How to Become an Authority in 30 Days (or less)
Are you the best source of advice in your field?
A key component of any marketing platform is authority. Your audience—readers, customers, clients, fans—grows faster when they believe you are the best source around for information and advice. People are looking for someone they can trust to tell them more about the things they care about.
If you’re an authority, you have bigger and better reach.
Building authority takes time. It involves interacting with your audience regularly, cultivating relationships, creating tools and resources that your audience values. But you can shortcut that time by focusing your efforts on a few key components.
Let’s take a look at three key ways to build authority in just 30 days—maybe even less.
Blogs are a go-to practice for anyone building and marketing a business. That’s because they have almost unlimited utility and flexibility.
Writing is a skill that every successful entrepreneur and business leader values. If they haven’t cultivated this skill in themselves, they likely employ a copywriter to do the work on their behalf. But the entrepreneur who masters the craft and skill of writing, in addition to hiring highly skilled copywriters, will have an advantage over those who simply outsource all of the work.
A regular habit of writing helps you define and organize your business and your personal perspectives. Publicly visible writing, as in the case of a blog, adds the advantages of increasing your visibility and authority on a topic by increasing your accountability with your audience. It’s the difference between “showing” and “telling.” You build trust faster when you make yourself vulnerable, so embrace the vulnerability and take your blog public.
Writing a blog makes you more discoverable by improving search engine optimization (SEO), which helps to expand your reach and grow your audience while strengthening your brand. But above all, a blog gives you a platform for exploring and refining your knowledge and expertise, and it make that expanding authority available for others to find and appreciate.
At a minimum, you should aim to write a blog post every week. That’s the trickle that will help you create a strong river current of work that makes you more discoverable and demonstrates your expertise. But to really ramp things up, you should aim for a blog post every day.
To some people this sounds like a terrible idea. And that’s because we have been trained practically since birth to think that writing is hard.
The truth is, writing is hard. But so is exercising, eating healthy, reading books to improve your education—we do so many difficult things for our own good, every day, that it’s insane not to include daily writing in that list.
The secret to writing a daily blog post is to take your focus off of the “epic” post and put it on the “valuable” post.
Seth Godin, possibly one of the most well-known and well-respected marketing experts on the planet, creates a blog post every day. These may be lengthy posts, from time to time. But more often they are just a few sentences—a paragraph that elaborates on one of his ideas or insights.
These small chunks keep the mill running, and they add to an ever-increasing source of wisdom and value for his readers. He concentrates on the value rather than the quantity. You should, too.
Video & Podcasts
There was a time when only the wealthy or extremely powerful could reach an audience through television and radio. Airtime was expensive—it still is, for old-school media.
Today, we can have an even bigger influence with practically no overhead.
Sites such as YouTube and Vimeo make it possible to post videos that can expand your sphere of influence rapidly. Put enough production value into a video and it can be an attention-gathering tool. Make the content valuable, and it can go viral.
Podcasting has a similar reach. In fact, in many ways a podcast is superior to a video production, largely due to its portability. People can download and listen to podcasts on the go, while driving or exercising or even while working. They can listen while doing other things.
Creating a video series or a podcast has become incredibly inexpensive. Anyone with a computer or smartphone has everything they need. Which means there’s really no excuse not to use these high-impact platforms.
Similar to blogging, videos and podcasts help make you more discoverable, and more shareable. And while you don’t have to worry about doing either of these tasks daily to have an impact, the key to success is consistency.
For example, having a weekly podcast as well as a daily blog gives you even more points of contact with your audience. You could use the podcast (or video blog) as a platform for discussing topics from your blog in a way that’s more engaging for some people. Do it consistently, and people know they can rely on you for more information on a topic that interests them.
But again, portability is the real advantage. Those who are short on time, and who may not be able to get to your blog posts right away, can take you with them on their drive to work or on the treadmill at the gym.
We could delve into the advantages of tailoring your message for various learning modalities, but it’s enough to say that with a blog, a video series, and a podcast, you’ve covered practically all the bases.
