Online business could be such a nice and cozy place if there wasn’t this authority thing to master. It’s like a common not-yet-a-credible-expert syndrome especially starters suffer from.
How to pose for an authority when you’re still in the middle of exploring the niche you want to build your future empire in?
And is posing a smart approach anyway?
Authority is a must-have, especially in online business. So, even if it feels like a sword of Damocles above you, you can’t just ban it from your agenda.
But, what if I told you it can even be fun to do all the “build credits grind”? What if you could start to be an expert from this moment on, no matter at what level of experience you are now?
Many people quit for the lack of authority. I don’t want you to be the next. That’s why I have put together the key things that helped (and still help) me to:
- bear the “in progress” state while building authority
- stay focused and confident even if more and more big authorities pop up around you
Let’s look at what “settings” and steps you need to get there!
Why you can be an expert from now on
Expertise is a very daunting word. Even very advanced people feel they still need to gain more knowledge to finally be an expert in their field. It’s like something we keep on chasing for throughout our entire life.
You better find peace with the fact that there will always be people who know a bit more than you. But, there will always be people who know a bit less than you, too. And that’s exactly where your expertise begins.
The moment you know something someone else doesn’t, you are an expert to him. You’ve just learned how to install your WordPress.org blog? Congrats, you are an expert to those who still try to master it!
Don’t think you need to become an expert, cause you already are. It’s great to always strive for more knowledge. But that’s only for becoming a better expert.
Still feel uncomfortable with saying “I am an expert!”? I’ll help you with that in a moment.
Build your authority for… vanity?
Let’s say authority is the next level of being an expert. The top leading experts in your niche are authorities.
Building your authority is (like many things online) a long distance run. Hence, you really need some very good reasons, a strong motivation to master that marathon.
That’s why we have to clarify why you need authority. What is it good for? Do you want it to enter celebrity status? Is it good for being invited to major events and TV shows?
No. Red carpets are only a pleasant side effect.
You need authority to earn trust of your audience. People only buy from sources they trust. A large helping of trust (authority) is your key to turn hit-and-run buyers into loyal repeat customers.
Have you seen how many authority bloggers have a “As featured on:” section on their blog with logos of The Huffington Post, Forbes, Entrepreneur, Inc. etc.? These logos can be very strong trust elements. But, they are worth nothing, if you can’t back them up with proof.
That proof only comes from you sincerely helping your audience. You need to understand your visitors problems. Give them best match solutions. Stay approachable. Simply develop and maintain an honest and relentless will to help your followers with every action you take.
The moment people realize you really help them, they will come back to rely on you and your offers again.
Go deep into your niche!
I am sure you already learned quite some stuff within your niche. Again, this is your existing expertise in front of those with less experience.
With diving deeper into your chosen topic, you will gain more knowledge to share. The more knowledge you collect, the more fields of expertise you can stand for with a strong self-esteem.
Knowledge is one of your most important equipment on your way to authority. That’s why Leigh Peele says you have to “go the extra mile for knowledge” in her great post about building authority in your niche.
A very important aspect of “inhaling” your niche is to learn as much as you can about the problems people have. That’s what all your helpful content will be based on. Quora and Reddit, for example, offer great insights on people’s questions and problems.
The better you know your visitors biggest struggles, the better the spot landing of your solutions for them will be.
Note: You don’t have to be a pioneer, to offer solutions. A great solution can be to route people to an existing, very valuable resource that’s been created by someone else (we’ll get into that later).
Aim for being the perfect niche guide in the first place. Pick up the “new arrivals” and show them around by creating content that answers questions like: What are the hot spots in your niche? What places are better to avoid? Who are the best people to learn from? What are the best products and services to recommend from your own experience?
Create unique content – it’s easier than you might think!
In many cases, only the thought of “having to create masses of unique content” can cause sticky writer’s block.
“Unique” is the trip hazard for the trouble here.
I know how you feel. You are probably still in the middle of getting familiar with your niche. You’re busy in collecting all kind of knowledge cause you are supposed to set up a strong expertise standing. You are happy to feel the “niche guide” slowly growing within yourself. You know you have to start creating unique content… someday. But the beginner in you keeps on saying:
“I’m not ready for unique yet. Don’t put that pressure on me. Please let me collect some more knowledge first.”
Yes, I put that pressure on you. No content, no authority.
