The current marketing/business development mantra is that we should become “trusted authorities” — that is, recognized as leaders and experts in our fields, to the extent that clients will want to do business with us without really having to push/sell our services.
Like most important success elements, the end-result may seem deceptively easy to achieve, but it takes quite a bit of effort and skill to get there. Sure, there are instant successes, but most leaders who achieve great results still need to toil in the shadows for some time — and if they aren’t careful, their success will be fleeting.
The advice goes like this:
Become a true, genuine expert in an aspect of business/life where you can be passionate enough to pay the dues and learn the lessons.
Formal credentials or degrees may be helpful and in some cases are necessary, but these, themselves, don’t determine everything. (It took me six years from deciding I wanted to be a journalist to achieving that magic moment when I realized I could write and live at world-scale levels — and I barely eked out a BA in history while mastering the journalistic craft. However, I earned my informal post-graduate degree with two rather extensive African journeys, when I was able to live through some history.)
Learn how to share your story/expertise with the community most likely to be interested in your services.
Ironically, in my career, I’ve become a gatekeeper/source of opportunity for others wishing to promote and build their authority, though my role is generally behind the scenes. Getting “press” helps — but you can achieve results with blogs, white papers, speaking engagements and public discussions.
Finally, and obviously, really deliver the goods.
If you are a true authority/expert, you should deliver results beyond the ordinary — to the extent that client testimonials, referrals and repeat business ultimately provide most of your business. Word-of-mouth can be encouraged through effective marketing, but only sustained through actual achievements.
Now, when you boil things down to these three points, the whole exercise in succeeding and building your reputation seems simple, but when you look in-depth at the steps, you see that you need to have substance behind the facade; and any guru who suggests a quick and easy road to success is selling you a pipe dream rather than a meaningful answer.
However, you can still benefit by listening and following the relevant gurus – there are plenty of advisors about blogging, public speaking, marketing and self-development. Sometimes, after effort and absorbing their ideas, you’ll have the seemingly instantaneous epiphany experience where it all comes together in an instant and you know where you should go.
Would you like to share your own success stories — or frustrations? This is an opportunity for some authority recognition and maybe a few additional insights. You can email me firstname.lastname@example.org.