Being consistent about how you deliver the content will help improve your chances of discoverability, and will build up a lot of credibility with your audience. It’s natural to assume that anyone who can come back to a topic every week is safe to call an authority on the topic. Credibility established.
What says "Authority" to you?
Which of these three authority-building techniques carries the most weight with you?
How to write a book in 30 days
Nothing works faster for establishing credibility than a book.
Aside from being a product you can sell to your audience (additional revenue is good), books function as a shortcut for demonstrating your authority and expertise. Even without cracking open the cover, your audience will make certain assumptions about you based on the fact that you actually took the time and made the effort to write a book in the first place.
Remember—writing is hard. We all know it. So the entrepreneur who writes will automatically be perceived as intelligent, reliable, and trustworthy.
Books also make the ultimate business card. We have been trained since birth to treat books with reverence and respect. So we might carelessly toss a business card in the round file after a while, maybe without even remembering how we got it, but we’ll probably hold on to a book forever. We can’t bear to throw it out.
So what if you could write a book in 30 days? Or even less?
To a lot of people that sounds insane, but the truth is thousands of authors are creating books in that time frame—some have built entire businesses around crafting books over and again, in rapid succession.
And these are quality books, not garbage. These are books that add value for the reader—maybe informing them about a topic of expertise, or maybe just providing entertainment—and thus they become valued by the reader.
There’s a formula I use with my clients to help them write a book in 30 days or less:
TWT / TDC = TDT
Total Word Target (TWT) Divided by Target Days to Completion (TDC) = Total Daily Target.
You didn’t know there’d be math, did you?
This formula is a lot more powerful than it looks. Because depending on the variables you plug in, and the commitment you make, you can produce a book in any timeframe you want.
Let’s say that you want to produce a book that is 50,000 words in length (TWT), and your goal is to write it in 30 days (TDC).
50,0000 / 30 = 1,667 words per day (your TDT)
For a standard 6x9 trade paperback, that equates to roughly six pages per day to write a book that will be roughly 200 pages in length. It’s likely you write more than that in emails and Facebook posts each day.
To write a book even faster, double the word count. Commit to writing half in the morning and half in the afternoon, to spit things up and make it a bit easier. But in general, writing 3,000 to 3,500 words per day will get you to 50K words in only 15 days, give or take. The rest of the month can be spent on editing and rewriting, layout, cover design, and getting the book into distribution.
Speaking of editing—don’t.
That’s the unspoken secret to writing fast and writing well. Do one job at a time.
Your job as a writer, for the duration of your book’s creation, is to write. You are not an editor during this time. You can be an editor after, but not during.
How all of this translates to authority
The best blog, video series, podcast, or book in the world won’t do your platform any good if it isn’t doing your audience any good. So your goal is to not only produce this work but to make sure it provides value for the audience. As you progress in this, you should constantly and consistently ask, “How does this serve my audience?”
The approach we’re talking about here is commonly known as content marketing, but it goes beyond how most people think of that term.
There’s a tendency toward transience when people get into content marketing—the aim seems to be “create something that brings people in right now.” But real content marketing is a long game. Your goal is to provide that ever-precious value, while making yourself more (and more, and more) credible and discoverable.
You build content in layers, not in heaps.
It should be intentional and structured, not tacked on as you think of it.
The three suggestions above can actually work very well with each other, flowing from one to another to create an ecosystem in which your audience can thrive.
A daily blog gives them daily touch—a point of contact where they can learn to trust your views and expertise.
A video blog and a podcast can create a personal connection—a chance for your audience to put a human face on your work, and thus build a more solid trust in you.
A book can encapsulate your wisdom and insight on a topic—an opportunity for your audience to dig deeper and learn more, and to share what they learn with others by handing your book around. Books are nice and portable, and easily shared. They’re the viruses of the authority world. In a good way, of course.
As a strategy, this is a pretty good one. It’s a continuous flow from you to your audience, with the sort of feedback you’ll need to keep shaping and growing your business.
Establishing authority on a subject allows you to extend your reach, which makes it possible to grow your business exponentially. It’s worth the time and worth the effort, and it can be done with less of either than you might think.