Make Marketing Suck Less

Why Your Expertise Matters: Messaging To Be Known, Hired, And Paid



Why does expertise matter?

When I was asked this very question on a podcast, I was taken aback.

I thought, Duh, of course, expertise matters. Why wouldn't it?

I realize, however, that we live in a world with a strong anti-expert bias. It shows up in the most subtle ways like someone saying, “don't be an expert, be a human.”

Experts are so often misunderstood and don’t do a great job of communicating why their expertise matters.

It can seem like learning from your peers is better than hiring an expert, but honestly, in some cases, that's a risky proposition.

Let's talk about why expertise matters and why I'm on a mission to make experts visible so that they can be known, hired, and paid exquisitely well for their expertise.

(Click play or read the transcript below.)

In this episode:

  • The misconceptions of what is an “expert”
  • Two surprising qualities of an expert, that people aren’t talking about 
  • Three reasons why expertise in business truly matters
  • How to step out of the “one-step-ahead crowd”

Learn more about Michelle Mazur:


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

Michelle Mazur

Why does expertise matter? When I was asked this very question on a podcast, I was taken aback.

I thought, duh, of course, expertise matters. Why wouldn't it? I realize, however, that we live in a world with a strong anti-expert bias. It shows up in the most subtle ways like someone saying, don't be an expert, be a human.

To the more overt, be one step ahead of your clients or even experts who just know a lot of meaningless facts. It can seem like learning from your peers is better than hiring an expert, but honestly, in some cases, that's a risky proposition.

So let's talk about why expertise matters and why I'm on a mission to make experts visible so that they can be known, hired, and paid exquisitely well for their expertise.

Let's dive in.


Get ready for the Rebel Uprising podcast, the only podcast dedicated to business owners who feel overlooked for their expertise, skills, and experience. Let's claim your expertise and turn your complex ideas into unmistakable messaging that grows your business. I am your host, Dr. Michelle Mazur, the author of The Three Word Rebellion and your Rebel Truth Telling Guide to building a business that gets noticed.

Michelle Mazur [00:01:41]: Before we can talk about why expertise matters, let's define the word “expert". I feel like the word expert is very misunderstood, and that's why there's such an anti-expert bias in our industry and the world at large.

We see a mistrust of experts happening in our common discourse. And yes, while there's the one-step ahead crowd, as expert business owners we have to worry about, there's a reason why that crowd is so appealing, why it's so compelling to hire the people who are just 20 minutes smarter than you.

I think that has to do with how we think about experts. We think experts spew facts like they are robots, so we're just this vast database of knowledge and facts, and then we just spit them out at you and expect for you to know what to do with them, because all we have are the facts.

And I think that's why we hear things like, “Don't be an expert, be a human”, because there's that assumption that experts are completely unable to relate to other people. And really what I think is happening is that experts struggle to communicate their expertise. And to me, that's the most human struggle in the world.

So related to the idea that experts spew facts like robots is that experts are lost in their own world, speaking a specialized language that only the “in group” can know about. And I would argue the people who are doing this intentionally, who are acting as the gatekeepers of knowledge to keep others out, to keep others from accessing expertise, are actually intellectuals.

And I know this because I am from academia. There are people in the ivory tower of academia right now who are doing phenomenal research that you and I will never know about because they don't want to communicate it to us. And that is a very intellectually elite thing to do.

But a real expert wants people to have access to what they know. Another misconception experts are “know-it-alls” who are always right. I mean, if an expert makes a mistake or changes their mind based on new data, you think it's the end of the world and they can never be trusted.

When really experts understand that knowledge evolves and changes and we find out new things every day. So what we believed in the past might not be true in the future.

And then the final misconception is that experts are snobs and untouchables. And I agree, some intellectuals are, especially when they're speaking in word salad that we can't understand.

Those are some of the common misconceptions about experts. And I will be the first to admit that sometimes experts do communicate in a way that doesn't make sense to other people.

I mean, that is why I do the work that I do to help you figure out how to communicate the benefits and the value of your expertise to other human beings.

So in the book “The Death of Expertise" by Tom Nichols, he talks about the markers of expertise and there are some of them that you've heard, especially if you listen to this podcast, and others that might surprise you. So unsurprisingly a hallmark of expertise is education, formal or otherwise. Where we learn the craft, we learn the specialized knowledge, then experience applying that expertise so that we know how to use what we know.

So those are two that probably don't surprise you.

