“An expert is someone who has succeeded in making decisions and judgements simpler through knowing what to pay attention to and what to ignore.” – Edward de Bono, Born May 19, 1933.
If you want to be perceived as an expert in your field, the way to do it is not by actually accomplishing things or getting results.
While those things are fine and admirable, most times they are invisible and don't actually generate the perception in people that you have active, applicable expertise.
So how can you portray it?
What people can really use expert advice for – in almost every case – is to help them contextualize and prioritize their information, so they can make better decisions in reaching their goals.
So if you want them to see you as the expert they need, you just have to give them shortcuts. Help them sort out what they should focus on, and what they can completely ignore.
The ignoring part is the big one, though. Fretting and worrying over something really can wear you down and make you exhausted.
But when an expert you trust can relieve you of that worry – can tell you with good reason why you can ignore that agitating aspect, you feel like a burden has been lifted.
Your client/prospect now has one less thing to worry about – and that can drastically increase a person's enthusiasm and productivity.
You save them from obstacles and roadblocks they never have to face, because you’ve shown them how to avoid them completely. You let them go around that bad patches on the path to success and make it a lovely stroll instead of a grueling marathon.
And since you're the one hacking that simpler path for them with your machete of knowledge, then you get the credit – and become a relied-upon source for expert advice.
Which is a pretty good gig.
And a very useful position to sell from.