Use social media to become an influencer in your field. Here's how to do it

Emma Fox, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Lifestyles

You can spend hours watching dermatologists pop pimples, furniture restorers fix aging cabinets or crane operators move heavy materials from hundreds of feet in the air — all from the comfort of your own home.

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?

The Times talked to Morgan McSweeney, known on TikTok as Dr. Noc; music producer Chris Ju, or "Kato On The Track" on Instagram; Anthony Barbuto who is "The Lawyer" on TikTok; and plastic surgeon Anthony Youn, otherwise know as "Doctor Youn" on TikTok. Here are their 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?

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.


Now, his goal with his account is "to increase public awareness of important health and scientific information," adding that ideally he can "make people feel like they can do something, like they can take their health into their own hands."

But you don't have to be completely civic-minded. There are many reasons that becoming an online expert can be useful to your career.

For example, consider Barbuto, the self-proclaimed "first lawyer on TikTok." Licensed to practice in California, Florida and New Jersey, Barbuto says that, like McSweeney, he started posting because he wanted to correct misconceptions.

"People think of the practice of law as just this kind of cold and serious profession — and not a profession [made up] of actual human beings with emotions and a sense of humor," said Barbuto.


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