One of the best ways to sell more books and get more public speaking gigs is to become an authority in your niche. Easier said than done, right.
I’m not here to tell you it’s easy, but I will tell you that it’s not rocket science. These 5 techniques I describe below, combined with a little confidence, consistency, and patience, are all you need to become one of the go to authorities for your target audience.
How to Become an Authority
Authority Step 1: Write a Guide on How to Do Something Complex or Fascinating
To get started I’m assuming that you already have a website, blog, and the other basic elements that establish your brand. With that said, the first thing you need to do to start building authority is to release a step-by-step guide on how to do something your target audience finds complex or fascinating.
It’s not necessary for you to create an ebook or whitepaper or any other long form document that people will never read. Instead of investing time and money in creating a long and wordy document, invest time and money in making it look pretty.
The actual contents of the document should be as short and plainly stated as possible, with the main goal being to make it very useful. It may sound counterintuitive, but the longer your guide is, the less useful it is.
Once your guide is written, give it away:
1. Give it away on your website
2. Print it and give it away to clients and prospects when you meet with them, and
3. Give it away to your email list.
If you are savvy, you should also create a lead generation landing page for the guide, and drive traffic to that page using social media marketing and SEO best practices.
Authority Step 2: Host a Recurring Webinar Covering Your Guide
After you get your “how-to guide” out there to a good number of people in your target audience, you must now ramp up by hosting webinars covering the same topic covered in your how-to guide. The webinar could cover:
- Frequently asked questions
- More specifics on a topic or step covered in your guide
- An advanced topic that a valuable customer segment is dying to learn more about
It’s important to remember at this stage that the critical aspect of building authority is consistency. It doesn’t matter if 1 person or 100 people show up to listen to you speak, the longer you consistency promote it and show up, your authority level will continue to increase.
The key is to make sure you set up a recurring schedule and consistently promote and host the webinar weekly, monthly, or bi-monthly.
Authority Step 3: Teach a Training Course
Once you establish yourself using webinars for at least 5 sessions, you should have a good idea of what your target audience wants from you. Take that information and package it up into a professional training course.
There are three main ways you could teach your training course:
1. Use a web based tool as an extension of your webinars
2. Create a series of videos and package them behind a members only login page
3. Rent a hotel conference room and do the training face to face
Choose whatever delivery method that works for you, just make sure you spend at least 3 to 5 months promoting the fact that you are hosting this training. The reason why is that your authority will come from the promotion more than it will come from actually hosting the training.
Authority Step 4: Create a Series of Amazing Infographics
During the process of promoting your training course, you must also infuse your promotional material with sharable infographics designed to highlight your brand. Infographics are great for social media (especially Facebook and Pinterest), and if done in a way that illustrates remarkable data with style and pizzazz, they can quickly go viral within a niche.
With that said, the best way to brainstorm infographic ideas is to research as many data driven reports and surveys you can find relevant to your target audience. Comb through the stats and find a way to tell a fascinating story using the numbers.
Next, hire a graphic designer to bring that story to life in a branded infographic. Then, just like you did with your how-to guide, share the final product using email and on as many social media pages as possible.
Authority Step 5: Go Podcasting
Unless you are ready to go all in to become one of the top influencers in your industry, I wouldn’t recommend that you start a brand new podcast from scratch. Instead, your goal is to appear as a guest on as many podcast shows as possible.
Start by downloading Apple’s podcast or itunes app to search for podcast, or try an alternative to Apple using an app like Stitcher to search for the people hosting podcast in your niche. Chances are, there are a handful of podcast directly related to your niche, and there are likely a bunch of other adjacent or loosely related entrepreneur, business, and marketing shows you can target.
It doesn’t really matter exactly what the show is about, just do what it takes to create the right pitch to get on the show as a guest.
The reason why appearing as a guest on a podcast is so awesome is that 99% of podcasters have blogs that they use to promote their shows. So not only do you get the authority building juice from appearing as a guest on a “radio” show, you will also likely get a mention as well as a link back to your website from their blog. So every show you get on will be a double win for your brand. You can’t beat that!