Tune In: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher
A funny thing happened when I was growing and gaining some success as an entrepreneur… people began coming to me and asking me how. How did I regularly get clients? How did I curate a social media presence that brought in awesome leads? How did I market myself to actually create consistent income in this unpredictable, heavy service industry? So much of what I was learning about entrepreneurship and marketing wasn’t from my college degree or someone teaching me — it was from DOING it. From trying new things and running with what worked. It was from obsessively researching my dream clients and how to reach them and experiencing trial and error along the way.
Once I began sharing my approach with a few people and realizing I was repeating the same advice again and again, I started to realize… Not everyone knows what I know. My experiences and research and practices uniquely qualified me to teach this specific approach to growing service-based businesses online. And it naturally led into building courses around the practices I was experiencing success in doing.
What I’m completely certain of is that YOU have something like this inside of you, a certain life experience or even an obsession you’ve been pouring over for months or years, that uniquely qualifies YOU as an expert in that area. That’s what I want to talk about with you right now — how to uncover that gift and turn it into something teachable for others! Because we all have these experiences and knowledge unique to our own walks of life that we can tap into and package into something we can share with others. You don’t have to be a trained “educator” to do it — you just need to be willing to do a little digging!
How I’ve uncovered my expertise
So how do you actually uncover this talent or extensive knowledge within you that you can eventually teach to others? So much of it is personal work that involves investigating your interests and passions and straight-up obsessions. When I look at our family’s waiting season as we experienced two miscarriages, I shifted so many things in my lifestyle as a result and became completely obsessed with those off-shoots of something hard we were going through.
For example, I learned during that time and all the testing I was doing that I had a gluten intolerance and wound up going fully gluten-free, a whole new world that I’d previously known nothing about! I learned what the gluten allergy test is like, what the symptoms are, what the signs are, what are gluten-free alternatives, what should be on your shopping list, what you need to avoid, and what products contain gluten you might be shocked by. It was a deep dive and I became quickly experienced and knowledgeable in this gluten-free way of living and how to do it without a ton of stress or hassle.
Another thing I dug into hard during that season was natural beauty and clean personal products and toiletries. I’d learned how so many harsh chemicals in mainstream products, even our shampoo and deodorant, can affect our hormones and hence our fertility, so I went on a toss-out spree of anything that wasn’t a clean, non-toxic product and replaced it all with natural options. I learned which chemicals affect what areas of our health, what kinds of products you can use instead, where to find the best natural products, and even how cleaner products can benefit our environment too.
So… while my biggest personal education experience in recent years had to do with all things miscarriage, I’ve also become an expert in other semi-related areas as a result that I could totally teach to others. Plus, over the years, I’ve picked up other interests, hobbies, and skills that I’ve leaned into, learned as much as I possibly could about, and become mega-well-versed in as a result. Here’s a quick little list to give you a few examples of what I’ve learned through experience and self-education, and could teach to others!
- How to go totally gluten-free (after having a lifetime love affair with gluten)
- How to clean up your home and personal care products to improve your overall health
- How to train for and run a marathon without getting totally overwhelmed or burnt out by the end, even if you’re not a runner
- How to start your own Airbnb and brand it successfully so people want to book it again and again
- How to outsource well and run a remote team
- How to run your own mastermind
- How to Joanna Gaines your home even if you’re not Joanna Gaines
Okay, maybe that last one’s a litttttle bit of a stretch, but you get what I mean! These are the spaces I’ve delved into in the deepest ways. I’ve researched them, I’ve played with them, I’ve messed up and learned more deeply about them because of my mess ups, and ultimately: I’ve become an experienced expert in these little departments of life.
Why you should teach your expertise
So let’s talk about how YOU can discover your own pockets of expertise and how to turn those into something that’s teachable. First of all, you may be wondering why it’s even important to turn your own experiences into something you can share with and lead others through? Here’s the thing: I have seen SO so so many courses and masterminds and resources online since I joined this digital education world — and let me tell you, it is so easy for me to spot the ones who are in it to try to make a quick buck vs. those who are in it because they are genuinely passionate about what they’re teaching.
