The Guide To Establishing Yourself As An Expert
17 Proven Ways to Position Yourself As A Niche Authority
Stop and think about your niche for a moment. Then ask yourself, who’s making all the sales?
Like most niches, the people who make the most sales are the ones who are considered the experts or authorities in the niche. And it makes sense, right? People don’t want to buy from some unknown Joe Blow. Instead, they want to follow and buy products from niche experts.
The point is, if you want to start getting more respect AND getting more sales in your niche, then you need to position yourself as an expert/authority.
Here are 17 ways to do it…
1. Show Your Credentials
If you have some special qualifications in your niche, then be sure to tell your audience. This includes credentials such as:
A related degree, certification or other education in the niche.
Awards or accolades in the niche.
Relevant job experience.
Relevant volunteer experience.
A track record of getting results for yourself or others.
The number of years you’ve been involved in the niche.
Any academic papers you’ve published.
For example, if you’re sharing information about arthritis and you’re a retired nurse, then share this credential on your website and across your content.
2. Discuss Research
Another good way to position yourself as an expert is by keeping up with all the new research in your niche and then discussing it whenever something new comes out. You can explain technical research in lay terms to your audience and explain what it means to them and what steps they need to take.
To uncover research, you can use a tool like Google Scholar. You can also keep an eye on academic/research journals specific to your niche, so you can discuss new research just as soon as a new journal is published.
3. Give “Reasons Why.”
For example, some dog-training experts say you should NEVER use puppy pads to housetrain a puppy, while others say it’s okay.
Whenever you’re sharing information where there’s some disagreement, give your reasons why you perform a task in a certain way. It’s best to give scientific reasons, such as using academic research to back your advice. If that sort of research isn’t available, consider doing your own case studies to help back your claims.
4. Write With Authority
In addition to giving “reasons why” when sharing content, you need to be mindful of whether you’re writing with an air of expertise/authority or whether you sound unsure of yourself. Put, if you write with confidence, people are more likely to view you as a leader.
Let me give you an example of what unsure language looks like: “If you write with confidence, then maybe others will view you as a leader.”
See the difference? The word “maybe” weakens the sentence.
The point is, if you know what you’re writing about (and you should), then don’t weaken your content with words like “maybe” or “perhaps” or “you can consider” or “might”… and so on.
TIP: Yes, sometimes you will use those words. But if you do, just double check if it makes you sound unsure of yourself or if you’re genuinely sharing information where there is some ambiguity (e.g., information that science hasn’t settled yet). And if that’s the case, then tell people why there is ambiguity.
5. Do JVs With Other Experts
When you do joint ventures with other experts in your niche, your name gets associated with their names – and that automatically elevates your status. For example, you can do a webinar together with one or more experts in your niche.
6. Start a Blog
If you haven’t already done so, start blogging. Having your own platform where you regularly post good information will help establish you as an authority. Be sure to include social sharing buttons/badges next to your content (and encourage your visitors to share) because widely shared content also helps establish your authority in the niche.
7. Do Guest Blogging
The key here is to be sure you’re a guest author on high-quality blogs in your niche. If your prospects keep seeing your name and content pop up on all their favourite blogs, they’re going to start viewing you as a respected thought leader in the niche.
To find these blogs, search for your niche keywords (such as “car restoration” or “gardening”) followed by search terms such as “guest blogging opportunities,” “submit guest articles,” “article submission guidelines”, and similar.
8. Get Interviewed
As an affiliate, it’s more likely that you’ll be the interviewer than when you interview a vendor. And that’s fine to engage in those sorts of activities because they are certainly beneficial to your business.
However, you should also seek out opportunities for other people to interview you. That’s because the interviewee is automatically viewed as the expert. If you can find other experts who’d be willing to interview you, that’s perfect. However, even just having a friend interview (and then post this interview on your platforms) will help elevate your status in the niche. And once you have one interview under your belt, people will likely start asking if they can interview you.
9. Contribute Something New to the Niche
The people who break some ground in a niche are others' view as experts and authorities. That’s why you’ll want to contribute something worthwhile to your niche too.
If you can pioneer an entirely new strategy in your niche, that’s awesome – but it’s not required. There are other ways to break ground, such as:
Coin a new phrase. Give a fresh name to something in your niche. For example, if you share diet information, you’re going to share a strategy and information to increase one’s metabolism. If you give this strategy a fresh name, such as “The Metabolism Multiplier,” then you’ll stand out as an authority in the niche. You might even consider adding your name or branding (e.g., “Mike’s Metabolism Multiplier”), where appropriate.
