Authority. Expertise. Leadership. Call it what you will; in business, reputation matters. Being seen as an authority within your field will leave you head and shoulders above your competitors.
Authority marketing is the process of positioning yourself as the leader in your marketplace by demonstrating your industry knowledge. It allows your business to amplify its message, convert prospects into higher paying customers, build trust and – effectively – to sell without selling.
Authority in sales and marketing is important because we instinctively react to those we view as an authority. We treat them with respect; we believe what they say, and we readily accept their recommendations.
Take tennis coaching, for example. If you were serious about learning tennis, would you use Pete, whose lessons you saw advertised on a poster in the clubhouse, but whom you don’t know anything about? Or would you choose Roger; someone with coaching badges and professional qualifications? A coach you have seen and heard talking about tennis coaching on local radio and TV stations and whose lessons are known to be effective and get results?
Most would pay more for Roger, who is evidently more of an authority.
Businesses that succeed in becoming authorities are those that excel at marketing themselves and their abilities. Email marketing is one way to do that. Email marketing is particularly suited to helping small businesses appear authoritative to prospects, as it offers a direct platform to their target market on which to demonstrate their wisdom and accomplishments.
So how do you go about differentiating yourself from your competitors and gaining authority status through email marketing?
Get yourself heard and noticed by having a presence at industry events. Speaking publicly legitimises your claim to authority. Let all your email subscribers know about your recognition by including news of all the events and speaking engagements you attend.
Don’t be shy! After you’ve delivered an awe-inspiring talk at an event or speaking engagement, let others enjoy it by creating content from it. Recording and uploading videos into the body of your emails gives readers a face by which to remember your business.
Offer valuable advice based on your expertise, even if you’re a little worried that you’re giving too much away. Businesses will often stick to what they’re good at, and outsource the rest to those who have helped them and shown expertise on a subject. Offering valuable advice for free demonstrates confidence that readers and other businesses will come back for more.
Include testimonials, case studies and endorsements in your campaigns. The most effective form of advertising? Letting other people do it for you. All your success stories from the past can secure success in the future. Nothing demonstrates your qualities better than happy customers singing your praises - especially now that company reviews are among the first things prospective customers seek out.
Be opinionated. Comment on news features that affect your audience and market. Having an informed opinion or contributing to an industry debate is one of the best ways to demonstrate your leadership and expert insight. Getting your opinions out there shows that you are a thought leader, not a thought follower.
Marketing guru and author of the popular No B.S. book series Dan S. Kennedy believes; “If you aren’t rapidly and dramatically establishing yourself as a celebrity, you’re asleep at the wheel, ignoring the development of a valuable asset, one that’s fueling the economy around you.”
By positioning yourself as an authority in your field, you are instantly differentiating yourself from the market and adding value to your offering. As customers, we will pay more for the services of a market leader and authority. This is how authority marketing adds value to your brand and bolsters your bottom line. Improved status will bring trust to your brand, and prospects will actively seek you out. Email marketing is the easiest first step to towering above the crowd.
For more information, read our guide to creating trust through your email marketing campaign, or talk to Marc at Winbox.