Why is it important to build authority online?
When someone is looking for a coach or consultant to help them with a particular issue, they tend to go with someone they trust.
In online business, you will hear people talk about ‘know, like and trust’ factor.
How do you become known? And more importantly, how can you build up the trust that leads to someone investing in your products or services?
Here are five steps to help you build your authority online.
What is your area of expertise?
When someone needs a tax accountant, they look for a specialist who focuses on taxes. When someone is building a physiotherapy business, they will follow a coach who works only with physio businesses.
By choosing your niche – by job type, customer base, age group or location, you will attract your ideal clients more quickly.
Choosing your niche allows you to focus on creating content for that niche.
How can you choose what to specialise in?
Talk to your customers and listen to their main concerns.
Choosing a niche can involve a lot of factors – is there a need for your service? Will people pay for it? Are you interested in focusing on that area?
Examples of niching:
- local service based business helping families choose mortgages
- a writing consultant helping online business owners plan, write and publish their first book
When Social Bee NI started out (now Louise Brogan Ltd), this business worked with clients who wanted help with all of social media. Keeping up with all the latest ways to use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn is more challenging than keeping up with changes and techniques for ONE platform. So not only is niching down a great strategy to become known as an expert in one particular area, but also it is easier to know more about one thing, than spread yourself across many areas of expertise.
2. Listen to your audience
What do your network want to know about? Consider the questions you get asked time and time again.
What can you help your audience with? What are their main pain points?
One way to become known as an expert online, is by creating regular content that answers the questions your audience have.
Create content that not only leads your ideal client to reach out to you, but consider how you can put out messaging that lets people know who is NOT the right fit to work with you.
Your ideal client may be someone who is in the business start up phase – so your content should help them with the first stages of business.
3. Create content to help your audience.
Start sharing content with your network that showcases your knowledge and expertise.
Keep it simple – you want to be able to attract your ideal clients and customers so don’t overwhelm them.
Types of content to create:
- writing blog posts
- guest expert posts for publications
- social media posts
When you start to create content for your audience, hte key is to be consistent. Can you create a weekly blogpost or podcast episode that comes out the same time each week?
By creating one main piece of content weekly or even monthly you can then use this content to create shorter social media posts to share online.
4. Become known as a guest expert
Consider creating content for other larger organisations. Become known as a guest expert – choose the publications or shows you know your ideal client is already reading or engaging with.
Start with pitching hosts who take guests – try connecting with podcast hosts who serve your ideal client.
Top Tip – listen to a few episodes of the podcast first, then reach out and connect or follow the podcaster online. Comment on their social posts or share their show to your own network – this will get their attention before you reach out to pitch.
Submit yourself as a speaker for an online summit. Once you start to appear as a guest expert on summits and podcasts, other hosts will notice and start to reach out!
When you are accepted as a guest on someone elses show, ask the host if you can offer their audience a free download or gift. This will help you to gather email addresses of people who are specifically interested in your expertise/topic.
5. Talk to your network
Connecting with your audience online is not a one-way street.
Rather than broadcasting out to your audience, try to engage with them.
For Example –
In your daily or weekly activity on LinkedIn, take time to comment on posts from others in your network.
Try to leave constructive comments – think about how you would behave if you were responding to someone speaking in person.
Even if you outsource the content creation for your own posts, we recommend you take the time to interact with others in your newsfeed.
Follow influencers within your industry and comment on their posts. Not only does this raise your profile with the influencer, but their network will see your comment – and this leads to new people discovering you.
Your LinkedIn Checklist
If your audience are on LinkedIn, then you need to create some visibility on this platform that attracts your ideal client to you.
Creating consistent content on LinkedIn that demonstrates your knowledge and expertise will lead to customers and clients reaching out to you to find out more about your services.
According to Business Insider’s report on Digital Trust in 2019, LinkedIn remains the most trusted social media platform.
Why is the trust level so high?
The platform attracts professional users, brands and businesses. People trust their network on LinkedIn.
A recent blog by LinkedIn aimed at those working in the financial services sector, suggested that people come to LinkedIn to “learn, hear from companies about what they stand for, network and be inspired by other likeminded professionals to ultimately grow their careers.”
If your client base is not B2B, LinkedIn can still be the place for you to win business. For example, if your coaching practice helps those who suffer from imposter syndrome, or maybe learn how to write better – not only are these people on LinkedIn, but if they are working in professional roles, they have the income to invest in your services
People Trust Content on LinkedIn
In the Business Insider report, 76% of users report trusting the user-generated-content on LinkedIn. The network trust the content, the users are full of your ideal clients – so let’s see what steps you need to take to leverage this platform.
1. Get your LinkedIn profile optimised
2. Start building real connections with your network
3. Share content that showcases your expertise
4. Talk to your network
Why is content so important on LinkedIn?
When people come to LinkedIn, they are looking for experts and conversations. Sharing regular thought leadership will put you above your competitors. Think of it in terms of helping your audience.
Examples could include:
- LinkedIn Consultant – posts about why it’s important to add a note when you connect with someone
- Podcast Consultants – post about what microphones work best for podcasters and why it matters
- Health Coaching – share tips to help your network find new ideas for creating a consistent exercise plan
- Business Coach – write about how hiring a business coach is a worthwhile investment
If writing content for your LinkedIn profile is something you don’t have the time or inclination for, consider outsourcing.
Here at Linking in with Louise, we help clients by either offering support and accountability or for some, writing their LinkedIn content for them.