Today, the media is cluttered with people claiming to be experts in every subject and field. In previous blogs, we’ve talked about how we’re all competing to be the best in our industry, but we should also be putting that effort into being experts in our field.
We’re scheduled to go on KTLA TV this weekend to discuss our expertise: hair and beauty. While we both love fashion, we certainly aren’t going on air to discuss our opinions, ideas, or attitudes about shoes, jewelry, etc. Why? Because we are experts in hair and beauty! It’s important to stick to what you know, hone in on your voice and know the ins and outs of your niche. With so many people claiming to have skills and be “experts in the field,” this got us thinking: what exactly does it mean to be an expert?
- Knowledge. It goes without saying that in order to be considered an expert, it’s crucial that you’re knowledgeable in your field. You have to dive in to every detail of your subject that you can, while also realizing that learning is perpetual. You will never reach a point in which you’ve finished learning your field. We’re constantly discovering new cuts, styles, colors, trends, etc. every day and there’s no question we’ll continue to obtain new knowledge in our industry. One of the best ways to do that? Professional development courses. We’ve talked at length about personal and professional development. It’s vitally important to your career.
- Experience. An expert can’t rely on knowledge alone; you have to have direct experience as well. If you memorize the table of elements, does that mean you’re qualified to be a science teacher? Of course not. We aren’t saying that to be an expert in a particular field you must have the MBA or PhD to show for it; however being an expert does involve practical, real world experience. An expert is someone who has lived and breathed the subject. Jennifer is the expert colorist, while Scott is the expert stylist. From sweeping salon floors to styling some of the entertainment world’s biggest names, we’ve worked every aspect of the industry for more than 46 years. We know what we’re good at and we have the experience to prove it.
- Connectedness. Expertise, ultimately, has a social aspect to it. In order to gain knowledge and experience, it’s important to work with other people in your particular field. Building connections and networking with others can lead to exchanges in new ideas, clients, and approaches to problems. Accept ideas from other professionals in the field and promote yourself to those who need your expertise. In connecting with others you’ll gain knowledge and experience, which is why we want to collaborate with others in our industry this April during OC’s Best Hairstylist 2013 hair show competition. There’s no better way to share ideas and products than connecting with others in your field.
- Credibility. Naturally, in order to be an expert, you’ve got to build credibility. Expertise involves a “seeing is believing” approach. In order for others to believe in your work, they have to be able to see it and know that you can deliver. We didn’t earn our reputation or client base by simply stating that we are good at our jobs. We had to show people who we are, what we do and what we represent. Once they experienced our work at Cristophe Salon Newport Beach, they realized we are the experts in hair and beauty.
Don’t add to the clutter and pretend to be an expert in something you’re not. Focus on the particular field that you’re knowledgeable, experienced, connected, and credible in! What makes you an expert and in what field? Share your thoughts below.