The two that will are:: Number one. Humility. Knowing the limitations of our expertise. When you're an expert, you are keenly aware that what you know is this teeny tiny speck in the ocean of knowledge. So you are willing to admit when you don't know when you need to do more research or bring in someone else.

And finally. Experts, they've made mistakes. Experts have made lots of mistakes and have lots of failures under their belt. They fail so you don't have to. So that when you hire them, they have a working knowledge of what works.

Expertise is not something that is earned because you read a book or took one course or you did it for yourself and now you can do it for other people. Nichols writes in his book “knowing things is not the same as understanding them. Comprehension is not the same as analysis”.

Experts thrive in analysis. And I believe that experts have a mandate to communicate that expertise, so you know who to trust in order to solve your problems.

So let's take a quick break and then when I come back, let's talk about why expertise matters in business.

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Now we're back.

So why does expertise matter in business? Why do I believe for some business problems, you're better off hiring an expert than one of those “I'm just one step ahead of my clients.”

The first reason why expertise matters is that you have the ability to take the knowledge and apply it to your client's situation. You're able to look at their situation, analyze it, and figure out a plan for what has the best chance of working for their business or for their life. And that is a skill that people who have just done it once, they don't have. They don't know how to take what they know, do the analysis, and apply it.

Number two, this means that you're able to give customized, tailor-made solutions instead of one size fits all bullshit. And yeah, you probably still have a framework, a process that you take your clients through. But during that process, you're able to assess what's happening and adapt the work to fit their unique situation.

The third reason why expertise matters in business is experts won't blame you when something doesn't work. They're not going to say, like, “OOH, it's your mindset. And if you just worked harder” or “you have money mindset issues and you need to fix that. Because if you would have followed this exactly as I showed you, it would have 100% worked for you.”

Instead, when something doesn't work, an expert looks at that and says, hmmm, that's interesting. Let's figure this out. Let's figure out how to make it work for you instead of blaming you for not following some bullshit formula well enough.

And finally, expertise matters in business because real experts know their limits of their expertise. They have a defined scope of practice. They know when they need to pass a project on to someone else.

Like, if somebody comes to me and they want messaging work done but they don't have an offer, I don't want to create offers. That's not my area of expertise. So I will hand them off to someone who can help them do that, who has the business knowledge and expertise to create offers.

Now, I say all of this and you might be thinking like, “Oh, Michelle is just all about experts only”, and I'm about experts when it's appropriate. There is a place for peer-to-peer learning. Heck, I have a community of experts in the Expert Up Club who learn from each other every single day. And I firmly believe that when we are able to give feedback on each other's messaging and marketing, we actually get better at our own messaging and marketing.

We are actually developing expertise in those areas when we're doing this peer-to-peer feedback. But sometimes there are problems that your peers cannot solve for you and you need to call in an expert with specialized experience to solve a problem.

I always say, like, if I go see a brain surgeon, I want someone with years of experience and a degree, not someone who knows 10% more about the brain than I do. It's the same when I have a business problem. I want to call in an expert who knows about what is happening in my business and can help me figure out the right solution.

So your expertise matters.

And I know sometimes in the online business world it feels like it doesn't. We are constantly told that it doesn't matter, but really it does.

Your job as an expert is to make your expertise visible to other people. You have to be out there communicating why it matters so people don't hire the web celebs who can never solve their problem, who can never get them the results that they need because they have some cookie-cutter formula and are literally 20 minutes smarter.

The reason why I created the Expert Up Club is because I am sick and tired of the one-step-ahead crowd getting hired over people with real expertise. When people are spending thousands of dollars on getting help with their business or their life, the person who is selling that can't really help them isn't qualified to help them. That's not right.

And frankly, I don't want you to be overlooked for your expertise any longer. When you know how to translate that expertise into a marketing message that truly resonates with your client, shows that you empathize and understand, and shows them that you know how what you do applies to their situation, your expertise becomes in demand because, my friend, it is valuable and vital.

Expertise matters.

[00:14:48] If the Rebel Uprising podcast is helping you claim and communicate your expertise so that your clients can find and hire you, please share the show with a friend.

The easiest way to do that is through PodLink. You can find the show at, and that page will allow anyone you share the show with to subscribe and start listening in their favorite podcast player. That's

The Rebel uprising podcast is a production of Communication Rebel. Our production coordinator is Jessica Gulley-Ward of Juggling Logistics. Our sound engineer is Stephen Mills. Rebel Uprising podcast is recorded on the unseated traditional land of the coast Salish Peoples, specifically the first people of Seattle, the Duamish people, original stewards of the land past and present.

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