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What if interested parties came to you? That is the point of authority marketing.
Authority marketing is a multi-faceted approach that includes content marketing, public relations, and speaking for many writers. Some call it "attraction marketing" or "thought leadership". But whatever you call it, the goal is to position yourself as an authority and have potential customers knocking on your door.
This approach is particularly valuable in times of information availability. Most sales pitches don't start with a prospect who actually reaches out to you or your sales team. The selling process often starts with a web search.
Individuals who choose to market their authority take control of what appears in that web search. When the results of a web search position you and your company as experts in your field, your credibility increases.
Consultants, coaches and professional service providers have problems with credibility when the entry barrier for their respective areas is so low. Marketing their authority will help them attract higher paying customers. Not to mention, the inclusion of lectures, interviews, and written submissions adds marketing momentum pretty quickly.
If authority marketing is such a solid strategy, how do people “kill” it? Well, there are some key steps that are consistently neglected by almost anyone involved in authority marketing.
Related: What Is Authority Marketing And How Do You Achieve It?
1. Waiting for opportunities to come to you
People work hard to build their email and social media audiences. They believe that if they “get big enough” there will be opportunities for them. This couldn't be further from the truth. It is true that people can turn to you when the environment matches your expertise.
For example, more Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Consultants (DEI) are being asked for their expertise on a variety of marketing opportunities. But what if the news cycle continues? It's not that DEI isn't a topic that people consistently talk about. But what do you do when people stop reaching out?
Jennifer McGinley, PR professional, recommends reaching and building your network of connections consistently.
"It is so important to be proactive and consistently connect and serve others in order to be seen as an expert or an authority on your field," she says. “The more visible you are, the more believable you can become. Essentially, you are building a community. Clear, consistent content and communication form a community. "
Even when you gain momentum, you should always be on the lookout for better options. Once you've created your speaker's resume or portfolio of experts, you can secure yourself opportunities that will dramatically increase your credibility.
Some of the largest conferences have a speaker application process. So be active in finding new ways to showcase your expertise even if you receive invitations.
Related Topics: 6 Do-It-Yourself PR Tips For Small Businesses
2. Don't create authentic content
Notice the adjective before "content" in this subheading. Authenticity is your unique marketability factor. What will people find when they click on your website? If they hope they hire you or invite you to speak, your website will be better.
In many cases, people find a website and blog with no personality. Your website can be described as "professional, accessible and knowledgeable". What is wrong with that? Ask yourself how many other business websites can be described in this way. A professional, responsive, and competent website won't stop you from attracting customers. But it's lukewarm at best, which means your website isn't offering the highest ROI possible.
This is where authentic content comes into play. When someone lands on your website, they should experience your unique brand. If your personal brand runs a large part of your business, as it does for many service professionals, your website visitor should feel that browsing your website is helping them get to know you.
Don't think of it as "just your website" or "just your blog". Think of all of your content efforts as contributing to your content library. You can create unique content for a specific social media platform. However, if it goes down well with your audience, then you need to invest in expanding your content library and creating content on your website.
Related Topics: The 1 Rule You Must Follow To Authentically Build An Inclusive Brand
Sarah Noel Block, founder of the marketing consultancy Tiny Marketing, often advises her clients to invest in what they own. “Too often companies focus on quick marketing like social media or paid ads. Instead, focus on what you own, not what you rent. They rent social media. TikTok can go under tomorrow, ”she advises. “Better to focus on what you own – your website and your email list. By creating a content library, you increase your SEO, know-how and trust score, as well as your email list and have a say in email and social media marketing. It's marketing that keeps giving. "
When you approach your content authentically, your potential customers (marketing opportunities or new business) already feel that they know you. That way, they'll convince themselves that you're a good fit before they even talk to you.
Not that even red topics could use your new attitude. Many professionals take the time to create content on general topics related to their expertise for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes. There's nothing wrong with that as long as you remember one thing: your unique experiences make this content special.
Explaining why it is important to create header tags in blog posts and website content is a good subject for a content professional. However, if you add in the story that a customer has to edit 50+ blog posts to better optimize their content, you do two things:
- They show that you do everything for your customers.
- You give them a story to help you remember your tip with.
Anyone can tip. But this story is yours only.
Related: Why Google's Search Page Redesign is the Death of SEO
3. Do not market your expertise showcasing opportunities
Have you been a guest in a professional webinar or podcast? Much to the horror of many organizers and organizers, guests often do not market their performances. This is a missed opportunity to support your host and promote yourself.
By marketing an opportunity that showcases expertise, you can put yourself in front of your host's audience outside of the opportunity. More importantly, you have the opportunity to interact with that audience.
Bill Sherman, the co-host of the Leveraging Thought Leadership Podcast, has some great recommendations. Guests should at least comment and like every post that the host, article writer, or podcast host mentions them. A thoughtful comment on social media, especially on LinkedIn, can really fuel engagement – an engagement that is great for you and the organizer, writer, or host.
Next, he said that podcast guests “should rate and review the episode on whatever podcast player they use. This will make the episode (and the podcast as a whole) appear more frequently in searches. "
He also shared that he's excited when guests connect with viewers who leave comments on social media. Most podcast hosts and community builders don't do this often. In this case, however, conversations are created that lead to all sorts of useful connections.
These involvement opportunities are critical to expanding your network and building your authority. Since most people don't get involved in this way after an opportunity to showcase expertise, you will get even more noticed. Not to mention the people who take the time to leave comments will justify a response from you. They could be your people, but not if you ignore them.
Fix these three mistakes and your authority marketing will take off
If you make any or all three of these mistakes, there is good news. You can now work on fixing them. Go back to your most recent interviews and address the audience in the comments. Start with your content plan so that you can build your content library whenever you want. Actively seek the opportunities you need to grow your authority and business.
Being aware of a problem is half the battle. Now you have the knowledge to fix it.