real-authority

So last week we stirred a whole heap of stuff over on Facebook (if we’re not connected then… hello?  What are you waiting for? Connect with us ) after we were part of “so-called” mastermind/training group about “authority marketing” that promised to provide “authority” by getting you and clients published in big media and press.

Well after uncovering the web of deception (which we posted AND named names on Facebook… you know you’re curious now, right? 🙂) and creating a stir along with some really hot discussion and commentary I started thinking more and more about authority, press and position.

So what is “authority” from a business perspective?

Wikipedia defines “authority” as follows:

Authority is the legitimate or socially approved use of power. It is the legitimate power which one person or a group holds over another. The element of legitimacy is vital to the notion of authority and is the main means by which authority is distinguished from the more general concept of power. Power can be exerted by the use of force or violence. Authority, by contrast, depends on the acceptance by subordinates of the right of those above them to give them orders or directives.[1]

There is one key phrase in the above definition that I want to layout and build upon; “The element of legitimacy is vital”… Illegitimate authority really isn’t authority at all it’s more a subterfuge.  (Whoa he’s pulling out big words for this one. 🙂) The scam that we uncovered last week basically had people paying for “as seen on” logos when in actuality they weren’t even seen there.  Even further the promulgators of this so-called “authority” were pushing heavily for everyone to recreate every social profile pic with this huge “as seen on” image pushing these logos in the faces of visitors and followers.  They actually talked about “manufactured authority” claiming that ALL authority is manufactured.  This obviously is ridiculous.

So do mere logos really equal authority?  Of course not!  Just because I put a logo on my profile pic or website doesn’t by any means make me an authority.  Even if I were actually featured in the media and press (which Robin and I have been on several occasions) that in and of itself doesn’t make us authorities.

So what makes you or anyone an authority?

This is a very simple answer and one that I shared in the group, on Facebook and in several private messages… Real authority is derived from being a real, genuine expert and thought leader in your field.  Along with this come stellar customer service and customer experience.  Let’s look at a few larger companies that are considered “authorities” in their fields.

Starbucks

Whenever most people think of coffee they think of Starbucks regardless of whether they drink their coffee or not.  Why?  Starbucks is recognized as being an authority in their field.  Is it because they had a million “as seen on” badges all over their stores… Nope!  It was because they know coffee.  They live coffee.  They are coffee experts.  And it shows.

Another example would be;

Apple

Apple has risen to a level of great prestige in their field and are considered by many to be the greatest tech company of all time.  Apple rose as an authority by bucking the trends and being provocative thought leaders.  They intrigue people.

So how does this apply to you and your business?

In the above 2 examples there are several characteristics that stand out for us, as entrepreneurs, solo-prenuers, coaches, speakers, or whatever title you claim. J  The first example shows us that real authority is derived from being a real expert.  And when you’re a real expert in your field others will know it.  You won’t have to go around “touting yourself” (or fluffing up your profiles with a million logos) as the expert because it will speak volumes ahead of you.  Apple shows us that authority is derived from setting trends and being a thought leader.  Zigging when others zag.Now don’t get me wrong on this I am NOT saying that there isn’t ANY value in being “seen on” the media or in the press but what I am saying is that that alone doesn’t make you an authority.  What we’ve been seeing, like in the above scam we uncovered, (did you still NOT connect with us and check that out?  What are you waiting for? 🙂) is that many are putting the cart before the horse.  They’re trying to be “seen” as an authority based on a few logos instead of actually BEING an authority which will cause the press, media and following to come naturally.

So how about you?  Are you building a REAL, authority brand?

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