Being labelled as an "expert"

 
 

Apparently, to be an "expert" all you need to do is say that that's what you are. The word gets thrown around so much these days (in our marketing copy too) and frankly, it feels weird. 

 Photo by Alexa Mazzarello

Photo by Alexa Mazzarello

 

I don't like being labelled as an expert. I don't like saying that I am an expert.  For some people it might not feel that way - you might feel amazing owning it. But frankly, I don't. 

I don't believe that there are that many experts, and this probably comes down to a true, core definition of the word. To me, being an expert is rare and special and you've spent years and years honing your craft and studying your speciality. 

But when I Google the definition, this is what comes up: 

 

ex·pert
ˈekˌspərt/

noun
1.
a person who has a comprehensive and authoritative knowledge of or skill in a particular area.
"experts in child development"
synonyms: specialist, authority, pundit

adjective
1.
having or involving authoritative knowledge.
"he had received expert academic advice"
synonyms:skillful, skilled, adept, accomplished, talented, fine

 

Pretty generalized actually, right?

Can I, with no university degree, really own being a design "expert"? Well it came up in conversation a little at a recent event I attended, and I have to say I'm still not comfortable with it. But I believe that it is truly because so many people these days are using the term in order to make themselves feel professional, feel legit, and seem as credible as their competition - particularly if they're starting something new. 

When I look to the real "experts" they're not saying that that's what they are, they are out there, doing the work, and proving it. They are living and breathing their passion, their expertise, and their knowledge. They don't need to tell someone they're an expert - they just are!

Is it just yet another marketing term that's been overused? I'm not sure. Maybe I need to own my own expertise and knowledge more, or maybe there are just too many damn experts out there these days. 

Perhaps it's because we run our business with the philosophy that we're all equal, we're all a team - and that includes our clients! We treat them like peers, friends, and never ever believe that they are the boss of us, or that we are better than them - or vice versa! 

 

Whatever it is, it's something I've been thinking about, and I'd love to have a conversation with you about it too - let me know your thoughts in the comment section and we'll hash it out!