How to Gain Authority in Your Local Market for Your Small Business

control-427512_1280Every week as SmallBizLady, I conduct interviews with experts on my Twitter talk show #SmallBizChat. The show takes place every Wednesday on Twitter from 8-9 pm ET. This is excerpted from my recent interview with @tallenhanes. Tracy A. Hanes is the President of T. Allen Hanes & Associates. He is also the Vice President of “The Local Marketers Association”. A Retired US Navy Photographer and Video Producer. An International Best-Selling Author of “Drive to Zero”- Communication and Simple Online Video Marketing for Business Owners, he loves teaching entrepreneurs across the globe how they can “Awaken” and claim their authority. He has been featured on CNN, CBS, NBC, FOX, ABC, Miami Herald and Small Business Trend Setters among other media affiliates. Tracy has a passion for helping entrepreneurs, business owners, authors, speakers and coaches position themselves as the go to person in their niche. Often referred to as “Mr. Incredible” he and his team have created 84 Best Selling Authors to date. For more info, visit immediatecelebritystatus.com

SmallBizLady: What is Authority Marketing?

Tracy A. Hanes: You begin to position yourself as an authority by consistently providing useful information to your audience–information which solves problems, offers solutions and addresses needs. Your audience finds you, in great part, simply as a result of you positioning yourself as an educator and advocate for their success.

Learning how to use authority marketing isn’t that difficult. If you stick to what you know and continue to grow in that particular field, you will become an expert and in turn become an authority on that subject.

SmallBizLady: How does Authority Marketing compare to SEO?

Tracy A. Hanes: The other aspects of marketing such as SEO all go along with authority marketing and help to make it work. Consequently, authority marketing has now become more important than these other marketing aspects. In essence, today’s authority marketing is paramount, and all other forms of SEO and marketing fall in place behind that one strategy, making it imperative for you to utilize it as a marketing strategy as a business owner.

Authority positioning is a simple yet compelling idea that represents an area of differentiated advantage.

It establishes what it is that makes you different from your competitors, and does it in a way that creates a competitive advantage in the eyes of the customers or consumers you serve.

SmallBizLady: What are some ways I can position myself as an authority?

Tracy A. Hanes: As a business owner you must be taking advantage of all the social media channels.   All your channels should be set up.  Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and LinkedIn.  Your content is positioning you as the educator and advocate to your client base.  In the form of the written word, video, audio, in the form of courses and webinars.

SmallBizLady: What would be an example of this in regards to a local business?

Tracy A. Hanes: In every buying decision, be it finding a good mechanic or hiring a consultant, people look for experts or leaders in the marketplace. They want someone who seems to have a proven solution, instead of someone who wastes their time and money.

By establishing your brand as the obvious choice for those who are choosy, you rise above the noise and sameness. It happens every time. You become the shining star among the night sky.

Positioning yourself as an authority relates to strategies for carrying out an objective to achieve a specific goal. The concept of authority positioning is no different, the goal is to provide instant proof and consistent information that you or your business is an authority in the marketplace. This is done by providing solutions and catering to the requirements of your audience, and having 3rd party media talking about you.

SmallBizLady: What is a specific example of authority marketing?

Tracy A. Hanes: Here is a detailed example to demonstrate the concept of authority marketing and its significance in our lives.

You are looking for someone to do the garden landscaping of your front yard. Now, the question arises of choosing the right contracting firm. Assume that you have two choices for the same, the first firm belongs to a person who is good at his work and has gained a positive feedback from his past clients. But, the only thing that explains his skills is his work experience and local referral from a church member.

Whereas, the second contracting company belongs to someone with a number of appearances on TV shows, quoted on Business magazines, CNN and seminars about landscaping and home decoration as an expert. Also, he is the author of some great books centered on garden landscaping such as “Front Yard Landscaping Tips” and “DIY Home Garden”. These things surely present the second one as a highly experienced and skilled professional having an expertise in the subject.

Naturally, one of the two will get your preference. Though the first person is great at his work, you have little knowledge about him, but the second one is a well-known name in his field with several examples of his affluence. Thus, the latter has very strong chances of being chosen by you even if you have to invest a higher amount of money to appoint him as compared to the first person. Being an authority doesn’t imply that the other competitors aren’t as efficient as the former, but it surely brings a huge difference and sets a positive impact on the customers. People always look for expertise before hiring someone for a job, thereby being an authority in a sphere provides more work opportunities as well as a higher amount of money.

