Authority marketing, according to direct marketing legend Dan Kennedy, is the act of “deliberately, systematically, methodically establishing yourself as a celebrity rapidly and dramatically, at least to your clientele and target market. Without this you’re asleep at the wheel, ignoring what is fueling the entire economy around you, and neglecting development of a measurably valuable asset.”
When I wrote a column several months ago about becoming a local celebrity, this was the idea behind it.
In its purest form, authority marketing helps you as an entrepreneur or small business owner to leverage your knowledge to gain authority status in your industry. This authority status then allows you to dramatically amplify your message and also to convert this new audience into higher paying customers. In other words, it’s the process for positioning yourself as an authority, or even a celebrity, in your marketplace.
This can best be done by consistently providing useful information to your market. I refer to this as ‘being a resource before you’re a vendor’. The information you provide solves problems, offers solutions, and addresses urgent needs. Creating content in a variety of formats makes this a doable strategy for everyone wishing to grow a business, online or offline. You will have positioned yourself as an educator and an advocate for your niche market, instead of just another person selling widgets.
Strategies which are most effective at improving your expert positioning include highlighting your media appearances and your published books, and anything else which shows that you are uniquely more qualified and credible than your competitors. Increasing what is known as the ‘know, like, and trust’ factor is crucial to success. In your favor is the fact that most of your competitors have not been doing this, giving you the ultimate edge in the marketplace.
For instance, once you position yourself as an authority, you’ll no longer have to chase sales leads and prospects for your business. In fact, you’ll find that they will seek out your company and your offers. Once people find you they stop looking for anyone else. Traditional networking is no longer a necessity and doing business takes on a whole new meaning.
You will also increase your income with this strategy. Entrepreneurs and small business owners that are seen as authorities have a higher value position, and are therefore expected to charge higher rates. You will quickly find that people will happily pay more for services from someone who they perceive to be the top expert in a field.
Having clients that trust and respect you is yet another benefit of positioning yourself as an authority. Instead of questioning you every step of the way, they will be more likely to follow and take action on the advice you share with them. That’s an excellent feeling to experience.
Books, podcasts, radio appearances, local appearances, and blog posts become the best sources for information in your market, saving you countless dollars and endless hours for other types of marketing. I’ve written about all of these topics in recent issues of this publication. You will also gain influence in your marketplace and opportunities for speaking, joint venture partnerships with other authorities, and more will readily present themselves to you. These, in turn, increase authority further and open other doors.
Authority marketing is one of the most powerful strategies to differentiate yourself from all of your competitors. If you aren’t actively working on creating your business around becoming a local celebrity and being perceived as the ‘go-to’ authority in your field, you are missing a huge opportunity. What are your thoughts on this?