What if there was a way for every product you sell or recommended to be bought by almost every visitor to your website? In other words, what if you had the midas touch, and everything you talked about or share caused a spike in sales or traffic activity.
I know what you are thinking:
What if you were Oprah? Ha ha!!!
While, there is no one proven method to make this a reality luckily, there is one proven thing you can do that can help. It’s called being a trusted authority on a subject. It’s not about being a “know it all” on every subject, but about being an authority on one specific subject that other people care about.
If you are a trusted authority on a subject, you gain the confidence and loyalty of your visitors and build a strong audience and tribe of people who know you, like you, and trust you.
Being committed to becoming an authority will work to your advantage and is crucial in today’s marketplace.
People will speak highly of you and recommend you. And when you share a resource or an offer, people are not offended that you are asking them to actually pay for your product or service. On the contrary, they are happy to pay you at a premium for the opportunity to do deeper work with you. Why? Because YOU are the “go-to” authority!
Would you like that?
Well, here are 9 things you can do to effectively be seen as the “go-to” authority on your subject!
1. Know Your Stuff & Have a definitive point of view!
While this first point may seem like a no brainer, what I want to emphasize is, you must have a “different” perspective to share based on your own research, experience, and observation. Take the time to develop a perspective that advances the conversation in your market.
Pick an enemy and then pick a fight. Share a new idea. Even if your theory is a work in progress, just let people know your train of thought and why you are leaning in the direction you are. As my 8th grade algebra teacher used to say, “...Don’t just give an answer, show your work. Demonstrate how you got there.”
Having a clear perspective and position says you have done your homework and offer something different and more useful than the status quo.
Good examples of a person who do this well is Seth Godin.
2. Share useful case studies & case stories
A second very effective way to quickly position yourself as an authority is to create case studies and case stories.
Case studies demonstrate your ability to dissect and analyze information in order to provide useful directives and best practices. An easy way to leverage case studies if you are just starting out is to be your own case study subject. Go through a process yourself and document what happens, and share commentary that will help others who might want to go through the process themselves.
Case stories are like case studies except they are shorter and are presented in more of a narrative format. These are useful when sharing a testimonial or a before-&-after example that illustrates how you’ve gotten other people results.
A good example of someone who uses case studies and case stories well is Brian Harris of VideoFruit.com.
Brian established a solid reputation by simply sharing what works for him, what doesn’t, and why. He has a very “good old boy” charm about him, and comes across as the kind of guy you’d go fishing with or grab a beer and talk shop.
His wealth of practical information comes from him actually doing the work and sharing the process with his audience through case studies and stories.
3. Be first to adopt and talk about a new media or technology
A great way to quickly emerge as a an authority is to be one of the first to embrace a new medium, platform, or technology and share your journey with it.
Note: Don’t pretend to be “THE EXPERT,” just the 100%/ ALL IN journeyman who is committed to helping other optimize this new platform.
When you share how a piece of tech applies specifically to your niche you become the voice that others in your space begin to listen to because you are helping them solve the common problems that inherently comes with adopting anything new into one’s work-flow.
Slightly different than sharing case studies, when you share your perspective on a new piece of tech you can vision-cast and make predictions as to how this new medium could impact your niche.
In fact, often times your ideas become self fulfilling prophecies because other people begin to apply your ideas, and soon you’ve reformed or influenced the culture of a niche community.
Tim Feriss did this with his approach to “hacking” work and life. His best selling book, The Four Hour Work Week, has become the bible for new online entrepreneurs who desire to become a part of what Tim calls “the new rich.”
Tim almost singlehandedly made outsourcing a viable option for the individual. Until his hacks and commentary, outsourcing was an idea reserved only for “big business.”
4. Amplify the engaging aspect of your personality
Sally Hogshead in her bestselling book, How The World Sees You advances the idea that, “...different is better than better.” What she means is, in today’s society the best way to stand out is not by showing people how you are better, but demonstrating to people how you are different.
Let’s be honest, there are probably a lot of other experts just as able and as knowledgeable as we are about our subject (if not more). Being good at what you do, my friend is now just the price of admission. If you want any chance at winning the game you must be able to show your ideal clients how working with you is desirably different.
The easiest way to do this is to pinpoint aspects of your persona that people are attracted to and amplify those attributes. These are the little quirks, viewpoints, signature clothing and mannerism that make you unique and memorable.
Caution: In order for this to work, these attributes must originate from who you truly are. The worst thing you could do is try to adopt another person’s persona just because you see it working for them. Discover what works for you and demonstrate them more..
