Being regarded as an authority in any professional field has many upsides. Normally, authorities will receive additional business based solely on their reputation. It can also open doors to new opportunities, often with higher pay, that might not have otherwise been offered. Other people listen to what authorities say and often act on it. But it takes more than just time and effort to be considered an authority.
In order to build authority in your field and become a recognized expert, you should consider implementing the following strategies. Keep in mind, it doesn’t happen overnight and you must be vigilant and consistent in your message or approach.
Become an advocate and educator for customers
Authorities know more than the average Joe about their field. The first way to become an authority is to learn as much as possible. But don’t stop there. Once a sufficient amount of information has been obtained, share the knowledge with others. Help other people know as much as possible. Use the expertise to assist customers. Stay in regular contact with customers and use the expanded knowledge to benefit them. Some ways to share expert knowledge with customers is through hosting seminars and posting information online.
A great way to become an authority on something is to be super focused on it. Spreading oneself too thin makes it extremely difficult to garner enough information to be authoritative. Although there may be an urge to “be all things to all people” doing so will curb efforts on becoming an authority. The better course of action is to focus on a few topics to specialize in and learn everything there is to know about those topics. This will ultimately result in having a better handle on the market, which will lead to having satisfied customers.
Write… and Write Often
Authorities spread their knowledge through the written word. Spend some time writing articles on topics related to the area of expertise. Send the articles to newspapers and trade journals. Having published content will provide tangible proof that authoritative status has been achieved. Writing skills should be taken beyond print sources and should extend to online sources as well. There are plenty of online news sources that are in need of expert information. One great resource we recommend is called “Help a Reporter Out” or HARO for short. This website will send you daily emails of writers and publications who need help with articles and usually they are looking for expert insight or an authoritative point of view to round out their article.
Another way to show authority in a particular area is to write a problem-solution book. Deeply explore aspects of a field and offer real-life solutions for industries problems. A book that can be pulled off a shelf in an office and be used as a useful reference can be invaluable and will give instant authority status to those it helps.
Even though the thought of public speaking can make some people feel uneasy, it is a great way to establish authority in a field of business. The more someone engages in public speaking, the less scary it becomes and the end result is completely worth it. Speaking on a topic is a sure-fire way to establish authority on it. Schedule speeches and seminars and invite both customers and other industry heavy-hitters. One great idea is to schedule a panel with other industry experts in an effort to get varying perspectives on a topic. Be willing to speak on the radio and via podcasts as well. Speaking via these media is a good way to get a message out to large numbers of people. Regardless of the medium that is used to speak a message, always be sure to use it as a way to gain trust and respect from customers and others in the industry.
The old saying of “those who can, do; those who can’t, teach” is simply drivel. Those who can do things extremely well make the best teachers. Those who have been through the trenches and have recovered from even the most horrendous mistakes know how to survive and can help others through the process. Teaching a subject requires a vast knowledge that only an expert authority can have. Seek out local colleges or trade schools to offer services. If there are no classes available to teach, create one. Develop a workshop and invite industry workers to attend. Once we find our calling it is human nature to want to master whatever it is we set out to do, and then pass that knowledge along to others. Channel your inner teacher, it can truly have a massive impact on your influence and authority.
Be a trendsetter
Another great way to establish authority in a field is to go beyond being part of the conversation and rather creating the conversation. Be a visionary; know what needs to be talked about. Authorities are trendsetters and risk takers. Others will take notice of people who make themselves be seen. Be sure to always be the one people want to come to for advice or market news.
Non-authorities talk about their worth, authorities show it. Anyone can say words, but authorities prove their worth through their actions. Authorities are too busy to pat themselves on the back because they are spending their time working at their craft. The simple task of doing everything better than everyone else will assure a status of authority. Dare to be unique, informative and stand out from the crowd.