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The Expert Is You
Using social media to become an influencer in your field

by Emma Fox / © 2023, Los Angeles Times. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. 



Many types of professionals have chosen to spotlight their careers on social media, whether it’s to garner interest in their work, correct misconceptions, attract clients, earn supplemental income or just have fun. And audiences are loving it.

  Are you thinking about making the leap to becoming an online expert? Do you want to connect with other professionals in your field and share resources with the masses? Here are some tips on how to create your personal brand using the expertise you’re already building at your job.


Why put your skills on social media?

  [Known on TikTok as “Dr. Noc,” Morgan] McSweeney, who holds a doctorate in pharmaceutical sciences and immunology, said he started posting online because there was a lot of misinformation proliferating during the COVID-19 pandemic. Social media struck him as an opportunity to spread knowledge from a reliable source.

  But you don’t have to be completely civic-minded. [Anthony] Barbuto, the self-proclaimed “first lawyer on TikTok,” started posting because he wanted to correct misconceptions. But showing passion for his job brought him lots of new clientele, Barbuto said.

  And being popular on social media opened up new ways to make money. Once you’ve amassed enough of a following, you could get brand deals—this is when a company asks an influencer to make a video with its product.


More than a job

  You can also build your own community of like-minded people through social media.

  [Plastic surgeon Anthony] Youn started his social media account, [“Doctor Youn” on TikTok], as a way to market his practice. He has since evolved from the goal of promoting his practice into something more altruistic. His new mission is to help people understand that a lot of the perfection shown on social media is not real.

  McSweeney said he wasn’t sure at first that he had anything to offer. “I was like, who wants to follow an immunologist for pharmaceutical science on social media?” he said. “And then it turned out a lot of people did.”


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