What is Authority & how do you get it?
Is the basic building block of any great business whether online or retail? So what is Authority? The best answer that I can give is a “Great Reputation” When you are the go to in your market for the services that you provide, then you have established authority.
- If you are the best Diesel Mechanic in Cincinnati, OH and others know about it then you have some authority.
- If you make the best blueberry doughnuts in your area and others know about it then you have some authority.
Authority only means something if others know about it. Having the best apple pie in the world will not make you any money if you are the only one that knows about it other than your .
Think back about your personal likes and dislikes and you will find your favorites, things that you just would not trust someone else to do or even consider purchasing from somewhere else.
- Tattoo Artist
In fact the idea of letting someone else other than “_________” is just simply not acceptable. That is Authority and the heart of every successful business.
What can Authority do for you?
When you are an authority figure you have all the power to influence through your actions and thoughts. You control the audience.
Word spreads quickly and therefore you can pick up clients by simple word of mouth. When you are the business known for that special thing you do then you will have others some to you because of the name you have built.
Establishing authority online is no different. When you are looking for the best place online to get news, which comes to mind first and why? Do you like Fox news because they are a more conservative news station or CNN News because they are considered more Liberal? Your authority will follow you and you will be known for it.
Your business can grow by leaps and bounds when you hit the sweet spot of online authority or local authority. Take as an example a local bakery that I visit. This place has the best blueberry doughnuts that I have ever tasted by far. I have passed by the bakery hundreds of times and never stopped in until after that one conversation that I had with a friend who had stopped in and said they were amazing. Now I have told God and everyone else about these blueberry doughnuts and I imagine they have told others as well.
Authority like this can make your business whatever it is go BOOM!
The idea is to be different from everyone else, have that one thing that you are so good at that others cannot or will not do. What sets you apart from others that you want to be known for?
Recently my wife purchased some diapers online from Diapers.com We received the diapers and just as we suspected they were the same diapers we would buy in the store just a little cheaper. The price was not a big reason to buy them online again (was only like a $2 savings), but a few days later the difference maker arrived in them mail!
A personal note from the owner of the business! What is this to my wife’s surprise! That was really nice and thoughtful.
The business owner (or someone else) wrote a small note in a simple business branded card that said “Thank you for taking the time to view our website and trusting us to make a purchase. We hope you found everything you needed and if you ever have any questions please let us know. Thank you for your trust.”
The fact that someone took the personal time to write this and not print and mail was so nice that my wife made her purchases for diapers from there every month until we no longer needed them.
That is the type of difference you can make in your business that can build relationships that price and market changes will not affect. Are you surprised that certain people are successful while you are not. Consider the little things they do that you do not.
A local company that I do some work with in Cincinnati helps people restore their home after fire or flood damage. They have been around for 30+ years and I have asked what they do different from other companies.
This is a difficult process to go through. When you have a fire or flood it is hard to focus on doing what it takes to fix the place back up and get back to living a normal life. For weeks and sometimes months you are living out of boxes and storage units. We provide an indoor place for them to store their belongings that they can visit any time and we take over dealing with the insurance companies so that they can focus on dealing with the other situations that will arise. Taking those things out of the equation not only helps them focus on keeping things together but also helps us to deal quicker with the insurance agencies and gets us paid faster. We kill two birds with one stone. It is great for both parties.
They are known for this and continue to get mostly referral based leads every month.
There is no down side to being an online authority or a local authority in any industry. He only stress it may provide is how to deal with the constant flow of new clients.
Here are some great ideas to be an authority online or locally:
Have the Knowledgeable of your product
Knowing your process and what you have to offer will dramatically impact your success. How can you expect others to trust you, if you cannot sell them on the benefits? Understanding what you offer and why it will help fix the problem no matter what it may be is your biggest tool.
It takes time to understand your product and in some cases a really long time. Put in the effort to be one of the top in your market and it will show. When they call your competition and get bad answers and then call you and get the right answers you will earn a loyal fan base as a result.
You have to set yourself apart from others.
Be Active and helpful in your Community
You have to get in front of your community as much as possible. Go to the social gatherings and fairs, IF you are not known in your community make yourself that way. Remember the high school days when you had to introduce yourself to people, do the same. You don’t have to sell yourself but you can tell them what you do. We buy things based on a personal feeling (go back to my story about the diapers), if people know you personally then they will purchase from you faster.
Join local boards and organizations. Give your time and energy to great local causes and you will become trusted much faster than trying to sell your way into the community. Join online chats in the area or Facebook page conversations about local stuff. Just engage others as much as possible.
Be the go to Resource
Getting your potential clients or audience to come to you for assistance means that you need to provide them with the information they are looking for. Use your website as a chance to be a resource for them locally or however. If you are a realtor then give them all of the information they may ask them self’s. Provide school data, nearby shopping information, local numbers they may need like electric, and cable numbers as well as police department information.
Give them answers to questions they don’t have yet. Being the local or online resource will establish more relationships that you could imagine.
Share, Share, Share
Sharing rewards sharing! When you send out great information to your trusted followers from other companies it opens the doors to them sharing your information. Remember the community thing. Having others believe you trust them and will share their information will send them gleaming and wanting to share your story that you wrote about them. This of course will send potential new clients your way to read the article.
If you are not willing to share others will not be willing to share you either.
Please leave your comments and questions below.