You’ve probably heard it before. Almost all successful internet entrepreneurs preach the same thing. In order to create a long lasting and lucrative online business, you need to build authority within your specific niche. Every consumer has a certain problem that needs to be fixed. These consumers will go out of their way to seek out authorities because they believe that they can offer a proper solution to their problem.
Consumers trust authorities because they are seen as well informed and “in the know” pertaining to their specific area of expertise. For example, if you wanted to learn how to become a bodybuilder, would you rather have a personal lesson from Arnold Schwarzenegger or some guy that you’ve never heard of? That was a rhetorical question. The obvious answer is Arnold. Because of his achievements, he would most likely be seen as a leader within the specific area of bodybuilding, therefore, consumers are more likely to choose him over a less reputable competitor.
This is the status that all marketers and business people try to obtain.
Obviously this seems easier said than done. For the most part, unless you’ve had a strong presence within your niche through media, books or other outlets, you may be considered a virtual unknown to the 2.5 billion people that peruse the online world daily. So how does one effectively stand above the rest to be considered an authority? After all, unless your business is involved in an extremely small micro niche, there will be a plethora of other competitors vying for the same title as an authority. Believe it or not, the approach may actually be more simplistic than some would think…
One will not be considered an authority without building an audience. Having a site is a given. Creating content for your site seems like common sense as well, but it is astounding at how many entrepreneurs flub this step up. Not only will putting out consistent, relevant content ensure that people visit your site, but it will also allow you the opportunity to showcase your expertise. By doing your due diligence and figuring out what issues your target market may be suffering from, you will be able to create content that solves their problems, which will further build your brand and allow you to be seen as the dominant source of information pertaining to that particular niche. If you have difficulty creating content on your own (let’s face it, not everyone is a born writer) you can easily outsource your writing tasks to others.
Now that you’ve built your site and attracted some followers, it is time to interact with them. This can be done by creating open dialogue between yourself and others on your site. Another outstanding method is to follow your followers (I know that sounds weird) to the places they frequent. This means consistently visiting forums, groups, and other sites that offer similar information to your own. Be sure not to spam these sites as that will turn away many potential followers. Instead, be as helpful as possible. Try to follow the 1/10 rule. Only link to your site a MAXIMUM of one time for every 10 posts you make. But most of all, be helpful. Show that you understand what their problems are and that you have the information that can fix it. If done correctly, you can create a very loyal fanbase that will literally advertise your services via word of mouth to others.
A third avenue to build yourself as an authority is to generate even MORE creative and genuinely helpful content, but this time it is not for your site. Oftentimes other sites will allow guest posting; where an outside source will offer an article to be posted on their site with a link and basic information leading back to your site. Most site owners love this because it allows them to offer their audience something of value without doing any work. Through guest posting you can reach new viewers that otherwise may not have seen your site.
Another method for building your reputation as an authority is to use social media. Research has shown that the average person spends a total of 15 hours and 33 minutes a month browsing their favorite social media sites. People LOVE to follow others on these sites. This will also allow for further interaction with your target audience.
The last technique we are going to talk about today is Youtube. No other site will allow a message to go viral like Youtube. Remember that silly video of those teenagers doing “The Harlem Shake” that was copied and mimicked by celebrities, athletes, and politicians alike? It has received over 66 million views in only 7 months of being online. Some of the spinoff videos have accrued over 93 million views! If that isn’t exposure, I don’t know what is. Utilizing both Youtube and social media together can create quite a bit of attention as people LOVE to share videos on their social media accounts.
There is no sure fire plan for becoming an authority. However, offering quality information for your target audience and then exposing them to this information will be your best bet for success. If you find what problems your target consumer has, and offer a viable solution through content, videos, social media, and forums, you will be well on your way to becoming an authority within your niche.