How can you become an authority in your small business? And, perhaps more importantly, why should you?
I’ll break down the 3 strategies to consider on the process of starting in this post.
But first, why should you consider becoming an authority in the first place?
Let’s use an example.
Let’s say you had a bad knee and started to look for somebody to help you. Where would you begin? You’d probably start asking friends, family first. Then, you’d continue by searching online (search/social), visiting bookstores to read more about it. You might ask more questions in a social community (like Facebook). You’d search on Twitter to see others with similar symptoms, etc.
While waiting for answers, you’d also visit specific niche verticals and directories, forums, blogs – to find out more.
Next, you’d start by making some calls to various doctors and health institutions and find out more about their experience, perhaps cost and potential down-time issues, etc, etc.
After all information was compiled, you’d make a decision on which doctor or health expert to choose. Ultimately, your referrals from friends would come high on the list.
But, nothing says “I do” more than “competence and character”. See, you would want to know that your final selection was based on knowledge, trust and authority. A smart medical professional who had leveraged the Internet, social media and his network of peers would likely get your business by a) getting your attention (being visible) and by b) showing experience and authority from books, videos, news releases, referrals, testimonials, trusted partner networks, endorsements, etc. It would be an easy choice for you, as compared to the other options available to you. His/her unique value proposition was so strong that you had no problem going to visit their office.
YOU want to create this level of authority and trust within your small business niche. And with social media and using a certain sales framework, you can do it too. How can you start? Take a look at these 3 options and read a recent social media sales book on the topic.
Now that you recognize how important it is to become an authority, the challenge is how to accomplish this goal. To begin, you have a choice of 3 strategies, each with its own benefits and shortcomings, the tools that you use are dependent on the strategy you select and defining your goal. The power of social media marketing is unlimited when you consider the impact of all of these components combined.
Strategy Number One:
Choose a particular niche and become the best source of information about it. This requires your topic to be broad enough to avoid type casting and without overextending your reach, which would make it next to impossible to establish yourself as an expert.
Strategy Number Two:
Select complicated industry issues, simplify and explain them. Publish “How-To” materials, books and videos. Make it visible in search engines and social media.
Strategy Number Three:
Bring a fresh perspective to a subject or break new ground with new concepts.
For each one of these strategies, the key word here is communication: your audience must be able to relate to your contributions and be able to understand your knowledge for your reputation as an expert to benefit.
It’s important to be honest with yourself in choosing a strategy.
Ask these questions of yourself:
- Are you especially knowledgeable about a particular niche?
- Have you discovered something revolutionary about a specific industry concept?
- Do you have an exceptional ability to simplify complex issues and communicate in a way anyone can understand?
Become a “Super-Friend”:
Be genuine and share your knowledge freely and openly without any expectations. Creating an authority presence by becoming a super friend requires extraordinary interpersonal skills. When a person is a great friend with a large circle of industry peers, it helps to create an affinity between the individual and members of the group. This opens the door to showcase your knowledge and earn their respect.
Choose your company wisely:
The saying goes: “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” Emulate the authority you most admire and associate with other authorities. (Note: but, be yourself!) In social media marketing, your associations form part of the public perception of your website. Everything associated with your Internet presence is important to consider in terms of the value they relay to your website authority quotient. Choose inappropriately and it can impact the perception in a negative manner.
Be alert to opportunities:
In many cases, timing really is everything; many fortunes have been made by individuals who were at the right place at the right time. Although you cannot predict with certainty when a turning point event will occur, many individuals have successfully “struck gold” by pursuing their instinct about a theory or developing their concept into a material reality at the opportune moment. Let software and tools help you. (i.e. Google alerts)
Choosing a specific niche and using a combination of these methods is the surest way to become an authority for more quality sales from social media communities.