After years of work experience and practical know-how, have you ever wondered if you could harness your knowledge and experience to become a speaker, a writer or an expert advisor? Do you see yourself as a magazine writer? An author? A spokesperson? A keynote speaker?
Many professionals tell me that they dream of becoming freelance entrepreneurial experts but do not know how to get started. Healthcare professionals aspire to speak at local and national events, to write for magazines, author online articles, get interviews on TV, lecture at seminars or find consulting projects in industry. Many professionals view the idea of becoming a professional expert as exciting, confidence building, fun and potentially financially beneficial. The concept of seeing yourself on TV, seeing your name in print or listed as a keynote speaker can feel like the reward for years of hard work.
Yet, at the same time, professionals may be a little bit hesitant, even self-conscious when it comes to establishing a media presence. Many feel ready, but at the same time, tentative about holding seminars or special events. There is always a fear of criticism — what if people criticize your article, your speech, your qualifications or even your physical appearance? It is certainly a valid concern that if you enter the public eye, people will not like what you have to say — or even worse, will not like YOU. What if people write negative comments about an article you write? What if you are evaluated as a boring speaker? Nevertheless, if you can get over that fear and do what you dream of doing as a professional expert, events and assemblies can actually be enjoyable for you and entertaining and useful for your audience, regardless of your area of expertise.
Some professionals want to become professional speakers or authors as a way to market their business. Others aspire to a full-time career as a professional expert. And many wish to become special project advisors, but don't know how to start.
Ambitious professionals who think they might have a yet undeveloped knack for speaking, writing or special projects can use this expertise outside of the work setting to make an extra income, or to become a full time professional expert. We see professional experts in areas as diverse as cooking, fashion, party planning, parenting, finance, science and, of course, health and wellness.
Getting your foot in the door as a professional expert takes a little bit of know-how and direction. As long as you can provide something genuinely useful for the public or even for private business, you might enjoy a future career or side business as a professional expert.
Dr. Heidi Moawad is a neurologist and author of How to be a Freelance Expert: The steps to becoming a freelance expert and Careers Beyond Clinical Medicine.