When you have a genuine, vested interest in a subject, you WANT to get other people the fabulous results you’ve gotten for yourself. Plus, it’s something you’ve spent hours and days researching and learning about — just because. For your own benefit primarily, and then you likely become so into whatever it is that you can’t HELP but share your process or experience or results with everyone you know.
You dig in to learn for your own purposes and to get your own experience in it, not because you think it’ll be the next big thing. THAT is the magic little sweet spot in creating online education resources for others… you need to be so interested and invested in the topic that you eat, live, and breathe it before EVER trying to teach it — or sell it — to anyone else.
And yet, we have a hard time pinpointing these areas of expertise within ourselves because we’re often so wrapped up in it and close to it that we can’t clearly see how much we actually do know about it. So let me run through a few questions I want you to think about and then I’d urge you to scribble down a list of everything that comes to mind, seriously, even the smallest or seemingly silliest things that you’ve become a self-proclaimed expert in!
Questions to uncover your expertise
First: What have you taught yourself and gotten results in out of some sort of necessity? It could be SEO, photo editing, the best way to frame photos, gardening, homeschooling, organizing closets, hashtag strategy… literally anything you’ve researched vigorously and implemented in your own life, professional or personal.
Then… I want to know what topics are you OBSESSED with learning more about? You can’t get enough of these things and always want more details. It sometimes keeps you up at night or distracts you from your work during the day, that’s how much you love it. Maybe it’s horoscopes or energy work. Maybe it’s ethical fashion, your birth plan, your pet’s weird allergy, affiliate marketing, or Whole 30. List anything and everything that you never tire of looking up more information about or digging deeper into.
Finally, what experiences in your life have forced you to shift your way of living or working, ultimately for the better? For example, this is like my miscarriages — while I would NEVER wish that experience on anyone in the world, it did have so many things it taught me about overall health, the female body, products we use and so much more.
We all have these transformative moments that shift our lives and make us more resilient and knowledgeable than we would’ve been otherwise if everything were 100% hunky-dory. And not all of them need to be difficult, heart-wrenching experiences (though these are often some of the most transformational)! Maybe yours is figuring out how to pay off all your debt in a year, quitting alcohol not because of a problem but just because it made you feel better, or starting a non-profit.
Another way to find your own expert areas is by evaluating what people come to you with questions about the most. I mentioned earlier that I began to realize my wedding photography business was different and the way I marketed myself was different because I kept getting asked these questions about the ways I did things, and how I sustained my business even through harsh, Midwestern winters (when weddings basically just don’t even happen). I began to understand that MY way wasn’t necessarily the normal or most well-known way, and other people wanted in on what I was doing that was different and effective, which led me down the path of creating courses to teach my methods to the masses.
What do people come to you about and ask you about? What do they want your advice on? This is a massive indicator that you could be leading and teaching others through your processes in that area.
The Big Picture
I bet you have a solid list going already about the topics and areas you’ve taught yourself a TON of valuable information in… but now what? Well, NOW comes the fun, my friend. There are so many fantastic avenues you can take your expertise and run with… and one of my all-time favs? Online courses. We actually just created a brand new free resource that walks you through how to take your sweet spot of knowledge and turn it into a mini-course to begin testing your idea and seeing if you can get others the same results you’ve experienced! You can grab the entire mini-course step-by-step walkthrough it at jennakutcher.com/createacourse.
No matter what you do with all that goodness in your brain, I just hope you know that YOUR knowledge, experiences, and life path are so valuable. They’re worth sharing with others and can help people more than you may even realize. I hope today’s show has helped you to see those bright spots of giftedness and how you can turn them into something teachable, because you are SO capable and worthy of leading and educating others well.