Back in the day, the only way to gain credibility in your career was to go to a top-tier college, work for some brand-name, behemoth organization, climb the corporate ladder, and obtain some powerful title like “VP of Corporate Development” or “Senior Managing General Partner.”
Now, with LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, Medium, and other blogging and social platforms, you can build your credibility without going the corporate route.
Look at Gary Vaynerchuk.
He was just a kid helping his parents run their local NJ wine store. No one knew who he was, and he certainly was not known as a wine expert like Robert Parker.
But he tasted thousands of wines and posted over 1000 video reviews on Wine Library TV. This helped transform him into a wine expert and grow the wine store into a $60 million business.
And now Gary is a living legend in the business world.
Every now and again, I have conversations with people who have thoughts about starting a blog or a podcast. All of them always ask the question, “what the hell should I write about? I don’t have real credibility in anything, so no one is going to read.”
My first answer is that everyone has some credibility in something.
You’ve been doing a job for X years, write about your work. Do you have a hobby that you enjoy and are good at? Write about that.
And to tell you the truth, even if you had a high level of credibility on a subject, that doesn’t necessarily lead to an audience. You still have to work hard at creating great content and distributing it consistently.
My second response is that even if you don’t have credibility, but are interested in a specific topic, just start chronicling your learning process.
The more your write (or record, or however you choose to deliver your message), the faster you’ll learn, the more credibility you’ll gain, and the more inspired you’ll be to keep learning.
You’ll connect with fellow learners and that’s when magic can happen. If you can connect with and help just one person out there, it’s totally worth it.
Everyone has “impostor syndrome” at some point. If you keep learning, you’ll get past the impostor stage are obtain that credibility. Yeah, there are some real impostors who claim to be credible but really aren’t. Avoid those people like the plague and don’t be one of them.
So it doesn’t really matter whether you’re credible or not. Get your thoughts and knowledge out there, and the world will be a better place for it.