Sally’s book offers a free assessment to help you do just that! If you are unclear about what attributes allow you to naturally standout I recommend you take a look at her book. I found it very useful.
5. Curate relevant and useful content for your community
According to Heidi Cohen, from ContentMarketingInstitute.com content curation:
“...assembles, selects, categorizes, comments on, and presents the most relevant, highest quality information to meet your audience’s needs on a specific subject.”
Based on my research and personal experience, there are big 3 advantages to curating content:
1. You accelerate your knowledge and mastery of the subject because you are the one doing the researching and reporting.
2. People lack the time, skill set, and frankly the desire to research and aggregate information on a topic they want to learn about. When you do this for them, they naturally see your proficiency and prowess, making you more likely to becoming one of their go-to resources.
3. Curating allows you to enter into a conversation among other known experts and share your point of view. This allows you to not only offer up useful content by other experts to your audience, it allows you to increase your authority by association.
For more useful information on how to curate content like a pro check out Heidi’s article here: (See what I did there?)
6. Be the contrarian
Another simple way to stand out and be seen as a go-to authority is to advance a point of view that is contrary to what the mainstream is reporting. This tactic is not for the faint at heart.
While I am not advocating that you simply retort an opposing view just to get noticed, I am challenging you to take a hard and fresh look at the sacred cows of your industry and challenge whether or not they still have a relevant place in the way things are done.
More often than not, every industry or niche has approaches, norms, and common cultural practices that served a real purpose a while back, but have become obsolete or have outlived their usefulness.
It’s your job to rigorously analyze what is still useful and determine what is not and then report what you find to your audience. This kind of information saves people a lot of time and even money because you are telling them what to stop doing, or what to avoid, and offer alternatives that put them at the forefront or on the cutting edge of their industry.
7. Combine fields of study
When you take the time to draw useful content and insight from areas outside of your niche and articulate how they apply to what is important to your field, you bring pure, clean, and new ideas to what maybe an old and stale conversation.
In an online world of vast regurgitated information applying this strategy can catapult you onto the scene as a forward thinker or futurist of your industry. One of the most effective ways to be heard is to communicate how other industries impact and affect your niche.
And guess what? You don’t have to be right! Just demonstrate your thoughtful thinking process and make predictions that you are willing to stand on, test, and poke holes in. In the process, people will see you as one who is dedicated to advancing their industry.
That gets both attention and respect.
8. Super niche yourself
This approach is pretty simple and self explanatory. Pick a hyper focused discipline and become the extreme expert on it.
This approach says to the world, “...I’m willing to forsake all else and go ultra-deep, rather than wide! Why? Because the subject is that important to me.”
Here’s where you become a fanatic of a particular issue and study, test, and experiment the heck out of it.
Yes, you will at times paint yourself into a corner or pigeonhole yourself. But, that is perfectly fine. The important thing is you voice your conviction about it and demonstrate your advanced mastery over it, because you are one of the few who has gone off the extreme end on the subject and have been places with the subject matter that others are afraid to and can only imagine.
9. Be the indispensable resource
With this tactic make it a habit to create useful templates, checklist, and cheat sheets for everything. Offer fair balanced reviews on tools and resource that your niche care about, and be the person who offer the vast majority of your resources for free with no strings attached.
Pretty soon you will have carved out a special place within the hearts and minds of your audience. The key here is to be consistent and stay current with what is important. Keep your finger on the pulse of the industry and offer stuff that make life easier, or a process faster.
Ok, I have a bonus tactic for you for good measure. Like the contrarian, this one is definitely not for the faint at heart. Be warned; you must have a think skin to pull this one off.
Bonus: Champion a cause that throws rocks at a common enemy
Pick a problem and pick a fight. Be the William Wallace for an issue that needs a strong opinionated voice. Don’t be afraid to ruffle a few feathers, and stick to your guns.
At the time of writing this article Donald Trump, despite what most pundits thought, is still leading the Republican party for the 2016 Presidential bid. While the world seems to be shaking its head in utter amazement and disbelief he is winning the Republican race.
Because he is championing a cause that resonates with a “silent majority” of Republicans who have grown tired of the empty rhetoric of career politicians. While he has been an equal opportunity offender, Trump has garnered a lot of support because he has consistently and unapologetically been himself and on attack mode advancing the mantra, “...Let’s make America great again.”
Whether you agree with his politics or not, one thing is for sure -when you passionately fight for a cause that you believe in and are willing to say publicly what a lot of others are thinking privately, while you maybe the pun of a lot jokes, you will certainly be a force to be reckoned with and one that cannot be ignored.