How to Communicate Your Expertise Without Sounding Arrogant

Many of the most talented people are the worst at communicating their expertise. Here is a tool to make it easier.


How do you communicate your expertise in a fun, relatable way without coming across as arrogant?

That's the question our team stumbled across as we did even more analysis into the data behind "the perfect contact page."

While there is definitely a fine line between arrogance and confidence, the way that you communicate your expertise directly impacts the type of clients your business attracts and type of prices you can charge.

That's why we created this guide.

The Juxtaposition of Talent

As we pored over the data of over 1,800 websites and their contact forms, we stumbled upon a surprising trend:

Many of the most talented companies did the worst job communicating their expertise.

One glance at their portfolio and it's obvious that they're awesome at what they do, yet these same "insanely talented" companies are also the most likely to use the dangerously ineffective lines of "Please contact us" and/or "We hope to hear from you."

Or worse, they bury their email address in the footer where no one is looking. (facepalm)

It's easy to write this off as a case of the "shoemaker has no shoes" but as we were collecting our data we couldn't help but notice that the companies with less robust portfolios were better able to communicate their expertise.

Needless to say, this juxtaposition is interesting because it points to the broken mental construct of "my work should speak for itself."

Even if you're the best in the world at what you do, it doesn't matter unless you can communicate it effectively. (click to tweet)

That is why I'm on a crusade against horribly ineffective contact forms.

That's also why I've created the "Power Analogy" to help you more effectively communicate your message without resorting to silly animated line graphs which can never do your skills justice.

The Power Analogy to the Rescue

To help you communicate your expertise in a fun but human way, I've finally decided to talk about a little formula I've used for years called the Power Analogy.

Essentially the Power Analogy is where you compare yourself to a celebrity or well known expert and use that "frame" to highlight your skills and abilities.

It's a solid way for you to communicate your skills with confidence without being overly arrogant and saying, "You should hire me because I'm the best."

Here is the Power Analogy used in the video:

If Michael Jordan was a designer he'd be me.

I'm a meticulously trained all-star who can help take your team to the championships.

While I'm not a ball hog, I'm more than comfortable making your project a slam dunk through proactive problem-solving and goal-oriented design.

So if you're ready to pass the ball to a seasoned yet coachable pro, use the project detail form below and we'll get the ball rolling.

Then we can work on our victory dance and talk about taking the kiddos to Disney World.

As you can see using a Power Analogy is a simple yet effective way to show off your confidence and personality, but it is still easy to cross the line and be arrogant.

Since our goal in using the Power Analogy is to come across as confident and credible here are a few rules to keep you from coming across as arrogant:

  1. Choose someone who matches your skill level. Comparing yourself to Lance Armstrong or Michael Phelps when you've only been in business for a year probably isn't a good idea.
  2. Don't choose Kanye West or any other arrogant celebrity for your analogy. (Nothing can save you if you choose Kanye -- nothing.)
  3. Don't take it too far. (You're on your own if you do)
  4. Einstein, Mozart, Richard Branson, Payton Manning, Tony Robbins, and Michael Jordan are overdone. Be original.
  5. Don't be "that guy" (or girl) who copies the Power Analogy in this post.

Why this Technique Works

The Power Analogy is effective because it communicates information based on a "mental map" or schema that your customer already has.[1]

This allows you to build a very strong "mental picture" of the outcomes and benefits that your company delivers in a way that outperforms everything else I've seen.

With great power comes great responsibility so be careful and use the Power Analogy wisely.

For extra exposure, feel free to post your analogies (along with a link to your contact form) in the comments below.

I look forward to seeing what you come up with.

Always on your team,

Nick ReeseNick Reese Signature

PS. This technique is particularly effective when used as a part of your premium positioning strategy.

Reference List:

  1. Most of the books written on Schema or framing are pretty complex. Once again Wikipedia does a decent job of explaining it. ^
Published: 2014-03-26