If you want to be an SME, subject matter expert, then you need to know what being an SME means. An SME knows a lot about one topic in one niche. They know their topic inside out. They probably dream about it, talk about it all the time, and anytime anyone has a question about it, they answer them. So, what are the characteristics of an SME?
They Know Who They Are
Most SMEs are very sure of themselves and they know their own mind. They know what they’ve learned, and have seen and memorized the data. Plus they keep studying the data to get to know more, but they always maintain their core personality and who they are.
They Push Through Their Comfort Zones
A true SME is not afraid to get in front of people and talk about their area of expertise. They might get nervous, but they know that pushing through comfort zones is the way to get to their destination.
They Know Their Audience
SMEs always keep studying their audience, including their subject. The reason is that often topics and niches change with the audience. For example, the way corporations market to their audience has changed dramatically as the audience has become more digitally aware.
They Are Committed
Nothing can change their goal; even the brightest of the brightest shiny objects won’t detract them from learning as much as they can about their subject. They know what they want and are committed to it for life.
They Are Passionate
They really love their niche. They love the people who love their niche. They feel real joy whenever they’re learning about the topic and subject because it’s what they really want to do, and nothing can make them want something else.
They Help Others Freely
They are not selfish with the information that they know. They help others with advice and information freely. They answer questions on social media, in blog posts, and in other published works, and they love to answer questions and talk about their topic with them.
They Stay within Their Niche
They do not accidentally or on purpose move away from their niche if it’s not dying. They know how to stick right within their topic and aren’t distracted away from anything, because they love it.
They Know the Language of Their Niche
An SME knows all the jargon used within their niche, but they also know when (and when not) to use it. They know the inside language as well as the right language to use for each audience when talking about their niche.
Subject matter experts have taken the time to really get to know their topic. They dig deeper than most people when it comes to the topic. They write about it. They discuss it. They even create new information within the niche.