Are You an Authentic Authority?

talking_social_media_400_clr_9159I recently listened to a new podcast from Jack Mize and Brian Horn called "Authority Alchemy."  You can find the series here:

And here:

It's all about "authority marketing."  If you're confused about what that term means, it's the kind of marketing that positions you to be perceived as the recognized authority or "go to" expert in your field.

I call it "expertizing," Others say it personality marketing. It involves taking steps to get better known and stand out from your competition, often using online and offline media strategies, to attract more business.

As is often said, people want to do business with people they know, like and trust.  As an entrepreneur or small business owner, part of your marketing job is to be seen as an expert so potential customers and clients can feel confident about working with you. When you blog, speak, write a book, do online video, appear on radio, TV and in print, etc., you increase your name recognition and show you've got the goods.

Mize and Horm calls it "manufactured celebrity" for entrepreneurs.  As a former journalist, I find that term a bit unsettling because it sounds like you are faking it. I put a lot of stock in being real and authentic in the media, especially on camera. I help entrepreneurs and small business owners enhance their business celebrity as experts with online media, but I would not knowingly work with someone who wanted a false expert status .

Still, in many ways, they are right.  All celebrity is manufactured…the Kim's, Miley's and Gaga's of the world don't miraculously appear everywhere in the media because they were born to it. They become known through hard work and the strategic campaigns their teams implement to put them increasingly and continuously in the public spotlight. Others who are just as talented don't get the attention because they don't follow the formula.

Even in the business world, projecting expert status as an authority in your field is about positioning and perception so in that sense, it is "manufactured," because who can really judge expertise in some areas?  How can you be sure you have a good dentist or brain surgeon or even hair stylist? 

Most of us cannot evaluate their specialized skills so we rely on word-of-mouth recommendations, the quality of their online presence, reviews, testimonials and/or our experience in their office or dealing with their staff. If you have a good feeling about them and/or get good results, they're experts to you. 

Give the Authority Alchemy podcast a listen and tell me what you think.  Plus get in touch, if  you need help mapping out your own "expertizing" path to business visibility and credibility.

Here's a book by Ryan Holiday that makes me a little crazy because the idea of exploiting the media bothers me, but it happens every day. The book contains some useful insights about how online media works.