In the age of the internet, anybody can become famous overnight. Experts of their respective fields suddenly appear out of nowhere. How do you rise above all the internet clutter and get YOUR information read, followed, shared or most importantly… Adored!
When it comes to self-proclaimed gurus or experts, why are some more believable than others?
Why are there industry newcomers that manage to build such a huge following in such a brief time?
We believe the word to focus on is authority. Those who rise in their niches or industry know how to hack ‘authority’. Their website or landing page is flashy with the touches of some fancy SEO agency weaving magic behind the scenes. These experts not only know their stuff, but they know how to show it off and prove it. For those of you who are new to your industry and are hungry to prove your worth, you’ve come to the right place. In this article we’ve broken down the 12 best ways to hacking authority.
AUTHORITY HACKING: THE ROADMAP TO POWER AND INFLUENCE
1. LIMIT ACCESS
If you’re an actual expert, people will be dying to hear your advice and knowledge. The better you are, the more time people will take up. This is why you must be a rare commodity. Make yourself difficult to get.
In return you will be perceived as valuable! If you’re too easy to get a hold of, people will view you as having less authority. Have you ever met the smartest man in the world offering his advice to everybody? No. So, what’s something you can try today? Start by limiting access to your content. Yes, you heard us right. Put a deadline on it.
For a good example, let’s take a look at one of Jumpcut Inc’s emails. Jumpcut offers online courses on launching a YouTube channel.
In this email they’re putting a deadline on enrollment into one of their amazing courses. The course is an awesome resource with a great course credit policy.
The purpose of the email is urgent. Once the deadline arrives, the enjoyable content goes away. Jumpcut knows that they have great content, however, they want people to perceive it as difficult to enroll in. If the course enrollment closes permanently, there might not be another fantastic opportunity coming by anytime soon!
2. DEMO YOUR EXPERTISE
You talk the talk. But can you walk the walk?
You’ve all heard this line before, and you know what it means. Can you back up what you’re saying? If you want people to believe in your expertise, find a way to show them. One solid action you can take is to hold a live webinar. Invite as many of your followers as you want and offer them solutions with your expertise.
Look at Valerie Burton for example. She’s a life coach training others to become better life coaches.
How does she highlight her skills? A FREE live webinar.
This isn’t some clickbait ad, but an invitation to a session where you can learn actionable steps to making money as a coach. Valerie is openly offering her knowledge to her followers through this webinar. She wants to show off what she knows and to provide actual value to her customers.
3. COLLABORATE WITH AN ESTABLISHMENT
Institutions in our world today still command respect and hold influence. For any website niches out there, there are several organizations that serve as pillars of credibility.
Can you benefit from working with such an organization? Absolutely. Your “work” with the organization can be something as simple as displaying their logo on your website. However, we think you can do better. Think more about entering a partnership with one of these organizations.
The more extensive the partnership, the more credibility you’ll get. Such partnerships can be something like guest speaking at the company’s events, or even writing for their website. If you want to take a step further, look at Susan Cain. She’s the founder of Quiet Revolution, and over the years she has partnered with several organizations.
Her partnerships with Huffington Post and Nasa give her huge credibility. Susan can take her knowledge about introverts and apply them to projects of interest for these organizations.
By working with Susan, Nasa, and the Huffington Post show that they believe in Susan’s mission, leadership, and expertise.
4. BE STRONG WITH YOUR OPINION
True authorities rarely take a soft approach. If their message is divisive, they don’t back off at all. Instead, they use it to make themselves stand out.
Take Gary Vaynerchuck for example. He’s a motivational speaker that talks about entrepreneurship and personal development. Is he the best at what he does? Yes.
But what makes him stand out compared to others? His strong opinionated personality! Gary Vaynerchuck knows how to take a stance. And he’s not afraid of offending anybody.
Gary is known to give brutally honest advice to his followers, and he loves to swear, A LOT. His energy really shines through his Instagram account. We can see the same f*ck you energy on his Instagram posts.
Gary stands 100% behind everything he says, and he conveys it with 150% conviction. It’s no wonder that his Instagram account has 6.5m followers!
5. GET SOCIAL PROOF
Sometimes the best way to get validated is through association. If you’re associated with something credible, it means you know your stuff. One example is interacting with other experts. Your followers will see you do this and think, “oh, you’re interacting with other experts in your niche. You must be important.”.
This is one method of social proof. Other ways include:
- User testimonials
- Social Media Shares
- Industry Expert/ Celebrity Endorsement
- Business/Educational Certifications
James Clear has a bestselling book called Atomic Habits. It has been selling really well and has been getting a lot of attention online. Despite his popularity, James still loves social proofing his work.
He does this in his article, “30 One-Sentence Stories From People Who Have Built Better Habits”.
It’s a simple and genius way of proving that his book helps people. James quotes from emails he gets from readers of his book. Afterwards, he explains how his readers are getting results because of him! Through all thirty stories, James can break down every aspect of his book.
6. CREATE YOUR OWN BRANDED SYSTEM
People love a leader who knows what he or she is doing. They also love it when there is a proven consistency to what leaders do. How do you get consistency? You need a system. As an authority you need to prove your worth through your own system.
The more effective your system is, the more credible it will seem. Your followers will love the value you give them! People will want to hear from you as you possess an utterly unique system for success. This seems impossible to achieve. But it’s not.
Some of the best writers have used a branded system to good effect. Look at Deepak Chopra’s book, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success.
Deepak Chopra is a controversial figure that advocates alternative medicine! However, he’s turned his knowledge into a system by talking about 7 spiritual laws. This gives him more credibility.
