Establishing Yourself as an Expert + Gaining Camfidence, with Brenda Umana

Our desire to stand out in the crowd and gain thousands of followers usually arises from a desperate place of wanting to be instantly successful – as if there is such a thing. So, I can’t help but wonder how much of that comes from the need to be validated for our decisions? For a long time, although my mission was to help others, all my actions were actually rooted in proving the non-believers wrong. And it showed. I was out of touch, sync, and connection with both my content and my dream clients. I wanted to race to the finish line instead of evolving with my people.

Something we explore in detail with Brenda Umana is that being an expert is not what makes the sale. It helps, but it’s not the defining factor. Insta-Ready culture does more harm than good to the longevity of your business. So let’s redefine what it means to actually be an expert and dive into what’s known as, camfidence. ◗

BRENDA UMANA

I think that oftentimes, they want to almost do it backwards – they want to position themselves as an expert with ads, and then sprinkle in a little bit of content afterwards. And that usually flops. But because ads can feel more lucrative, or flashy, or attention-grabbing – or it just feels like, “Oh, I am an expert!” It does elude itself to that, but it doesn’t create that. The way to be an expert in any industry, in anything that you’re doing, is creating consistent and beautiful content. And not necessarily consistent around the, “Oh, I need to be posting every day.” It’s just consistent with your business goals, with yourself, with your brand, with your essence, with your energy. And that consistency then can feed into trust, and relationship, and journey.

Brenda is a Multi-Hyphenate Mindful Marketer and Yoga Instructor, which she houses so beautifully as an architectural brand in the world that is Bee Umana. Brenda has a particular gift for meeting people where they’re at, developing bespoke strategy plans, and incorporating a sense of ease into the mission that leads your work. I’ve recommended Brenda many a time for anyone looking to meet specific marketing goals without losing their sense of self or joy in their days. She’s amazing at grounding her clients and establishing the true foundations of your business. I’m proud to call Brenda my friend, and have her on the show for a second time.

As my very first guest on Magical Realness for our season, Spirituality 101, discussing what it means to practice mindfulness, it only seemed aligned to have Brenda on as our first return guest to discuss how we become an expert in the eyes of your community. Because in the end, it’s not really about expertise – it’s about establishing a sense of trust. And that’s exactly what Brenda does.

WHAT IT TAKES TO BE SEEN AS AN EXPERT

Honestly? You might cringe when I say this, but it takes the KLT factor – know, like, and trust. I used to be super avoidant of diving into that space because I couldn’t grasp where to begin in starting to build KLT with my following. When I started to see that KLT were different stages within the brand experience, it became a whole lot more implementable to me.

  1. They know you exist.
  2. They start to appreciate and like what you share.
  3. They have engaged with your content long enough to know that they can trust you as a source.

And in a culture of Insta-Readiness, it can be hard to remember that building the KLT factor takes time. Another reason why I avoided it – because I was impatient for success. Establishing a presence of expertise requires the demonstration of knowledge, wisdom, experience, and general insight. Being an expert is not about demanding that others see you as an expert. This is something that you can’t tell them – you have to show them.

As spectators, we need to be able to resonate and see ourselves in the matter that is being spoken about by the Thought Leaders we’re listening to. In reality, the way that we talk about experts is not for the individual who holds expertise in their field, but the person who expresses and demonstrates original thought. So when we use the word ‘expert’ what we usually mean is ‘thought leader’.

If you want to be seen as an expert, then you need to reflect and get clear on why that is.

1. Do you want to be an expert because that’s what you think will make your business successful?

2. Or is it that you want to put the time into it, master the craft, and really help others? Is becoming an expert helping you achieve a relationship with what you are passionate about?

To show that you are an expert, we have to see the desire and passion for what it is that you do. Somehow, someway, you need to capture the action of it. Posting a selfie with a caption that claims you can do something isn’t going to resonate. Share content that allows views to explore what it is that you have to offer. View it as a way to be open and transparent with your community. Because we don’t want to see perfection, we want to see a mirror. And that’s how others will see you as an expert – because they’re able to trust you and grow along with you.

