Market Yourself as an Expert, Not a Narcissist

market yourself as an expert

If you want to sell a product or service to today’s consumers, you need to position and market yourself as an expert in your field. After all, why would they buy something from you when they could probably buy something similar from your competitor who has more experience or accolades?

The good news is that technology offers plenty of opportunities for marketing yourself as an expert. But the bad news is that it offers those same opportunities to all of your competitors as well. So how do you make yourself stand out and market yourself as an expert when there are so many self-proclaimed “experts” in every field?

In a recent article in Forbes about building expertise, Amy Morin points out there’s a fine line between being an expert and a narcissist. Morin writes:

“Gaining trust and respect from your audience requires you to be confident in yourself without crossing the line into arrogance. So while it’s important to share what’s good about you, don’t be afraid to share your mistakes and failures. Be generous toward your audience and other professionals so you can earn genuine credibility in your space.”

Let’s say, for instance, that you’re offering social media marketing services. To do so, you need to market yourself as a social media expert. But today, it seems that everyone with a Twitter account is marketing themselves as such.

To set yourself apart, you can’t just constantly promote your own services and talk about how great you are and how much you know about social media. Instead, you have to genuinely try to help people. Tweet links to resources from other experts. Build relationships with people. And even share the experiences where you might have failed but ultimately learned something.

Basically, you need to offer something of value to people. Constantly talking about yourself doesn’t really help anyone else. And customers can figure it out really quickly if you’re just out to help yourself. But if you give them valuable information, whether it comes straight from you or maybe from someone else, you’ll come across as an expert without even trying.

Morin sums up her thoughts this way:

“Experts use social media to share knowledge. Narcissists use social media to mask their insecurities.”

Expert Advice Photo via Shutterstock


Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

2 Reactions
  1. Great advice. Sometimes in my mind I compare social media marketing to bad first dates (nobody wants to hear someone go on and on about themselves, you want to engage and discover their values yourself!) Because really, social media marketing is about building a relationship. Thanks for the article!

    • That’s a great point! And you’re right – you need to have genuine interactions on social media. No one is interested in following someone who only ever promotes themselves.