Before starting to write and self-publish a brand-building book, ask, How can I locate & learn from the experts in my field?
Before you can become a recognized expert in your field, you have to locate the current experts so you can study how they became experts and how they maintain their expert status.
Locating experts in your field is also the 1st step to building networking relationships which can pay big dividends after your book is published.
This is the 17th in a series of 99 questions, ideas, and tips that can put you on the path to writing and publishing success.
Locating experts in your field
Here are some of the places where you can begin your search for experts in your field:
- Authors. Start at your local bookstore or library, looking for books about your field. Bookstores and libraries are excellent places to start, because qualified help is available to guide your search. Be sure you bring a notepad or notebook computer with you, to jot down the results of your search.
- Bloggers. Search online for bloggers in your field, or who address the types of questions your ideal readers are likely to ask. Experts frequently post about the current challenges and trends in their field. An easy way to search for bloggers is to enter the word blog, followed by plus sign (+) and the name of your field or the topic you want to write about.
- Speakers. Experts are also frequent speakers. They speak both for free, at industry conventions and workshops, as well as at conferences and workshops. (Paid speaking events may become an important part of your future income strategy.) In addition to checking the speakers and panelists at upcoming events, use the same search engine technique described above, i.e., search for, Speaker + topic (or field).
- Media. Another way to locate the experts in your field is to follow your field in both the national, or mainstream media, your local media, as well as the specialized trade publications serving your field. Check the tale of contents and check the bylines of articles and columns. Monitor those who are frequently interviewed, quoted, or profiled. In addition, skim the reader comments section for familiar names.
- Online. Finally, once you’ve identified the top experts in your field, continue your exploration and search for other experts. It’s not enough to be familiar with the top 10 experts, continue searching until you have a compiled enough resources to provide you with different points of view and different approaches to solving your reader’s problems and helping them achieve the goals.
Learning from the experts in your field
Here are some of the ways you can learn from the experts in your field after you’ve identified them.
- Subscribe to their blogs. If the expert you’re following has a blog, you can generally subscribe to receive 3-mail notification every time they update their blog. You can also use services like www.feedblitz.com to receive updates whenever they update their website.
- Sign-up for their newsletters. Most experts offer an e-mail newsletter that you can sign-up to for free. This will help you keep abreast of their latest information and upcoming promotions and events.
- Set up Alerts. Use services like Google Alerts to notify you when the experts you are following are interviewed or written about in the news.
- Social media. Use social media like Twitter, FaceBook, LinkedIn, and others to follow the experts in your field, so you can monitor the conversations they’re engaging in and find out if they’re going to be in your area in the near future.
7 Habits of the Successfully Published, Part 6: Modelers. This article provides additional information about why it’s important to follow, and learn from, the experts in your field. Your goal is not to copy them, but to model them, to learn from them and adapt lessons you can apply to your own success. This article originally appeared as a guest post in Dan Schawbel’s Personal Branding Blog.
Get a new perspective on writing and self-publishing a brand-building book by downloading my (currently) free workbook, 99 Questions to Ask Before Starting to Write & Self-Publish a Brand-Building Book.
It will save you time and help you avoid false starts and wasted effort. It will help you clarify goals, analyze your readers, examine competing books, choose a book title, and explore your options. It will also help you prepare a successful book marketing and post-publication profit plan.
To learn more about writing and self-publishing a brand-building book, you can also review earlier posts in this series series, share your comments and questions about locating and learning from experts in your field, or submit questions directly to me using my online form.