What does it mean to build authority?
And why is it so important in business and as an entrepreneur? Building authority is to create and cultivate a confident quality of someone who knows a lot about something or who is well respected by others.
Building authority is a crucial ingredient for success as an entrepreneur. Whether you are selling a product or a service, your consumer wants to know that what they are getting is high-quality and has value. This sense of assurance typically starts with the person or company behind the product.
Building authority is closely tied to both your expertise and your reputation. It’s important to contemplate why someone would hire you or buy your product. What is it about you that would make them say yes to those questions? Do you and your brand exude an integrity that builds consumer trust? Statistics show that trust-based companies have higher customer retention and more stable revenue streams.
I remember a comment my (soon to be at the time) boss made years ago. At the time I was living in my hometown and was reeling after losing my mother to cancer. Having had helped take care of her day in and day out for 9 months, I was now ready to get back into the workforce. As a former teacher I wanted a change as I was so tapped out emotionally. The thought of showing up for students at that time felt too depleting.
My now former boss was also a family friend, truly honorable man as well as a local real estate “mogul”. He had a new premium development under way and asked me if I would like to be an instrumental part of it. I remember telling him that I didn’t have any real estate experience. He immediately replied, “yes – but Lynn you are a known commodity”!
I was flattered by this heartfelt compliment and confidence that it was “a given” that I would be valuable to the company. In knowing me for many years he had a good sense of my integrity and professionalism. This is an example of building authority through reputation.
As an entrepreneur, it’s certainly wonderful if you are already a “known commodity” just as many of us may be in our own social circles and communities. But how do you build authority with those who haven’t a clue to who you are? How do we project our talents and expertise into the world for those who don’t know us from the next person?
Here are 6 authority building tips
- Share your expertise – It takes a lot time a lot of time to become an actual expert at anything. No matter how deep your knowledge base is, continue to educate yourself in your field. By learning, continued growth and sharing your knowledge, you can become the go to person in your field and community. Think about who needs your services. Examine what kind of problems they need solved and freely share that information. When you give your audience something valuable they can use to help solve problems you are building authority.
- Build trust – Be authentic and honest. Remember only you can do you! Your consumers want to believe in you and your judgment. It’s so easy to check out and get caught up comparing yourself to what your competition is up to. It’s much more empowering to find your own unique voice and style and reconnect to you! Do some reflecting about the aspects of your personality that people most respond to and highlight them. People that do business with you want you to be genuine and professional. Both will serve you well when building authority through trust.
- Use the Internet – The good news is the days of the door to door salesmen are – history. It’s 2017 folks and the Internet “is your oyster”. There is a reason they named it the world wide web! With the global reach of the Internet and on-line businesses – building authority has never been so easy. Whether you are catering to a local audience or to the masses, your potential through the Internet alone is incredible. Make sure you invest in a website for your business and continue to improve your computer skills. You want to be sure to leverage the endless opportunities brought by computer technology to help create a web presence and become known for your stellar reputation and expertise.
- Consistency & Perseverance – Stay in it to win it! Being an entrepreneur has it’s challenges with out a doubt. Approximately 9 out of 10 startup businesses will fail. You will truly be ahead of the game if you keep hanging in there! Remember slow and steady wins the race. Take actionable steps each day that allow you to be a constant and visible resource. This will keep you fresh in the minds of your potential prospects and customers. Building authority will naturally follow over time as people not only take note but respect your lasting effect and longevity.
- Social Media – Back to the importance of your Internet presence. Social media is an absolute gift born from the Internet for building authority as an entrepreneur. And it’s free! You must know who your audience is and how to reach them. It’s never been so easy to make a new connection, share what you are up to and showcase your expertise. And for those who already know you, it’s easy to keep them up to date and aware of what services you offer. Your on-line friends and contacts can make for an incredible referral and testimonial base for your business. Most would be happy to “vouch” for you if asked. You can also use social media to build your authority by joining groups, (like our Impactful Entrepreneurs Facebook group) and creating a following where you can share about your business. If social media is not your strong point – hire a specialist to help you!
- Step into the spotlight! – Whether it’s on-line or off you need to be visible. Who is your target market and where do they hang out? You want to find ways to get in front of them. Do you have a platform to step into the spotlight? This could be through public speaking, writing or marketing strategies. If you don’t have an audience think about who you either personally know, or who can introduce yourself to that does. It would be ideal if you could partner up with another well respected and known expert. Ask to speak to their audience. Examples of this could take place in a group business setting, being a guest on their podcast or a guest blogger on their blog! Linking yourself to others that have already built-in authority will in turn help you build yours.
So how do you plan to build your authority? Did you discover some new ideas here? To help you out, consider writing a guest post for our Impactful Entrepreneurs blog. We are always looking for great articles from entrepreneurs with great inspiring stories to share.
Visit our Contribute page if you’d like to submit an article for consideration.
Do you have any tips for building authority? We’d love to read them. Please share in the comments below.