By establishing a system, Deepak sends the message that he’s well studied in his craft and knows the best system that will help his followers achieve success. This book remains to be one of the most popular self-help books of our time.
7. REVEAL YOUR WHY
The best leaders of any industry are on a mission. They lead with purpose. When followers lose hope, they look to someone for wisdom and guidance. When it comes to your website, you can be the leader with a purpose. Give your followers a reason to believe in what you do. It’s about making the mission so compelling that your message might go viral.
How can you do that? One of the best platforms to send a message is TedTalks. When you give a speech, you’re letting everyone know why. What is it that drives you to be an expert in your field?
The power of a great speech can be seen here.
Welcome to Susan Cain’s Ted Talk, The Power of Introverts. It was released in 2012 and remains to be one of TedTalk’s most viewed videos.
What makes it so special?
Susan Cain told her story of how she went to summer camp as a kid and was called out for being too mellow. She knew at an early age that being an introvert was special. But she never followed that intuition until quitting her job as a Wall Street lawyer.
Embracing the nature of her introvertedness is Susan’s WHY. She believes that introverts can flourish in the right environments. And her job is to create better opportunities and to give a voice to introverts. Susan took her own personal story and turned it into an explanation of the mission behind her organization Quiet Revolution.
8. BECOME A TRUSTED CURATOR
When a restaurant sources the best ingredients for their menu, would you trust their expertise? Probably yes. When you curate the best stuff for your audience, you’re telling them that you know what the best stuff is. People assume knowledge and authority when they see a collection of great ideas.
What does this look like for websites? They appear as round-up posts. Online authorities write about the Top Ten Experts in their Industry, or the 50 Best Innovators Making Change. These posts don’t have to be long, but they do have to show quality and planning behind it.
Look at Mark Manson’s article, 5 Relationship Books Everyone Should Read.
In this article, Mark gives each book a great summary. He tells his readers what kind of person the book is for, and what kind of problem the book will help solve.
His structure of writing demonstrates his knowledge about relationships. Even though he might be promoting the sales of other people’s books, he is also promoting his own expertise with relationships.
9. BUILD YOUR BRAND OFFLINE
When the internet becomes your superpower, you don’t want to let it go. For online entrepreneurs, going offline may seem backwards and ineffective.
What is the point in going offline to promote yourself? If you’re asking that question yourself then you’re in the right place. By building your brand offline, you can build interpersonal relationships.
Take some time out of your day and go to an event and share your expertise. You could be going to a local community group and building your reputation there. In return, they could post a video of you at their meetup on their social media!
10. BUILDING A TRIBE
Every person wants to feel like they belong to something. What is amazing is if you’re the person or brand that can give them that feeling. When your followers look at you, they know that you recognize their needs. And they feel special being part of your tribe of followers. Your job is to carve out an identity for your followers and make them feel proud for choosing to follow you.
Through this tribal mindset, you’ll be their natural leader.
How is this done?
To create your tribe, you can try to:
- Define who they are
- Name them
- Serve them
One notable example is the Harley Owners Group (HOG).
Harley Davidson has defined their tribe here by setting the requirements to join to be:
- Owning a Harley Davidson
- Being a family member of an owner
They have also named their tribe the Harley Owners Group.
This online group also makes sure that it serves its group members. All the resources for the group are laid out clearly. Each resource is there to serve a certain need.
Even though Harley Davidson is a brand with natural authority, they still learned how to create an online tribe and serve its customers better.
11. CITE CREDIBLE SOURCES
Nowadays, everybody feels like they can call themselves an expert. So how do the real ones stand out from the fake ones? They do it simply by revealing their sources. Real credible sources. Experts understand every aspect within their field. They have also studied about their field from many places. These places could be books, industry journals or even academic studies.
Experts are not afraid to cite their sources as they want to cut straight to the truth. Look at James Clear. He is the author of the bestselling book Atomic Habits. This book is the culmination of all his research and hard work over the past few years. And he doesn’t hide his research at all.
Especially for his online articles.
James writes his articles by talking about his knowledge of the history of habit research. He even adds a parenthesis (Backed by Science) at the end of this article title.
Throughout his writing, he also shares with the readers resources that showcase his knowledge.
Even though this article’s writing style isn’t something you would adopt, it shows you how well-read and citation-heavy an expert truly is.
12. SHARE THE STORY OF YOUR SUCCESS
Everybody loves a remarkable story. It is the best way to build a connection with an audience. And that’s what you can do with your online followers. How should you tell your story?
There are three elements: The struggle, the evolution, and the success.
James Clear is known for his bestselling book Atomic Habits. He wrote articles about habits backed by science, and they were popular. But he also wrote about his own journey of learning habits.
Intermittent Fasting is one of James Clear’s personal journeys to establishing habits of his own. He shares the struggle that he faced, and how he personally overcame them.
Besides his own struggles, James Clear also talks about his own evolution. How did he level up to become a true master of habits? While traveling, James faced the challenge of maintaining his training discipline.
Although he’s a master of workout habits at home, he knew things would be different on the road. In this article, he shares his ability to adapt to a new environment and become a master of his new environment.
As someone that doesn’t talk much about the results of his own athletic development, James Clear learns to share his success in the form of a lesson.
What makes his writing, so addictive is that success is not defined by results, but by the knowledge gained from one’s journey.
If there’s a fear that any industry leader has, that fear would be being called out as a fraud. These authority hacks are easy to implement, and we hope they can give you the confidence to impress your followers. Being an authority puts you in line to rub shoulders with other authoritative figures. This is your chance; you’ve made it up the ladder.
Keep trying each method and let us know what works for you!
At the same time also don’t forget to work on your craft, create content and don’t give up! At the end of the day, your most valuable resource is your knowledge and expertise.