I truly believe we are at a unique time where anyone can now quickly establish themselves as an online expert and get paid well for it.
As you probably know, over the years I’ve helped scores of people to become ‘experts’ for want of a better word – turning their passions, skills and life experiences into a business.
Over the last 20 years I’ve helped them to share their expertise with others across a wide range of subjects – personal finance, small business, sports betting, health, self-improvement, memory, self-publishing, etailing and countless others.
And even more recently I have started to pass on how people can become online experts through various educational, training and mentoring programmes.
Right now, we are living in a time of huge change and opportunity: and becoming an online expert is by far the most exciting and achievable business models I have come across in the last 15 years of working online.
Don’t let the word ‘expert’ put you off – these days it’s a term that covers a huge range of different forms…
The 7 Types of Online Expert -
Which One Could You Be?
No matter what your current situation (or what you have done in the past), the new digital era allows you to take what you already know and become a respected and potentially highly paid expert.
With today’s easy to use (and mostly free) online tools you can find an audience, get followers, gain trust and ultimately make money from something you are genuinely proud of and good at.
In fact I’ve identified 7 kinds of online expert and I guarantee that you will fit in to at least one. So let’s get started…
#1 THE CURATOR
Anyone can be an online curator: you search out useful and relevant content and organise it in a way that is valuable to the end user. This could be on virtually ANY subject you have an interest in.
The Curator’s audience are people who don’t have the time or inclination to spend time researching the specific subject. They appreciate the work others do to help them get to the information that matters.
The audience view The Curator as someone who they can trust to sort and filter information that is already available online and present it in a useful format.
The Curator needs to be passionate about their subject and gains credibility through delivering useful and relevant content.
The Curator doesn’t need to have extensive knowledge or proven results in their chosen subject area: but they do need a passion for the subject and desire to satisfy their own interests.
The Curator can get started quickly and without any technical know-how.
The Curator makes money through affiliate commissions, advertising and potential advertiser endorsements and co-branding.
#2 THE SEEKER
“From zero to hero, The Seeker is a student
on the path to greater knowledge”
The Seeker shares their journey – the highs and the lows: you could be learning a new skill, going through a significant life event or starting a new hobby.
Although you may have zero expertise to begin with, by sharing your journey with others you, the audience can empathise with your experiences and grow to trust your opinions.
The Seeker needs no previous experience in the subject area: their journey is the CONTENT.
The Seeker gains authority and credibility through being honest and transparent: sharing failures and mistakes will actually increase your perceived authority.
Subjects: any subject that requires an individual to develop skills or specific relevant knowledge over time: gardening, financial trading, moving overseas, feeding a family on a budget, building a house, DIY/interior design, crafting, running a business, dealing with a health problem…
The Seeker can make money through affiliate commissions and paid advertising: they can also develop their own information products based on what they learn during their journey.
#3 THE PROSUMER
The Prosumer is the self-taught expert: independent, knowledgeable about their subject and eager to share what they have learned (and continue to learn) with others.
The term was actually coined back in the 80s by futurologist Alvin Toffler to describe a “proactive consumer”. More recently it has also been described as the ‘professional consumer’ and even the ‘producer consumer’.
The Prosumer is the person we seek out for advice: we trust their judgment and recommendations because of what they say and what they have done. Their language will be authoritative: their opinion is based on direct experience and the knowledge they have gained.
Chances are you’ve already come across The Prosumer whilst researching a significant or high price purchase decision: camera, computers, cars, audio-visuals, plants, pets, holidays, furniture, and personal finance. In fact almost any product or service can have Prosumer.
The Prosumer may have achieved a high level of competence in a particular hobby or interest – sport, collecting, crafting or art.
The Prosumer has achieved a level of competence in their subject area that others recognise and trust. They offer advice, opinion and insight on new developments/news based on their experience.
The Prosumer can make money through affiliate commissions from product/service recommendations as well as advertising opportunities: they may have a membership site or create their own information products
#4 THE CREATOR
Whether it’s painting watercolours or making bobble hats, reconditioning furniture or creating scrapbooks, The Creator shares their love of what they do: the process, their inspirations, the techniques, the challenges and the joys of turning ideas into a reality.
The Creator educates, inspires and motivates their audience: like The Seeker they are transparent, honest and not afraid to show mistakes.
The Creator stands out from others because they are happy to record the creative process.
The Creator’s audience are both potential customers and fellow creatives.
The Creator can help their fellow creative on their journey to greater knowledge and skill: they can learn the right (and the wrong) way to develop their craft.
The Creator can make money by selling their own creations or offering training materials (online or offline): they could also earn commissions from recommending relevant materials and tools required
#5 THE CHAMPION
The Champion is an evangelical educator – they are so passionate about their product, service, business or industry that they are compelled to share their obsession with others.
The Champion seeks to educate others about how great their product/service/industry is – they genuinely want to make sure that the end user can get all the benefits their particular area has to offer.
The Champion will usually be someone within an existing business and stands out from the crowd because they help and don’t hype: they are proud of what they have to share: they believe that the customer should have all the facts and all their questions answered before they are engaged in any sales.
The Champion needs deep product knowledge and an insatiable thirst for more information: they know their competitors’ products and have an intimate knowledge of their prospect’s potential questions and objections.
The Champion is a sales magnet: they can attract more customers, help them buy more and retain them for longer. The Champion makes money through increased sales of their own product or service.
#6 THE PERSUADER
The Persuader will usually be working with a non-profit organisation, such as a charity, club, community or pressure group. The Persuader seeks to change attitudes, raise awareness and help those who don’t have a voice.
By using freely available online social media tools, The Persuader can quickly find an audience and engage with them.
Although The Persuader is not primarily interested in making money for its own sake, they can attract investment, funds and other sources of income by communicating their subject matter to the right people.
#7 THE PROFESSIONAL
And finally, The Professional is someone we would all recognise as a traditional expert: they are at the top of their game and have achieved a level of expertise that is respected and highly valued.
The Professional stands out by having superior results or knowledge. Online, they also distinguish themselves through sharing their story and insights freely with those who are in the same field or industry.
The Professional’s audience will be peers and those who are aiming towards professional development: businesses may also seek out The Professional for training and consultation.
Subjects will include the obvious professions like medicine, architecture, business management, accountancy, law, engineering, science and education. However, The Professional could be in any industry that is highly specialised or requires a high level of skills or knowledge.
The Professional can make money through many routes including consulting, mentoring, membership sites, live events and online courses.
So was I right? Did you fit into one (or more) of the 7 types? Leave a comment and let me know…
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