Have you ever dreamed about becoming an authority? You’re not alone. Lots of us dream about it, but few of us ever get a chance to realize their dreams. Becoming an authority is no easy feat, especially if you’re starting from scratch. However, by reading and taking the advice in this article to heart, you’ll already be ahead of most of your competitors.
You’ll learn more about what being an authority means, and you should also have a pretty good idea about the steps required to get there. While everyone’s path will be different, there are still many practices you should try to follow to maximize your chances of becoming an established authority in your field.
Let’s get started, shall we?
The power of authority
People have always looked up to experts and authorities and they always will. Since it’s impossible to know everything we sometimes have to consult the advice of others, and that’s when we look for authorities on the topic in question to help us out. We don’t listen to just about anyone – and that’s a good thing.
The definition of an authority is essentially a well-known, recognized expert in a given niche. Since expert knowledge is required it follows that becoming an authority isn’t easy, and usually involves many years of learning and building up a reputation. For someone who’s involved and interested in a niche it is definitely possible though, given some time and hard work.
It’s definitely a good goal to strive for, as there are many perks and benefits of being an authority. First of all, it will open the doors to a whole range of opportunities that would otherwise be out of reach. Being an authority means having people come to you with interesting, and often profitable, ideas and projects. It also means that most will respect your opinion, whether they agree with it or not.
Another definite upside is that making money will be easier than ever before, either by recommending other’s products as an affiliate or selling your own products and services. Just think about what happens when a TV doctor recommends a specific product – it flies off the shelves. You can do the same thing, and people will trust your recommendation and take action.
The downsides are few, but one is that it won’t just be opportunity that comes knocking on your door every day. It will also be people looking for handouts and free help, and this problem only gets worse as you gain more fame and recognition. Some established authorities in large niches get hundreds of emails like this every single day! It’s a good problem to have though, as it means that people look up to you and come to you for help.
Carrying yourself like an authority
Being an authority means living up to certain expectations. Carrying yourself like an authority is important even in the beginning stages, as it helps shape how people think of you.
One of the most important things is taking every chance you get to help people with their problems. If it’s something that requires much time or even money to solve, just pointing them in the right direction can be very helpful. The more people you help, the more you’ll be recognized as a knowledgeable authority in your field.
Take every chance you get to network and make new connections, in and out of your niche. You never know when one of those connections can help you reach the next level on your journey, so don’t be too quick to rule anyone or anything out.
It’s a given that you should try to be humble, even if you happen to know more about your niche than most people. Acting polite and respecting others are also good ideas – even if you can technically become an authority without anyone liking you, you’ll find that everything is so much easier and smoother if you avoid being rude or condescending towards others.
You don’t necessarily need to shy away from a bit of controversy though, as that can be very helpful for your reputation. Stirring something up just for the effect isn’t recommended, but don’t be afraid to go against the grain and voice an unpopular opinion if that’s really how you feel. It will only help establish you as someone who’s honest and free thinking.
Actionable steps to become an authority
As we’ve already established, becoming an authority is rarely quick, nor easy. It requires spending much time and effort on learning the ins-and-outs of the niche, and also working hard on marketing and personal branding.
Writing a Book
One thing that everyone who’s interested in becoming an authority should consider is writing and publishing a real hardcopy book. While e-books are certainly popular today, anyone can write and publish them. They don’t scream “authority” like a hardcopy book does, especially one that’s well received. It’s actually possible to publish a book without writing a single word, by simply hiring a ghostwriter (this is actually more common than you might think).
Starting a Blog
Starting a blog is practically a must, to use both for marketing and networking as well as an outlet where you can share your knowledge and inspire others. To start building traffic and establishing a reputation you can also guest blog at other websites in your niche – most guest blogging deals allow you to place a short author bio in the post, linking back to your blog. You don’t have to be a great writer to blog either, just try to be aware of your limitations and adjust your writing style accordingly.
Of course trying to become an authority while ignoring social networks is not a good idea these days. You don’t have to be active everywhere, but you need at least one platform where you can interact with others in your niche and market yourself. Whether that should be Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram is up to you, but a good strategy is looking at what’s most popular in your particular niche and trying to focus on that. Also, don’t forget that while social media is new and exciting, regular forums still work very well to network and discuss with other people in a niche.
Making an effort to teach others and help them learn more about your niche is also a great idea. That could mean anything from writing helpful tutorials to hosting seminars or even launching complete courses on the subject. As long as you truly help people learn this will give a huge boost to your authority status.
I’m an authority – now what?
When all the hard work is actually starting to pay off and show some results, it’s time to start thinking about what to do next and how to ensure you get to keep your authority status indefinitely. The only thing you shouldn’t do at this point is becoming completely passive and just counting on everything to last forever with no effort at all. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works.
However, you definitely can shift into a lower gear and go into maintenance mode at this point if you want. As long as you take every opportunity you can get to further cement your authority you’re not risking very much by not working as hard as before. Try focusing on high impact activities that make a big impression on people for best results.
If you’d rather stay active there are a couple of options available. There’s always a new area to try to conquer, even if you’re an established authority at this point. Maybe you’ve been blogging successfully but still haven’t written a book, or you’ve built up a massive Twitter following but you’re still somewhat unknown on the large industry forums. Now’s the time to tackle those challenges!
Another option is branching out to related niches, using your existing audience to kick start this new venture. If you try to ensure your new niche is one that the following you’ve built up might also be interested in, you’ll have a good chance at being successful almost instantly.
After reading this brief guide you should hopefully have a pretty good idea about what being an authority is all about, why it’s something you should strive for and how you can potentially get there.
Remember that getting there isn’t something that’s done in a month (or even a year), so it requires quite a bit of dedication and hard work. It’s definitely more of a marathon than a sprint, so don’t burn yourself out too quickly trying to do everything at once. Once you start seeing the first results from your efforts you’ll realize just how beneficial being an authority can be.
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