Rebel Uprising Podcast

Are You The Overlooked Expert?

 

Have you ever asked yourself, “If I'm so good at what I do, why don't more people know about me?”

Honestly, I've asked this question of myself a lot and I've become obsessed with figuring out the answer in my own business and for my clients.

I get to work with a ton of amazing people who are experts, with years of education, experience, and finely honed skills, and the work they do with their clients is incredible.

They are the type of people who are so damn easy to refer because their work is so good. They're the kind of people I want to make sure more people know about.

But why, if they are so good, so talented, so skilled, why aren't they known for their work?

Well, I believe I found the answer to why this happens and why you’re the overlooked expert.

 

In This Episode:

  • Where the overlooked expert exists in the online business world
  • The cultural reasons why we don’t actually value expertise
  • Why experts struggle to communicate their worth

Learn more about Michelle Mazur:

Resources:

 

Listen on your favorite podcast player or read the Transcript below:

 

Michelle Mazur (00:00): Have you ever asked yourself, if I'm so good at what I do, why don't more people know about me? Honestly, I've asked this question of myself a lot, and I've become obsessed with figuring out the answer in my own business and for my clients. I get to work with a ton of amazing people who are experts, years of education, experience, finely honed skills. The work they do with their clients is incredible. It's the chef's kiss. They are the type of people who are so damn easy to refer, because their work is so good. They're the kind of people I want to make sure more people know about. But why, if they are so good, so talented, so skilled, why aren't they known for their work? Well, I believe I found the answer in the form of another podcast that I love listening to, and it helped me figure out why this happens and why you're the overlooked expert. Let's dive in.

Michelle Mazur (01:22): You're listening to the Rebel Uprising Podcast. This podcast is dedicated to helping passionate business owners become recognized leaders who make more money and impact the world by turning their messy, complicated ideas into thriving thought-leadership businesses. I'm your host, Dr. Michelle Mazur, and I'll be your no BS guide in the art of building a business that gets noticed. Each week, I share strategies, tools, and insights on how to turn your complicated ideas into great messaging and solid business structures. Are you ready to create an uprising in your industry? Let's do this.

Michelle Mazur (02:04): Michael Lewis, the author of Moneyball and The Big Short has a podcast called Against the Rules, where he explores the topic of unfairness. This season, he's telling the story of the expert. Specifically he's asking, why is it so hard to figure out who the real experts are? And why, once we found them, are they so rarely the people calling the shots? In the first episode, he talks about how the person who can really solve your problem, or a big societal problem, is not the person who is well-known, but is the person who exists six levels down.

Michelle Mazur (02:49): So let's think about this for a moment. Let's say Tesla has a problem with the engines in their cars. Now, who is going to fix that issue? Is it going to be Elon Musk, the charismatic, I guess you can call him charismatic, leader of Tesla? Or is it going to be an engineer sitting in a windowless office at corporate HQ who has been obsessed with engines since she was a girl? Hmm. I bet it's going to be the engineer with the obsession. Right? It's going to be the expert who fixes the problem, but Elon Musk will get all the credit for it. And now you're probably thinking, "Okay, I know why this podcast is exploring unfairness, because that seems pretty unfair to me." And here's the deal. I see the six level down issue in online business all the time. But for us, I think it's more simplified. It's still the wild, wild west out there, right? It's more like three levels down. So let me explain.

Michelle Mazur (04:05): So imagine online business as a pyramid. And no, we're not going to talk about pyramid schemes. That's for my other podcast, Duped. But we're going to talk about this in terms of who is seen and who is the actual expert. So at the top of the pyramid is the web celeb, and you'll recognize them because they are a quote unquote name in your industry. They usually have a course or a membership site, a business that runs on volume, so they need really large audiences to make their business model work. And they're usually talking about how they make seven figures and selling you that lifestyle. These web celebs, they typically run ads and have a huge following. All right. Do you have a picture of that web celeb in your industry in mind? Good. Keep them top of mind, because the web celeb is typically someone's first stop when they're trying to solve a problem.

Michelle Mazur (05:14): Let's say the problem is the problem of building your business. A person finds the web celeb, because they're all over the place, and they enroll in the course or program. Because, well, if they're popular and everybody loves them so much, this must be the thing that's going to solve my problem. And after going through the course, or maybe not completing the course, they think, "Oh, that helped some, but my business still has this problem. It still has an issue I need to solve." So our person moves to the next level of the pyramid, the middle part of the pyramid, where they start learning about the web celeb's acolytes and affiliates.

Michelle Mazur (06:02): Now, these are people who are associated with the web celeb. Sometimes they promote that celeb's courses or that web celeb promotes them. They could join that person's mastermind because then they have access to the person and the person will promote them. And they too, like the affiliates and acolytes, they usually also have a leveraged business model, but it's a bit more niched to a specific problem than just growing your business or creating a course that grows your business. Right? So it's a bit more niched and specific so people buy it and think, "Okay, this is going to be the thing that solves my problem." And it kind of does, but sometimes it creates more problems, or sometimes it really doesn't solve the problem of growing their business. At this point, the person's frustrated and they want real help. And to get real help, they realize that they need some hands-on support to get past the issue. So finally, they move down to the basement level of the overlooked expert.

