Quite rarely we learn things simply to understand and remember the information. Typically we do it either out of curiosity or to become an authority in some niche. For me, using the knowledge properly is a subject for a full masterclass. In this guest article James Scott shares his personal views on the subject.
Let’s face it. Competition in the market is getting stiffer year by year. And if you want to achieve success in the long run, you should become an authority in your niche. You should find a way to convince people to trust you and follow you. Whether you are a solopreneur or owner of a medium-sized business, you should establish yourself as an expert in your field. It will allow you to use your professional opinion as a tool to manipulate people’s decisions. Here are five tips, which may help you to achieve your goals.
Know your audience
In order to gain authority, you should understand who your audience is and what questions it has. It’s important to learn and clearly understand who will read your articles and watch your videos.
For this reason, you should conduct market research and analyze demographics. You should get to know the gender, age, ethnicity, education, marital status, and level of income of your audience.
Let’s say you want to become an authority in dietetics and clinical nutrition service. Who will be your target audience? 25-40-year-old married females, who graduated from famous universities, and currently have high-paying jobs and busy schedules.
Once you find out who your audience is, you should try to understand what questions and concerns it has. What women want to know about weight loss from an expert like you? Obviously, they don’t want to read articles about the health benefits of avocado, or unhealthiness of refined sugar. There are lots of blog posts related to these topics on the net.
Your target audience wants to get specific answers on their concrete questions. Young mothers wonder whether it’s ok to stick to keto diet when breastfeeding. Businesswomen wonder which supplements they should take to cope with the overwhelming workload and to avoid obesity. If you provide detailed answers to these questions, it will help you with establishing audience loyalty.
And there is one more important thing, which you should take into account. It’s a level of the readers’ expertise. If you target people with the background in your niche, feel free to use professional jargon and scientific terms. But if you write for individuals who have zero knowledge of the subject discussed, you should express your ideas using simple words.
If you feel that your writing style doesn’t fit the audience, you should fix your mistakes. Freddie Grant, the managing editor at Best Writers Canada suggests: “You can edit your paper by yourself, or check a list of reviews and find a professional editor. He will do this job instead of you.”
As Oscar Wilde once said, “You can never be overdressed and overeducated”. So, even if you believe that you are the best expert on the planet, you should keep studying. You should read books and scientific journals, attend conferences, and give talks at workshops. It will help you to keep your knowledge up-to-date.
Working as the head of the marketing department has thought me that there is always some new trend or important update just around the corner and you should be ready for it. I have seen so many companies fall behind just because they weren’t willing to study and improve themselves.
The issue is that if you stop acquiring new information and mastering new skills, you will lose your value as a specialist. As a result, people will start doubting your authority.
Specialists, who underestimate the importance of continuous learning, have no chances to build a good reputation. “The world and everything in it is changing fast. And if you stay at the phase of professional development, where you are standing now, your competitors will bypass you,” – says Emilia Bradshaw, marketing specialist at GetGoodGrade.
You should watch the trends and know where your industry is heading. It will allow you to foresee the changes, which will take place in the future. Consequently, it will help you to adapt your strategy and ensure that you are heading in the right direction.
If you stop learning, you will lose connection with the real world. No one will take you seriously. You should understand that whether you are a finance specialist or beauty expert, no one will trust your pieces of advice if they seem to be out of date.
Strive for excellence
You should always make sure that everything is done in the right way. Never publish an article or video if you are not satisfied with its quality. If you don’t like the piece of content you have created, no one will like it.
In fact, it doesn’t mean that you should be too critical to yourself. You should remain objective, yet demanding. It’s important because only by publishing high-quality content, you may gain authority.
I was able to work in different positions throughout my career, from content marketing to head of marketing department and I have always witnessed that only those who are constantly challenging themselves and are thriving to be the best are succeeding.
Modern people are very picky, and they want to read the most useful articles and to watch the most exciting videos. And if you meet the demand, you will win. But if you post mediocre content, you will lose.
When it comes to reputation and authority, you have no right to make even a minor mistake. For this reason, you should polish your content thoughtfully. It’s important to proofread all your articles and eliminate spelling and syntax errors.
You may be an outstanding expert in your niche, but a poor writer. In this case, you may use essay services. With the help of professional writers, editors, and proofreaders, you can turn your article into a masterpiece. If you need assistance, don’t be ashamed to use it. You can’t be good at everything. You are an ordinary person, not a superhero.
Build trust in relationship
Authority is all about trust, loyalty, respect… and relationship. So if you want to gain authority, you can’t behave as you operate in a vacuum. You should focus your attention on building open relationships with your audience.
Let’s imagine that you are a baker. You have been shooting a video recipe for a new cake, but something went wrong. Buttercream frosting turned to be grained and broken, and your cake looks ugly.
What will you do in this situation? You may decide to make a new portion of frosting, fix the cake, edit your video, and pretend that everything has gone as you planned.
But will it help you to save your reputation? The answer is “no”. If your followers try to bake this cake following your directions, they will face the same problem as you did. It will make them doubt your competency as a baker. And it’s highly unlikely that they will ever use your recipes again.
As you can see, your dishonesty may destroy your authority. So, the rule of the thumb is to never lie to your audience.
Let’s get back to our “baking fail” example. What other options do you have? You may admit your mistakes and share your real-life experience with your followers. You may give the pieces of advice on how to avoid common frosting mistakes and how to fix a cake.
Your followers will find this information interesting and valuable. If you teach them to cook a perfect dessert, they will treat you like a baking guru. The moral of this example is that honesty and openness are great tools to boost authority.
Grow your social media presence
Obviously, if you want to become an authority, you should make people know about you. In the digital age, it’s not that hard to do. You just need to create high-quality content and distribute it using different channels.
Firstly, you can start a blog. You can do it a few ways. The first way is to create a blog on the basis of your current website (if you have one) with the help of the WordPress tools. The second option is to design your blog from scratch using popular blogging platforms such as Tumblr, Medium, or Blogger.
Secondly, you can use social networks. Statistics say that young adults spend three hours a day on social media and they trust digital influencers fully. So if you target Millennials and Generation Z, social platforms are the best channels to distribute your content.
To become an influencer, you should choose the social network, which suits you the best. If your field of expertise relates to fitness, travel, photography, or culinary, you should use Instagram. But if you are a journalist, book writer, marketer, or engineer, you should better promote your content on Facebook and Twitter.
The digital marketers state that video is a king. And if you are going to boost your authority by producing video content, you are heading in the right direction. Feel free to start a YouTube channel and upload your first videos.
If you want to reach the audience, which consists of specialists in a narrow niche, you can do it via LinkedIn. Here you can publish your articles and participate in groups and discussions. Even if your field of expertise is heat resistant concrete or on rare butterflies, you will find your reader on this social platform.
If you have a goal to become an authority in your niche, be ready to work hard and produce high-quality content. Take into account the preferences of your target audience, keep developing on your skills, learn to admit your mistakes – and people will respect you as an expert.
You are the only person who is responsible for your success. So, stop using excuses and make a step towards your dreams.
About the author: James Scott is an independent blogger and a marketing consultant to small businesses. He is especially passionate about team building and management, having run his own company for a number of years. Featured on Startup Daily Tips, Agility PR an more.