OUR RELATIONSHIP TO GREATNESS

Let’s be real – in a culture of Insta-Readiness, a lot of us want to reach success in an instantaneous way because it’s hard, risky, and scary to run a business. You can’t always count on the money to come through and the many aspects of running a business can affect the health of your well-being. Following your dream is not just about making it happen. It’s about taking care of yourself along the way. And starting a business is the greatest self-care challenge that you could ever come across.

So when we look at others who have achieved a sense of greatness, we may start to engage in comparison culture. It can start with focusing on what other people are doing and then thinking that we need to be doing the same things. Or, that you need to be gaining the same accomplishments and walking the same foot footsteps. But that’s not actually the case. Which is why it’s important, especially in this conversation, to escape those traps of comparison.

Everybody is unique. Everybody comes into their entrepreneurial awakening, if you will, with different insights and different backgrounds and different starting points. The path of starting/running a business can be one and the same with going through your heroine’s journey. So, it’s a bespoke process. You may identify similarities, but there’s never going to be a replica.

From my point of view, there are three kinds of relationships we can have with greatness.

1. You are a genius in your field and in what you do, but you don’t have the following that the greatness you hold deserves. You are the person you wanted to become, but you need more exposure in order to have the impact you desire.

2. You have both the status and following of being an inspiring leader who motivates others. For you, it’s about moving forward and making sure you’re continuing to do what you love.

3. You have a large audience but you haven’t necessarily gained the experience needed to become an expert in your field. You’re relatively still starting out, but your following is there to back you up, watch you grow, and be a part of your journey. So your focus is to keep on moving and sharing along the way.

4. You are just beginning. In every sense of the matter. You neither have the following or the expert know-how to make waves as an entrepreneur. But you will if you continue to move forward.

It’s important to know where we stand in both our relationship to greatness itself, and our relationship with our self-defined community. It impacts how we navigate and treat our audiences – it affects the way you flow in sympatico. Remember that this is your journey and keep your eyes on your road. It’s okay if it gets messy or shifts into a different gear. Know where your focus lies with your community and with yourself. Let that guide you, be true to self, and the desire to be seen as an expert will come to be.

POINTS TO PUT IN YOUR BACK POCKET

  • CAM stands for Conscious Attention Methods. It raises the question, “why am I doing what I do?” and builds the intention behind your platform.
  • It takes a vulnerable understanding to vocalize and admit we need attention. It allows us to approach it consciously.
  • For those with various modalities, it’s important to become present in each specific expertise as you are entering that space. i.e. yoga teacher, marketing, photography, etc. Be conscious with the skill you’re utilizing at the moment.
  • As you enter your expertise with joy, it inevitably creates more abundance and paths. People want to join you in your journey.
  • Lean into content creation in the aspect that feels right to you. What do you enjoy and what brings you joy? It creates more of a flow like approach rather than burn out.
  • It’s not so much about the specifics of what you’re creating; It is the energy of what you’re creating. People can feel energy.
  • Consistency is important, but focused intentional content is most significant.
  • Relationship building happens through content. Building intentional, helpful, and meaningful content to build connection with your community earns their trust and allows you to nurture where you feel most connected.
  • Even if you’re not an expert, when you are releasing with heart and intention, it creates magnetism for more. Creates ripples of inspiration for others who get to witness your growth.
  • We are mirrors of our clients and community. By being honest about our growth and intention to be seen, others get to see themselves. We create to add value.

REFERENCES & NEXT STEPS

      • If you haven’t listened to Brenda’s first episode on the show, The Mindfulness Theory, it’s an absolute must. It’s such a heartfelt, inspiring conversation that even I return to now and again.
      • Recently I halfway read Marie Forleo’s Everything is Figureoutable. The biggest kicker for me from this book, I suppose thus far, is the hot tip about deleting email off of my phone. It has been a huge aid in helping me break away from workaholism.
      • We mention wardrobe manifestation on the show, so if you want to begin your journey there, check out this Laptop Magic guide on how to do just that. Wardrobe Manifestation Guide
      • I am a big fan of Honeybook – you’re all-in-one client management system. I love it and it helped me to easily upscale my services. And right now I’ve got a 20% off discount code for ya. Snag that here.