One of the most important things in any business is to be able to stand out from the crowd. Especially when it comes to your competition, right? When a prospect is looking for a solution to a problem they have – that YOU provide the product or service that is the solution to that problem – what is it that will make them decide to buy that solution from you?
You probably have all heard the old adage – “People do business with people they know, like and trust”. It may have become a bit of cliche in this day and age, but it still holds true for the vast majority of businesses, especially where services are involved.
The importance, therefore, of your perceived “Authority” in your particular industry is that it plays a huge part in building that know, like and, especially, trust. It is the thing that can take a prospect from not knowing who you are, to making them interested in you and what you have to offer – not someone who comes across as shady by trying to sell you cold, but someone who you view as a trusted resource. Establishing trust is better than ANY sales technique you might have – and that starts not when a prospect first talks to you, but when they first discover you.
Most people can smell the BS from a mile off nowadays, because they are subjected to it not only on almost on a daily basis – and all day long! Establishing authority in your field will allow to stand above that ‘noise’ and be seen as a useful resource, rather than yet another example of someone trying to sell you something.
So what does that ‘Authority’ look like for you?
What elements go into creating “authority” in your particular field, so that your prospects get to know you and feel more at ease when you reach out to them – for a phone call – or whatever your process for making the sale is for you?
Endorsements and testimonials
One of the first questions a prospect will have – even if they don’t ask it outright directly to you – is “who, like me, have you helped, and how much did you help them?” In other words, what benefit in relation to cost did you help bring them (ROI – Return on Investment). Having a testimonial from a happy customer – or even a case study (which is like an extended testimonial, complete with data), can go a long long way to persuading a prospect that you are the person to do business with. There’s nothing that says ‘trustworthy person’ like a good client testimonial. Such testimonials should be included wherever appropriate, especially on an ‘About Page’ or sales page. You don’t have to give the full name – “Fred B” is fine, but always include the name because without it, it looks like you have just made it up.
Often you will see on someone’s profile or website, “As seen on …” and which could be a number of print or online newspapers or magazines, or TV appearances. An award can have the same effect. When a prospect sees this they can see that you are being taken seriously as a business person and that your knowledge and leadership is being taken seriously enough that publications are seeking out your expertise for the benefit of their readers. It immediately sets you apart from your competition.
Founder of a LinkedIn or Facebook Group
Being seen as the founder of a successful LinkedIn or Facebook Group can add to your authority and signal to a prospect who may not know you, that others are following your leadership and are interested in what you have to say. This immediately engenders trust in as much as if others revere your knowledge then you must know what you are doing. Just being seen as the founder of such an industry related Group can set you apart from your competition. Just be sure to make that Group all about your prospects – not all about you!
Social Media Profiles
Social Media Profiles are often the first places a new prospect will hear about you. By having a properly optimized profile that not only highlights your authority in your field, but which also speaks directly to your prospect, so that prospect immediately recognizes that you are speaking to them and that you understand the problems they may be having, not only will they see you as a potential source of fixing those problems, but that you are just the right person to do so. I often tell people I am coaching at LinkedSelling that for a B2B LinkedIn profile, that even though it is YOUR profile, that profile should be two-thirds about your prospect, and one-third about you. A new prospect doesn’t care about you – they care about themselves. Once they recognize that you are speaking to them, only then will they be interested in finding out more – and only then will you have the opportunity to say why YOU are the best person to help them.
Content Curation & Distribution
Another place where a new prospect might first discover you is by seeing a piece of content that you have posted. This can either be your own content, that you have written and published – maybe a blog post or article, for example, or it might be a useful article by someone else that you have shared via social media. If you are posting regularly to a platform like LinkedIn or Twitter, for example, we always recommend the 80/20 rule where 80% of the content you post is curated content from others, and 20% your own written or branded content.
