7 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
There was a period in my life where I loved hiding behind a company logo and not being known for who I was. I felt safe from unwanted attention and criticism by flying under the radar. But, when I started my journey as an entrepreneur, my mindset quickly changed.My coach at the time asked me a question that I will never forget: “What are you doing differently than Target or Amazon?” It hit me at the time that the one major advantage I had over these retailers was that I was ME. It was an eye-opening moment that showed me it was time to step out of my comfort zone and put myself out there to make myself the brand, build rapport with my audience, and attract customers who identified with me.Five years ago, things were entirely different for me. I did not have a digital footprint. If you were to Google me back then, there would be nothing online mentioning my name. However, after lots of learning, trial, and error, I discovered that there were six specific (and easy to implement) methods that can help any entrepreneur grow a strong presence on the internet and social media. Through the consistent implementation of these six methods, I have not only increased my confidence, but I’ve also gained a tremendous amount of credibility, authority, and trust in the marketplace.Related: 5 Steps to Becoming a Genuine Authority In Your IndustryThese are all Do-it-Yourself (DIY) methods I have used personally to gain authority online.1. Host a PodcastPodcasting is such a fantastic way to build authority because you can create your show and position yourself as the expert on whatever topic you want your show to revolve around. With podcasting, it’s all about positioning. You have the ability to position yourself as someone who is an expert, starting with something as simple as your job title. You also get to position yourself as an authority in the marketplace because you have a show that speaks about a specific topic on a consistent basis.It’s like a news broadcast. Walter Cronkite was a respected newscaster for 65 years because he delivered the news (and only the news) night after night on the same TV station. He announced bombings in World War II, JFK’s assassination, combat in the Vietnam War, our landing on the moon, and so many more huge events in our history. Even today, though Cronkite hasn’t been on the news in decades, he’s still seen as the authority on how to properly deliver the news. Your podcast will do the same for you in whatever field you are an expert in.To that end, podcasting gives you instant authority, credibility, and access to trust and celebrity. You can have influencers on your podcast that will give you even more credibility and gain trust through their listeners and their followers. Also, by having a podcast, you can get on platforms such as iHeartRadio, Audible, Spotify, iTunes, etc., which allows you to leverage these big-name platforms to add credibility to you, your podcast, and your business.2. Get interviewedThere are several ways that you can get interviewed on the topic(s) where you are an expert. Start with those you know that have a podcast that aligns with ideas and topics around which you are an authority. Reach out to them and ask them to be a guest to help pour into their audience. You can plug yourself into Facebook groups such as “I’ll Be a Guest for That” and connect with podcast hosts for mutual benefit. And there are also websites out there where you can add yourself into their directory for podcast guesting.Being interviewed as an expert is a sure way to build authority. This is a form of second-person validation that you are the expert in your field.3. Get featured in articlesGain authority quickly by being featured in an article. There are many great ways to do this, but one place I highly suggest is to sign up for HARO, www.helpareporter.com. You’ll receive a list twice a day of reporters looking for experts just like you to get featured in their articles. Your strategy here is to speak on topics that will showcase your expertise and have you show up on the front page of Google.The tip to landing an article feature is to dial in your pitch. When you pitch to media outlets, make sure you are pitching the subject at hand and then you as the expert. Media outlets are looking for relevancy, so make sure you use timely news hooks and statistics to back up your pitch.4. Have unique content strategies on social media You can generate authority online by doing super-cool stuff on social media that’s innovative or not regularly used. For example, one content strategy is creating story stickers and GIFs. Story Stickers are the animated stickers you can add to your TikTok videos, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat stories. These are a great way to brand yourself.There is a process you have to go through to get featured on Facebook and Instagram stories, so not everyone can do this, although it has been a great way for me to build authority in my niche because it creates curiosity, making people want to know how you got the stickers on your Facebook and Instagram stories.To get your GIFs and stickers featured, you will need to create a brand-approved channel through GIPHY, www.giphy.com. Be sure to have fun with your stickers and showcase your personality!Related: 4 Ways Founders Can Build Their Social Media Presence5. Create a courseWhat better way to show people that you are an expert at something than to create a course instructing other people how to do what you can teach them to do. This is a way for you to establish authority and also to reach people who haven’t heard of you. Once you create them, you can sell these courses or use them as a free gift to get people to opt-in so you can build your mailing list. 6. Publish content around your expertiseLastly, an easy way to establish authority online is to publish content around your expertise. This can be done most easily through eBooks, downloadable PDFs, and white paper reports. You simply take the content that you’ve already created and transcribe it so you can create a publishable document that can be consumed by prospects who prefer to read.These pieces of content can be giveaways or used as a call to action while you are a guest on a podcast or speaking on stage.Closing thoughtsHow do you feel about the authority you have established up to this point in your career? No matter how strong it is, I believe the six methods I’ve shared here can take it to the next level. The first place to start is to search your name on Google. How many videos is your search coming up with? What websites link your name? Are you on any major podcast networks? What you see (or don’t see) will give you a huge indication of where things stand as far as the internet is concerned. Again, check to see where you are mentioned and where you aren’t, and then use these six ways to start developing authority in digital spaces where you don’t have a presence. Related: 6 Social Media Monitoring Tools for Managing Your Online Presence