So let’s beat that “unique content” monster to get your content machine rolling. Chances are, you have a wrong definition of unique. Unique content is much easier to create than you might think. Here are some examples:
- hand-picked resources that helped you to find a promising niche
- activities that helped you the most to explore your audiences problems online
- top 10 tools that helped you to set up your blog
- what helps you the most to overcome procrastination
- top 10 influencers you learn the most from
- best resources that helped you to build your first email funnel
- top resources that helped you to get featured on major media
- best resources that helped you the most to turn into an excellent guest poster
- best tips that helped you to prepare interviews
Like I said earlier, you don’t have to be an award-winning pioneer to create unique content.
A great portion of that unique-non-pioneer content comes from your role of the ultimate niche guide. Yes, it is highly valuable unique content if you “only” tell people where to find the best-proven resources for a given topic / problem!
The unique part is your compilation of the most helpful resources.
As “niche diver”, you know how time-consuming it is to conduct an essence of the most helpful sources out of an abundance of competing offers. Your visitor will love your nitty-gritty content curation since it saves them many hours of doing all the research and all the tests themselves.
Sharing your experiences (especially those that are of great help for others) is very valuable unique content, too.
And gradually, you will develop your own voice. More and more often, you will find yourself sharing the key findings you gained from your own experience. You will see the big picture of your niche. And you will begin to find it easy to naturally talk about your own conclusions. You may even find the ultimate sweet spot for your own products that add excellent value to the online community.
Julie Petersen has written a great post on ProBlogger on how important unique content is (in case you want to dive deeper;)
Engage with your audience!
Hello again, niche diver! You can really boost your level of expertise by engaging with your audience on a regular basis.
It’s so valuable to learn about all the things that bother your target groups on a direct response level. Your interaction with them can reveal a plethora of pure insights about their needs and struggles. All these information are great to tailor your content to their very needs.
Whenever you wonder what your audience might think about a certain topic, don’t miss asking your follower in a quick conversation. Fortunately, there are many channels to get in touch with it each other. Just hop into the comments on your blog or engage in social media or in niche related groups, forums, and communities.
All your active engagement has a wonderful side effect: In the experience of each person you “talk” to, you earn big credits for proving your readiness to help. They will carry away a one-on-one experience of your instant help that will be etched in their minds. That’s trust at its best… and a perfect premise to see them coming back for more.
A big mistake would be to stop engaging with your followers once you have made it to celebrity status. Your tribe expects you to stay approachable. It’s crucial to always stay to be curious about what your audience is concerned with. It determines your future business.
Build relationships with peers and influencers!
Long gone are the days where excellent content was enough to build authority “on autopilot”.
The bombastic growth of online business has changed the paroles from “content is king” over “unique content is king” to “unique content is… standard”.
Today, only those who successfully market their awesome content will grow beyond the crowd and stand out! (Learn more about the dilemma: When outstanding is not outstanding anymore)
Building relationships is a very effective way to get that needed “extra exposure” in front of your target groups.
Get rid of your competitive concerns and reach out to other marketers in your niche. You might have a big overlap in the people you address. But, every entrepreneur comes from a different angle.
That unique angle is always a great supplement to your own approach. And the overlap in target groups is exactly what you want, each time a co-marketer shares your content with his audience. So don’t wait to engage in guest posting!
Next to this same-level outreach, start to reach out to the influencers and authorities in your niche. With all your “niche guide” activities you are perfectly prepared for that.
You already have given lots of credits to lots of influencers with all your referring to their excellent resources. Most influencers recognize that and appreciate it a lot.
Make the next step and engage in the comments on their blogs and in their communities. That will get you in their sight.
One of the best ways to build relationships with the top marketers in your niche is to interview them. It’s amazing how many benefits you can transfer from these interviews to your business:
You can offer great insights and tips of outstanding entrepreneurs to your audience. Furthermore, there are lots of highly valuable learnings you can extract from the interviews for your own business. And, some interview guests may even introduce you to one of their peer authorities.
Again, with all your preceding activities, you are best prepared to interview the celebs of your niche. So don’t shy away from it, it’s a great booster for your own authority!
Things will start to accumulate
With all that’s being said, there is no reason for you to wait with building your authority. Since you already are an expert, you can start with creating your foundation – unique helpful content – today!
All your “niche diving” and investigation of your target group’s challenges will strengthen your expertise a lot. And once you start building relationships, things will really start to accumulate. Take action now so you can become the new authority in your niche!
Still want to learn more? Jeremy Frandsen and Jason Van Orden of the Internet Business Mastery Podcast have aired an awesome, to the point episode about How to Gain Expert Credibility Fast.
And that’s really enough of the learning part then… now it’s time to put things into practice!
I would love to hear about your progress with building your authority – please leave a comment below. And if there is anything that gets you stuck, please let me know!
To your very success,