How to Add Credibility to Your Online Authority
Quick question: Have you ever referred to yourself as an online authority, an expert, or a guru?
What was the reaction like? Did people stop to pray at the altar of your expertise? Or did they not even look at you?
I’m willing to bet it was the former.
Unfortunately, in today’s jaded age of internet marketing, nobody is going to believe you’re an authority when you tell them – not anymore.
In fact, you’ll probably get laughed out of the room.
Gone are the days when people would get impressed by a so called authority, expert or guru. Now these terms just make people gag.
Think about it. Why should anyone believe you? What proof do you have?
Social media networks are filled with self-proclaimed experts and gurus. It’s gotten so bad that anyone who calls himself an expert is immediately set aside as a pompous jerk.
But what if you’re really an expert in your field? What if you really know your subject inside out? How do you go about convincing people of your authenticity?
Luckily, that’s easy to do. The trick is in showing them instead of telling them. There are a number of ways to do that.
Sounds clichéd, right? That’s because it is. But as clichéd as it is, blogging still works.
If you aren’t convinced, think of someone whose authority you accept with your eyes closed. What’s the one thing that stands out most about their online presence? I’m willing to bet it’s their blog.
Jon Morrow is known for Boost Blog Traffic.
James Chartrand is known for Men with Pens.
Brian Clark is known for Copyblogger.
Darren Rowse is known for Problogger before anything else.
Derek Halpern is known for Social Triggers.
Notice the trend?
Every single one of these online authorities has a successful blog to their credit.
If you’re thinking the examples above are too big and successful to emulate, let’s look closer to home.
Tom Ewer (who’s one of the bloggers here) started his blog, Leaving Work Behind, in 2011. In almost three years, he’s:
- created an incredibly loyal and engaged community around his blog,
- been published in 100s of websites and blogs across the web including Mashable, Lifehacker, and SitePoint etc.
- built a lucrative freelance business for himself, and
- developed products and courses people rave about.
He’s now known as the authority when it comes to leaving your full time job to start your own freelance business.
How did he do all that? By blogging consistently, of course.
I’ve just proven blogging works. But if you’re only blogging on your own blog, it won’t amount to much. After all, how will people find you?
Guest posting is the perfect way to get the word out about a blog – and that’s just a side benefit.
The real benefit of guest blogging is the authority it establishes.
When Danny Iny was trying to get his company, Firepole Marketing off the ground, he turned to guest posting to establish his authority and attract readers.
He wrote 80+ posts in one year – while maintaining his blog and running his online marketing business!
By the end of the year, his blog had grown by leaps and bounds, his online authority was established without a shadow of a doubt and he’d become known as the Freddy Krueger of blogging.
Online networking is a tough one to get right – especially since most of it is done on social media.
The good news is that we know how NOT to network on social media.
There are a number of ways to network apart from the usual obvious ones like helping people, sharing their content, answering questions etc.
Interviewing someone takes it all a step further. Interviews are the validation people need to feel like their work’s being noticed.
Srinivas Rao of Blog Cast FM (now known as Unmistakable Creative) made a name for himself by interviewing people for his podcast. He’s done over 400 interviews to date. You don’t get as many guests as he has without some serious networking.
When it comes to podcast interviews, his authority is a given.
Walk the talk
Action speaks louder than words. So make sure you’re seen taking your own advice.
Showcase the results you get – whether good or bad, do case studies – anything that shows you aren’t just all talk.
Anna Hoffman of Traffic Generation Café is a good example of someone taking her own advice and establishing her expertise through it.
She’s an online marketer who’s become known as the go-to person for increasing website traffic on a small budget.
How did she do that? By following her own advice and showing people that what she teaches actually works. Her posts are always filled with actionable advice that you can put into practice today.
So before you give out expert advice, make sure you’ve tested it out and can vouch for it. Otherwise, you’ll just be ruining your reputation instead of building it.
Saying your advice works and showcasing it is all well and good. But do you know what’s better? Concrete results. More specifically, numbers.
If you’re claiming your advice will help people earn money, show them that you’re earning money doing the same thing. Give them irrefutable proof.
Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income built his online authority on his monthly income reports.
If you’re not comfortable with the level of transparency Pat has, then find a happy medium that still lets people know your advice works. Instead of a monthly breakdown, pick one tactic or advice you advocate and show how it worked for you.
Don’t forget, the evidence you provide has to be about the thing you’re claiming to be an expert on.
It’s all about proving your authority
Gone are the days when getting famous on the internet was easy.
Now, people are jaded. They’ve been fooled more times than they can count and lost money following popular advice that doesn’t work.
In order for them to accept you as an authority, you need to earn their trust.
Once you do that, the ride to online authority gets much smoother.
If you consider yourself an online authority, what are you doing to prove it?