Mashable.com makes a great point in 10 Things You Must Do to Earn Your Audience’s Trust (my BOLD highlights):

4. Own your subject. You don’t need to be an expert at first. You should work hard to become one, but when you’re starting out, you should find the book other books and websites in your area reference. Read that book. As time goes on, pick up the books that book referenced.

Most non-fiction books tend to regurgitate what’s already out[,] ditto for websites, but by going to the core book and then going from there you will be ahead of the game.

A few things to consider:

1) The threshold to being able to help someone else with your expertise is often very low, because the other person is starting from scratch. In a sense, everybody can be an expert in the eyes of someone else at a given point in time.

2) In fact, due to the “Curse of Knowledge” (read Heath & Heath’s “Made To Stick”), you are likely severely overestimating the amount of detail someone you are in a position to help really needs. In other words, once you know a lot about something, it is difficult to put yourself back into the position of someone who doesn’t yet have that knowledge.

Most of the time you will just overwhelm them with information that they really didn’t need or could process at that moment. (Think just-in-time knowledge rather than just-in-case.)

3) Instead of merely piling additional detail, get to a level of depth that allows you to truly innovate. Offer a solution that is not merely 10% better, but 10 TIMES better.

(This is Guy Kawasaki’s formula for tech start-up success, but it really can be applied to just about all other areas of business as well.)

Offer something that reduces all of the detail, depth, and complexity for your customer or client by giving them something new. To get there, follow the advice from the quote above, and then reconnect the dots in a whole new way.

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