Michelle Mazur (07:16): Now, the overlooked expert, oh yes, they can solve your problem. It's the person you wish you would have found years ago. And people probably say this to you all the time, "Oh man, I wish I would have found you before I invested $3,000 into that course." I mean, I know. I hear that when I'm on consultation calls all the freaking time. So typically, the overlooked expert will work one-on-one, or they provide services or small group programs. Frankly, they've been a bit obsessed with what they do for a long time. They have a depth of knowledge. They have unparalleled skills that you haven't found on the level of the web celeb or their affiliates and acolytes. And us overlooked experts, you and I, we're the people who get the job done. We're the ones where people finally find that solution so they can make forward progress. And this begs the question, if we're so great at what we do, why are you and I overlooked?

Michelle Mazur (08:26): And one reason is cultural. And the other reason, there's actually something we can do about. Huzzah. So let's talk about cultural first. I really believe that Michael Lewis is doing his podcast because expertise in our society isn't valued. Right? We just don't value it. People just think, "Oh, I can Google something and then I'll be an expert in it." And that's really not what expertise is, my friends. But if you look at online business specifically, look at how we market and message and present people in the online business space. So a big indicator of this is, we value the overcoming story. And it feels like every web celeb, their affiliates and acolytes, they have this type of rags-to-riches story, and we become conditioned to hear those stories.

Michelle Mazur (09:26): And those stories have loads of problems, which I've talked about in the past, because they can be highly manipulative. And if you don't have one, you're encouraged, I know I was when I was watching one of these celebrity's trainings, to make it up. But for those of us who are experts, who have deep expertise, we don't have a story that is rags-to-riches. It is not about overcoming, it's more about our obsession, our pursuit of knowledge. And that story, that's not valued. Which sucks, let me tell you. That sucks, and it's unfair. Huh.

Michelle Mazur (10:08): All right. The second way we see this happen culturally, is we prefer, as a market, the big shiny solutions that these web celebs and their affiliates promote, versus solutions that are more nuanced. Now, experts are experts in nuance. We realize that when we're working with someone, there's never going to be a one-size-fits-all cookie cutter solution. Everyone is going to be a little bit different when they're in our sphere, and they're going to actually have to do some work. Right? Like solving the problem of your business growth, for instance, is going to take work on your behalf and my behalf, and it's going to take time. And everything that is promised in the online marketing is about, oh, it's going to be so fast. You'll be an overnight success, make six figures in six seconds. Right? So we value these shiny solutions instead of hiring an expert who's going to help us do the work that really matters to forward progress in our business.

Michelle Mazur (11:22): And finally, there's just the good old appeal to popularity. And Maggie Patterson and I talked about this on the last season of Duped, we did an episode on critical thinking. And it is amazing to me when people are popular, we just think they're good. They have a big audience so it must mean they know what they're doing. They must be an expert. And that is not necessarily true, so we are conditioned to devalue expertise in the industry. But we experts, mm, there's something we can actually control here, because we are not doing the best job of promoting our own work and our own expertise in a way that matters to other people.

Michelle Mazur (12:13): In every episode of Lewis's podcast, he talks about how experts don't do a good job communicating the value they create. They hate self-promotion. They feel like it's slimy and it makes it hard for them to get their work seen, because they just want to focus on the work. They want to do good work, they don't want to worry about what we in the biz would call marketing. But we just don't want to worry about that. These overlooked experts speak in expertise ease. Right? The experts I work with tend to get super focused on the solution, and the nuts and bolts of how they work with people and how they solve the problem, and what theory this solution is based on. We forget that we're actually communicating to another human who isn't speaking that language. They are speaking another language, the language of trying to figure out what the heck their problem is. Right?

Michelle Mazur (13:17): Lewis also talks about how we don't do a good job of telling our story. Part of that is because of that cultural narrative, that rags-to-riches we see in the online space. But sometimes we don't even see the value of why we should share our stories and our expertise, because expertise comes so easy to you that you're just like, "Oh, it's not this important. Everyone can do it." And I know you've heard this before, but not everyone can do it. And it's your job to actually tell the story of why it matters. And sometimes we just worry about someone stealing our secret sauce, so we hide away our expertise so people don't know about it. Right?

Michelle Mazur (14:03): So we have these two issues. We've got culture working against you. And let's face it, you and I, we are not doing ourselves any favors either, but at least we have some control. At least we can realize that we're the overlooked experts and then do something about it. So what's the solution? What's the overlooked expert to do? The solution is not to climb the pyramid we talked about. In fact, that pyramid will be near impossible for you to climb, for a lot of reasons. Mainly, because it will feel out of integrity for you to climb it and it undervalues your own expertise. But we'll be talking about on the next episode, what you should do instead, if you want your work to be visible to your right people. And trust me, it's not about becoming a web celeb. It's really about understanding the value of what it is you do. I'm going to leave this on a cliff hanger, and I'll see you next week to talk about the solution.

Michelle Mazur (15:27): Hey, if you're listening to this episode and feeling like you're the overlooked expert, and it's time to make your expertise visible to those who value, need what you do, and will pay you for it. One of the best ways to do that is to start advocating for your work by creating a message that resonates with your right client and shows them why your work matters to them. Now, this is the exact work we do in the 3 Word Rebellion Messaging Intensive. Come partner with me to create that one of a kind message that creates demand for your work and your expertise. You can get started by going to 3wrcall.com. That's the number three, W-R call.com and request a free consultation with me. I'd love to help you get your amazing work out into the world.

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