With it getting harder and harder to communicate with people these days, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to capture people’s attention and actually ensure that your marketing messages are getting across. And as well as that, gone are the days where it was simple to rank for a certain keyword and get on the front page of Google so that you could be seen.
So, what do you do when you are trying to reach more customers in order to grow?
According to the author of Authority Content, David Jenyns, there are three main obstacles that need to be overcome if you are going to be successful in marketing your business. But to overpower these, you must change the way you do things and become an authority in your industry.
In the third chapter of David’s book, he guides us through exactly what this means for you and why it’s important to think and act like a market leader in order to improve the growth of your business.
CHAPTER 3: STRATEGIC AUTHORITY
Three Big Obstacles
These days, the three biggest obstacles that you must overcome if you’re going to make a success of your marketing are:
Attention, Engagement & Trust
I used to say getting attention and engagement was easy, yet trust was the biggest hurdle. But not anymore. Now, all three obstacles are critical and are getting harder to achieve.
Gone are the days of winning attention with “win any keyword with enough links” SEO and “10 cent clicks” with Adwords. Getting attention is becoming increasingly challenging as the background noise becomes louder and more pervasive.
Consider this, have you noticed how long it takes your good friends to reply to a text? It’s taking longer these days! Even close friends whom you have known for ages might take hours to reply or even keep you waiting until the next day. People are busier than ever before. Whereas a text message was once an immediate attention-grabber, now it’s competing with social media notifications and email updates, amongst countless other attention grabbers.
So, if it’s hard to get the attention of those who know and love you, imagine how much harder it is to get the attention of those just out of arm’s reach.
Similarly, engagement runs into a related problem. Even if you do manage to get someone’s attention, how are you going to keep it? Whatever communication you send, people are going to judge it within a few seconds and, if it doesn’t deliver value, they’ll move on to something else.
And even if you get someone’s attention and successfully engage them, they won’t automatically trust you. Trust is something that takes time to build.
What’s more, this concept of “trust” is a huge deal for Google at the moment. Their goal of providing people with the best and most relevant content is tied up in whether it can show its customers a link and be confident that the content on the other side is worthwhile. What’s interesting about this challenge is that it is being addressed by considering the source of the content and whether or not Google believes the publisher is trustworthy.
Attention, engagement and trust; these are the biggest obstacles you face in building your business. So, this begs the question, what’s the quickest way to power you over all three obstacles in one almighty leap?
Authority Trumps Everything
When you’re a recognised authority, your ability to grab people’s attention, engage with them, and develop trust is instant and immeasurable. Think about industry leaders and experts – the kinds of people that draw a crowd whenever they have something to say. It’s as if people are drawn to them. More often than not, from a business perspective, authorities get the lion’s share of business and profits.
The definition of an authority is someone or something with the power to influence others. Some people naturally command authority by their demeanour or social status, while the rest of us have to earn that ability to influence by virtue of the knowledge we possess and our ability (and willingness!) to share it in a meaningful way.
If your product is relevant and useful, and if you’re knowledgeable about your market, the only barrier to you becoming a recognised authority in your space is the way in which you communicate what you have to offer. Once you learn how to do this, everything will start to fall into place.
Authorities have no trouble getting attention because we know it’s worth our while to listen when they speak. In fact, much of the time we deliberately seek out an authority and pay close attention.
Authorities have no problem engaging people because their status commands that people take the time to really listen to what’s being shared.
Authorities find it easy to gain people’s trust, almost by definition, because this role automatically implies that they are somebody trustworthy. If they weren’t, it’s unlikely that they would have risen to this position in the first place.
Once you’re an established authority, people stop questioning whether you’re worth their time, attention and trust. It’s almost as if they skip over those steps and go straight to the more important question: is your product or service right for me?
As an authority, that question becomes far easier to answer.
I have worked hard at establishing my business and myself as an authority. As a result, I have no difficulty generating leads. Then, when we chat on the phone, we decide together whether or not we we’re a good fit. That’s the beauty of Authority Content. Often, whether the customer is chatting with a sales person, or placing an order online, it isn’t about convincing the customer – they’ve already decided – it’s about ensuring whether this transaction is going to be right for both of us.
There’s no hard sell, no pushy salespeople cold-calling on my behalf, and there’s definitely no agonising over which marketing tactic we’ll try to exploit.
Wouldn’t you love to be able to do away with all of that rubbish? You know what I’m talking about. They are those elements of marketing that everyone says are necessary but leave you feeling like you’re trying to trick your way into a sale, or that you’re just in a shouting match with the competition.
That’s what strategic authority has done for me. It’s enabled me to do away with all that rubbish and that’s what it can do for you.
Yes, you can be strategic in your efforts to become an authority. No one becomes an authority in anything without some element of creation. The only question is whether a person in that position arrived there deliberately, or as an unintended consequence of their actions.
For example, the CEO of a Fortune 500 company may not have consciously set out to obtain authority, however often it can be earned as a natural consequence of being a savvy business- person.
My point is this: manoeuvring yourself into a position of authority is wise and a highly effective way to market your business. I call it “strategic authority” since it’s done with conscious thought and with planning.
If the idea of being an “authority” makes you anxious – don’t worry. We’re talking about a very specific kind of authority here and it doesn’t necessarily put you in the spotlight (if being the centre of attention doesn’t appeal to you). The type of authority I refer to is simply about positioning you or your business as the market leader, the most knowledgeable and valuable entity in your industry.
It’s about answering the fundamental questions people ask when they visit a website… Can this company help me solve my problems?
Can they deliver on their promises?
Do I trust this business enough to make a purchase?
Many marketers obsess over perfectly worded sales copy and Hollywood level production videos that demonstrate positive answers to these questions. There are more effective and efficient ways to be seen as an authority. That isn’t to say that good sales copy and smart videos aren’t important – they are – but once your authority level reaches a point, it’s not dependent on marketing flourishes to win new customers.
So, what makes an expert be seen as an expert?
Sure, some people build authority by chance – simply being in the right place at the right time. But who wants to rely on chance? You can be more strategic than that – let me show you how to become an authority with predictability. Becoming an authority won’t be a matter of IF but rather a matter of WHEN.
As David points out, certain elements of marketing can make you feel like you are tricking yourself into a sale. The great thing about establishing yourself as an authority in your industry is that you don’t have to worry about this anymore. If you can show people that you are knowledgeable, able to solve their problems and are a company worth trusting when they visit your website, then you can rely less and less on traditional marketing tactics.
If you are interested in learning more about how you can establish yourself as an authority and create the kind of content that will do so, we will be sharing some more chapters from David’s book soon. We realise that you might want to get onto things a lot sooner, so head over to Authority Content to get your hands on a copy of the book or you can buy directly from Amazon.