“I’m not an expert in this topic and therefore I can’t write about it for my business’s social media.”
I love this statement because it seems really reasonable. Like…
“Who, li’l ole amateur me? No… leave this topic to all those experts ‘out there.’ They’re obviously loads more qualified, so they’ll do a better job!”
Yet it’s not reasonable. It’s wrong. Ass-backwards.
FIRST of all, (I’m now typing with 1 hand while my left index finger is pointed regally in the air)…
gather round because I’m about to unveil a golden nugget from my own 20 years of professional experience publishing online:
The internet is a fucking free-for-all.
(I learned that during Year 1. The other 19 years are just gravy.)
Whether you’re using it for business or pleasure, the internet is NOT ABOUT sitting quietly in a classroom while Teacher lectures at the front, my friends.
The internet is about getting a sweaty note passed to you during class from the smart ass who sits two rows away.
Surprise! You’re the smart ass. Your experience with a subject stands out more than an expert’s “how-to” take on it, which reads as less immediate and less applicable to your audience’s real life.
For example, you know that book, Profit First? I never got through it.
But I’ve talked to a bunch of people about how it has transformed their businesses. Their stories caused me to create a separate bank account and to pay myself from that account on a bi-weekly schedule. I have no idea if I’m doing Profit First right.
But it was my nonexpert friend’s stories that got me to take action. Not the book itself.
For better or worse*, I gravitated to their stories because they allowed me to visualize myself carrying out the method in a way that an expert instruction manual just didn’t.
*(And by the way, it’s definitely for worse when it comes to subjects like climate change and the safety of childhood vaccinations. Someone’s anecdote about their personal experience is a potent hook for deep connection and engagement, in a way that unbiased, expert information just is not.)
But you want to know what’s even weirder about requiring yourself to be an expert before you can write about a topic?
When you write like an expert, you sound like the opposite of an expert.
It’s not just that you sound douche-y, (though you might).
you cannot solve the biggest problems in your industry or in the world with a single post. So, when you try, your post sounds the opposite of expert.
You sound amateurish and naive, like, “She must not have that much experience with this topic if she thinks it’s just that easy.”
You know what I mean? That’s the reaction I have to posts that are all wrapped up in a bow.
I understand the pressure. It’s not imagined. People get “canceled” on the internet for writing things that are anything from thoughtlessly insensitive to completely taken out of context.
But I am the expert in my own life experience. You are the expert in your own life experience.
If something cool has happened as a result of the way you applied your expertise, you need to tell people.
They will learn from what you have to say.
PS: If you sit down to write something original and all that comes out is a bunch of tangled up, vague, or generic stuff… you need a guide to help you write your way to more leads, better opportunities, and the business you want.
Funny… that’s what I do. Email me at maggie at maggiefrankhsu dot com if you want to chat.