Want to be the authority in your niche? It’s not rocket science — it CAN happen. You just need a good plan and little nudge. Here are five steps to making yourself the obvious choice in your market.
Have you ever spent hours agonizing over the perfect message — brainstorming, strategizing, writing and filming content — only to publish it with little engagement? It’s heartbreaking. You feel deflated, discouraged and forgotten. Maybe you feel like it was all for nothing. I’m here to tell you it’s not.
In order for a message to be heard, really heard, you need to build the audience and authority to support it. Here’s how.
Define Your Audience
The first thing you need to know about building authority online is you don’t need to establish it across the entire internet. All you need to do is become the ultimate authority to a specific audience. Capture the attention of a niche within your industry or market — not the whole world. The key is to be a small giant in your market!
To do that, you need to establish exactly who your audience is. Who do you want to reach? Figure that out, and then go find them. What platform are they on? What groups do they follow? How do they interact online? What forms of content do they prefer?
Do your research as deeply and thoroughly as possible in this area, and you will be well positioned to succeed as you take directed action toward building your authority.
What Is Authority?
Once you have your audience figured out, it’s time to tackle authority. What is it, and how do you build it online?
Building authority is essentially the process of taking your message and creating a conversation around it. It requires creative ways of getting your message in front of people on a consistent basis, as well as a deep knowledge of what interests and engages your audience. Once your audience has seen your brand, content and name enough times, they’ll begin to engage with it.
The more engagement you create, the more authority you will build. When your audience sees your brand as the obvious choice in your market, you have met your mark.
How do you do that? Read on.
5 Keys To Building Authority
There are five key strategies involved in building strong authority.
1. Understanding Your Platforms
To build authority, you’ll want to start by getting your brand in front of your audience. One of the best ways to do that is through social media. We all use multiple platforms every day, which means we also have the opportunity to appear in front of our audience on a daily basis.
But you don’t want them to simply see your content; you want them to appreciate and engage with it. That means you need to be creating the right content at the right time — and in the right place.
If you run a children’s clothing brand, for example, you’ll want to appear on social media channels that moms and parents favor, such as Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. If you’re a business coach, you’ll want to develop a very strong presence on LinkedIn.
Consider where your audience is spending their online time, and then build your presence with intention. Don’t waste time on platforms that don’t attract your audience.
2. Create Omnipresence
Once you’ve established your platforms, you’ll want to create the impression that your brand is everywhere. Like leaving bread crumbs, you create so much awareness and content that, eventually, your audience begins to consider you as the obvious choice in the market.
So how do you do this? Create omnipresence on social media, your website, media and more. Seek traditional opportunities for publicity — such as media interviews, articles and speaking engagements — as well as others. Set up video interviews with peers on Facebook. Write mini e-books with content that serves your audience. Create a video campaign and target the right social media platform.
By consistently showing up, you’re creating a regular and diverse presence in your prospect’s life.
3. Focus On Your Audience
Next, you’ll want to consider what kind of content you want to post. In this stage, I insist you put the audience first. People interact with brands because they perceive some kind of value from that relationship or interaction — not simply because they want to buy products or services from you. They can do that anywhere. What they’re looking for is some kind of value.
How do you provide value? Give them interesting, relevant content that aims to serve and support them — not simply sell to them. Inspire your audience. Lead your audience. Give them the tools, knowledge and insight that will help them succeed. And if you can provide consistent value, they will support you in return.
At the end of the day, your interactions with your leads and clients create a relationship, and it’s your job to nurture and respect that relationship by adding value every day.
4. Be Consistent
Once you establish a meaningful relationship — don’t ghost them! Stand by your audience, and consistently contribute content that enriches their lives.
Consistency is absolutely key here.
There are plenty of competitors ready and willing to take your place in the pockets, minds and hearts of your audience. If you don’t keep up the relationship you have with them, then you’re basically inviting your competition to walk right in.
And this goes double for your current clients. Don’t forget the relationships you already have because you’re chasing after future clients. Make sure you’re providing value to your current customers in whatever way you can — especially through consistent content.
5. Build Social Proof
Once you’ve established consistency, you’re well on your way to establishing meaningful authority in your niche. The last piece to the puzzle drives your credibility home: social proof.
Social proof is based in the idea that the more people see others mentioning you, the more likely they will regard you as credible themselves. For example, if you meet someone in a networking setting, then they go home and see a friend post about you on social media, that person is more likely to remember you and seek you out again. If, then, they see you featured in a local magazine, their respect for you will continue to grow.
By giving people multiple opportunities to see you, as well as having others acknowledge your expertise, you are well on your way to establishing authority in your niche.