In previous articles I talked about why you should build authority, and I broke down the Journey to Authority into its separate stages. Here I want to talk about what it takes to move from each stage to the next.
Practical Action Steps to Build Authority
These are the practical action steps that you can take to build your authority:
ESP: Experience, Specialize, Publish
- Novice ➜ Generalist: Get more Experience
- Generalist ➜ Specialist: Specialize (niche down)
- Specialist ➜ Authority: Publish (and speak)
The first one is pretty straight forward: to go from being a Novice to being a Generalist, you need to get broad Experience. (If you’re reading this you’re almost certainly past this stage)
You need this broad experience to figure out some things, like what you are really great at doing, what you love doing, what you’re not so great at doing or hate doing, and what kinds of people you like working with. You’ll discover a lot about your personal style and voice in this stage.
This is the tough step. At this point you’re experienced and expert at what you do.
But you’re probably quite broad in your expertise, solving a range of problems for a wide array of clients from different industries. And that’s a good thing, that experience of different problems and different clients is a required foundation to base a specialization decision.
At this point, the next step is to niche down and choose a specialization.
🚩 Take a leap of faith with me here 🚩
I realise that at this point you may be far from sold on the concept of specialization. I completely understand your point of view – in fact I was there too.
I want to lay out a case, present my arguments to you and let your mental “jury” decide. More on this tomorrow, but for now, can you reserve judgement on the specialization thing and bear with me for now?
☑️ Ok, back to the action steps to authority ☑️
After specializing, you will naturally go through a huge learning process due to pattern matching as you develop a deep expertise in your specialization. In fact, this is a strong pro-specialization argument in itself.
The next step towards becoming a recognized authority is publishing. This is about getting your deep expertise out in front of people, including peers and your potential clients.
This publishing can take place in many forms:
- writing blog posts
- writing social media posts
- writing emails to your list
- short videos on social media
- longer videos on YouTube
- guesting on other people’s podcasts
- speaking on your own podcast
- and more…
The process of writing will help you to formulate and organise your thinking, and speaking – sometimes in the form of podcast interviews, speaking on panels, and at events – will help you to explain your ideas in a way that hits home with the audience.
Research projects can be very useful at any point after you graduate from Novice, and can be particularly helpful when making a specialization decision, and for content ideation when you want to publish.
*️⃣*️⃣*️⃣ Take these 3 Key Steps *️⃣*️⃣*️⃣
Those are the 3 key actions you need to take to build your authority: get Experience, niche down and Specialize, and Publish
As I mentioned previously, I think you are almost certainly past the Novice stage if you’re reading this, and so I don’t focus on the Experience stage at all. There are plenty of great resources out there to help with that, look up Chris Do and The Futur, and Brennan Dunn for example.
In the next article I will address the case for and against Specialization, and some resources to help you take action.