How do you establish authority in your niche? Is it something that just happens organically and with luck? Or is it something you can be intentional about?
It may seem as if authority is something that exists because of external factors only. You may feel as if it takes a lot of legwork to build those backlinks, get published in other publications, and do all these various things to get others to call us an expert.
However, the truth is that there are things that you can do on your own to specifically engineer authority. These are actions that you can do without depending on other people.
These 5 simple strategies will help you become a leader in your niche… even when you’re not the biggest fish in the sea. Within your own community, you will be seen as a leader and authority. It will then spread organically from there as others will help spread the word.
By applying these 5 aspects to your business, you can:
- Capture the hearts and minds of your readers
- Inspire action from even smaller audiences and smaller lists
- Convert more readers into customers
If you create online training or sell coaching or consulting services, this is definitely for you. This will help you stand out in a crowded market.
Here we go…
#1 – Present A Plan.
I’ve said it many times, but a good market is going to be aligned around a transformation. Your entire business should be focused on moving a person from point A to point B. Point A is their current reality that they are not satisfied with… and point B is a new reality of where they want to be.
Now, what most content creators and experts do is simply talk about that. They will create blog posts, videos, courses, ebooks… all talking about some aspect of that transformation. This makes perfect sense.
But, have you ever mapped out the overall plan? Have you ever mapped it out?
To be an authority in your market, you need to have a plan. It needs to be a plan that is easily understood. It is a pathway. A roadmap.
Such a roadmap provides order in a sea of confusion. It shows that there IS a way to get where they want to be. It shows that there is a method to your madness, a big picture to all that stuff you produce.
Furthermore, I recommend that you simplify it and make it visual. For example, take my own Online Business Roadmap. 5 phases to build an online business out of thin air and take it all the way to the point where you’re outsourcing and growing a very established business.
This is the plan. These are the steps of the transformation that I am in the business of delivering. And everything I do with my products and services is aligned around this Roadmap.
What’s the plan for your people? Have you mapped it out for them?
#2 – Answer a lot of questions in absolute ways.
Your market has questions. Lots of them. Chances are, they’re going to be asking many of the same questions repetitively, too.
Even if you get tired of saying the same thing over and over again, answer them anyway. To them, it is new and it is a legit question. When you answer that question clearly for them, you are meeting them right where they’re at at a time when they are seeking the answer. This makes you the automatic expert at that point. It sets the “mood” for further interactions as they engage with you and your brand.
So, can you present concrete answers to common questions in the form of blog posts? Hell yeah, you can.
You can get out on a site like Quora and answer questions in your market. Provide great answers to common niche questions. You can even link back to resources on your own site in the process.
You can also answer common market questions right on your own site, too. Question-based searches take place all the time on Google. In fact, most Google searches will automatically present the “People also ask” section with common questions.
This section of a Google search can be quite useful in getting exact questions to answer on your blog.
You can also brainstorm questions using a tool like AnswerThePublic. It presents really interesting, visual displays of questions being asked based on any keyword phrase:
You can take this information and create blog posts specifically answering those questions. You can even assemble them into an FAQ if you like.
And never forget to include “stupid questions”. Remember, YOU may think a question is incredibly elementary and you might even get bored answering it. But, the people in your market aren’t you. To them, those questions are legit. So, answer them definitively.
#3 – Be Certain And Absolute.
As covered above, people want answers to their questions. But, furthermore, they want absolute answers. They don’t want people to dilly-daddle around in a bunch of gray zones.
This is why people with some kind of body issue just want a doctor’s diagnosis and they want a label. They want to say “I have [insert disorder name here]”. They want it to be finite and put a little bow on it. If a doctor came in there and said anything non-specific, or gave non-absolute answers like diet and exercise, that doctor wouldn’t be as popular. People want their damn labels and pills, man! Absolutes! Quick answers!
So, give absolute answers. Keep it simple. Be confident about it.
Don’t over-complicate things by exploring multiple facets or difference approaches. Even if you know, in your expertise, that the answer might depend on a number of factors, just shut your trap and give them a simple answer. You can work out the details later.
