The answer is simple: they share.
Think through all the well known people in your industry. The people who’s blogs you follow, who are invited to speak at conferences. These are the people who you consider popular in your field. How did they get there? Sharing.
Jason Fried of 37signals refers to this as “emulating chefs.” In most industries code and blueprints are kept secret. Not so with chefs. They thrive on teaching anyone who will listen the recipes they’ve created. A chef doesn’t worry that you knowing his recipe will cause you to stay home from his restaurant. Instead it builds credibility for the chef. By sharing everything he knows the chef builds an audience who will visit his restaurants every chance they get.
What if you aren’t a master chef? Share anyway. Talk about the journey. Share what you are learning in a way that is useful to others.
Chris Coyier started CSS-Tricks.com in mid-2007. Now Chris is widely regarded as a CSS expert. He has written a popular book on WordPress and has been interviewed many times. When Chris started CSS-Tricks he wasn’t considered an expert. He built that status by sharing what he knew. As he learned more, he shared more.
I’ve heard that the best way to learn a topic is to teach it to someone else. You will quickly learn what you don’t know. Use your website, guest posts, and speaking opportunities to start sharing. Soon people will start to see you as an expert in your field.
Just follow this simple process:
Learn. Create. Share.