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Do you need to be an expert to sell VR?

Today's episode I'm answering I'm going old school, we're going back to the 31 Day Challenge and I'm answering a question that one of you asked me on Instagram. The question is, do you need to be an expert before you start selling VR?

Read on for the full transcription or listen to the podcast episode here

So do you need to be an expert? Before you start selling VR? Whether that's a product or service or your VR original work, do you need to be an expert? The answer is no, of course not. I mean, I feel like you already knew that though. Right? Right. Let me tell you why I don't think you need to be an expert. It’s really, really simple.

Because I don't believe that experts exist.

The term expert is thrown around as if it's this status that you get granted, when you do a certain amount of stuff in life. That's completely not true. An expert is completely contextual, to the person that you're talking to. In some rooms, I will feel like an expert, I will feel like I have more authority on a subject than other people and then I'll walk into a very similar room with a completely different audience. And all of a sudden, I'm no longer the expert. I'm there learning from the person who I consider to be the expert in the room. So expertise and being an expert is completely contextual. You listening are an expert in certain rooms. So when it comes to selling your VR and 360 and your brain, your products and your services, you are already an expert, in a lot of rooms. You're an expert, when you go to a client that's never heard of VR before.You're an expert, when it comes to someone that might know a little bit about it, but has never made a piece of VR before you're an expert. If someone's had a little tinkle with a 360 camera, but you've done 234 360 shoots and delivered an end product, you're an expert. Even if you've just bought a 360 camera and you've gone outside and taking a few photos, you're an expert compared to someone that doesn't even know what 360 is, or has never seen a 360 camera, you're an expert.

So expertise is completely contextual. So you should not wait until you feel like an expert, you should absolutely wait to sell VR until you feel like you can offer value, there’s a massive difference there - like don't go selling VR, if you've not practised your craft and feel confident that you can deliver an end product to someone that is going to bring them value. But then, having said that, I know a lot of people who are very good at the subjective creative of VR production or games or whatever it might be and subjectively they're good at it which doesn't mean that they're bringing value to their clients.

Does that still make them an expert? In some rooms? Yes. And another rooms? No.

So it's all contextual. And that's what I want you to remember. When you go out to sell your products and services, even if you are very new to this industry, you have just as much of a right to call yourself an expert if the person you're talking to does not have the expertise.

I mean, arguably, you don't want to call yourself an expert, because if you call yourself an expert, you're a massive dick but you know what I mean right?I feel like if you are someone that has a lot of authority in a space, if you have a lot of experience, then absolutely you will be considered an expert by other people. But again, it's totally contextual. There's some people, there's some of you might consider me an expert in VR. But the truth is, I'm only an expert to you because maybe you just started recently, and I've got five years experience on you and I've had experience in areas of business and VR that you haven't had the chance to have yet. And to you, then that makes me an expert, but then I might go and have a conversation with a friend that's worked on, you know, things that would make him or her an expert to me. I'm thinking the reason I said him was an unconscious bias it was because I had a particular person in mind when I saying that, and from a conversation I had recently where I was looking to him for advice because I would consider him an expert in this particular area of VR that I was exploring.

So please, please, please don't let the term expert or the idea of being an expert in something stop you from taking steps to change your life and take those steps to get into the VR industry or start selling and making money from it and actually being able to live the life you want. Just purely because you feel like you have to achieve a certain level of success or status or something to be an expert. It's just not true.

I hope that's encouraging. Because I really want every one of you listening to know, and I'm sure I'm assuming that you do want this, because you're listening to a podcast like this, if you want to make even a part of your life about virtual reality, and a part of it, being about making a sustainable business that will let you lead the life you want, then I think you have every right to call yourself an expert. If you're confident that you can deliver value for your clients, if you've practised enough to feel confident with the technology so that you can go on to a shoot, and know that you can deliver a really great product, you are an expert. So don't let it discourage you to think that you need to be an Amazon number one bestseller or have this award or have spoken at this event to be considered an expert because there's just not true.

The other side of this argument also is the fact that in a technology so new, like virtual reality, how do you know what is an expert?

Honestly every single year, Oculus holds a big event, Oculus Connect, although this year, very controversial, they've renamed it Facebook Connect (that happens on the 16th of September, it's gonna be very interesting to see what they announced at that) but every year, there's a new technology that comes out, there's a new piece of hardware and new software. For example, just over 12 months ago, hand tracking was not a thing that was commonly known in the VR industry, it wasn’t something that could be commonly done and then Oculus Connect last year, they're announce that now you're gonna be able to do hand tracking on the quest. So what did that mean? That meant that everyone in the industry, all of a sudden had this new asset that they could use, a new development style that they would have to learn, a new process of how a user interacts with the VR hardware that they have to deep dive into. And if you'd ask someone 13 months before, that wouldn't have even been in the realm of possibility, that would be something that they would have to become experienced in, do you see what I'm trying to say?

Every year in this industry, there's new technology, new hardware, new workflows, new ways of doing things, new cinematic language, new directing styles, new add on bits and bobs, new ways of bringing people into VR, new headsets, new this new that. If the way you think of an expert is that they know everything on a particular subject, which I think is the way most people deem an expert then no one can be an expert in VR, because it's so new. Even the people that have been dabbling in VR since the 50s, when it first came about, even they're not experts yet. So it's totally contextual.

I really, really hate this, the idea of someone being an expert in something because my philosophy in general in life is to always be learning, always be questioning, you can never stop. Otherwise you, well I mean, it depends on what you want to do in life but I feel like it's a pretty meaningless life if you just stop learning and stop trying to better yourself in things. So there is never a ceiling. There is always infinite things that you can be learning and trying and that goes for VR, too, because there's stuff that in a year's time and you might be listening to this in 2021 and if you are there's going to be things that have come out in the VR industry in the past 12 months, that my current present 2020 self couldn't even imagine. So does that make me an expert? Like right now, my current present 2020 self is no longer an expert compared to my 2021. So by that standard, because I don't know that thing that hasn't been announced yet, do you see what I mean? So have confidence. As long as you are confident that you can deliver a high end product or service to your client, you are an expert, you don't even need to consider yourself an expert, although you are because you know way more about the thing than the person you're selling to.

But as long as you can deliver value for that person, you shouldn't stop that from letting you sell, you should absolutely start selling VR and 360. As soon as you feel confident that you can deliver a great end result for someone. So that's a pretty short and sweet episode today. I hope that helps if it does. And if you've been if you have been holding yourself back, because you think that you need to be an expert, reach out to me and let let me know that this has helped you. Because I really, really want you to understand that I so believe this, I promise you that the first time that you can start talking to people, you're even if you've only just started to learn about VR in the last week, you're gonna have so many conversations where they look to you as if you're the expert, you're the authority on the subject, because as long as you know more than them, you are.

So get out there, go and make some go make some money so that you can feed your family and feed yourself and live a life that's actually happy. Because that's what we want. At the end of the day. We just want a load of happy campers in this VR industry instead of bitter, twisted people that are just like - why is this technology not taking off yet?

Anyway. Yeah, if you are one of those people, not the bitter twisted ones but if you are someone that has been holding yourself back, but now that you're going to now you're going to take those first steps or you want more advice about how to take those first steps reach out to me, I would love to hear from you.

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