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Four simple technique to help position yourself as an authority in your industry

By Alexandra Gavril - July 4, 2018

It’s no surprise that most small business owners struggle with getting their marketing messages heard by the right audience when everyone is overloaded with content and information, and social media is overcrowded. So how can you break through the noise?

By becoming an authority in your industry. Whether you’re a web designer, an event planner or a plumber, a sure way to stand out from the crowd and have your audience pay attention to your messages is to be seen as an authority in your niche.

But how do you go about building your authority? How can you become the go-to resource to your prospects so they know they can always find answers to their questions with you?

In this post we’ll walk you through the four key steps to building authority in your niche.

1. Find the questions that are burning in the minds of your prospects

Building authority in your niche calls for providing the best answers to your prospects’ questions. So your number one task is to become the answer man, or woman.

While you probably know your niche and your business very well, what you may not know is which questions are burning in the minds of your prospects. What do they need assistance with? What problems are they facing that you could help solve? What information could help get them closer to a fix?

Spend some time to uncover these questions. Use tools like Answerthepublic.com, Quora, Reddit and Google to do the research and see what questions your audience is asking in regards to your type of business or niche.

Then make a list with all these questions as next you’ll need to answer them.

2. Produce amazing content that answers those questions

When you have your lists of questions, the next step is to tackle them with practical, actionable, insightful answers. This means generating content on a regular basis.

Content can be anything from a 1000-word blog post (on your own blog or on an authority blog in your niche) to a 2,000 in-depth case study or ebook; a 5-minute Facebook Live video to an hour-long webinar; an infographic to an email; a 30-slide presentation to a 30-minute weekly podcast.

Whatever the format, your goal remains the same: to become the go-to resource for your prospects. The one who answers tough questions with insightful, action-oriented answers. The one who explains a complex concept or topic so everyone can understand it with ease. And the one who offers knowledge and advice that can be immediately implemented by anyone.

Keep in mind that what you’re looking to achieve is to become an authority in your niche, so this isn’t the time to sell. Instead, use your content to offer helpful, no-strings-attached advice to those seeking knowledge, information and a fix to their problem.

Also, make sure that every piece of content you create is amazing because if you want to stand out from the crowd, you need to do more than everyone else. You need to be better, more helpful, more detailed and more interesting.

If you’re new at content marketing, this free course is excellent for getting started with blog and content marketing. For more tips and advice on how to make the most of content marketing and how to get started with webinars, videos and more, take a look at these resources:

Once you create your content (which you’ll need to do on a regular basis), don’t be shy about sharing it with your audience. When you produce fantastic content and you know it provides value to your audience, any inhibitions about self-promotion fly out the window.

3. Build relationships with the “players” in your industry

You know how you can earn more authority? By association. If you can have other experts in your niche and related industries trust, value and share your content, that’s a sure-way to earn authority status.

So get to know all the “players” in your industry, from big to small, and start building a relationship with them. Follow them, email them, comment on their content, help them, ask questions and provide your own insights on what they write or talk about.

When you create epic content and showcase your expertise to the authorities in your niche, you can earn authority by association. Just don’t fake it. Be courteous and respectful of their time and try to make a good first impression. They’re not pawns in a game but your supporters, promoters and future friends.

Check out this fantastic guide to influencer marketing that’s filled with useful tips on how to find influencers and how to meaningfully connect with them.

4. Pursue public speaking gigs

If you’re on stage holding a microphone, you’re the authority in the room. People are listening and they’re interested in what you have to say. But how do you get there?

You need to network. You could start by contacting those influencers or authorities in your niche who you established a relationship with in the previous step. See if they know of any speaking engagements, webinars or podcast guest opportunities that might be right for you.

At the same time, go to local events with top people in your field and see if you can take to the stage at the next event. Then move on to bigger and bigger events to be seen and heard.

If you’re frequently seen in niche publications and at niche events, and if you provide real value to whoever you interact with, it won’t be long until people start perceiving you as an authority.

Wrapping up

There’s no secret recipe to becoming an authority in your niche. If you try to understand the problems and questions that your prospects have and truly care about providing insightful, actionable answers and assistance, they will naturally seek you out for a solution.

Just be aware that it can take a lot of work and patience, and your job is never done. Because once you build authority, you also have to sustain it by being active, engaging and providing value to your prospects.