At the crux of any personal branding strategy is the idea of authority. Who are you? What do you wish to be known for in your field? How do you want to show up to the world?
And ultimately, what will they remember about you?
Building authority in today’s digital, online service provider world is condensed into a smaller container but follows the same basic rule: provide value.
Offer immense and superb value to build authority.
1. Include immense value in your free content
The first way to offer immense value is in your free/nearly free content. If you’re not providing spectacular value in your free content, why would I believe your paid content will be any different?
Through informal polling and questioning other entrepreneurs through networking, the consensus is that most lead magnets (also known as opt-in gifts) are crap.
Sorry, not sorry for the lack of sugar-coating there.
A couple of months ago I decided I should probably set up my Pinterest profile in a better way and since I didn’t know how I googled it. I also download a few lead magnets from “Pinterest experts” and Pinterest managers. Imagine my surprise when one of the lead magnets was basically a copy and paste job of the first page in my google search!
If I can find the same content for free on google without even trying that you’re offering hidden away behind an email gift, that leaves a bad taste in my mouth and certainly raises a few questions!
- Do you not have enough value in your paid content to pull something out of it to use as a lead magnet?
- Are you stealing all your content?
You have to have a lot of confidence in your paid content to offer immense value in your free (or nearly free) content. If you’re not confidently showing up with value EVERYWHERE, I’ll assume you don’t have real content behind the mask. And so will your potential clients.
You might be wondering, “but will I give all my best stuff away for free?” Of course not! Amy Porterfield has gone on record saying that you can get so much of her paid content for free out there, but you’ll never find it in the exact sequence and with all the detail needed to make you successful without investing. That’s the kind of confidence we’re talking about.
2. Give and give some more
You build authority by giving, giving and giving value. The circle will come back to you. The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and David Mann uses a parable to explain this principle really well. When you give and you’re open to receiving, you’ll receive what you need because you’ve been adding value all along.
This morning I was messaging back and forth with a future podcast guest, Kaylan Thompson. She knows I’m doing a soft launch later this week for the Beta of my course Impactful Brand Messaging: what to say, how to say it and how to show up visually to get clients now. She said if I need help with promo she’s happy to do a shoutout and I thought to myself, “how sweet!”
And then I went to the gym and did Pilates and met up with a friend who, lo and behold, is having issues with the first person she hired in her business. Well, guess whose business specializes in teaching you when to hire, how to hire, and do it right? That’s right, Kaylan. I told my friend about her, tagged them together over on IG, and marveled (not really) at how quickly that circle turned. Giving value always leads to receiving value.
3. Adding value makes you memorable
The third thing to know about building authority is that if you’re not providing value in your social media posts, the interviews you do, and other things like lead magnets… you’re forgettable.
If you’re forgettable, you’re not visible and that’s the online business owner’s death knell.
To be memorable, you have to provide superb value. When you show up consistently show up and provide value, followers will remember that. That mental note is what separates you from the rest when it comes time for them to buy.
4. Authority opinions set you apart
An authority opinion is one way to set yourself apart and will also aid in making you memorable! You already know what an opinion is. It’s not warm enough today. This tea is weak. My baby should still be sleeping so I can get a bit more done. We had a beautiful autumn.
An authority opinion steps it up a notch and opposes a popular trend or criticizes the status quo. The key to building authority this way is to back it up with logic and reasoning! (For example, I’m telling you my opinions on building authority in a personal brand right now and backing it up with five reasons.)
If you don’t back your opinion up with teaching or reasoning, it’s just a rant or complaint about your industry. Make sure if you’re challenging the status quo, you’re not just complaining about your field.
5. If you’re not adding value you’re taking up space
The final tip on building authority is a warning. If you’re not adding value, you’re just taking up space.
It’s a noisy world whether you’re online or off. Why add to the noise if you aren’t contributing value? If you’re posting just because someone told you to post 5 times a week, you’re contributing noise. And we can tell!
Case in point, I was on a webinar last week on how to pitch yourself as a guest to podcast hosts. The webinar didn’t lead with the value it promised, but worse than that was a commenter in the chatbox asking how to pitch themselves without actually talking about their work. Their work was so special and proprietary that they couldn’t talk about it on a podcast.
I was floored. What audacity to think they could come and usurp someone else’s platform without contributing anything? As a podcast host, I LOVE to interview guests because they are providing knowledge to my listeners. Do they have to explain all five steps of their framework? NO! But they do need to give a solid tease and get me through the first step. That’s how people know if it will work for them.
Whether you want to be interviewed as a guest or you’re posting on your own Instagram profile, contribute value. Fill the space in a productive way.
Come with value. It will always return to you.