How to establish yourself as an authority in your market
The majority of membership websites are based around online education. You’re utilising your experience and expertise in order to help your members to achieve a result or goal; through online courses, coaching, live training and so on.
As such, being established as an authority in your chosen field is crucial for membership site owners.
Otherwise, potential members will have no reason to believe that you have the credibility and the relevant skill-set and knowledge to help them get to where they want to go. Social proof and snappy sales copy only go so far.
Here are our tips on how to establish yourself as an authority within your chosen market.
Write a book
It wasn’t too long ago that publishing a book was something people could only dream of; however these days self-publishing makes it a very accessible reality.
It’s not just publishing a digital version for Kindle either; services such as Lulu.com make it very easy to release a physical copy of your book that is distributed through major players like Amazon and Waterstones on a “print on demand” basis.
Writing a book on your chosen topic gives you a great prop for positioning yourself as a key figure within your industry, and adds an accolade that most others won’t be able to lay claim to.
Produce free, quality content
When you’re in the business of selling your knowledge, it can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you should give absolutely nothing away for free.
Producing quality blog content, podcasts, videos etc is a great way of not only driving traffic to your website; but also of demonstrating your expertise to your audience.
Content marketing should be central to the strategy of every membership site owner – not least because of its ability to help you position yourself as an authority.
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Actively participate in the community
If you want to be seen as an authority by your audience, then you actually need to be seen by your audience!
Figure out where your audience “hangs out” – Facebook groups, on Twitter, in specialist online forums etc; and make sure that you’re there and you’re actively participating.
Attend events, comment on blogs, connect with people on Twitter – actively participate in your market in a positive manner and build your presence within your target audience.
Develop key relationships and appear on other peoples content
Contributing guest articles, or appearing on other someone else’s podcast as a featured expert or interviewee enables you to tap into that person’s audience and get a “rub” from whoever you’re being associated with.
This can be fantastic if you’re able to connect with thought leaders in your industry or in other related markets, and being featured alongside them lends you credibility as an authority.
Reaching out to influencers and thought-leaders can pay dividends – whether it’s a case of directly emailing them to discuss guest blogging opportunities, or simply connecting with them on social media.
There’s no better way to show that you’re an authority in your field than be standing up and presenting to a captive audience. It literally positions you as someone who is to be listened to when it comes to your area of expertise.
As with publishing a book, this is something that is far more accessible than you may think. There are numerous networking organisations who offer speaking opportunities as part of their meeting formats; and there are also options like local business exhibitions, chamber of commerce events or organisations such as Toastmasters.
And of course when you’re presenting to a group, then it’s an opportunity to have photographs taken that you can then use in your sales material.
You might also consider recording your speech to turn into material for your blog or – for lengthier, in-depth presentations – as paid material for your membership site.
These are just some ideas for how you can establish yourself as an authority within your market – we’d love to hear your thoughts, ideas, suggestions and comments below…