What kind of a book should you write as a subject matter expert

What Kind Of A Book Should You Write As A Subject Matter Expert

Sujeeth had been serving in IT sales for over 15 years and in these years, he created a strong foothold in the industry, He was regularly approached by not just his subordinates but also colleagues and people from other teams who faced challenges. Increments, incentives, and promotions, he was going at an impressive pace. Yet, he felt something was missing and he wanted to grow beyond. He wanted to start his own business. He was confident of his capabilities so he asked a couple of professional friends if they would pay for his services if he started a business. Most of them encouraged him to shoot the arrow as they would back him but there was friend, more of a critic, and a person who would bluntly state the truth.

“You have expertise, no doubt but you are not selling only because you are good. You are selling because of your company’s brand. How do plan to sell when you have no brand to back you?”

Sujeeth was not very happy to hear his comments and countered him suggesting that was a brilliant sales professional and knew how to sell a comb to a bald person.

While driving home, he kept thinking about what his friend had said. At first, he sounded discouraging but to some extent he was right. What were the chances that the kind of organizations that took services from large IT system integrators would give him a project? He could be a genius but he was still one person. His company had more geniuses like him. The company was like a mall of talent. How could he compete that?
Not every SME wants to become an entrepreneur, some might have other goals like becoming influencers, finding bigger opportunities, becoming leaders, or bring a transformation to an industry. If you are an SME, what is your goal?
Who is a subject matter expert?
A subject matter expert is a person who understands one’s subject so deep that no complication can stop one from finding solutions. One who cannot just find a workaround difficult situation but can also guide others in taking the right direction. An SME knows the nuts and bolts and has the capacity to explain how things work even to a novice.
It is this power of the SME that when showcased can bring professional success and take a person a long way. An SME is a shining stone that cannot be hidden and people around always know it’s worth. But does the world know? Do those people who can help bring more success to SME know? Do people who need help but are not directly connected know? Do companies or people who might need ones assistance would know?
When you work for an organization, you have departments to not just market company and its products & services but also its people, and that is you. But these efforts will serve companies more than you unless you are in the position of immense power such that your words can launch waves of change in the industry and make or break big deals. For this to happen, your shine has to grow beyond the corridors of your company. It must reach the whole industry and even outside. A personal brand is what you need to create if you want to grow that big or achieve the goals we mentioned earlier.
Why should you create a personal brand?
What is seen is only observed. It is true with things and it is true with people. This is why organizations spend so much on marketing and branding. Individuals who want to rise as influencers or leaders spend time talking about themselves and what they can do in open forums. They create a brand with their knowledge and skills on display. It’s a shout-out from an SME that creates a personal brand and once it is created, the leadership finds its roots to grow.
Here are some names of SMEs that you might be familiar with…
Neil Patel is the top influencer on the web and featured in the Forbes list of top 10 marketers. He is a brand and the author of ‘Hustle: The Power to Charge Your Life with Money, Meaning, and Momentum’.
Indira Nooyi, the former CEO & chairperson of PepsiCo lead the company for 12 years to help it increase profitability and improve environmental stability. She is a brand and the author of ‘My Life in Full’
These were appreciated for what they did for the industry. However, some experts who are unconventional in their approaches might find more criticism than success in the industry despite their power. Let me share one such story of an author who found his way to success despite criticism when he created a personal brand.
Deepak Chopra, who studied alternative medicine came up with an idea that humans have quantum mechanical body, one that is not composed of matter and thus, can be healed with the power of mind. His ideas were severely criticized by the industry and his concepts were called pseudoscience. The resistance was so strong that when he launched his first book to take his ideas to the world, ‘Ageless Body, Timeless Mind: The Quantum Alternative to Growing Old’, the Maharishi National Council of the Age of Enlightenment asked TM centers in the US to remove his book and not promote.
But Deepak’s ideas, his influence, and alliance with Michael Jackson had already done their job for within a day of the launch, he sold 137,000 copies and reached 400,000 in a week. Today, his business annually grosses over $20. This story is about the power of personal branding. Who could beat the combined power of his personal brand as an alternate medicine expert who spoke of quantum healing, he first time and the big brand of Michael Jackson?
Among the stories I shared, what is common? The expertise, the passion, and the book that spoke to the world. Assuming that you already carry expertise and have passion, this article will tell you how you can take care of the book part. Becoming an author, no doubt has perks and even if I do not state them, you know but the question is how you can turn your book into an asset that brings you success? This is exactly what we are going to discuss here –
What kind of book should you right as an SME to support your professional goals?
A personal brand stands not just because one has knowledge and capacity higher than most but more because it can connect with those who follow. Connections happen at deeper levels so just taking about your expertise enough. You are judged not just on the basis of your content but also your presentation, your principles, your style, your beliefs and your associations. When you launch a book, all this will matter to your readers and only when you are able to communicate the ‘Whole you’ package well, can you find success. There are millions of authors who are published every year but you remember only a few for they know the secret sauce to success.
To find true success, you don’t have to write a book that explains a concept, gives a solution or provides steps but a book that people can believe you are the best person to write. You will have to use more than your technical expertise to find connection with your readers.
This is why, when we coach new authors, we take them through a discovery session in which they identify three things –
Strengths: They identify their strengths as potential authors and this includes not just technical expertise but also strengths in other areas like people management, leadership, management, personality, principles, and more. These strengths when added to your expertise, will create a unique brand for you. You need to use your strengths to create and communicate.
Suppose, you are an expert of marketing, many others are but not every marketer will have strong views on ethics – hat could be your difference. You could be an expert project manager like many others but not every project manager would carry empathy for the teams when managing work – that could be your uniqueness.
As an author, you can take specific assessments to find your strengths or go through our discovery session. If you are curious to see how we help authors discover their strengths, why not register for our next free live demo session of Author Success System?
Social Mirror: They understand how people already see them as experts. When do people seek their help? when do they ask questions? when do they want to work with experts? These and a few more questions when answered can give you a clear picture of how the world sees you. As an author, you might want to change your image but we advise our authors to use the image that is already established for branding so the connection is smooth and you do not have to struggle to change the minds of people about you.
If people know you as a marketer who might not be very good at visual presentation but pretty amazing at bringing people on the same page, visual storytelling would not be the right topic but aligning resources can be.
Connection: They connect their strengths they want to show with the image that world carries of them with their professional goal to come up with a book idea. This way, they can ensure that they are communicating the right ideas, the right way, and with the right people through their books.
Let us take an example of an SME who is into IT consulting. He does not have the experience of working with latest technologies like Conversational AI, Digital Twin or Robotic Process Automation but people admire his capability to connect IT solutions with business goals of companies.He is an empath, a strength that allows him to find solutions to help businesses as well as people. With this strength, he doesn’t find it difficult to convince people when experimenting with new technologies. Which would be a more appropriate topic to write a book on for this expert?
  • Creating powerful systems with future technologies
  • Connecting business with technology
I am sure you know the answer. Both topics might sound impressive but for the SME we discussed, second one will have a higher chance of finding success. You can also learn more about how you can find the right topic or your self-help book in this article.
Whether you want to become a mentor, a leader, an influencer or just grow past your current boundaries in your industry, a book can serve as an asset to create a growth path. All you have to do is write the right book that connects with the right readers.
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIN
  • Pinterest
Tagged in
Leave a reply