Establishing authority positioning is paramount to increasing your income and subsequently, building wealth.
Did you come up with a great idea, then launch your business without any network or brand recognition?
And if you did, were you disappointed by the results?
If the answer is yes to the above, don’t worry, you are not alone. You see, it’s a whole lot easier to generate wealth when you are a “somebody” rather than a “nobody”.
In fact, when you are a somebody, your products and services virtually sell themselves.
Imagine trying to launch a business today that competed with Richard Branson for example. It doesn’t matter how great your idea is, Branson has the odds stacked in his favour because of his brand identity.
So, it’s time for you to take a step back. Become that somebody people talk about in the broader community. You can achieve your authority positioning following these three steps:
As an authority, you are also the leader of a loyal group of fans. People who trust you to inspire and motivate them to achieve their goals. Being an authority comes with great responsibility.
You must over deliver regarding the value you bring to the table. Meanwhile, you must provide this value consistently, prioritizing the needs of others before yourself.
Most entrepreneurs think learning a new skill, must be challenging and time-consuming. And yet, when we dig a bit deeper, there is enough examples and evidence to suggest otherwise.
John Kaufman is a self-described "learning addict".
Kaufman went a step further. He answered the question in his international best-selling book, "The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything…Fast.
From learning yoga to computer programming and windsurfing, Kaufman’s examples are diverse. The book reveals the keys to learning these, and other, skills fast. Rapid skill acquisition is the term he uses.
The real challenge is to get past the initial obstacle of "beginners mind”. The frustration that occurs when learning something new doesn't come as naturally as hoped. But, his 5-step core method outlined in the book is designed for you to overcome this.
Here’s a brief overview of those steps.
Learn just one skill at a time and set a performance level in keeping with your end goal.
Break each skill into smaller parts. Identify which sub-skills from the outset will make the learning process that less daunting.
Find a few books, DVDs or other resources on your skill. Skim them and you'll find the most important sub-skills to begin.
Anything that gets in the way of this is your enemy. The more effort it takes to practice you skill, the less likely you are to practice.
20 hours. That's 45 minutes every day for 30 days. Or 30 minutes every day for 40 days. Whatever you decide, pre-commit by setting aside time in your calendar to practice your skill.
Others have taken Jason’s approach and adapted them.
For example, in his book "The 4-Hour Chef", Tim Ferris applies his D.S.S.S formula for learning a new skill. The acronym stands for Deconstruct, Selection, Sequence and Stakes.
Ferris claims to have successfully applied this approach to rapid learn many skill-sets. From ballroom dancing to Spanish and swimming to name but a few.
Whatever approach you follow, the key point to remember is that you can learn new skills quickly. Mastering it to become an expert, well, that takes longer. It requires considerable practice.
10,000 hours practice is required to achieve expert status. That's according to Malcolm Gladwell in his book "Outliers". His findings based on an original study by Anders Ericsson.
In the book, Gladwell suggests completing 20 hours of practice per week for ten years. You could shorten this by putting in 40 hours practice for five years.
To illustrate the point, Gladwell uses highlights many examples. From bands such as the Beatles to billionaires like Bill Gates and classical musicians such as Mozart.
Take the Beatles for example.
In the 1960's, they were a struggling high school rock band, when they were invited to play in Hamburg. Now, their pay was small, but at least, it did compensate them for their hours of practice.
Furthermore, having to play for such long hours (8 hours non-stop at one time according to John Lennon) meant they built up a repertoire for writing and covering a broad genre of music.
It was the making of The Beatles. By the time they returned to England after travelling to Hamburg, they had acquired their own, unique sound.
So, the key is to not only practice but to practice with intent. If you can get paid to practice, all the better. It will help keep you motivated as you build your level of expertise.
Now, there is one final step. You need to leverage this expert status to become the authority.
Most of you reading this report have at least one skill you have learned over your lifetime. Indeed, many of you have already put in the 10,000 hours. You are an expert in your field. The next step is to take that skill and leverage it to become an authority.
But, few entrepreneurs take this final step. Some assume authorities and experts to be the same. Others just don’t have the drive and determination to see this last phase through.
The problem with being an expert is that while you might know a lot, why should anyone care?
For every expert in your profession, there are thousands of others competing with you. That's why being an authority is so different. As Dave Navarro put it:
“Authorities aren’t simply experts: They are people who are in the position to lay down the law – their law – and have people accept it. The authority sets the rules. The authority sets the tone for the industry. The authority is a leader, not because they claim to be but because they have followers.”
So, as an entrepreneur, your goal is not just to be an expert. Your goal is to build credibility and a band of loyal followers. A community who trust you and view you as their leader. These people will elevate you to an authoritative position.
1,000 True Fans is the tipping point for any authority, according to Kevin Kelly, who has been talking about this since 2008.
Three skills, in particular, are powerful in establishing this authority. You should be doing, at least, one of them
Pre-Amazon, writing and launching a book was a major ordeal. The growth of Amazon and self-publishing has leveled the playing field.
Of course, you don't have to write a book to build authority positioning. Content marketing through blogging and guest posting is also an excellent approach. It opens doors to write articles for recognized press such as newspapers and magazines.
Public speaking and presenting are powerful ways of building authority. But, they are a terrifying thought for many. Groups like Toastmasters do an excellent job of overcoming the fear of public speaking. But, if you're still not comfortable, there are other options.
For example, online webinars have become more popular. You can conduct your presentation from the comfort of your home. You can even pre-record and then edit your presentations, before sending to recipients.
