Sometimes you want to talk to someone who has specific expertise about a topic. The best way to do that is to identify and contact subject matter experts. Subject matter experts aren’t just professionals in the niche; they are people who want to discuss and inform people about the topic as much as they want to work within the niche.
* Industry Associations – These are organized groups that usually have a fee to join. They offer networking to people within very niched-down topics and subsets of industries. For example, you can find industry associations for graphic designers but also for website designers, TV AD designers and more.
* Ask Your Colleagues – If you want to find someone to talk about any topic, ask the people you know. For example, you can ask your colleagues who they know that is an expert on becoming an author, and you’re sure to get some answers or at least book recommendations which are usually written by experts.
* Search for Blogs – Do a search on Google for your niche and topic for just blogs. You’ll find a variety of blogs and you’ll need to read them to figure out who is an expert. You can decide for yourself based on the way the blogger keeps to the niche, and whether they have any traffic.
* Search for Vlogs – Another way to find experts is to look at vlogs. You can easily search for that on Google and on YouTube. You may have to listen to some people who aren’t real experts, but you will find someone who resonates with you and that you can see is a true expert.
* Look to Academic Sources – Colleges have a lot of subject matter experts. Look at the part-time teachers and adjuncts, because they often teach and work within the niche. Plus, they likely have more time. Ask to sit in on classes, or to meet for coffee or tea in order to discuss the topic.
* Look at Books – When you read a book that is good about the topic you’re interested in, don’t be shy. Write to the author to ask their input on the topic. You will be surprised at how many will answer your letters and even meet with you depending on the situation.
* Create a Group – Today you can create private and public groups about any topic on Facebook, Delphiforums.com, Ning.com, and other platforms. Start with Facebook because this is where most people are, at least part of the day. Start a group for experts in that area and then market it to get people to join.
* Search for Speakers – Most industries have speakers’ bureaus where you can find speakers for your events. If you want someone to speak as an SME at your next event, this is a good way to find them.
Finding subject matter experts is important to help you increase your knowledge and your audience’s knowledge about the subject. By focusing on people who have taken the time to study the niche inside and out, you’ll get more information beyond the basics.