Paradoxically, one of the best ways to position yourself as an authority is to share insights and wisdom from others. Your audience will appreciate you taking the time to selectively share what’s relevant to them. The Internet makes it easier than ever before, and if you know where to look, you’ll have an endless supply of high-quality material you can use – easily and legally.
Here are five tips for doing this efficiently and effectively.
1. Be a lifelong learner.
You can’t share what you can’t see! So you have to first adopt the mindset of a lifelong learner, and constantly expose yourself to new material in your area of expertise. This is not just for sharing with others, of course, but also because the world is changing so fast that your current knowledge soon becomes obsolete. So you need to keep learning.
2. Find the best sources.
Be selective about where you get your knowledge. Look for reliable high-quality sources in your area of expertise. They might be certain YouTube channels, specific bloggers, selected podcasts, a few e-mail newsletters, Google Alerts for important keywords, and some other very specific sources of information.
Ideally, you want sources you can subscribe to, so the material is delivered to you automatically. Otherwise it will become inconvenient to keep getting new material.
3. Process it efficiently.
Even after being selective, you’ll still get too much material to handle. So figure out the best way to process it efficiently.
For example, I like listening to audio more than watching video, for two reasons:
- I can listen to it while doing other things, such as exercising and driving.
- My podcast player lets me play it at double speed, so I get through it twice as fast!
Your mileage may vary, so choose what’s right for you. For example, one of my friends prefers watching the TED talks (rather than listening to the audio-only version) because he travels a lot, so can watch them on long flights.
4. Discard ruthlessly.
Remember that you’re helping your followers by sharing only what is most relevant to them. So don’t share everything that comes your way – or even most of it. Be ruthless in deciding what not to share, keeping in mind that what you do choose to share reflects on you and your reputation.
For example, I probably share about 1 in every 20 or 30 things. Of the others, I discard at least 80% of them because they aren’t relevant to me. Of the few that are left, they are only relevant to me (but not to my followers), so I don’t share them either.
5. Share it quickly.
When you find something worth sharing, share it! Don’t just file it away for future use in a workshop, keynote presentation, book chapter, or blog post. You can do all of those things as well, but first send it out to all your social networks. There are software tools to help you manage this process, so you can distribute it to multiple platforms, and space out the delivery over time. But the main principle is to get it out of your world and into theirs.
How can YOU use this idea?
I hope this inspires you to find and share more. Your followers really do appreciate somebody else doing their reading for them, and it also enhances your image and reputation in their eyes.