If you’re selling to affluent customers, who you are is much more important than what you do. Find out how to become an authority, celebrity or expert to attract the right market.
If you want your message to reach the affluent, there has never been a more pressing time to get your “Authority” position established. The good news is, you can intentionally and strategically create an “Authority Marketing” blueprint and implement it to build your Authority, for both your digital footprint and tangible presence.
There are seven components and practices used to build Authority before your target audience — these are known as the “Seven Pillars of Authority Marketing,” and they’re the bedrock of your Authority Marketing blueprint.
1. Branding and omnipresence
People are more drawn to individuals than impersonal corporate brands. Therefore, you need to create a distinct personal brand, every bit as recognizable and consistent as a corporate brand — but centered around you, rather than a business entity.
Omnipresence means being everywhere. In the business sphere, you want to be everywhere your target audience is looking. For example, if you’re trying to build the most profitable orthodontist practice in Cleveland, Ohio, you might look at how you can be omnipresent to mothers between the age of 30 and 50, with school-age children, who live in Cleveland, Ohio.
2. Content marketing
Content marketing involves publishing valuable content that your target audience would want to consume. It entails books, white papers, special reports, newsletters, teleseminars, webinars, blogs, podcasts, and so on. It works well because instead of explicitly saying “Buy from me” over and over, you provide valuable information to your target customer. Your first touch point with a potential lead is delivering value in the form of thoughtfully produced content. You educate them on the topic they were inquiring about, so they think, “Wow, she sure seems to know what she’s talking about.”
3. PR and media
PR and media involve appearances on TV and radio, in newspapers, magazines and on blogs — among many others. It’s about raising your overall visibility with media, podcast, or print interviews to accomplish two things. First, they reinforce your Authority in the mind of the viewer, listener, or reader. When someone appears on a TV show or on the radio, the likely reason they’re a guest on that show is because they’ve been deemed an expert.
PR and media also serve to perpetuate branding and omnipresence. One of the most common mistakes people make is believing that the media will come to them. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The media’s agenda is to create compelling stories that their audience wants to consume. You must become part of the compelling stories the media wants to tell, then they’ll want to feature you. It’s far easier way to get on TV or radio by offering to give your expert opinion on a hot current event than announcing that your company just hired 10 new people or is expanding into a new market.
It’s one thing to be a subject matter expert who “wows” anyone they have a conversation with. It’s something else altogether when you take those stories, passion, and knowledge, and broadcast them on stage to a large group of intent listeners, allowing you to reach and impact a wider audience than you’d normally be able to. When you share your thought leadership at a conference, event, or seminar, you’re objectively perceived to be an Authority by your listeners.
More importantly, speaking to your target audience is among the best ways to generate new customers. The fact is, you don’t speak for the sake of speaker fees. You speak for the sake of putting yourself in front of the right people, who have the capacity to do business with you. When you speak, if you’re resonating with your audience, you’ll have a line of people in the back of the room who want to do business with you as soon as you step off the stage. No matter what business you’re in, if you’re asked to speak to an audience of your target customers, the paycheck is largely immaterial.
Events can be anything from putting on conferences, seminars, and boot camps to customer appreciation events, where you invite customers to bring their friends, relatives, and neighbors to come engage with and spend time with you. Subliminally, these events build Authority in the minds of those who made the trip.
This can be any event. For a restaurant owner or chef, it could be a cooking class. People will come to learn from you because your skill and reputation precede you. Or, if they come to your dinner seminar to learn about planning for retirement, it’s because you know more about the topic than they do, which conveys Authority.
The first five pillars drive and enhance the last two pillars.
6. Referral marketing
A good barometer to gauge the level of Authority you’ve attained is whether customers tell their friends and family about you. If you’re good, your customers will tell their friends about you. If you’re horrible, your customers won’t say a peep. The number of referrals you get indicates your Authority to some extent. Even more important to note: When you’re the Authority, your customers want to refer you because it enhances their status for making the referral.
7. Lead generation
The more Authority you can demonstrate, the higher the volume of leads you’ll generate. You’ll also attract a higher quality of leads who’ll want to talk to you. However, the reality of today’s landscape is that most people aren’t ready to buy immediately upon discovering you. The first step is simply getting someone to raise their hand and say they’re interested. Be ready to capture the people who show interest by offering a free report or your book. Most people miss this opportunity because the only things they offer on their website are purchase options or a free consultation, which most people aren’t ready for. The other thing that increased Authority can accomplish is accelerating the sales process, taking prospects from simply being aware of and interested in you to wanting to do business with you promptly.
This article first appeared in www.entrepreneur.com
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