How to Become an Authority and Not Another Expert

When you’re an online entrepreneur like me, what do you do to stand out from the hundreds of thousands of other web businesses out there?

The answer is simple: become an authority in your field.

Everyone wants to be an authority; after all, being an authority means that people go to you when they need help. And when people think that you have a solution to their problems, you will have more business, more revenue, and a better life knowing you’re helping others (at least, for me).

There are plenty of experts out there, and I don’t want you to become just another expert in your field. What I want to you to become is an authority who is also an expert at the same time.

Don’t get me wrong—being an expert in what you do is good.

However, the fact is that having loads of knowledge and experience doesn’t automatically translate to authority. You may know a lot, but if people don’t listen to you, you are definitely not an authority, and you won’t enjoy the financial advantages of being one.

People with authority have an audience who care about what they have to say, no matter if their knowledge is extensive or not. Some don’t even know much, if compared to an expert. It’s not their knowledge that makes them an authority; it’s their audience who trusts them and what they have to say.

It’s really interesting to see how an authority is looked at by others. People listen, follow, and demand more from those who are looked at as an authority.

Think: is there someone you admire who, when they speak, makes you stop what you’re doing and listen to what they have to say?

When those people that you look up to speak to you, you listen to them and trust them, 100%. Sometimes it doesn’t even matter if they’re right or not. You just trust them. They have earned your trust, and now, you believe them without a second thought.

Indeed, we can say that at least in the online world, it is not wisdom or knowledge but authority that makes someone successful.

How, then, do you build authority?

Let’s take a look at some of these strategies.

Strategy #1 – Have a mission, not a label.

Whenever we get to know someone, we have the tendency to label them so we can try to understand them better. Psychology is in many ways very weird; we stick people into categories before we really even know them, especially when they do the task of labeling themselves.

For example, if you lined up 10,000 randomly selected people from around the world, none of them would have the same experiences they have had throughout their lives. They might share similar experiences, but none would have the exact same life.

However, if each one of them labeled themselves as a health coach, sales manager, SEO specialist, or whatever, people would instantly categorize them as part of that group, regardless of their uniqueness. I, for instance, think that every Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) business is a scam, whether it actually is or not. So if someone comes to me saying they’re an MLMer, I place them in a great big group I have in my mind dedicated for MLM people.

The bottom line: you don’t need a label.

What you really need is a mission.

When you label yourself like the thousands of others in your market, you only become another fish in a really big pond. However, when you stand for something greater and make that your mission, you become the biggest fish that everyone looks up to. Thus, make it your mission to change the game, to think bigger and do better than anyone in your industry. Stand out and be noticed.

What it really comes down to is you finding what your mission is, and once you find it, you’ve got to push for it with all your worth, or die trying. When you do that, you don’t just become another expert—you will be you and that’s what matters most in life.

When you have a mission, you will be worth remembering. You will be a game changer.

Strategy #2 – Try the “I have lived that” effect.

In life, there are people who were just born into success. They have all the money in the world and are followed by others who want their success and fame.

On the other hand, there are also those who were born poor and without a dollar to their name. It is only by sheer will that they get up to the top and become some of the biggest names in history.

A lot of people like to look up to the people who are born rich.

However, I follow those who have worked hard for it.

Think: why would you follow someone who hasn’t done what you have done, who hasn’t “been there, done that?”

There’s a lot of difference between those who were born successful and those who worked hard for it.

Oprah Winfrey, Leonardo Vecchio, and John Paul DeJoria are just some of the people who were born poor and are now among the wealthiest in the world.

Who would you rather follow and get guidance from?

A person who was born into wealth or Oprah Winfrey? Yeah. That’s what I thought.

If you were like me, you would choose Oprah Winfrey without hesitation, too.

When you build authority using the “I have lived that” principle, you would have so much power than just telling people you make x amount of dollars each month.

For example, if you come across two magazines and one reads “Billionaire Makes $100 billion a Month from Family Fortune,” while the other reads “A Once-Poor Man Now Makes $100 billion a Month Due to Hard Work,” which would you read?

The second one, right?

After all, if that man has done it, you can probably learn from him on how to become successful too.

Word of warning: don’t pretend to be a rags-to-riches story if you’re not. People can tell the difference between phonies and the real thing. Work your butt off and overcome whatever weaknesses you may have and then you can use the “I have lived that effect” to the fullest.

The really amazing thing about living through something you had struggles with is that you know what others are going through.

You know how to speak their language and can thus influence them to take action.

You know what to do and what not to do and people will see that.
They will stop in their tracks to listen to what you have to say, knowing that you have been there and done that, and know what you are talking about.

Strategy #3 – Play hard to get.

Playing hard to get is a strategy that has been in use since the Stone Age.

It works well because people want things much more when they’re told they can’t have it. In the dating scene, for example, when the opposite sex shows interest but plays hard to get, he or she will just become more attractive to others.

Be careful about using this strategy though.

You don’t want to become too hard to get because this will have a negative effect.

