From an Expert to a Guru | Interview with Mitchell Levy

Mitchell has been a close friend for more than a decade. A few years ago, we both became business partners in a book publishing venture called THiNKaha. It has been a wonderful journey so far. Over the last decade, Mitchell has been helping hundreds of experts go from being an expert to being a Guru. Here is a quick interview with him on what it takes to make that switch.

RS: Mitchell, first – why should someone think of being a Guru?

The name “guru” is not as important as what the name implies. Whether you call yourself an expert or a guru doesn’t matter. What does matter is being recognized in your target market as one of the key “go to” people in the space you are in. It’s easy to think about what the word expert means. You are an expert when you know a relatively large amount about a subject — as much as others in the space. You are a guru when others recognize you as the expert in your space and seek you out for your help. Closing new business is much easier when clients come to you.

RS: What does it REALLY take to go from being an expert to being a Guru?

There are four things you need to do to transition from expert to guru and you need HELP to make that happen:

• H is for a healthy following. You not only need to be an expert, but you need to have a number of people that follow you and not only know that you are an expert, but seek out your expertise.

• E is about execution, you need to execute well. Every time you interact with folks whether it’s speaking, consulting, or just delivering on any promise, you need to execute well. You need to deliver on your promises and ensure that your deliver on the implied benefit of your brand (see #MY BRAND tweet ).

• L is for thought leadership. As you learn more, grow and deliver on your brand promise, you need to share that wisdom with others. Books are the best form of thought leadership, but there’s also TV, radio, blogging, magazine columns, webinars, video and audio tapes, etc. There are many forms of thought leadership and you need to continue to create and share as much as you can (see #THOUGHT LEADERSHIP tweet ).

• P is for platform. You need to have a robust platform that you use to share your thought leadership, knowledge and your continuous learning. It’s important to keep stoking the fire and to continue to attract more followers who are interested in knowing what you are doing.

RS: What are three things that an expert can do starting tomorrow to begin that journey?

1) Clearly define and articulate your market. Make it as narrow as possible. Know who is in it and what services you can deliver to reach and affect that market.

2) Identify and start making friends with the thought leaders in your space and try your best to do favors for them. Comment on their blogs, retweet their tweets, introduce them and share their thought leadership with others.

3) Define and put a plan in place to give yourself month-to-month HELP. That plan should include: a) setting up media engagements, b) writing/crowdsourcing one or more books, and c) allocating time each day to touch key folks in your field.

RS: Can you share a couple of your new initiatives that can help experts in this journey?

The Gurus4Media web site is a free service that will allow you to find places to share your wisdom with the world. Please sign up and use it. There is also a set of vetted paid-for services including radio tours, blog writing, social media, Webinar support, marketing, and strategic consulting that you can take advantage of:

The best form of thought leadership is a book. Most of us don’t have 1,000 hours and 2-3 years to make that happen. That’s why we have a THiNKaha series where you can crowdsource your book in as little as 20 hours. If you have no time, our team can ghost write it for you. As you know, having a book will be the best calling card you ever create.

RS: Are there any tools you want to share for free right now?

Yes, of course. First of all, please go and sign up at Gurus4Media ( You can find media interested in you speaking on the air and writing on their platforms. You can also find other experts interested in writing in your platform.

There are two ebooks I’d like to share: “42 Rules for Driving Success with Books”  and “#CROWDSOURCING tweet” by our common friend Kiruba Shankar. Please go to those urls, click on the purchase eBook button and in the coupon code field, please type in “Author”. After clicking on update, the cost will go to zero so you can download the ebooks for free.