Now, to truly benefit from this article, it would help if you are a specialist in something, or you at least know what a specialist is and how to become one. If you’re unsure, check out my last article on how to become a specialist and the benefits of doing so (How to Transform from a Generalist to a Specialist).
I’ll start with definitions of a specialist and an authority. A specialist is a person who is a person who concentrates primarily on a particular subject or activity.
Essentially a specialist is someone who is an expert in their field, whereas an authority is someone who is recognised and respected as an expert in their field, and whose opinions carry more weight. It’s far easier to charge a higher price for your products and services when you are an authority than it is when you are an expert.
People expect to pay a higher price in order to obtain the benefits of dealing with an authority. When authorities speak, people listen. If you can establish yourself as an authority it is likely to make selling your products or services a lot easier, as people will just assume you’re right. So, how do you become an authority?
Firstly, you need to have a why. What I mean by a why is a reason for doing what you do other than making more money. You need to be on your own mission to change the world in some way, no matter how small.
For example, I could be establishing myself as an authority right now by writing this article, and my why could be that I want to help you guys perform as well as possible in your own businesses by providing as much value to your clients and customers as possible and charge what you’re truly worth. This makes me a man on a mission and one who you will respect a lot more than someone who just wants to make more money, and being an authority is all about earning respect.
Then you need to find a way as establishing yourself as an expert in your field. It doesn’t really matter how you do this, as long as you do. I’d recommend you do this in multiple ways, as then all these different things you’ve done to establish yourself feed off each other and make you look like even more of an expert, combined, they’re greater than the sum of their parts.
A few examples of ways you can position yourself as an authority is to write articles on your own blog, for other people’s blogs, write a book, speak at events, send press releases, send out a weekly newsletter, build up your social media followings and interact with people who could benefit from your help, even if they don’t actually follow you, and appear on shows, interviews, and podcasts. This way you have lots of stuff to direct people to when they want to know more about you, and the more you stuff you can direct them to, the more impressed they will be and consider you an authority.
Next you need testimonials and references. Your portfolio of great content from the last step is basically you saying how great you are, now you need other people to say it too. Ask a few happy clients or ex-customers to write or record you a short testimonial to put on your website. This gives social proof, people will look at it and think ‘okay, this guy doesn’t just talk the talk, he walks the walk too’.
References are a great way also, if you can make your clients and customers happy and ask for references they will most likely be more than happy to oblige, and you seem like much more of an authority when other people are recommending you and you’re not just promoting yourself. It’s a fairly simple concept, the more people you help and can get to say how great you are, the more likely your prospects are to believe it.
After this you need to start putting your opinions out there, on your blogs, social media, in interviews etc. Basically you need to give your own personal opinions about matters in your field. If you’re an expert which you should be, otherwise read my previous article (How to Transform from a Generalist to a Specialist)., you should have your own unique takes on things. If there’s common practice you disagree with, say so, and explain why.
If there’s something people should be doing but no-one ever tells them, say so, and why. If there’s something people are told but it’s underutilised and made out to be far less important than it actually is, say so, and why. Basically anything you put out there, you have to justify, because you’re the authority, people want reasons why from you, let everyone else just copy what you say and not give justifications. Authorities tell people what they should be doing and why they should be doing it, no matter how controversial or unusual it might be.
Finally, you need to associate with other authorities. They don’t have to be in your exact field. But if you’re trying to position yourself as an authority and you associate with people who clearly aren’t, people will see through you. Now this doesn’t mean you can only be an authority if you hang out with famous people in your field, it just means that you need to hang out with people who are also doing these steps. Obviously you’re allowed non-authority friends, just don’t do live streams or collaborate with them.
Birds of a feather flock together, so just bear in mind your going to be judged by your flock, regardless of how good you are. I’d recommend you find people who like you, are trying also to establish themselves as authorities and collaborate together and help each other out. Recommending other authorities content is a great way to send each other prospects and traffic, give people great content without writing it and make yourself appear more genuine and concerned for your audience than you are for your own pocket.
Your brand is also very important, have a nice easy to use website, a name people remember (especially on social media), a good logo, and have key values, basically you must have certain aspects of your field you consider the most important, you need to hammer them home to your audience over and over and over again. Examples include Tai Lopez, who talks about the importance of knowledge constantly, or Gary Vee, who talks about the importance of taking action. What’s most important to you, and what do you believe is the most important thing for your audience?
I also want to say there are two more things that authorities should do. The first one is never stop learning, it’s the same as being an expert, you have to stay up to date with what’s going on in your field. An authority should be the first person to know about changes, not the last. After all, it’s your job to let everyone else know. Make sure you’re watching the latest content, reading the latest articles and listening to the latest podcasts and audios. Also make sure you’re up to date with what other authorities are doing as well, maybe they have some great new idea or insight, something that needs tweaking, or you can see an opportunity to collaborate with them.
The second thing is you need to be a giver, you need to give as much value as you can, help people without any expectations. Give lots of cool free content on your blogs, in interviews, help people understand your field as well as you can. That way, when they do make a decision to purchase something in your field who are they going to go to, the guy who they have never seen before or the guy who’s been giving them loads of free content and ideas for months? I know which one I’d go to.
So, in conclusion:
- Have a why
- Find a way as establishing yourself as an expert
- Testimonials and references
- Start putting your opinions out there
- Associate with other authorities
- Build your brand
- Never stop learning
- Give as much value as you can, help people without any expectations
Follow these steps and you’ll soon find yourself transforming from a specialist to an authority.