There’s a fine line you have to take in playing hard to get. It involves a mix of “uncertainty and a mild negative signal” — the kind of uncertainty that past research has shown to increase interest and desire. If you straddle this line perfectly, it can do your business a lot of good.

For example, let’s say you’re trying to land a big client for long-term work that would earn you a lot of money. What you don’t want to say when you’re in the negotiation process is that you’re flexible. Why? Because your potential client will assume you will do anything for money.

In other words, they will either lowball you or think that they can get you for far cheaper than your actual worth.

When you play hard to get in this scenario, i.e., when you stick to a value that is fair to you and your skills, even if it means it’s a bit pricey, the client will see your confidence, respect it, and will hire you for it.

The incredible thing about this strategy is that it’s not really a strategy at all, but more of how you see yourself and your self-worth.

Don’t try to please everyone.

Turn down those whom you know will be a pain in the butt to work with.

I do one-on-one consulting, but I don’t advertise it. I know that there are people out there that I can’t help. Plus, if I am filling the radio waves with messages like “I can help anyone make 30k a month,” you won’t care to listen to what I have to say anymore because it would be easier for you to get in touch directly with me rather than to read or listen to what I have to say.

So, do yourself a favor and be selective about who you work with.

You will do your customers a great service when you maintain your independence and integrity.

Some of the most sought-after people in their industries are where they are because they didn’t try to kiss you-know-what. What they did is be selective, protecting their hard work and turning down requests that chipped away at their self-image.

Here’s another way to look at it. Let’s say you were introduced to a Search Engine Optimization specialist who is well-known in the field. You have also heard about someone who does SEO for huge brands and companies. Say that both SEOs charge the same.

Who would you choose?

I know who I would choose—the guys working with the big brands and companies. And I would bet that they wouldn’t just take on any project. They are so in demand that they have to be selective.

That’s playing hard to get at its finest.

Strangely enough, people will not only chase after them, they will be more than willing to pay 2x, 3x, and sometimes 10x or more to get their service and products, too!

Strategy #4 – Avoid influencing others.

This may sound like a counterproductive strategy, but it works.

Let me explain.

Whenever you hear someone talking about a certain site, product, or person, it piques your interest, and you would go check it out. However, if some sales guy walked up to you telling you to go check out something, you would most likely ignore him.

By not trying to directly influence others, and instead letting others spread the word about you, you would become an authority much faster. It’s hard to get this strategy to work well, but once it hits critical mass, it takes on a snowball effect.

One of the best ways to avoid influencing is to give out huge amounts of value without asking for anything in return. This could be in the form of blog posts, videos, ebooks, free course, or anything that your audience would have an interest in. Put some effort into those products, get it out there, and that will build up your momentum with this strategy.

I’ll be honest; it’s a lot of upfront work for long-term success. However, you must exert the effort of making quality products.

The point is to create things that people actually want to consume. When you continue doing this, word will get out that you’re giving quality products, and pretty soon, people will look at you as an authority in your field.

By the time you’re ready to launch a paid product, you will have a much easier time getting people to pay for it, since they already know that there is value in what you’re selling.

Strategy #5 – Walk the talk.

People love to talk big and yet do nothing to make it happen. It’s just how most of us are raised. You hear people say “I will have a million dollars someday” and yet don’t do anything to achieve that goal.

News flash: action speaks louder than words! No one looks up to those who talk, talk, and talk. They look up to people who walk the talk.

Lips and tongues lie, but actions never do.

No matter what words are spoken, actions betray the truth of everyone’s heart.

I am sick and tired of those who speak like they’re an authority in an already crowded room of scammers and liars. I can see them for who they really are because their content and business has nothing that reflects authority in my eyes.

What they do is show you screenshots of the millions they made last month, and they try to get social shares and comments that don’t add up to anything. They focus on their ego and fall short on what matters most: providing actual proof that what they do really works.

You can pick them out because they’re always talking about how this works and how that works, all the while wondering why business sucks.

Don’t be one of those people because you can waste a lifetime trying to figure out what works best to scam people out of their money.

The fact is that it’s ten times harder to make money by scamming others and tricking them into thinking you’re an authority figure.

Even if you somehow make good money scamming people, it won’t be much of a fulfilling life for you. If you’re a decent person, you won’t be able to sleep very well at night knowing you’re robbing people of their hard-earned cash. Thus, if you say that you can get x, y, and z to make you x amount of dollars, prove it.

In my industry, everyone claims that they make loads of money each month; what usually happens is that a few months down the road, they’re nowhere to be found.

I am not going to lie, it takes time to figure something out, but that’s the whole beauty of being an entrepreneur. There is a huge difference between knowing the path to success and actually walking it. Everyone seems to talk about how to get there, but very few walk the talk.

You can tell who are actually on it, because they produce quality products showing every step of the way they have taken.

This strategy is by far one of the most powerful ways to obtain authority in any industry. When you’re walking the path, it almost becomes your life goal to show others how to make it like you have. When they see that what you have is the real thing, it then becomes their life goal to not only listen to what you have to say, but also to spread the word about how you can help others achieve success like you’ve had.

