I was recently introduced to a person at a healthcare organization. When I asked his role, he said, “Subject matter expert.” Ok.

It turns out this person did have an important role in the meeting. He was an expert in understanding how payers’ claim systems worked—an important role as we were discussing reimbursement issues for a particular drug.

He proved himself to have in-depth knowledge of the subject we were tackling, and he shared this knowledge by speaking at conferences, authoring whitepapers and participating in industry meetings. He brought a level of credibility to the team we were working with.

Most of us don’t conscientiously go out to become a SME. This tends to evolve over time as we build a level of expertise on a particular subject. How can you be on the path to SME-dom? Promotional Consultant Today shares these tips from author Scot Herrick.

1. Read the publications and websites dedicated to your area of desired expertise. It is amazing how much information you can find out and how much you can learn from targeted reading in the area of your expertise. This particular step is especially important to develop the theoretical side of the area of your expertise as well as understanding the trends for your area. Read sites daily on your area of expertise and follow a variety of opinions from other experts.

2. Join professional organizations and associations in your subject area. Look for groups within your industry, such as professional associations, as well as meet-up groups—both in person and online—such as LinkedIn groups. You will learn how others utilize the knowledge in your area of expertise. You will be able to keep up with the latest developments and build partnerships with others of the same interest. This will also push you to learn more and achieve more in your area of expertise, as well as share the knowledge that you’ve acquired that could be helpful to others.

3. Answer questions. So you can get asked more questions. Be willing to answer questions about your area from others. If you don’t know the answer, go research the question until you get the answer or answers. This will increase your knowledge. Plus, the person asking the question will appreciate getting an answer and will tell others. Getting asked questions, researching the answers, giving the answers and getting more questions will exponentially increase your expertise.

This can be done by serving on a panel at conferences, by posting questions and answers through an industry blog and by sharing your expertise in a meeting. The more you know, the more you will be asked, resulting in knowing even more by researching the answers.

Source: Scot Herrick is the author of I’ve Landed My Dream Job-Now What???: How to Achieve Success in the First 30 Days in a New Job and owner of Cube Rules, LLC. Scot has a long history of management and individual contribution in multiple Fortune 100 corporations.