“What makes you so special, exactly?”
It may be a hard pill to swallow for some, but that is exactly the first question you should ask yourself as you are starting a new business or expanding your current venture.
In the golden age of internet content, social media, and digital advertising, it can be incredibly hard for a business or brand to get noticed among the noise, get ahead of the fierce competition, and establish itself as a leader in the chosen industry.
As a result, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the key to distinguishing your business from the competition and finding true success in your field is to establish yourself as an authority in your industry. Now, you might not have been the first to break into your niche, you might not have the most revolutionary product in your hands, and you may not have had years and years of experience behind you to dominate your competition effortlessly — but that doesn’t mean that your business doesn’t have a one-of-a-kind authority in your field.
The process of nurturing and marketing that authority to an audience of potential customers and clients is known as authority marketing, and it is the focus of the conversation we’re having today.
What Is Authority Marketing, Exactly?
Having brand authority means becoming so well-known as an expert in your target market that potential customers or clients will cultivate confidence and trust in what you do, search for your brand proactively (saving you quite a lot of lead generation resources!), and choose your brand over similar products or services time and time again, simply on the basis of your authority in the industry.
Authority marketing is, in short, the marketing process that allows your business to be discovered by your target audience, and while it may take different forms depending on your field and current marketing strategy, it can easily be incorporated into all preexisting marketing efforts — as long as you have done your research and have plenty of time to dedicate to the task.
But how can you build authority in the first place?
Adam Witty, CEO of Advantage Media Group and author of the book Authority Marketing, has created an insightful blueprint to pin down what, exactly, makes an expert worthy of the title when dealing with the modern marketing world.
According to his blueprint, those who wish to establish themselves and their business as THE authority in their line of work must create and grow a solid presence in each of the seven pillars of authority marketing: branding, content marketing, referral marketing, lead generation, PR, speaking, and events.
Goal-driven, clear branding is key to growing a business with a personality and unique expertise.
Branding is not just about building your brand’s image, mission, and tone of voice; it’s also about building and selling your personal brand as a thought leader in your line of business. One of the best ways to cultivate both your business’ and personal branding in the digital age is to establish a strong social media presence and show what your story is all about: from your core mission and philosophy to your future goals and community aspirations.
Leaders who truly know what their place in the market is (and why they are the best people to carry out the job) can communicate their authority to customers more clearly and effectively.
Using social media as a tool for brand image ties into the importance of content marketing when trying to grow your business and become known as an expert in your field.
Focusing on content marketing is the most accessible way to share your expertise with an audience: Whether you’re writing an ebook about a topic in your niche, posting informative articles on your business blog each week, or starting a podcast to convey your authority in a more personable manner, a carefully curated content marketing strategy can go a long way to ensure your audience knows why your business is the best specialist for the job.
Even in an increasingly interconnected digital world, the classic word of mouth is still more important for business growth than LinkedIn.
Encouraging satisfied clients to refer you after another outstanding piece of work will guarantee that other loyal customers will follow, and if you keep at it long enough and continue to treat your customer base to exceptional results, key opinion leaders in your niche may catch a whiff of the buzz as well.
People usually believe what they read, and often they will believe what the media says about you, so it’s important to make your leadership known by using coverage from podcasts, local radio stations, press, and blogs to create authority.
Being a guest on both popular and niche outlets will signal to readers and listeners that your voice and opinions are valuable, creating authority and massively expanding your reach as an entrepreneur. Just make sure that the coverage you are booking is in line with the ideal client you are looking to attract!
It might sound like a no-brainer, but having an established authority in your niche, both online and offline, will make generating leads a whole lot easier.
Lead generation and authority marketing go hand in hand, as having a strong presence in your field will help you not come across as a no-name salesman when pitching but instead help you be perceived as a successful authority figure with leverage and valuable knowledge, without having to mention any credentials in the process!
Booking speaking engagements is an important part of the PR marketing process, and it certainly deserves its own little section.
Speaking to your target audience is arguably the most effective way of enforcing your authority position and generating quality leads, even if you don’t think of yourself as a top communicator. Being a speaker is not about being a pushy salesman or an overconfident thought leader — it’s about presenting your success and value as an authority while practicing that authority first hand. There are always conferences, trade shows, and panels that will benefit from your expertise, so put yourself out there as a speaker to set yourself apart from the competition!
Running engaging events for your business can be a great opportunity for nurturing more personal connections and relationships with your most loyal customers. While you may not think of event planning as a marketing effort, confident hosting signals authority and leadership just as effectively as the best content marketing campaign or expertly-written ebook.
