In 1995, Jeff Walker (our creative leader) was a stay-at-home dad taking care of a couple of babies and dreaming about what he wanted to do with his life.
At the time, he had been spending a ton of hours studying the stock market. He was not formally trained as a stockbroker and didn’t have a finance degree but spent a lot of time investigating the market and reading every type of book and publication he could get his hands on. Jeff eventually stumbled upon the crazy idea of publishing a Stock Market Tips newsletter on the Internet.
Well, something amazing happened.
In just a few years, Jeff had built up a loyal newsletter subscriber base of 80,000 strong and a super profitable business.
Now, you might look at “gurus” like Jeff and wonder how they were able to build up such a strong following in their respective niches.
While there are certainly lots of factors involved, let’s have look at four simple steps that you can take to start building authority in your market right away.
Step One: Investigate the Market
Be a “Sherlock Holmes” and actively investigate market trends, competitors and products in your niche to get a very clear picture on the current landscape.
If you are to position yourself as a trusted authority, then you need to be regularly “dialed in” to the current conversations and trends happening in your market.
- Spend some time Googling specific keywords related to your market (Ie. Quilting Newsletter) and see what type of content and websites are showing up. I’d recommend paying attention to the “Google Suggest” feature to see what other people are currently searching for in your market.
- Research hot topics and popular threads in target forums and social networks.
- Interview and follow industry experts and thought leaders.
Step Two: Be An Active Student of Your Market
Successful Entrepreneur, Marie Forleo says you need to “start learning before you start earning.”
Isn’t that the truth.
Prior to publishing his Stock Market newsletter, Jeff was a very active student of the market. You need to approach your market in the exact same way.
Think of Bill Gates for a moment…
Here’s a guy that gained access to a computer in his high school in 1968 (the computer probably took up the whole room) and proceeded to spend 10,000 hours-plus learning how to program on it. (There is a widely regarded theory that you can become an expert at almost anything by studying for 10,000 hours.)
Don’t worry, it won’t necessarily take you that long to gain expert status in your market, but the theory does reinforce that learning, studying and practicing are important prerequisites to building authority in any market.
- Blog posts
- Digital books
- Short videos
- Expert podcasts
Bonus Tip: Use Google Alerts to track the new search listings for specific keywords in your market. So, if you are looking to build authority as a “Motivational Speaker”, then you might want to follow all the conversations and content generated from the keyword, “Motivation”.
Step Three: Become a Publisher
Let’s be clear on one thing…
There is NO better way to position yourself as a trusted authority in your market than to simply START PUBLISHING.
If you want to be an expert, become a publisher first.
Remember, Jeff had no formal training or specialized expertise in the stock market, but he followed the first two steps and then eventually started publishing his newsletter. His decision to become a publisher forever changed his life and ultimately helped him to build an online business beyond his wildest dreams.
Now, in today’s market, there are so many more top-notch publishing platforms to choose from than what Jeff had access to back in 1996.
To name a few, you can start publishing through…
- Kindle books / ebooks
- YouTube videos
- Social Networks
- Email Newsletters
Last week, we talked about 5 Killer Publishing Platforms to Get Your Message to the Masses. Be sure to review that post for more details.
- (If you haven’t already), set up a WordPress blog, take all that you learned through studying your market and start publishing relevant and interesting posts. Here’s a terrific tutorial on how to get started with your first WordPress blog.
Step Four: Build a Tribe (Loyal Community)
In order to become a trusted authority, people need to “know, like and trust” you. In our social media-driven world, people resonate with business leaders that are transparent, interactive and present.
Social networks and blogs are ideal platforms to initiate discussions with your market and start building credibility and trust.
- Build your presence in relevant social networks (Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube) and start following and interacting with your audience and look to add tremendous value to their lives.
So, becoming a “Trusted Authority” may be closer than you think, but it will require a steadfast commitment to investigating your market, becoming an active student, publishing valuable content and building a strong community.
The Jeff Walker Team
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