Ever wonder how you can become a better subject matter expert? If you’re ready to take your skills up a notch, here are five ways you can work toward becoming a better subject matter expert.
What is a Subject Matter Expert?
For starters, you should know exactly what it means to become a subject matter expert. The definition of a subject matter expert, often abbreviated as SME, is an individual who has in-depth skills, knowledge and experience over a particular area or topic such as cognitive psychology, accounting, instructional design, project management, or business analytics. Through continuing education and practice, subject matter experts can add exceptional value to a business.
Now that we’ve gotten the definition out of the way, let’s get started on our five tips for improvement!
- Keep Learning
Take time out of your schedule each week to continue learning and developing your skills—whether it’s reading a short article to keep up to date with the latest advancements in your industry or taking an online course to enhance your professional background, continuous learning is one of the key drivers of success. Coursera and LinkedIn are two great online tools for supporting personal growth and development. When you continue to grow and evolve, that’s when you start to push the boundaries and step outside your comfort zone, allowing for new challenges and opportunities to arise.
- Branch Out & Make New Connections
Open doors and advance your career through the power of networking. Building a strong professional network can help give you access to a variety of new resources and opportunities. Get started by attending virtual or in-person events related to your industry. You can also start to reach out to new business contacts. Establish a plan to stay in touch with these new contacts on a regular basis while continuing to deepen your existing connections. LinkedIn is a great platform to meet new people and build professional connections. Try joining several LinkedIn Groups that align with your areas of expertise to expand your network and stay up to date with current opportunities, new market trends, and best practices.
For example, if you’re an instructional designer in search of a freelancing gig you may want to consider becoming a member of the LinkedIn Group titled Freelance in Instructional Design and E-Learning Industry. Start connecting with others in the group by introducing yourself and asking questions that strike up a conversation. You never know where it may lead you and what new opportunities it could bring your way.
- Promote Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
Discover ways to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) through your work. Take the time to proactively listen to others, explore new ways of thinking, and welcome challenges that inspire you to think differently. Embrace change, and celebrate differences by accepting people and ideas that are completely different from your own. Many social platforms now offer free DEI training courses that are not only educational and proven to strengthen relationships and inclusivity in the workplace, but are also FREE with paid subscriptions, such as any LinkedIn Premium package. Check out DEI courses such as Becoming an Ally to All or Understanding and Supporting Asian Employees via LinkedIn Learning. By exploring the benefits of diversity, equity, and inclusion you can take your freelancing work to a new level of creativity, inclusivity, and authenticity.
- Share Your Expertise
Share your subject matter expertise by contributing to course development within education spaces. Beyond writing classes, you can pick up freelancing work with academic publishing partners through companies like Lumina Datamatics. Projects may include contributing to a wide range of educational content through writing (supplements, assessments, video scripts, or even core course or text content), developing alt text descriptions, providing instructional design, performing secondary review work or accuracy checking, and lots of other tasks within various disciplines. Take advantage of the flexible and remote working hours that come with freelancing work.
- Create a Profile on ExpertSource Pro
If you’re looking for freelancing opportunities, by Lumina Datamatics is a fantastic place to start. ExpertSource Pro, often referred to as ESPro, connects subject matter experts with hiring managers who are looking to fill freelancing opportunities with qualified candidates. Creating an online profile is quick, easy, and free. Simply upload your CV (Curriculum Vitae) or resume into the system, input the necessary skills, subject matter knowledge, level of education, and any other relevant teaching experience and details (the more information you are willing to share, the better your chances are of being discovered). Lumina Datamatics (or one of its partners who uses ESPro) will then reach out to you if your profile matches up with any current open freelancing positions.
Interested in freelancing for Lumina and its academic publishing partners? We’re always on the lookout for incredible content contributors! Get started by creating a profile on ExpertSource Pro today. For more information on Lumina Datamatics, email our team or please visit our website.