How to best position yourself for opportunities within expert networks?
As an incoming consultant, I was wondering whether you have any advice for how to pick up the skills/experiences that would make me more attractive for expert networks down the line? Most of the experts I've worked with during my internships were life-long industry CEOs who are essentially retired, but I am thinking that there must be demand for other types of experts too?
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- EMitchel @expertopportunities
There are over 1 million expert network consulting calls happening annually, so yes, there is a broad and deep market for expertise across nearly every profession and market.
A good rule of thumb is that if you could give a good quality 30 minute presentation on a topic, you could probably be considered an expert about it. So take a few minutes to think about the products, companies and markets that you know well across a number of different categories:
- Former employers - No one knows how a company really functions better than someone who works there!
- Vendors - What products or services do you purchase through work? How did you decide choose that product or vendor and how is it performing relative to expectations. If you are the final decision maker on a purchasing decision and/or control budget, your insights on that topic will be in demand.
- Competitors - What are the companies that you're battling it out with day in and day out? What are their strengths and weaknesses, and where do you think they'll go next?
Think through which of these you could knowledgeably discuss, and be sure to list them out by name on your LinkedIn and expert network profiles. Pay careful attention to when one of them is 'hot' and likely a high volume of interest from expert network clients, so you can more prominently call it out on your profiles and check in on expert network websites for any projects that you may qualify for. Hot companies have generally just announced a big financial transaction, like an IPO or merger, have a rapidly moving stock price, are about to debut an extraordinary new product, be subject to major new regulations, or are making news for another reason. A high volume of projects means that expert networks will be scrambling to source additional consultants, and likely looking for different perspectives, so it's a great opportunity to establish yourself as an expert on a new topic or category.
I publish a blog on starting and growing your expert network consulting practice and recently detailed some additional strategies on getting picked for expert network projects.