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If you want to be successful, no matter what your field, then you need to be seen as an authority. People need to immediately associate your name with your field of expertise.

I said, “seen as an authority.” The internet has changed the way we perceive others. The person who has invested years of her life to become an expert is easily supplanted by a Jane-come-lately who knows how to wrap Google around her little finger.

Authority is about perception. And what people say about you is more important than what you say about yourself. The more people say you’re an authority, the more of an authority you’ll be.

So whether you really are an expert, or you want people to think you are, here are some steps to getting there:

  • Forget selling, it’s about teaching. The “hard sell” may still work when it’s a Jeep or a Honda you’re selling, but it doesn’t work in the internet world. What is valued online is content, knowledge, information. Use your website and your social media posts to teach people about your field of expertise. The more they see you teaching, the more authority you’ll be given.
  • Content is king. Providing lots of foundational content that changes frequently will help you become the go-to authority in your field. Provide strong headlines. Most writers don’t think in terms of headlines, but they’re essential. Without a great headline, no one will even get as far as reading your content.
  • Find your ambassadors. Every time you have a positive experience with a client, reader, or customer, use that person for a reference, referral, or testimonial. If you don’t ask, they won’t offer. Remind them to tell others about how great you are.
  • Make them ask for you. In the heyday of direct-mail marketing, the power was in the list. Guess what —it’s still true! Whether you manage an opt-in email list (you can call it a newsletter if you’d feel more comfortable with that), have people subscribing to your blog, or accumulate followers on Twitter, the more people request contact from you, the higher your authority ranking will be.
  • Don’t neglect SEO. Search engine optimization is still important. It needs to be integrated with social media, but it’s still one of the most important things you can do to boost the authority of your site. Take care of your people. Getting followers and subscribers is just the beginning. You need to be available to them, keep your updates current with them, and interact with them. The more you do, the more they’ll follow.

And that’s it. Not all that difficult, is it? The key to becoming (and staying!) an authority isn’t any kind of esoteric knowledge, but just going through these simple steps… and then doing them over and over again. Try it and see how it works for you!

Written by

Bestselling novelist of mystery and historical fiction. Writer, editor, & business storyteller at

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