Business and Marketing Authorities, Experts and Masters

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BusinessTitleA recent article of mine asked the question “Would you hire yourself?” from the standpoint of, are you really qualified to do all the things your website (or promo emails) state you can.

And we received several comments in response and one in particular inspired today’s article around how we define “authorities”, “experts” and “masters”.  After all, I call myself a “Small Business Growth and Marketing Expert” and it got me to wondering if I’ve earned the title.

Out came the dictionary:

  • An “authority” is defined as “an accepted source of information, advice” while
  • An “expert” is defined as “a person who has special skill or knowledge in some particular field” and
  • A “master” is defined as “a person eminently skilled in something, as an occupation or science”

And I thought about all the entrepreneurs who avoid the question altogether by selecting titles such as “maven”, “goddess”, “coach”, “mentor”, etc.  Titles which either have no standard definition when it comes to business or which cover all ranges of a skill set.

We’d be remiss without mentioning those titles which indicate how much revenue someone’s made from their clients: “millionaire this” or “multimillionaire that”.

Nothing wrong with it. . .just food for thought.

Let’s look at it from the business owner’s standpoint…

And from a prospective client’s point of view…

  • Who to trust?  If titles mean nothing (and given that anyone can declare themselves anything, they really don’t mean much), whom do you trust?
  • Read testimonials, check out credentials, review experience, speak with prospective vendor to see if you click, etc.



Ask yourself the following:

  • Are you happy with your “title”?
  • Does it fairly represent who you are, what you focus on or what your level of expertise is?
  • Do/Will your clients “get it” or do you have to explain your business?
  • If you’re calling yourself an “expert” or a “master”, can you back it up?  For example, while I can easily back up calling myself a “small business and marketing expert”, I’m not comfortable calling myself a “master” (yet).

And if you’re not happy or comfortable with your title, now’s the time to change it and/or plan what you want to do in 2012 to upgrade your skill set (or choose another field).