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When someone asks for your general professional opinion, don’t be afraid to give it. This doesn’t mean that you should allow yourself to be taken advantage of by people who want to "pick your brain" for free- nor does it mean that you have to discuss the specifics of any situation- but be willing to offer general guidelines or strategies. Sometimes, business owners feel uncomfortable promoting themselves as experts, and this discomfort makes them reluctant to share opinions or offer suggestions. If you run a service based business, what you are marketing is you. And if you can subtly promote yourself as someone with good opinions, well thought out, and with a particular expertise in some area- you’ve crossed one of the biggest hurdles in your potential customer’s mind: ?Can this person really help me? So the next time you’re asked for your professional opinion or to share your expertise- do it!