When you think of building your authority and influence for your online business, your mind probably goes to building an audience first and foremost.
Of course you need an audience to build influence. You could be the absolute best at what you do, with the smartest ideas, the most innovative approach — but if no one knows about it, you won’t have much influence or authority.
But a big audience does not necessarily create authority; and on the flipside, you can become recognized as an authority without a huge audience.
There are lots of blog posts and resources out there about how to grow your audience — in fact, we have more than half a dozen Destination Guides inside Business Class about growing your audience, covering everything from podcasting to social media and blogging to hosting challenges.
But today I want to share three unusual or unexpected ways you can grow your audience and your authority that are all about building trust.
To start your journey toward building your authority, be sure to click here to download my Authority Game Plan worksheet to learn my quick strategy for building authority. It’s normally only offered as part of my Business Class Destination Guide, “How to Increase Your Authority in Your Niche Quickly” — but you can grab it today for free.
Find additional ways to serve your audience
Once you’ve got your one thing working well for you, it’s time to expand.
Think about other ways that you can start to serve your audience. This might be through additional content, like a podcast, a group, or a video series; it could be an additional product or program that could be an upsell or downsell; or maybe you want to write a book or host a live event.
Finding different avenues to reach other segments of your ideal customer base can help you reach and serve more people. But it also helps build and create trust.
One woman who does this extremely well is sales expert Kendrick Shope. Kendrick’s “one thing” is her signature program, Sales School, but she regularly goes above and beyond expectation, making herself available to her audience to answer questions and offer free coaching. She’s become well known for her weekly free coaching calls and her 24-hour (you read that right!) coaching and Q&A days when she’s launching. These live coaching calls — to people who haven’t even purchased from her yet — are her special way of serving her audience and building trust.
Focus on customer service
Another great way to build your authority in your niche is to go above and beyond with your customer service.
Why? Because if customers have an outstanding experience with you, they’re more likely to refer you to their friends and colleagues. As the popular Mark Cuban quote goes, “Treat your customers like they own you, because they do.”
GroVia, a cloth diaper company, was started by a mom and they take customer service seriously. They hand pack all orders, and when a mistake was made with an order that a friend of mine made, she was able to get someone on the phone right away. They overnighted the missing product to her with a handwritten note apologizing for the mistake!
Another company, Showcase, is a SAAS company for enterprise-level customers. Their customer helpdesk mantra is: “Be thoroughly helpful,” and this builds upon a core company value of treating their customers as kings and queens.
CEO Millie Blackwell considers it a mark of pride if she’s talking to one of her busy enterprise customers and they name a member of the helpdesk team — that customers have such good experiences with helpdesk that they remember the team members names. And the customer service teams know the customers by name, too — they don’t even use ticket numbers.
That kind of exceptional customer service is a great way to build up trust with your customer base and help them feel confident recommending you to others — which is an awesome way to expand your audience with additional like minded people who need what you have to sell.
Share case studies and testimonials regularly
Another important way to increase trust and referrals is to gather and share case studies and testimonials regularly.
If you can systematize asking clients and customers for their testimonials, you’ll have lots to choose from. For example, you might include an automated email in your system that goes out after someone has made a purchase, asking for their feedback through a simple form. And once you get new testimonials, you need to be sure to share them regularly.
Make a point to keep your website updated with fresh testimonials regularly. You can use longer case studies on your blog or in your email newsletter. And you can create simple graphics to share testimonials and short quotes from customers on all your social media channels.
Case studies and testimonials are proven to be one of the best ways to help new leads make the decision to work with you or buy from you. It lets them visualize themselves in the shoes of your happy customers and helps overcome objections they might have had about working with you.
Building up trust around the one thing you want to be known for can be just as powerful as growing your audience by huge numbers. In fact, I think it should be a vital part of your game plan if you goal is to grow your authority.
And the first step is to click here and download our Authority Game Plan worksheet and make a plan. It’s based on the principles I teach inside the “How to Increase Your Authority in Your Niche Quickly” Destination Guide inside Business Class, and it will provide you with a custom roadmap for turning your one thing into serious authority for you and your business.