Speak in absolutes.
I don’t say that banner ads can work in some cases. No, I just say banner ads suck.
In marketing, people always want to know what works best. What’s the best site color? What’s the best button color for a call to action? The real answer is “it depends” and that you should split test it. But, the answer that engineers authority? Make all your buttons green. Just… green. 🙂
Use words that communicate absolutes. Words like… All, none, always, never, guaranteed, evil, dumb, stupid, best, greatest, everything, nothing. You get the idea.
When you do this, you could end up being wrong. You might have people call you out. But, being an authority doesn’t come without a few arrows in your back. Gary Vaynerchuk doesn’t speak nuances, does he? He just comes right out and says it. Everything he says is in absolutes. Laced with f-bombs to boot. 😉
#4 – State Your Why and Your Beliefs.
It should be a central part of your brand to state what you believe and why you do what you do. What you do isn’t as memorable as why you do it.
This is quite a popular video so there’s a chance you’ve already seen it, but just in case… Simon Sinek did a TEDTalk years ago on why you should start with why:
People want to know what you believe.
They want to know what motivates you.
If they agree with you, they will have a more natural inclination to agree with the other things that you say. They will be more likely to follow you.
This is why I think you should state your beliefs and your why’s as a central part of your brand message. Put it on your about page. Put it into your sales videos.
Case in point, look at the video on the LAB Sales Page. I didn’t want to come up with some long-ass video for that page. I didn’t want to repeat myself on what the text on the page said. I wanted something that would position me and the LAB and do so quickly. So, the video talks about my WHY… and my beliefs. And my beliefs are stated in quite an absolute way, too.
Can you turn what you’re doing into a movement?
Can you position what you do in the bigger scheme of life and the world… by clearly planting your foot in the ground, drawing your line in the sand, and stating where you stand and what you believe?
Yes you can.
#5 – Alter Their Behavior or Routine With Unique Exercises
People will follow those who lead them. And what do leaders do? They get people to do something. And when that “something” that they do is unique to you and you’ve changed their habits somewhat, that’s authority.
Think about how Tony Robbins gets people to walk on freakin’ fire! That’s a weird thing to do! However, people do it and they feel like they just freakin’ accomplished something cool. And the people who have done it have that common bond between them.
Think about how Dave Asprey gets us to put butter in our coffee to make it “bulletproof”. A bit weird, right? But, I drink the stuff somewhat regularly.
It can be simple, too. Some companies will hand out swag. Like a sticker to stick on the laptop or a fridge magnet. Ever thought about why some home realtors will send out little refrigerator calendars? It is just getting people to keep that brand there front and center. In a little way, it is altering behavior.
So, for what your’e doing, what could you get people to do that isn’t ordinary? How can you get them to change their routine or the “normal” way of doing things?
My Business Building Bootcamp starts off by telling people not to start a blog. I flip the usual routine on it’s head and we do other things BEFORE we start blogging. I change the routine.
So, how you can set up exercises that will change the behavior of your target market? How can you change their routine or normal way of doing things?
The Interesting Thing About These Strategies…
Each of these strategies is something that you can do on your own.
You can do them without waiting for others to do something first. This doesn’t depend on your talking others into doing anything or sending you any recognition. All of this you can do “in house” merely by deciding to do it.
Also, you don’t even have to do every one of them. Do just 3 or 4 of them and you can create quite the tribe around what you are doing.
One more thing…
Most people want to be led. They want to be told what to do. It isn’t a bad thing. It is just… human. Especially when people are looking to solve a particular problem they have, at least in that segment of their lives, they don’t feel like a leader. They might be a leader in other aspects of their life, but in that area… they’re not. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be looking for answers.
So, lead them. Be the leader. At least in the zone of what it is you do.
A leader is certain. A leader has confidence. A leader has a goal and a way to get there. A leader changes people’s behaviors, answers questions, and portrays confidence.
Do it… and you will go a long way to engineering your authority in your niche.