Something important happened to me today. A fellow intern asked me to help her plan some stories for the upcoming week. She gave me a few topics and asked me to start sending her some articles. Within minutes, my email arrived.
“Wow, how did you find these already?”
Becoming a subject matter expert is an important step in becoming irreplaceable. I’m not an expert, yet. But, I can fake it until I make it.
Image Source: Flickr
1) Determine your Topic
Everybody’s topic is different. If you’re working in - or working towards - a certain industry, that is your topic. If you’re still in school, public relations might be your topic. Do you have a unique interest that can get you into a niche market? That is your topic. Personally, I focus on: domestic violence, social work and public relations.
2) Scan your Environment
Scan your environment thoroughly. Determine the industries and topics that can create possible opportunities or problems for you. Write those down and keep them in mind during your research.
3) Be Aware of your Resources
Different industries have different publications that you may need to study. Besides blogs, you should keep up with trade publications, newspapers, magazines, podcasts, vlogs, and more. These lists can be endless, so keep a focus on some of your most important resources.
4) Use your Tools
Luckily, it is rare that you will have to read every article in ever publication every morning. There are many tools, free or otherwise, that will help you keep track of important content. My favorites right now: Google News, Feedly and Google Trends. I've personalized Google News to update me on my topics and I have set up Google Chrome to open the three websites automatically.
Give yourself time to use the tools well. Now that you have found a place to collect the content, you need time to read and understand it as much as you can. I make sure to check at least every morning, giving me time to read and share important content.
6) Show Off
Ok, so don't show off, but what is the point of working towards becoming a social media expert if nobody appreciates it? Connect with people online who are knowledgeable about your topic and start discussions. Share and comment on material. Form and express opinions. Join Twitter Chats. You've worked hard, you deserve some recognition!
A Boston girl via Toronto. University of Toronto, Sheridan College, and Boston University alumna. Passionate about ending domestic violence. Hoping to never go a day without carbs or chocolate.