.  Follow them on social media, subscribe to their blog posts, and if they have a podcast, subscribe to it.  Get onto their email lists.  If they’re an expert, I’ll bet you they’re building an email list, just like you should be if you want to be an expert in your field.

Pay attention to the topics they’re writing about.  Pay attention to the controversial issues they’re discussing.  These are all topics that you need to learn more about and maybe you need to be discussing at some point.  Snoop.  Snoop!  Who are their first-degree connections on LinkedIn?  Now, I don’t let people see my first-degree connections on LinkedIn, but some people do because they don’t know how to configure the settings on LinkedIn.  Go find out who their first degree connections are.  Who are these people?  Then, go connect with them.  Go snoop to see what industry groups they are in on LinkedIn.  Go join those groups and see if those groups are perfect for you.

What Twitter lists are those experts on, and if you don’t know how to use Twitter lists, just Google “How to use Twitter lists”.  Anybody can create Twitter lists, and usually experts are on a lot of Twitter lists that other people create.  That’s how to do #1, how to identify and study experts in your niche.  And, I don’t want you to view them as your competitors.  I heard someone once say: They're not competitors. They're simple joint venture partners who don't know it yet. Click To Tweet

When I quit the newspaper business two decades ago, there were a couple of people who I thought were big mega-stars. One time I checked them out. I was surprised at how little information there was about them online.  I actually leapfrogged over several of them, and so today, they view me as a big star.  A lot of it is that you’ve got to do things with your expertise.  You can’t only get a PhD in whatever the topic happens to be.  You have to keep learning and keep doing, doing, doing, doing.  We’ll get to that in a little bit.

Step # 2 – Read 10 Recent Books on Your Topic

Read 10 fairly recent books on your topic.  Again, use the best search tool on the planet, Google.  Or, you go over to Amazon.  You type in, “Best books on internet marketing,” or “Best-selling books for real estate sales,” or “Top books in,” or “Top 10 books in”.  When you go over to Amazon, the site is going to tell you exactly what the best sellers are because they are going to appear down at the bottom.  Some of those books are going to be written by the experts who you’ve already identified in Step #1. Experts write books!

Do the books have a glossary in the back of industry definitions?  That’s a great way for you to learn a lot about your industry really quickly, and good books usually do have a glossary.  Make notes, again, of the controversial topics they are writing about in the book.  If they’re telling stories, about people in your niche, copy that down because maybe that’s someone you can interview later on for a podcast.  Also, look to see what books they are recommending.  They’re recommending books, maybe on their LinkedIn profile, maybe they’re reviewing books.  Take a look at the books they’re reading and the books they’re recommending.

The aim of this activity is to get smart as fast as you can from people who are already experts in their field.  They are the experts; they’ve written the book.  And, you may not like the book.  Some of the books you may read, you may think they are crap, and they may be crap because these people have done a really good job of promoting themselves as experts.  So, make note if the book is crap.  You’re not going to come across all of this material that is A+ and 5-Star.  It’s just not going to happen, but I want you to learn from it and expand your brain and expand your expertise.  That’s the best way to become an expert fairly quickly.

When you are interested in a particular marketplace, and you see that something isn’t first-rate, that should motivate you in actuality.  That means that there’s an aperture in the marketplace that you can fill.  If you start seeing that there’s a lot of crap, that means you’re in a really great position.  That means you stand a great chance of becoming the foremost expert in your field.  Learn from that crap that you’re seeing and do a job that’s 10 times better.  If you follow this advice, you will become the expert.

Step #3 – Attend Live Conferences, Seminars, expertsWorkshops and Training Events

Attend live conferences, seminars, workshops, and training events.  Yeah, you can sit in front of your computer in your PJs, like you might be right now, but you want to get out there and go live for a whole bunch of different reasons.  In the first place, this will give you the chance to meet these hotshot speakers.  I speak at a lot of events, and a lot of people are there because they want to talk with me and the other speakers.  They want to pick our brains and meet us.  They want to learn from us.  They want to sit next to us at lunch.  You can’t do that when you’re only listening to someone on a webinar or a podcast.

