Cherry-picking the best tactics for growing your authority and thought leadership
Selecting the right communications channels and tactics for sharing your knowledge and expertise continues to be a vexing problem for CEOs, innovators and entrepreneurs looking to build their authority or thought leadership … and truly stand out in a crowded marketplace.
Too many succumb to the age-old problem of either having too many channels or using too many tactics and not picking the ones their customers or community are most likely to consume.
Where to start …
In addition to your website (which should be chock-a-block with really useful content and include an email list), you should in order of priority:
Have a business blog. This is a great way to build brand awareness while also providing your target audience with relevant and useful content. It’s also fantastic mechanism for boosting your search engine optimisation (SEO). When you’re consistently creating blog posts, you’re constantly providing Google, Bing, Yahoo and the others with fresh content to index … dramatically improving your ranking. Blogs are also a solid way to build a dedicated following via your email list.
Be active on two, maybe three social media platforms. The obvious ones are LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram. However, to determine the right one/s requires a bit of sleuthing. Ask your ideal clients directly or check out what your competition is doing. Also check out the type of content your community prefers consuming. Is it articles, posts, graphics, videos, podcasts, live-streaming or a happy combination of all or some of these formats?
Reach out to the media. If you’re looking to position yourself as a powerful authority or expert, there is nothing like publicity to quickly get you in front of your relevant audience and get your name out in a flash. Publicity also provides for powerful third-party endorsement which no other communications platform is capable of matching.
Speak at business or networking events. If you’re new to public speaking, giving a keynote speech at a business luncheon or networking event is a great way to break into public speaking. Speaking will put you in front of more people, help build word-of-mouth referrals and solidify your reputation as an authority or thought leader. Later on, up the ante by joining a speakers’ bureau or put yourself forward to speak at conferences or industry seminars or events … even apply to become a TEDx speaker.
Develop lead magnets. These will provide potential customers with an incentive to provide their contact details in exchange for some really useful content while also showcasing your authority in much greater depth than a blog post typically would. Magnets can include PDF checklists, workbooks, eBooks, whitepapers, videos, case studies, webinars and so on.
Participate in industry awards. Winning, even participating in industry awards, not only helps you showcase your business but does wonders with increasing your visibility and credibility. It signals to the market that you’re innovative and creative and really good at what you do and worth keeping an eye on. Basically it provides businesses with much sought-after credibility and is a fantastic way of differentiating your company from your competitors.
Turn up the throttle …
As your authority grows:
Investigate podcasts interview opportunities. In addition to traditional media opportunities, getting interviewed on a business podcast is ten times more effective than guest posting. It is a great way to build a deeper relationship with your audience (not to mention your podcast host) but it enables you to boost your website SEO via all-important backlinks. While many in the mainstream media run their own business podcast series, an increasing number of organisations, entrepreneurs and thought leaders are launching their own series … dramatically pushing up the scope for landing an interview.
Write a business book. Releasing a business book is the ultimate form of using content to build your visibility, credibility and online presence. It will push your authority into the stratosphere and is a sure-fire way of demonstrating that you truly know what you’re talking about … and are good at what you do. However, ensure you are writing something that fills a need in the market and provides your audience with genuine value.
Post on Quora. This is an information-focused site where people ask and answer questions. One of the biggest benefits for the site is for building authority, providing customer support and being a positive influence in discussions about your product or service. Like all other social media channels, Quora lets you communicate directly with customers.
Sharpen up on the publicity front. After submitting media releases for several months, now is the time to position yourself as a valuable resource to the media. To do this, make it as easy as possible for journalists to contact you on a tight deadline (i.e. via a direct mobile number). Make sure you share valuable knowledge about your area of expertise rather than simply talking about yourself or your business. Also investigate at carving out a spot for your own contributed by-lines and ongoing content, like a monthly column.
Defining your communications tactics and channels will be a key component of the Build Your Authority in Six Weeks challenge. The challenge kicks off on Thurs 4 February and runs until 11 March 2021.)
Interested in joining our six week challenge in the New Year?