If overcoming your speaking fear isn’t an option, interviewing experts in your field is a proven way to build credibility. Just look at Oprah Winfrey and the success she has had.
Enter the world of podcasting. According to USA Today, Apple has surpassed 1 billion subscriptions for podcasts via iTunes. By the time you read this report, the figure will be higher.
Focus on leveraging through one of the above three and you’ll build your authority over time. The key is to show up on time and as promised to your audience.
Marketer Jay Abraham teaches the strategy of Pre-eminence. The word pre-eminent itself means “surpassing all others”. As an authority, that is what you need to do.
There are four key areas you need to excel at to reach that status of authority.
James Altucher wrote an excellent book called “Choose Yourself”. Now, I’m a big fan of Altucher. But, to become the authority, you must prioritize the needs of your audience before your own.
Build authority before building your business. So, take off your business hat for a moment. The goal is not to maximise the monetary amount of financial transactions here. Your purpose is to serve others, and they will love you for it.
Oscar Wilde once proclaimed “today people know the price of everything but the value of nothing”. In business terms, your audience is skeptical of you. Thus, the onus is not on them to prove themselves to you, but vice versa.
Provide incredible value. Give them what they expect and more. Always look to over deliver, rather than delivering the same as your competitors. Your audience will love you for it. In turn, they’ll promote you.
Your audience wants to learn. So, you have an obligation to teach them. Not by regurgitating the same stuff over and over. But, by being a thought leader and providing unique insights.
Entrepreneurs worry they don’t have all the answers to be a leader. But you don’t need them. You can educate people on how and where to find the answers they need, rather than be the expert on all matters.
Experts proclaim to have all the answers. Authorities know where to find the answers.
In today’s world of social media, engaging with people has never been easier. Whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Periscope, etc., you are a click of a button from your audience. So make use of it.
Stay in your audience's ear. Communicate with them and show them you are prioritizing their needs. Deliver value and educate them to achieve their goals.
You have to build trust with your audience. The fastest way is to engage with them. Let them get to know the real you.
Follow Jay Abraham’s strategy of pre-eminence. By taking action as per the fours steps above, you will become the trusted advisor for your audience. But you must be consistent. Show up every day and over deliver.
You’ll become a thought leader and a person of real substance. Once you achieve this status, building your business is much easier. People will want to buy from you. They’ll want to differentiate themselves from the free subscribers.
Your audience will want you to be their authority. Their leader.
As an authority, your goal is to inspire others to work hard and accomplish what’s important to them. And yet, most people think they can’t be an authority or leader because they are not experts.
Tell that to someone like Richard Branson, whose influence spans a broad spectrum of industries. Industries he knew nothing of when he started.
Branson succeeded, not because he was an expert. But, because he engaged, hired and worked with experts. So, by association, he has become the authority. His fans are loyal. They truat and admire him.
Now, as an authority, you must lead. Richard Branson is a great leader and although he does have many qualities, these seven spring to mind:
People see the person you want them to see. Carry yourself well and be confident. People will recognize it. Great leaders like Branson ooze confidence. Not in an arrogant, cocky way. But in positive, admirable way.
Leaders are committed to realizing their dreams and visions. Take Branson for example. From the soft drinks business to the airline industry, broadband and beyond. When Branson commits to something, he sees it through. Committed leaders are resilient.
True leaders and authorities have nothing to hide. Richard Branson is a billionaire. But he's not your typical billionaire. He doesn't take himself too seriously and enjoys life. Dresses as he pleases. Parties as he pleases. He’s honest about who he is.
Say what you mean and mean what you say, is one of Branson’s mottos. Great leaders tend to be great communicators. They don’t waffle and waste words. Rather, they know what to say, when to say it and how to say it. They know how to inspire action through carefully chosen words.
Branson suggests spending more time smiling and praising, rather than frowning and criticizing. As an authority, he sees the glass as half full. Authorities like Branson accept the hard knocks because they know the next opportunity is coming. So, they just dust themselves off and go again.
Branson is an inspiration. Particularly to generation Y, who value their time as much as their financial freedom. Branson believes in having fun. He inspires others to follow their passion. To love the work you do and to make a difference in the world. His message is inspirational.
If someone offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do, just say yes and learn how to do it later. That's Bransons advice and it epitomizes how adaptable he is. Again, he’s not suggesting he is the expert. Rather, he knows who the experts are and where he can find them to supply him with the answers he needs.
So if you feel like you don’t possess these skill sets, practice them. Each of them is attainable and will strengthen your authority positioning.
As an entrepreneur, you want to solve problems. You want to build your business and create your wealth independently. Before you do, you should take some time to establish your authority positioning.
It's far easier to sell something as an authority, but it takes effort to get there.
Prioritize the needs of your audience. Provide incredible value and over deliver. Become the recognizable face and name that people automatically trust. Be their trusted advisor and inspire them to achieve their goals.
It's something I've personally committed to. Helping fellow entrepreneurs understand how to build long-term wealth. It's why I wrote the special report; Solving the Wealth Equation.
The covers authority positioning and other business and investment related topics.
If you haven't yet claimed your FREE report, you can do so by clicking here. No strings attached. Just my way of over delivering, gaining your trust and building my credibility.
James is a digital marketing consultant and online business strategist. He helps coaches, consultants, and solo professionals market their business online so they establish authority positioning and predictably generate 5-20 high-ticket, new clients every month.