Most business owners and entrepreneurs want to establish their brand authority online and become more visible. But visibility, social following and exposure aren’t the same as having brand authority and expert status. Usual marketing and sharing a few posts on social media isn’t going to establish your brand authority or expert status.
In fact, you can even reduce your expert status if you are too accessible on social media and do not have a solid strategy online.
I have been working with many entrepreneurs, speakers, authors and coaches, and social following does not equal authority. Media coverage does not equal reputation and likes does not equal social proof. So what does?
When I get to work with clients who are the ‘industry best secret’ before we get to work together, to then transforming them into a recognised brand authority in their niche, it creates such a difference in the success of their business overall and brings in so many more opportunities. I love taking my clients from being unknown to recognised as an expert, being paid more by their clients and being invited to participate in things they may not have the opportunity to do in the past.
As I built my own brand authority in a space of few short years, I have first hand seen the difference in the type of opportunities I attract, the clients that come to me and the level of authority that I have whenever I get to speak to an audience. It makes people sit up and listen, because they know you know what you are talking about.
But brand authority does not happen by accident, it happens by design.
Here are some of my tips and strategies that you can start to implement right away in your brand authority strategy.
Positioning yourself as a brand authority
If you want to be known in your niche, you first need to define your niche and your expert status in one key area. So when you are networking and connecting with people you can clearly articulate what you do, who you serve and how you can help them. This enables others to understand your main skill better and hire you, refer you or recommend you to others. So many entrepreneurs want to be ‘jack of all trades, and master of none’ which hurts them severely. By knowing and articulating your USP clearly, in what you offer and how you help others, you help yourself become known for that one thing. For example, no one calls a building company to fix their pipes. They call a plumber.
Doing your brand authority audit online
We are living in a digital world, which means we leave a digital footprint everywhere we go. This means, your prospective clients can easily Google you and access or find information about you online. So make sure you do a regular online audit for your brand authority. Look at what comes up in search engines, remove any unwanted content, add articles and authority building publications and blogs that will position you in the best light possible. Update any old bios and descriptions on your social media platforms and remove any unwanted tags, photos or videos that no longer serve you.
Brand Authority using Social Media
Social Media is still a powerful tool to build your brand authority, but you need to use it in a way that positions you as an expert. That means putting your best foot forward, creating a stand-out brand and online presence. Using content in a way that creates a deeper connection with your audience and shares your story that builds the ‘know, like and trust’ factor.
This means, when you do connect with your potential and prospective clients online and they start to consume your content, they start to build affinity with your brand and naturally move into your sales funnel to becoming a client or customer of yours.
Building a Brand Authority by offering your expertise
The reason someone is called an expert in their niche is that they have the knowledge, skill and expertise in a particular niche. If you are not sharing this knowledge with the world, you can not expect to become known for that expertise. So, your brand authority strategy needs to have opportunities for you to showcase your expert status. This means being seen in the media, podcasts, interviews, contributing your knowledge in Clubhouse rooms, writing blogs and doing speaking engagements. This is by far the fastest way to being recognised as an expert and authority in your niche. If you haven’t already, start writing a blog or LinkedIn articles about your expertise, and this will be your first stepping stone to many other opportunities to come.
Be opportunity ready when it knocks
Opportunities can come in the most unexpected ways. You never know when someone is looking for an expert, speaker or contributor. Maybe you are speaking on Clubhouse, or engaging in Facebook groups. Chances are someone is listening or reading comments, then following up your social media profiles and doing a quick Google search, without you even knowing. Not having your online presence ‘opportunity ready’ could mean losing out on valuable collaborations. Also, when someone does reach out to feature you, make sure you are opportunity ready and have your information ready to go. This includes speaker bio, headshot image, your social media links, titles of your signature talks and event testimonials or video reels. This could be the difference between doing free speaking and getting paid for a speaking engagement.
In conclusion, brand authority and expert status do not happen overnight and it may not be something you can measure with likes or followers, but over time you will notice the difference in how your audience, clients and prospects respond and convert. You will start to attract opportunities, gain more exposure and raise the value of your overall brand. I see this as an invaluable part of brand building for all (aspiring or existing) experts, coaches, authors and speakers.
I often use the platform I have built, with nearly 300k followers to give other women the platform and opportunity, to Empower Women to Succeed and Thrive Globally.