How to Become an Authority
This past weekend I was looking into how people become authorities of a topic or subject. This exercise was very enlightening as I looked into how people get the title of authority.
I have always believed the way you become an authority was to study a subject in depth. The rule of thumb was to read a minimum of five books on a subject. Then outline the information as if it were a process. Using this method allowed me to learn about several different areas in sales and leadership.
However, in today’s world there seems to be other methods that are getting more play. It is true that a person could be using my method or one like it, yet, incorporating one of the two methods I discovered over the weekend.
So, here are two methods I learned about this weekend:
- Claim it. This seems to be the aggressive technique that is used by many direct marketers. They simply state they are THE Expert in a particular field or subject matter. This is a gutsy method, yet, if you are in to self promotion – this is the method for you.
- Appointed. Now this one is different because it requires others to get involved and participate in the announcement. Under the appointed banner are two subsets regarding the how a person gets appointed. The first is by referrals whereby others state that you are an expert in a field or status. This is a direct reflection of work, success or progress that you had with the referee. The second subset is a new one – called social appointments. The social is reflected in the numbers of people following a person on the Internet – particularly the social marketing sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Podcasts and Blogs. The larger the group of followers, friends, subscribers and connections, the more a person must be an authority on their topic.
You can engineer your legacy as an authority using one the above methods, or you can keep it a secret. Begin by studying a topic, learning everything you can about the topic, then write papers, articles and books on the topic and then wait for others to learn about you. Or use one of the above methods to promote yourself and your knowledge. The key is become known so people will seek you out to help them improve. This is win-win at its best.