SmallBizLady: What is a way that a local business or entreprenuer can model?

Tracy A. Hanes: Authority marketing is all about doing a particular thing exceptionally good, instead of doing multiple things with average performance. What matters is to discover the field of your competence and confine yourself to doing it.  We like to call it micro specializing!

Some people have established themselves as living legends in terms of achieving huge popularity and growth with authority marketing.

SmallBizLady: What are some examples of celebrities that have used authority marketing?

Tracy A. Hanes:  Here are some celebrities that are highly acclaimed because of their financial and health expertise in authority marketing.

Dave Ramsey – A highly acclaimed financial expert, Dave Ramsey, not only conducts seminars on the ways to efficient budgeting and getting out of debt, but has also written a number of books about the same. Apart from that, he runs a leading syndicated radio show and takes up various activities concerning finance. His achievements and works are responsible for him being a supreme name in getting out of debt and finance.

Dave is a financial expert and that’s something he pursues exclusively and is quite popular for the same. The reason behind his huge influence is that he never considers or calls himself a specialist in subjects other than finance and sticks to his area of expertise only.

Richard Simmons – Richard Simmons has explained the true meaning of authority marketing through his career quite amazingly, beginning from a goal and executing things in just the right manner to achieve it.

He began with a desire to assist overweight people in losing weight in an amusing manner. He shared his ideas and goals about the same through a number of TV shows, videos, books discussing the significance of a healthy diet.

Surely, his proficiency made him very popular among people when it comes to the subject of efficient weight loss, all because of his authority marketing skills.

SmallBizLady: How would a local business start to be positioned as an authority?

Tracy A. Hanes: Authority positioning is the thing that identifies an individual as a more competent person in a field as compared to their competitors. It demonstrates a person’s differentiated advantage to the target customers in an educator and advocate manner.

Being a published author, regular media appearances, speaking gigs at industry events, and releasing training courses are just a few examples.

Producing your own digital magazine, hosting your own radio show, appearing on other radio shows, and contributor to magazines.  Being quoted in Entrepreneur, Inc, Business Week etc.

By shining a better and brighter light on what you already have and filling in some gaps along the way, you can position yourself and your brand as one of the leaders in your field.

SmallBizLady: What does being a published author mean to me as a business owner?

Tracy A. Hanes: Most people cannot see themselves as a published author.  As you see in the word AUTHORity is author.  There has never been a better time to be an entrepreneur on this planet.  And the onset of Amazon and self-publishing has leveled the playing field for business owners to tell the world about what they bring to the market.  And to position themselves.  Not only being published, but you must be a Best Selling Author.  One you become a Best Selling author, you tell the world about it with a press release. Then you have third party people talking about you versus you telling everyone you’re the expert. This allows you to separate yourself from a “me” to a niche.  Plus you get bragging rights at a networking event and a new business card to hand out.

SmallBizLady: How am I going to get this book done?

Tracy A. Hanes: There are several ways to produce a book. The traditional way is the long way.  Remember we are not publishing your autobiography.  We will publish a book that relieves a pain in the market place.  What is your solution to a problem?  You can always publish several books.

SmallBizLady: So what does all this mean for a small business owner?

Tracy A. Hanes: When it comes to establishing yourself as the ultimate authority before the customers, regardless of the prices of the product or services you offer, as a business owner you need to present your thing and the concept behind it in a way that is consistent throughout and impactful, leaving a long lasting impression on the audience.

The same tendencies that draw people to an expert also attract business partners. If you want to rapidly grow your business, you need to partner with the other authorities in your field in order to open the doors for new audience.

SmallBizLady: Can any small business utilize authority marketing?

Tracy A. Hanes: Your job as a business owner is to position an idea of your expertise, in its educational and advocate format, with sufficient power and consistency over time so that the audience comes to see you as the undisputed authority in your marketplace where price is not a barrier. You just have to get started on the 9 steps to claiming your authority. Are you ready to claim your immediate celebrity status?

If you found this interview helpful, join us on Wednesdays 8-9 pm ET; follow @SmallBizChat on Twitter. Here’s how to participate in #SmallBizChat: http://bit.ly/1hZeIlz

For more tips on how start or grow your small business subscribe to Melinda Emerson’s blog http://www.succeedasyourownboss.com.

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