Organizing and participating in annual events (or, much more likely nowadays, a structured Zoom conference!) is also a great opportunity for upselling and expanding the range of work you do, exposing more potential customers and clients to your operations and unique point of view as an authority in your field.
Using Authority Marketing in Real Estate Deals
I recently had the pleasure of being interviewed on the R.E.I. Diamonds Show with Dan Breslin, where we had the opportunity to discuss how to raise capital for real estate deals using authority marketing.
We discussed what makes authority marketing and the practice of presenting yourself as an expert so effective, why experts and authority leaders are so sought-after in today’s market, why content marketing is crucial if you’re looking to grow your business in the digital age, and how to leverage your authority to raise capital for real estate deals.
It turned out to be an incredibly insightful conversation on the ins and outs of thought leadership, packed with helpful tips on how to build authority in your field, whatever it may be, using all the tools that social media, podcasting, and other content marketing mediums have made available for the agile entrepreneur of today.
If you want to use authority marketing to close real estate deals and raise capital, here are some highlights from the podcast episode you don’t want to miss out on!
Dan Breslin’s experience with the R.E.I. podcast perfectly exemplifies the power of authority marketing. Positioning himself as an expert in real estate deals through the podcast, he was able to nurture an atmosphere of trust with a network of private money lenders willing to fund his “fix and flip” deals without ever speaking to him in person or calling in a meeting.
Podcasting as an authority marketing strategy often works better than churning out multiple blogs a week (no matter how informative or well-written!), as busy lenders will probably be more attracted to the convenience of listening to a podcast.
Aside from the accessibility, podcasting (both as host and guest) allows potential lenders to see your character and company in a different light: People will see you as the go-to expert and perceive you as a thought leader in your area of expertise.
Nothing builds trust quite like confident leadership, especially if your voice seems to be on every media channel of the web!
Going All Out (While Attracting Your Avatar)
Real estate investors might be fearful, at least at first, of how they’re going to be perceived by clients and buyers when they decide to take their authority marketing efforts to the next level.
But putting as much content as you can out there, in the form of podcasts, YouTube videos, newsletters, and blogs, will always benefit your authority — even if it only clicks with a handful of people. It’s best to leave all expectations at the door and only consider the competition when it comes to getting ideas for content that will be of value to your target audience. In terms of what media outlets would help your business create authority and boost the success of your marketing efforts, going “all out” is generally the best course of action, although there are three key questions you should ask yourself first:
1. What unique insights do you have to share as a real estate investor that you wish you knew when you started?
2. Who are you addressing when creating content? What audience are you trying to attract, in terms of pain points, lifestyle bracket, age, and goals?
3. Where are you likely to find this ideal client? What media outlets are they most likely to consume?
Answering these questions will allow you to focus your marketing resources on the right mediums and create authority content that will resonate with your avatar, meaning the ideal investor, buyer, or seller you’d want to pick up the phone and get in touch with you as a result of your content marketing.
Raising Capital with Authority Marketing
Access to a large amount of capital is often the biggest entry barrier for multi-family real estate investors looking for good deals. If you’re just starting out as an investor, it can be incredibly hard to convince brokers to take you seriously when raising capital for a large down payment.
If your online presence as an investor is effective, strong, and authoritative enough to create trust, the broker will be much less likely to ask for a statement of your resources upfront. When you’ve done the work and put in the time to build trust in your authority through the seven pillars of authority marketing, it’s easier to get your words taken at face value and get approved, making the “next level” success you’re after that much easier to achieve.
Start Building Authority in Your Field Today
With these authority marketing tactics, you’ll be able to steadily build up your brand authority until you become the one leader that everybody’s looking to for valuable insights.
Just think about it. Who would you rather book as a guest speaker or buy services from: someone who showcases their expertise regularly through ebooks, videos, podcasting, blogs, courses, and speaking engagements or someone who has nothing else but a basic website to show authority?
If you’ve answered the former, you’re already well on your way to understanding why authority marketing matters.
I’ve given you the essential break-down, but there is so much more to learn when it comes to establishing authority as an investor and as an entrepreneur — you can find the full podcast episode with Dan Breslin on Youtube, Facebook, Apple, Stitcher, LinkedIn, and Spotify.
If you’re already building an authority marketing strategy to find your avatar, amplify your reach, and achieve your business goals, starting a podcast can be an invaluable marketing tool to leverage your influence and make an impact in your industry.
Get in touch today for a consultation, and use your online presence to push you ahead of the competition!