Some companies are perceived as an authority in their market, and it adds to their brand equity. The leaders of markets get the lion share of the business simply because the market values their opinion. One example of this is the doctor that prescribes your “plan” to wellness which is usually taken without question. The doctor has authority in your eyes.
There are common strategies we are told to take that will increase authority. Speaking on stages and getting publicity in the media are the two most common paths to being seen to others as an influencer or a thought leader in your industry. These do work for sure and they also don’t come without an understanding of the rules of authority marketing.
Let’s look at the concept of “authority marketing” and how it is being used to cut through the noise of traditional marketing.
Authority marketing is establishing a position of leadership in your category of business based on your wisdom and insight. It is sharing what you have so others look to you and your company as the definitive answer to the problem. In other words, it is sharing your expert and credible opinions that will move your audience to take action.
The purpose of authority marketing is to position your business as a leader worth following.
Before you can establish authority in the market, you must make some clear decisions that allow the marketplace to perceive you as the leader. You can’t shout it and make it so. However, you do not have to wait for it magically appear either. You can engineer authority with intention.
Here are four uncommon rules of authority marketing to position your company as the trusted advisor in the market:
Narrow Your Focus
You can’t be all things to all people; go deep into your market instead of spreading out to try to get the attention of everyone
Unique is Better than Better
The unique is seen as new and everything else is old; authority marketing is amplified with a unique message relevant to the market
Know Your Point of View
Take a stance, draw a line in the sand for what you stand for and against
Give It Away
Don’t hold back for fear of theft, give it away, so others will know it came from you
Case Study: Jason Swenk
A few years back I had a client that had recently sold his digital agency. After twelve years of working in the trenches, he was not sure of his next steps in his professional life. When we started working together, he was frustrated that his “spray-and-pray” approach to building a new business was not working. He spent 18 months blogging with hopes of figuring out his next business; however, he had trouble attracting an audience.
Jason was an experienced business owner and had a wealth of knowledge that he was not using. I will share with you four ways that Jason was able to develop his authority that will help you with your business.
Jason had to let go of his current strategies (not a hard decision when they weren’t working for him or his business). In our conversations, he resisted focusing his business to a particular audience, because he did not want to “leave anyone out.” This is a classic mistake.
Jason had to narrow his focus to the RIGHT ideal clients. This set the foundation of his whole business. Everything else got easier for Jason with a profitable niche identified. He knew this audience inside and out…in years before, he was his ideal client before he sold the business.
Authority is nearly impossible when you start broadly. Finding your profitable niche is the key to success before you move on to the other aspects of engineering your authority.
Jason looked at the typical competitors in his new area of focus. He could see that they had not evolved with the changing times. He also noticed that some were not even successful at growing their businesses and no one had sold their agency. Jason could easily develop a unique positioning in the market with one fundamental aspect. He had built and sold his company. He found out less than 1% of agencies are ever sold, yet many want to sell some day.
He did not bother with how to be better than his competition; he focused on what allowed him to be UNIQUE. Authority marketing requires having a unique message. The things we have heard before don’t position you as an authority.
Jason’s messaging clearly articulates this to his ideal client and he used it for the last three years with success.
The Point of View Makes It All Work
The way you think and how you see the world is your point of view. Jason found his point of view with ease, as it was natural to Jason to develop systems within his previous business. Having systems is what allowed him to hire the right people, find the right prospects, and grow his agency to a place where he would to eventually sell it.
I remember Jason saying all the time…
Companies with systems will outperform those without. — Jason Swenk
Give, Give, and Give More
Today’s marketing is drastically different than it was a decade ago. Heck, it is different this year than last. Authority is developed as you consistently give insight to your market. The key being consistent. There is tremendous power in finding a rhythm of consistency in your marketing.
Jason started a weekly podcast three years ago beginning his journey in giving away content. He blogged and created videos. Now he is extremely consistent in sharing his content.
Our world has become cluttered with noise. We are suffocating on information, and the key to great content is to share real insights that can’t be found in other places.
The Results of Authority Marketing
Jason’s journey to engineering authority in his category has created more joy, significance, and freedom than he has ever had. It is more than money (which he makes more now than in the business he sold). Jason is now speaking on the top stages in his market and he is truly a force of nature.