Ask yourself this question: what do people want when they search the web?
They want answers. They want expert knowledge. They want to know the blogger they just discovered is an expert.
Why? Because who wants to hear from the novice? Who wants to know what the eighth tallest building is. Instead, we want the most profound, well-researched , entertaining and relevant content that exists.
Like Brian Dean said in his epic link building post, “it’s human nature to be attracted to the best.”
Stop overthinking your content strategy and start trying to be the best.
How to earn authority and be the best
Sounds pretty ridiculous right? I’m sitting here telling you to be the best and you’re sitting there like, “Oh gee thanks, Scott. Why didn’t I think of that!”
But I’m going to stop you right there before that cynical lizard brain of yours starts driving the bus.
If you know you need to be the best in your niche, then why not go for it? Why sit there and keep thinking the best isn’t for you, it’s for them?
It absolutely is for you, you just have to know where you can be the best.
Joe Pulizzi is the founder of Content Marketing Institute where he is an authority on marketing. But he didn’t start that way. First he was an authority on writing, then he was an authority on web content, then he was an authority on content marketing and before long, his influence became all-encompassing.
What Joe understands is that true authority comes from being an expert and that anyone can be an expert if the niche is small enough.
Knowing more than anyone else about a subject, automatically gives you authority. Some people might have more followers, some people might be extremely persuasive, but if you know more than those people, you can have the upper hand.
During this interview (6:35), Joe Pulizzi reveals some very important advice for business owners and content creators who are trying to establish authority.
“You want to go very, very small…Once you get to that niche, then you talk about every little thing that affects those pain points of those customers…Figure out where you can be the leading expert in your niche.”
Listen to Joe. Start small. Start as small as you can and start building your content resource. Whether it’s a blog, a video series, an e-book…whatever. Get very specific with your niche and start tuning into your customers who exist at that level. Own that level. Be the expert those customers are looking for.
Big box stores can’t do things like this. They have to appeal to a wide audience all the time. You have an advantage over them because you can be nimble in your marketing and you can speak directly to those people who have real pain points that are getting swept under the rug because they’re too niche.
Slow and steady wins the race
Nothing is free. Everything takes time and authority is no different.
Once you’ve found the niche you are going to own, you have to start building a resource. This is the part that takes time. Building real authority online doesn’t happen with a snap of the fingers.
We’re talking about a new age of marketing where commercials and print ads don’t work like they used to. These days, buying customers is a lot less effective than earning them.
After you know the niche you are going to own, you have to find the medium through which your customers will listen to you. What social channels does your audience use, what sites do they frequent, what types of content do they share? This will all clue you in as to how to best reach your niche.
You cannot rush this process. True authority is earned, not bought.
Here’s an important point made by Seth Godin in a recent Copyblogger article:
“What’s not obvious is the discipline necessary to earn authority. Now that you can’t be given it, now that you can’t take, now that you have to EARN it, it seems to me that many of us have forgotten that there’s a cost to earning something.”
He goes on to say, “Authority comes from consistent generosity, from truth telling, and from empathy. It comes from showing up. It comes from telling your truth and consistently sharing your point of view.”
People want to meet the publisher behind the content. If you try selling to them before they trust you, of course they’re not going to buy.
Authority doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time to earn trust, but it will be worth it because no budget or downsizing can take away an audience that was built organically.
Go find where you can be the best
People want the best. They don’t want mediocre. They don’t want cheap. They want quality. They want expertise.
You have expertise.
You are the master of some part of your industry. No matter how specific you have to get. No matter how insignificant a niche may seem, find the space in which you can be the expert and start growing your authority.