I absolute love this strategy and it works perfectly for me!

Strategy #6 – Care less about money and more about others.

Many companies have become successful using this strategy. I love it because when you do it, it will tell people that you’re not all about money, sales, and profits. They are more important to you than money.

I have used this strategy many times.

I created this site, for example, out of sheer passion to help others. I’m not in this business to rip off people by making terrible products like most of the businesses in my industry value. I am here to give real value.

At the end of the day, all that matters is that you are happy doing what you do, just as I am.

I used to work for numerous MLM companies that made incredible money selling the worst products and services ever, claiming they had the golden ticket to success.

I won’t name names here, but this was far from the truth.

Why is it that so many multi-million dollar and even billion-dollar businesses see that the only way to survive is to rip people off? All that matters to them is money, money, and more money.

Businesses that tend to do this never think outside the box to try and actually do right by the world and develop something that really provides value.

Can you name a multibillion dollar business that only cares to make more money every day? Most likely not, unless they are in the front page of mainstream news. There are actually a lot of them who couldn’t care less about what happens to you after they receive your money. (Again, I won’t name names here, sorry.)

The billion-dollar companies that you actually remember are the ones that stand out. They put the people first and not money, and that includes companies like Amazon, Apple, and Google. If we take a closer look at Google, most of their products and services are completely free?!?!??

How does that work, you might ask? How do they earn money?

Well, we can see that even when they put people ahead of money, they still manage to earn a lot. That’s how authority is built.

Strategy #7 – Don’t fear the unknown.

Becoming an authority in your industry can’t happen without hard work and dedication.

In order to get people to notice your business, you need to make it your goal to stand out from the crowd. Why would anyone care to follow what you’re doing when there are hundreds if not thousands of others just like you claiming they’re the best in the world?

So, don’t fear the unknown.

Do as much as you can to stand out from the crowd and strive to be seen as an authority.

Don't fear the unknown because it's where success lies Click To Tweet

Strategy #8 – Charge top dollar and premium prices.

I’m sure you and I both like higher-priced items in life, and there’s a very good reason for it.

In most cases, the higher-priced products and services are better.

In your business, then, if you’re truly providing quality products, then you must charge higher prices for it. You’ll be doing yourself a favor by charging what you’re worth, as it brings better customers and better experience when running your business.

The fact is that charging premium prices builds your reputation, especially when customers see that what you are offering is well worth the price they’re paying for it.

Don’t sell yourself short on this because low-balling yourself will only land you terrible customers who complain about everything even when it’s priced well below what it should cost.

I will talk more on this idea later on in this article (the Rolls Royce status) so keep reading.

Strategy #9 – Make scarcity your authority.

Scarcity can be another strategy to establish your authority.

It is used by hundreds of successful businesses around the world. For example, have you ever gone to pick up a product but find that it’s sold out already?

I’m sure you’ll make sure to go back early the next day to pick up the item, making sure you’ll be there ahead of others.

Some companies rely on this strategy a lot. Apple, for example, always announces that there will be limited iPhones for sale every time they release a new one.

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As a result, everyone and their dog go to Apple stores early to make sure they get their new iPhone (myself included!). Some even camp out a day or two before, just to make sure they’ll manage to get one.

Is it really true that Apple only produces a limited number of iPhones? Well, the fact is that Apple makes hundreds of thousands of phones.

By saying there’s a limited supply, they’re only making sure people line up for it.

When it gets sold out, it only reinforces their claim of having limited stock, and the cycle continues. That’s how scarcity works!

The Rolls Royce Status.

I’m sure you’re thinking that going out and buying a Rolls Royce is out of the question for you, and it most likely is for most people. However, this strategy doesn’t involve you actually going out to buy a new Rolls Royce!

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Rolls Royce as a brand is world-renowned on many levels.

People will go to extreme lengths to buy a Rolls Royce, even though any other car will do the same purpose of getting you from point A to point B. In some cases, another car will even go faster than a Rolls Royce, so, why would you be willing to pay hundreds and thousands of dollars more for the latter?

Simple answer: authority.

Au-thor-i-ty

A: the power to influence or command thought, opinion, or behavior.

Rolls Royce is a great example of the lengths people are willing to go for something that’s looked at as an authority.

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Conclusion

My best advice for you is to never fear the unknown (see #7).

I understand it’s scary at times to go out into the world not knowing where you will end up. I still wake up sometimes not knowing how the heck I got to where I am now in my life.

The one thing I did know and still know to this day is that I worked hard until I was noticed and recognized by others as an authority in my field.

Like me, you just need to keep on working your ass off until you achieve your goal, or die trying.

There are people who are all talk, while there are others who walk the talk. Be like the latter; work hard and become an authority.

Be recognized for your work. No matter what happens, never look back and don’t have regrets. Some of my biggest wins came from small losses. If I didn’t keep moving forward with my mission, I would have never have known the success that I am enjoying today.

Thanks for reading. Please share this article if you have found it useful. Also feel free to share your thoughts below on what you think your mission is in your business.

Thanks again and never stop working towards a better life,
Scott