The importance of authority and trust on the Internets should not be looked at lightly. It can do wonders for your brand, persona, client relationships, future engagements, validate pricing (increases) for service and products – and – Google.
A trusted site will have lasting impact for positioning and more easily spider your site. Let’s take a look at what it is, and how Social Media can put you there fast.
The defining point for websites is the amount of authority or expertise they demonstrate in their particular niche. Defining authority in terms of website design and content is based on many factors, however for the sake of simplicity, website authority is:
“A PERSON WHO HAS DEVELOPED EXPERT KNOWLEDGE AND HAS SHARED THIS KNOWLEDGE, TO THE POINT WHERE THEIR OPINION(S) REGARDING CERTAIN ISSUES ARE RESPECTED AND TRUSTED BY INDUSTRY PEERS.”
This definition is both interesting and important because it is through the process of sharing your knowledge that it becomes an asset; the more freely knowledge is circulated, the more rapidly your reputation grows by attracting the audience who is searching for this information. Social Media is all about sharing (and caring).
Web publishing is based on the model of packaging and circulating information via text, graphic images and rich media. In terms of the dissemination of information or sharing ideas, the people behind a) an authority web presence, the b) experts in a specific niche – can easily be compared to the world of academia because both of these groups are heavily invested in their field of endeavor. They are able to provide extraordinary insight from their experience and research.
These two groups share similar traits that make it easy to identify them:
- Provides public access to their knowledge: An expert knows how to translate highly specialized information to a format that is easily understood by anyone. For instance explaining the impact of a news event and providing the information in a way the reader can utilize.
- Up-to-date and well-versed in current industry news: Especially in social media marketing there is a heavy emphasis on being well-informed. The information you distribute has to be factual and accurate, otherwise it can lead to serious problems. An expert is well informed in regard to all the latest developments in their niche which places them in the position of being consulted when there are questions on issues, or to make announcements that pertain to their networks.
- Broaden the perspective: Because they are acknowledged experts, this affords them the ability to change the perceptions and perspectives. Experts can bring new information to light, and test the validity of traditional concepts or practices by introducing new ideas or principles, theory or terminology from related fields of interest.
- Accumulate and validate information: Experts are selective in the information that they disseminate, filtering the content they provide for their audience. They distill the most vital data from the content and bring together related viewpoints or discussions to provide a comprehensive overview of the issue. This allows others to contribute ideas on how to move forward toward a solution.
- Research, research and more research. Experts study the phenomenon of current events more thoroughly than others and because of this they have access to knowledge that is unique. They also analyze current events or perform case studies to support their theories.
So, armed with this information and understanding how important it is to create and sustain – perhaps the best place to start is by looking at others – who started with “nothing”:
Problogger.com and Dosh Dosh are two highly trusted sites with people who began with humble beginnings. It required focus, knowledge, dedication and passion – to be sure. But, also a willingness not to quit – while watching their marketplace, building online friendships and where interaction and communication was dead center.
So, what is your passion? And, have you dared to really ask yourself how to make a difference? Is it your own (crappy) belief that is preventing you from moving forward? You do have the potential, and moving into massive action, and seeing the results will further deepen your belief and positive reinforcement. Believing in yourself is key.
Next – use social media to thrust yourself into the conversation, don’t over-analyze it – and contribute with helpful information, ask questions and make sure you think long term. Your authority building is not an over-night thing, and neither is getting rich, or growing plants.
Start with Twitter, Facebook, and search for related blogs within your niche. Use Google’s Blogsearch.
Tell me what I can do to get you started.
(This is a modified extract of a 90-page, new social media e-book coming out today. There’s also a free preview download).