Normally if someone asked me about my area of expertise I’d say that I’m a social media maven. And while I can be, I’m beginning to think that maybe that word is too limiting as it pertains to establishing my web identity. Not the word maven, but social media.
What’s In A Name?
Seems a lot is in a name actually. From my perspective, social media isn’t going to cut it as an identifier in my web identity. It’s a bubble name and bubbles are bound to pop at any moment. I don’t want to identify myself as a bubble, though I do want to identify with the bubble. While social media may be the term of the month or even the next couple of months, I think there’s something else that will be on the horizon by the end of the year.
Finding Your Area of Expertise
There are various ways to define your web identity. First, keep in mind that when it comes to your identity, stability is important. Unlike your personal identity is isn’t life altering nor careering damaging to switch your identity from time to time. This isn’t a social security number. On the other hand, repeatedly changing can cause your audience to think of you as…fickle. You want to establish your niche and your expertise. Instead of changing, why not expand. Add on to your identity to let your audience know that you’re also developing your knowledge in other areas.
This is probably the hardest part about finding and developing your web identity and a hard lesson that I’m learning now. Establishing your area of expertise is difficult. Why? Well first you need to know what you want to be an expert in. Until then, there’s nothing else you can do, but experiment until you find what’s right for you. I’m still experimenting, though I’ve found several niches that could be right for me.
Once you establish that area of expertise you have to develop other areas. You can’t sit on one thing. While it can continue to be your main focus, the point is to establish yourself in as many areas as possible. Otherwise you could go stagnant. This relates to "what’s in a name". A lot of things on the web these days are bubbles. Social media just might be another term in the book in a few years. Do you want your identity to be the same? While it might help with establishing the years of your expertise, you may also become outdated if you’re not picking up on other areas too.
I’m just brainstorming out loud, but has anyone else experienced the same? Are you going through it now? What steps are you taking to choose your field of expertise as a way to effectively establish your web identity?