Authority is defined as the power to influence others. When someone is an authority it’s assumed that they have extensive or specialized knowledge on a subject. They’re an expert. And here’s the truly important thing on authority – people buy from those that they consider to be experts. We buy from companies and people that we believe to be authorities in their industry.
As a blogger, building your authority status can have a tremendous impact on your bottom line. It not only motivates purchases, it also attracts prospects to you.
Think about it like this – would you buy a book on commercial real estate from Joe Smith or Donald Trump? If you truly want to learn about commercial real estate, you’re going to buy from the known expert and authority in the industry.
You don’t have to be a celebrity to have authority status. In fact, many bloggers are quite skilled at positioning themselves as authorities. And you can, too. This post is dedicated to helping you create and grow your position as an authority in your niche. We’ll walk you through five different steps to go from an unknown to an industry leader.
Some of the steps are easy. Others will take time, attention, and deliberate planning. No one becomes a recognized expert overnight. Use the information in this report to create a plan. Set goals and track and measure your results. Your bottom line and your blog will thank you. So, let’s get started.
Present Yourself in a Professional Way
In order to be an expert you have to both look and sound like an expert. That means presenting yourself professionally. No one is going to give you authority status unless you claim it and own it. Presenting yourself professionally is accomplished in a number of ways.
- Social media. Make sure your social media posts are professional and blog related. Even if you have a personal profile, you still want to maintain a professional image. Make sure to use professional language and don’t overshare. If you wouldn’t want a reader to know it, don’t share it.
- The language you use. Whether you’re responding to an email or to a comment on Facebook, it’s important to use professional language. To be clear, that means no cursing, no slang, and taking it easy with jargon or tech speak. You want to make sure that whomever you’re communicating with understands what you’re saying.
- Your photos and images. Any photo that you share, publish, or include in your marketing materials should portray you in the most professional light possible.
Beyond these hopefully apparent essentials of professionalism, consider also:
- Being friendly – Introduce yourself to people. Get to know who they are and what they’re about. Make connections.
- Taking initiative – Put yourself in situations where you can learn, grow, and meet new people. Take advantage of opportunities to present yourself professionally, to help others, and to grow your blog (like guest posting and online events).
- Be a problem solver, not a bragger – Instead of spending your time telling people what you do and what you know, learn what they know. Ask them questions and uncover their problems. Once you know what they’re dealing with, you can then take steps to help them out and to be a problem solver. It may be as simple as connecting them with the right person, or offering products or services suggestions.
Chances are you’re already doing many of these things and you’re conscientious about being professional and presenting yourself in the best light possible. However, most people can always use a little reminder because it makes you step back and consider your actions. Take a look at your communications and look for ways you might present yourself and your blog a little more professionally. How can you exude authority?
Why It’s Important to Be Honest, “Real” and Humble
There are two types of authority figures. There are those that may hit it big for a while before their fame and fortune falters. They’re the shooting star authority figure. You can probably think of someone that you know who may have been a big deal in their industry for a short time but they lost favor after a while.
The other type of authority figure is someone who builds their authority over time and retains it. They are respected in their industry for decades.
There are many things that separate a shooting star from a steady and solid authority. Two of these differences are authenticity and transparency. The two words have been marketing buzzwords for the past year or two. What they mean, however, and what they provide will never go out of style.
The Meaning of Authenticity and Transparency
In the case of establishing yourself as an authority figure in your niche, authenticity and transparency are virtues.
- Authenticity – This means that you are 100 percent yourself. You don’t fake your personality or create a persona. You’re not someone different on your blog than you are when you’re home or in your personal life. This is important for many reasons. One reason is that it’s much easier to connect with someone if they’re being “real.” Fake people often seem awkward or uncomfortable and people generally pick up on that.
Additionally, authenticity is easier to maintain. If you create a persona you may not be able to maintain it for decades. Eventually you’re going to get tired of it or you’ll get found out. People will learn that you’re not who you make yourself out to be. When that happens, your credibility and authority will plummet.
- Transparency – Transparency means that you are honest about who you are and what you know. Transparent authority figures are okay with telling people when they don’t know the answer. They don’t need to know everything. However many industry authorities are passionate about their industry and will quickly dig up knowledge when they don’t know the answer.
Another component of being real, humble, and honest is that you’re able to brand your personality. If you’re a tax geek, for example, then you can embrace that personality characteristic and use it to connect with others who are interested in learning more about taxes or who may want your services. There are more benefits and opportunities when you embrace and share your real self rather than to make up a persona.
Network Where Your ‘Audience’ and Target Readers Are
Where do your readers and prospects hang out? Different demographics have different preferences. For example, you’ll find an abundance of middle-aged folks hanging out on Facebook, ladies on Pinterest, and millennials on Instagram. Younger folks are often on Tumblr.
Determine where your audience hangs out and then go there. Network. Ask them questions. Answer their questions and really get to know your audience. Once you befriend them you can begin to capitalize on your connections in a number of authority-generating ways.
- Be a problem solver. Many times bloggers just post and link. They don’t connect, comment, or offer solutions. Or if they do offer solutions to a problem, the solution is found at their website, on a sales page. You’ll build better credibility if you genuinely solve problems – even if your solution doesn’t generate any income for you.
