Authority is a bit of an ambiguous word, that means different things to different people. However, in the online world, it’s all about standing out. Becoming an authority carries all kinds of traits anyone in business dreams about:
- Being seen as an expert
- Being seen as trustworthy
- Being seen as respectable
All of this translates into a greater presence, and ultimately, a greater bottom line. Potential clients want to work with authorities in their field because they are perceived as a better and safer option. When you reach this status, you can also reflect that in your pricing, able to charge more for that sense of security.
The caveat here is how exactly you can make this happen for your business. The good news is that anyone can build themselves into an authority if they plan appropriately.
Step 1: Learn the Knowledge Behind Your Authority
You may recall the classic study from Professor Anders Ericsson that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert on any given subject. Chances are that you don’t have that kind of time. What you can do to shorten the gap is use the power of networking to your advantage.
How does networking equal authority? There are more trade groups and organizations out there than ever, so start by joining a couple of them on social media. LinkedIn is the obvious choice here, but here are three other social media options to help you create that authority:
Instagram is primarily visual, so if you have a business with a visual component, this is an easy way to demonstrate your expertise. This can vary. For example, whether you are a graphic artist or in the construction industry, you can use Instagram to show your skill to a larger audience.
Twitter is closer to LinkedIn in that the best way to leverage it is to seek out influencers and interact with them. This will build the foundation to your own authority, the type these people already have.
Pinterest is notable because it has a high engagement rate with women. If women are an important part of your customer base, this makes for a good opportunity to reach them. Like Instagram, this favors businesses with an immediate visual component.
So, you have your chosen platforms: what happens next? Start asking questions to try and fill in gaps in the knowledge you already know. Follow this up by looking up resources and trade publications to help in these areas. The details of these are dependent on your industry. The key is to get in the habit of immersing yourself in industry developments, as well as making contact with others in your industry (this will be important in a moment).
Step 2: Build The Presence That Commands Authority
When you’ve become better-rounded, the time has come for you to take that knowledge and put it out there. This is the step where many people’s attempts to become an authority fall short. A major reason for this is that they over-extend themselves. Speaking engagements, guest posts, seminars, e-books—all of these are ways to start building up your authority and your personal brand. But doing all of this at once makes it difficult to do any one of these well.
If you’re just starting out, one of the best options to get your path to authority started is creating a content blog on your site. At the end of the day, all the examples mentioned above fall under this greater umbrella of content. Good content is how you demonstrate to potential customers that you have expertise in your niche. A blog allows you to use the website you already have, and all you need to get started is good topics and the time to write.
This is where building that network comes in. By interacting with other people in your field, you get a better understanding of what the trending topics are in your business. Writing and creating content addresses these issues positions you as an authority in two ways:
- You know the topics that matter.
- You have the know-how to address them.
In addition, creating a business blog for your website is a good way to get an SEO program started? Why go to the effort? Read on.
Step 3: Turn Your Authority To Sales
The thing about becoming an authority is that you need to put yourself in a consumer’s shoes. They don’t want to interact with businesses and influencers that have just started. Part of the perception of authority is the perception of experience. However, you can counteract that with SEO. Smart usage of keywords will help your site and content appear first when it comes to searches. This creates an automatic association with authority in the mind of the person doing the web searches. “This is the first thing that comes up when I search for X, they must know what they are talking about!” It may sound simple, but it’s the truth.
In essence, think of SEO as the foundation that sets the stage for all the hard work that you’ve put into becoming an authority in your field of choice. You rarely see it, but without it, everything else may be for nothing.
Set yourself up for SEO success with these steps and other expert advice during a consultation with Paul. Reach out today and get in touch with one of the best SEO consultants and link building experts to get started with mastering SEO for your business.