become an expertSo, you want to be famous? You have visions of your appearance on the TODAY show. Then everyone will know you’ve arrived. After your big break, you’ll be rolling in the dough. You’ll have legions of adoring fans. Everyone will love you.

Back to reality.

PR isn’t nearly as glamorous as the movies and TV would have you think, and there’s a whole lot of “behind the scenes” that goes into getting a high profile gig.

Before you get to the level of appearing on national morning shows, you have some work to do on the road to becoming a true industry expert.

Getting Your Head in the Game

Start by getting your head in the game and acting like an expert. PR is a total head trip, so to be successful, you need to truly believe in what you are saying. If you carefully watch experts who excel in their field and get great PR, they have a few traits in common. The biggie is confidence.

If you are just starting out, it is common to feel like a fraud when labeling yourself as an expert. This is where you are going to need to dig in and eliminate that resistance. Talk it out with a friend or colleague or read your bio over until you get it through your head that you are totally qualified.

Do what you need to do to get yourself oozing confidence and in a place where you are ready to play your part as an expert.

Find Your Sweet Spot and Own It

When it comes to PR and your business in general, you want to avoid being a generalist. Find a niche audience or topic and dominate there. The audience will be much smaller, but it will be far easier to stand out. For example, instead of being an expert on social media, pick one platform and define yourself as a thought leader on that one.

You may actually offer a wide range of services in your business, but narrowing your focus when it comes to PR will help make you more credible. Having this sweet spot will make it easy for media and show organizers to get to know you as the go-to expert on that topic.

Message Mastery

Whether you’re talking media interviews or speaking engagements, at the core of PR is the stories. The ability to tell engaging and compelling stories about you and your business is critical.

Before you start with any PR, you want to spend time working on your stories. What subjects can you own? How are these relevant? What is your unique angle? Why are you qualified to speak on this?

Nailing down your signature stories gives you a solid foundation for all of your PR and will help position you as an expert. Define three to five stories total and learn them inside and out. Be sure to include industry context and soundbites that you quotable. Mastering your message in this way will help make you look like an expert, even if you aren’t feeling like one quite yet.

Are you ready to step up and own your expert status? Master these basics before you dive into PR and things will go a lot smoother. Plus, you’ll be well on your way to your big PR break.