- Be a connector. You can connect people who can help one another. For example, if you’re a personal trainer and someone posts about protein fasting, you might connect them with a sports nutritionist that you trust. You’re helping your audience and connecting them with useful information. It positions you as an authority because you’re connected with other specialists.
- Be a learner. Your audience has a lot to teach you. Learn from them. Engage in conversations and ask questions. Show them that you care and assimilate the information you learn into your content.
Finally, be sure to respond to comments on your blog and to follow and participate in conversations on other industry blogs. When you are present where your audience hangs out, you’ll begin to build a connection with them. That’s powerful authority building, and blog-boosting access.
Creating and Marketing Your Brand – Using Content to Build Your Authority
Content is one of the best tools you have to consistently and creatively build your authority. One blog post can reach thousands of people and help establish you as a credible expert in your niche. There are also an abundance of opportunities to create, share, and publish authority-boosting content.
Let’s take a look at the options.
- Blog. Create a blog that regularly shares top quality content. Share what you know, answer questions, talk about industry news, and provide solutions for your audience. Blog as often as you can while controlling for quality and value.
- Guest blog. Find reputable industry blogs to create value-driven content. Create a byline that includes a call to action and a bit about yourself so readers will click through and visit your blog.
Make sure that the blogs you guest post on also have a reputation for quality and are authorities in their respective niche. Also make sure it’s a relevant and complementary niche. A fitness expert isn’t going to reach their audience if they’re guest posting on a software blog, for example.
- Create a fantastic email newsletter. Establish an email newsletter and build your list. Make sure that each issue of your newsletter, whether it’s delivered weekly, bi-weekly, or even monthly, contains authority-building content. Invite your subscribers to share the newsletter with friends and also consider allowing them to reprint the content on their own blog or website.
- Consider other forms of content. We’ve talked about print content but there are many other formats to consider. You might create a video channel and share weekly videos. You can podcast or create infographics. Exploring other types of content will help you establish your credibility with a larger audience.
- Publish a book. Digital publishing has never been easier. Don’t wait any longer to take advantage of this opportunity. Start brainstorming a book and writing it. If you just don’t have time to write it, create your outline and then hire a ghostwriter to do the legwork for you.
- Blog comments. Your comments on your blog and on other industry blogs are also an opportunity to create quality content. Make sure anything you say in a comment is something that you’d be proud to publish. Make sure it positions you as an authority and represents you in a positive way.
- Use social media. Social media provides an abundance of opportunity to create and share content. You can share facts and tips on Twitter and you can share brand new content on Facebook and LinkedIn.
- Hold live events. Consider holding live events like webinars and seminars to provide information to people who are interested in learning more. These live events work much like a published book to establish you as an authority.
We naturally give authority to people who are published and to people who “teach” and speak in public. Hold an event and provide value to your listeners and you’ll take huge steps in creating your authority status.
- Create an information product. Beyond publishing a book you can also create home study courses. These courses can be delivered online via an autoresponder. You can also simply make them available as downloads or create a tangible product that you can ship to their home.
- Produce white papers and case studies. There are also more formal documents that you can create. These papers can be made available on your blog or website as downloads. You can also share them with your prospects as a tool to help solve their problems.
Finally, don’t overlook the opportunity to publish articles in traditional publications like magazines and newspapers. Content provides an abundance of opportunity to establish yourself as an expert. It allows you to connect with your audience solve their problems, and share your knowledge, experience and information in a valuable way.
One way to both strengthen your content and further position yourself as an expert is to make sure that your content is well written. That means that it’s conversational but also informative.
Be a Leader, Not a Follower
Do you believe that you’re an authority in your niche? Do you feel like you have valuable experience, knowledge, and information to share with your audience? Can you impact the lives of others and help them solve their problems?
If you answered anything but a resounding “Yes!” then your confidence may need a little work. If you want others to view you as an expert, you have to believe that you are.
- Read, learn, master – Create a strategy that supports you to consistently learn and stay at the top of your field. Learning helps you feel more confident in your existing knowledge and gain new knowledge and self-assurance. If you’re looking for some amazing resources to build your blogging knowledge, we’ve put together a list of highly recommended blogging resources!
- Network and listen – Reach out and connect with others. Networking gives you an opportunity to listen to other people. Ask questions and listen to the answers. You’ll uncover opportunities to help others and as you begin to change lives, your confidence will soar.
- Educate – Create information products, publish books, articles, and online learning materials. As you begin sharing your knowledge and experience, you’ll receive positive feedback from others. This feedback will help you realize that you really do know what you’re talking about. It’s a great confidence booster.
Finally, take some risks. Push your comfort zone and make mistakes. As you learn more about what your limits are, you may be surprised that you’re capable of much more than you think. You are an authority and once you believe it, you’ll be in a better position to share and communicate your experience and knowledge to others.
You now have five steps to go from a virtually unknown expert to an authority in your niche. Take them one at a time. Some of the steps will be easy and intuitive. You may already be taking them. Other steps may require some careful thought and planning.
Each positive step you take toward building your brand and positioning yourself as an authority in your niche is one that will ultimately increase your opportunities and your bottom line.
What Are We Missing?
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