Create a formula. Instead of sharing traditional step-by-step information, create a formula. I like to use acronyms, where each step of a formula corresponds to a letter of the acronym. (E.G., the “S.A.L.E.S.” formula might be a five-step process for getting more affiliate sales.)
Come up with a new tip. Just one fresh tip here and there will help set you apart and establish your expertise in a niche.
Communicate “old” information in a new way. You can use analogies, similes, metaphors or even alliteration (like this list you’re reading) to present information freshly.
Here’s the next tip for establishing authority in a niche…
10. Start a YouTube Channel
The idea here is to create yet another platform for you to showcase your expertise. For example, you can share how-to information and demonstrations; you can post interviews (which establish your expertise), post webinars, post slide presentations, post niche predictions, and more. Be sure to build your following, as this serves as further social proof that you’re an expert.
11. Get Influencers Sharing Your Content
Some of the influencers in your niche are other marketers, while others are consumers with platforms (such as people with big platforms on social media or their own popular blogs). Your job is to identify these influencers, build relationships with them, and then send your content and ideas to them. When respected influencers start sharing your content, it naturally elevates your status in the niche.
12. Get Other Experts Endorsing You
When other authorities give you their stamp of approval, your status in the niche elevates. That’s why you’ll want to seek out endorsements and testimonials from others experts.
There are two kinds of experts that you’ll want to engage for this strategy:
1. Well-known experts. These are the people in your niche with good name recognition. They may be product creators, bloggers, authors, coaches, people with big social media platforms and more. Most people in the niche will recognize their name, and they already trust the person, so they’ll sit up and notice when these sorts of folks endorse you.
2. Respected (yet “generic”) authorities. These are people who are respected in the niche, but people don’t know the person personally. Instead, the person’s profession is respected.
For example, if you’re sharing health-related content, you might get endorsements and testimonials from nurses, doctors, EMTs, and others. Maybe these folks work at your local hospital, so anyone outside the local area doesn’t know these folks by name – but they DO respect the profession. E.G., “4 out of 5 dentists recommend….”
Let’s suppose you’re selling dog training information. You’d find as many known experts in the niche (including the vendors you’re working with who are well known in the niche) to endorse you. You’d then find other experts such as local dog trainers and veterinarians to endorse you or provide a testimonial.
13. Syndicate Your Content
The idea here is to let other people publish your content with your permission. You can add a legal note at the end of your content, encouraging people to publish it (without modification). You can also use paid content syndication platforms, such as Outbrain.com to distribute content.
14. Give an Offline Talk
People who give offline talks are viewed as experts. However, you don’t want to limit your audience to the people in the room with you. You can live stream the talk or record it (where allowed) and then share this recording on your platforms.
Here are examples of the types of talks you can give:
Give a talk at a local organization or club.
Speak at a local meet up (meetup.com).
Offer yourself as an expert for local media.
Talk or do a demonstration at a niche seminar, expo or conference.
15. Write a Book
Here we’re talking about a physical book rather than a digital book. If you can get it published by a publishing house, that’s great. But even if you can’t (or don’t want to), self-publishing your own physical book tends to garner respect in the niche and establish you as an expert. You can use Amazon’s CreateSpace.com to self-publish your book and get it listed in the right places.
16. Create Rebrandable Content
The idea here is to create content that others want to share and then sweeten the pot a little. Specifically, you make your content re-brandable so that people can include links back to their own site or an offer. That way, if someone purchases something from the book, the person who did the rebranding makes money.
Here’s what you get out of it: exposure. If you have dozens, hundreds or even thousands of people sharing your content all over your niche, it’s going to establish you as an authority or expert automatically.
Here’s a similar idea…
17. License Your Content
This strategy is all about taking your content – such as blog posts, lead magnets, bonus products you’ve created and so on – and giving other people licensing rights to them. You can offer to resell rights or even giveaway rights. Just be sure you don’t offer PLR (private label rights), as you don’t want anyone modifying your content.
TIP: While you can giveaway this licensing, the alternative is to sell these licensing rights. If you sell master rights (meaning license holders can pass on the rights to others), then you’ll get more coverage in the niche. In other words, your name and content may even saturate the niche, which is usually a good thing in terms of branding and establishing your expertise. Just be sure you’re only offering the highest quality content.
And now a few parting thoughts…
As you can see from the guide to establishing yourself as an expert, content is essential to establish yourself as an expert. If you blanket your niche with high-quality content, your audience will see your name, branding, and solutions whenever they’re searching for niche information. In turn, they’ll start viewing you as an expert. That’s why you want to put as many of the above tips and ideas to work for you!