Both can be great ways of highlighting that you an expert in your own field. Both types of content can attract a potential new client to want to find out more about you, either because you authored the content, or that they see you as the person who is highlighting a useful resource for others who might be interested. Content can create that initial awareness of you and your business, or a product or solution, where before that prospect might not have even been aware of you at all.
What all these tactics can do is allow you to reach more people, help them get to know, like and trust you, and at a scale beyond the one-to-one relationship in a way that will help to grow your business in a meaningful way.
Your Authority Statement
In a way, your Authority statement is almost like your 30 second elevator pitch – you know, the one you try to bring with you to all those network meetings that encapsulates in one brief sentence who you work with and how you can help them.
Such a statement should include the following elements:
Who your prospect is
What your niche is
What your unique selling proposition is
And your BIG promise.
A successful statement will include the most compelling, rational AND emotional benefits that will differentiate you from your competition and grab your prospect’s attention. The broader elements of such a statement are going to help you to focus your social media profiles, testimonials, and even content pieces. It is an enormously valuable exercise, and one that forms the core of your business and the benefits you can bring to your clients
We help coaches and other solopreneurs who transform their clients lives online to create efficient sales and automation systems for their business.
The above example hits all the main points, but it doesn’t do a good job of drawing in emotion or feeling.
We help coaches and other solopreneurs who transform clients lives online to create efficient sales and automation systems for their business which will allow them to spend less time taming the technology and more time creating a business that works for them.
This above example is better than the first and is starting to tap into that emotion, but it doesn’t do a good job on how that prospect will feel after the achieve their goal.
Solo Biz Hacker helps coaches and other solopreneurs who transform clients lives online to create efficient sales and automation systems for their business which will allow them stop being a slave to the technology in their business and start spending more time living the lives their businesses were meant to create.
So now it is your turn – what would be your authority statement?
Need some help? We are planning a Virtual Day on creating your Authority Statement and Unique Selling Proposition for February 20th. Why not join our mastermind group (The Virtual Day is included) – or join us on one of our ‘Get Unstuck’ calls if you need some instant help?
Q: How do you narrow down and target your ideal client when you love people and can see yourself serving in a lot of niches within your industry? (Holly – ESL Teacher)
From Wally Barr
Niche should be selected based on need and value. It will allow you to realize maximum results. Your service provides a value. That value is different to different people. Where is the most value (monetary) located? A lawyer or a physician that is not getting clients because of a language barrier will out a higher value on your service. The value of a lost client is higher to them. This is just an example. These high-value clients can also be niched with services. For the physician example, writing instructions or follow up care would be much needed. To expand this idea, a class instructing the staff in basic language needs would be a niche.
From Meg Manke, Culture & Leadership Strategist, Senior Partner at Rose Group International
I just found the coolest podcasting tool … it is ? love at first sight.
I had a podcast a few years back… we went to number one on New and Notable for iTunes… it was fun – but a TON of work…
Besides lining up guests, making sure they had a good mic set up, promoting the podcast, etc. – there was all the set up (getting your feed to work, recording your episode, posting it to iTunes, Pocket Cast, etc. )
It was a TON of work – and eventually, even though we were getting 1000 downloads a week – we decided it wasn’t worth it to continue.
And, when we decided to cancel our podcast hosting service which was costing us a lot of money, they didn’t have a way to give us the feed, so the podcast ended up being taken off of iTunes.
Recently tho, I found a free smartphone app called anchor.fm which completely simplifies the process.
✔ It takes about 15 minutes to set up your show… they take care of setting up all your feeds to iTunes, etc.
Once you are all set up, you just record by talking into your phone (the sound quality is awesome). Push done – you can add a background track and publish. The podcast magically goes where it needs to.
✔You can even interview guests through the app, have people leave messages, etc.
And… it is all free. Such a timesaver.
I’m using it for a quick 4 day per week podcast with a 2-minute business tip – here’s a link if you want to see what that looks like – https://anchor.fm/meredith-eisenberg
Let me know if you decide to do a podcast – I would love to listen 🙂