This also allows you to network with a lot of other people in your industry or your niche.  I can’t even begin to count the number of people who have become my joint venture partners, which I have met at Judith’s Author U Extravaganza, for example, or National Speakers Association conferences.  You can meet lots and lots of people who you can joint venture with and make money from down the line because your areas of expertise, they might overlap.  Even if they don’t, don’t worry about it.  They’ll know stuff that you don’t know, and you’ll know stuff that they don’t know.

Use live events to start building an email list of people. Click To Tweet I believe strongly in email marketing.  Email is, by far, my most valuable marketing tool, that’s brought in the greatest amount of money.  These are also events that you may want to speak at someday.

One of the things that experts do is they speak from the stage, either for free or paid speaking engagements.  Some experts won’t touch free speaking engagements.  I love them; because I can sell from the back of the room. I’d much rather have your email address at a free speaking engagement than to be paid a couple of grand from the stage and not be able to collect email addresses.  I’ll take the email address any day, because that’s my most valuable marketing tool.

Down the road, consider joining your industry trade associations and also becoming certified in your particular area.  For example, there are certified professional speakers in the National Speakers Association.  There are certified marketing consultants (CMCs) for consulting.  There are certified ghostwriters.  Certification is really powerful in your industry because certification is something that most other people don’t have.  Your industry or trade association will be sponsoring a lot of these events.

So, get out there and attend live, hobnob, rub elbows.  Meet as many people as you can.  Eventually, the good ones, you want to speak at these events. The benefit of going to a lot of these live events and seeing these big shot speakers, and rubbing elbows, you get to see who the jerks are, who you do not want to have any kind of relationship with at all.  Online, you can’t tell that sort of thing, or by talking to someone on the telephone either.  If you see them on stage and they suck, and everybody hates them, “Man, are they boring!  All they do is promote from the stage,” they are probably someone that you do not want to joint venture with.

joan-stewart-knowledgeStep #4 – Apply Your Knowledge by Doing Things That Experts Do

Start applying your knowledge by doing things that experts do.  It’s not about what’s in your brain. It’s about what you do with your expertise.  Look at the people who are billionaires in this country who never graduated from college.  They don’t have a PhD behind their name, but they are successful at stuff.

Here are some things that you can start to do:

  • I want you to start writing articles and publishing them to your LinkedIn profile.
  • Start a blog.
  • Start guest blogging for other experts.
  • Start a podcast.  Podcasting has been on my to-do list for years, and I’m going to get around to it eventually.
  • Write an eBook on your topic for beginners.  If you’re a beginning expert, what did you learn that you can teach other beginners how to do?  It doesn’t even have to be an eBook if you love videos.
  • Do a video series.  You can teach a class in your community through the adult education program.
  • Go to the Small Business Administration’s SCORE program and teach a course for small business owners.
  • Start referring to yourself as an expert immediately.  As soon as you start to build expertise, I want that word “expert” to be everywhere.
  • I want it in your email signature, on your LinkedIn headline.  I want it on your marketing materials, in your eBook, in your author bios, on your speaker one-sheet, and I want it in your newsletter, your blog, your podcast.  All over the place.

When people are searching for a specific kind of person to teach them, what word are they using? Click To Tweet They’re using the word “expert”. Don’t use “authority,” use “expert”.  That’s the word that most journalists are searching for too, when they’re looking for people to interview.

Step #5 – Keep Climbing the Ladder of Expertiseexpertise

Keep climbing the ladder of expertise and never stop.  I was really in my comfort zone for a couple of years, and that’s when I saw my revenue go down.  When I wasn’t doing, and when I wasn’t challenging myself.  Somebody approached me last you and said, “I want to bring you to my conference, that I have down in Orlando, and I want you to sell a high-ticket product from the stage.”  Now, I’ve seen other people do this, and I always swore that was something that I would never do.  “I can’t do it.  I don’t want to do it.  It feels sleazy.  It feels awful.”  And he said, “How about if I teach you how to do it?”  I said, “I can do that.”

So, he taught me how to do it, and I created a $5,000 product.  I sold one from the stage, and he got half the revenue.  So I walked out of there, all dejected.  I only made $2,500.  Then I went back to him, and I said, “Wait a second.  Let’s sell this over at your website.”  He said, “That’s a great idea,” and we worked out a JV partnership, and he sends me lots of affiliate commission.  All of these people on his list are not people in my niche.  He has a completely different section of people who we sell this too, but they all want to learn how to get publicity.  So I don’t do anything, and we even have a fulfillment house fulfill the product.  I don’t have to touch anything.  The only thing I have to do is cash the checks, and I love to cash checks.  Do you love to cash checks?  Yeah, I love it, love it, love it.

Okay, so that’s an example of getting outside your comfort zone.  If you’ve joined a trade association, try to be an officer in the trade association.  If you’re the president of your association, that has a real cache, assuming that it’s a good association.  Do you need formal training in your topic?  You might have to get a bachelors degree or a masters, or go to tech school, or maybe even a PhD.  Or, get that certification that I talked about.  Are you ready to become a columnist for Inc., or for Forbes, or for Huffington Post, or for Entrepreneur?  I was a columnist for years for Entrepreneur, and I am still getting leads from that.  I’m getting tons of leads from it.

What else do experts do?  They have copyrights.  They have trademarks, and they have patents.  What do you have that you can put a copyright on, a trademark, or a patent?  Form relationships with other bloggers, podcasters, experts, and other media people.  Start to build a relationship, and always ask the question, how can I help you?  You want them to help you, but the best way to get their attention, especially if you’re working with a journalist or a joint venture partner, “How can I help you?”  That will be music to their ears because most other people don’t ask that question.

It’s also very rare for people to take action on the information that you provide. The people who buy my products and take action, I call them my “super-fans”.  They are a tiny group, right in the middle of my target market, but they can’t stand to be without anything I offer.  Not only do they implement my programs, they give me a video testimonial that speaks to the value of my product, that I can use on my sales page.  If I ask a person for a video testimonial, I’m not going to get it because I don’t want to have to screw around with video and all of that.  So, what I do is I use a program called SuperTinTin, like Rin Tin Tin, the dog.  I think I paid $29 for it.

You put it on your computer, and you can see each other.  I just interview them for about 10 or 15 minutes, and then I splice it together. I give it to my editor, and I tell him exactly which ones I want for a really nice, minute-long testimonial that hones in exactly on what I want them to say.  It may take 10 minutes, during that interview for all of that stuff to come out, and they would never sit down and give me a testimonial like that, but since I’m talking to them for 10 minutes and I have the video right on my computer, my editor can splice it together and it’s primo.   It’s really easy to use this program.  I’m a non-techie, so if I can use it, anyone can.

How To Find Your Target Market – From a Recent FB Live Interview


Connecting with Joan

I want you on my email list because I email twice a week.  The Publicity Hound’s Tips of the Week.  I’ve been  doing this for more than 15 years.  I do it every Tuesday afternoon and every Saturday morning.  If Christmas is on Tuesday afternoon, you get me in your email box on Tuesday afternoon, and I do this… I think I’ve missed six issues in 15 or 16 years.  That’s because I’ve made a promise that you’re going to hear from me twice a week, and dammit, I’m an expert and I deliver on my promise.  So, you’re going to see me in there.

Three snack-sized tips every week, and because I am the “Publicity Hound,” you get a funny dog video.  Some people read my tips just for the video, and that’s okay.  You can go over to  That’s actually a sales page.  Pay attention to it.  That’s going to sell you on all of the reasons that you should sign up onto my list for free.  So that’s how to stay in touch with me twice a week.

Joan‘s digital  reports are among her most popular learning tools. Each of the 52 reports, on a super-narrow publicity or marketing topic, is at least five pages, and chock full of helpful advice. Joan sells the entire bundle for $247. You can save $123 off that price if you go to and use the coupon code REPORTS at checkout.  These special reports are so popular that you’ll even find a special report on how and sell write special reports–a perfect product for people who are learning how to become an expert.


Joan’s Reports – Coupon Code – REPORTS

Joan’s Newsletter – The Publicity Hound’s Tips of the Week

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About the Author ()

Daniel Hall is a bestselling author, speaker, publisher, nurse, attorney and host the Real Fast Results podcast. He is also the creator of other highly popular “Real Fast” brand of training products. He left law practice 10 years ago to build his publishing business and has never looked back. Daniel is a true serial entrepreneur and his list of URLs is longer than a piece of paper, so you can check out Daniel’s hub at or the podcast right here on this site!

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