It doesn’t matter what niche you’re in — whether SEO or carpentry or accounting — there’s hundreds of businesses similar to yours that are all fighting for their piece of the market. Have you ever wondered why people choose certain businesses over others? Or why some businesses boom while others flop? A big part of it has to do with being an authority.
Just what is a niche authority? Well its a company that is well trusted, well grounded, and respected. Generally this comes with time — would you rather have a dentist straight out of dental school working on your teeth or someone with over a decade of experience? But part of being an authority has nothing to do with your actual ability — it has to do with how you are perceived.
Let’s take a look at Apple Computers. Today Apple is one of the most valuable and respected brands on the planet, worth billions upon billions of dollars. But not too long ago — about 30 years ago — Apple was run out of a 2 car garage. The person running Apple was the same back then, but the perception of the company was much different than it is today.
Ever hear the saying the first impression is everything? Well in the business world that really is true. Whether it’s having an office in the prestigious part of town, having a high quality website, wearing a really nice suit, or having high quality content, first impressions really do mean a lot in the world of business. But out of all the businesses that I respect and view as an authority, there’s one thing that tips the scale in their favor — quality information.
Your website and blog can truly be your business’ best friend or worst enemy. Do you use your blog to try and be a sales person, constantly pushing your business, products, and services, or do you use your blog to add value for your readers, by providing high quality content and establishing yourself as an authority? Quite honestly both models work well on the internet as I’ve seen and even run successful websites that have been 100% quality content based and 100% sales based, and both have done extremely well. But in this article we aren’t just talking about getting sales from your readers, we’re talking about building a brand and making your name into an authority.
What are the benefits of building an authority and brand name rather than just capturing current sales? The main benefit is future revenues. Anyone can convert a certain percentage of their website visitors into sales, but it takes an authority to go the extra step and make people remember your business and brand. What if I’m not ready to buy? What if I have a friend who wants your product/service? What if I go on to work in a fortune 500 company and need your product/service then? In all these scenarios and thousands of other scenarios, it will end up paying much more in the long run by being viewed as a niche authority than being viewed as a sales powerhouse.
I personally prefer being viewed as a niche authority. I receive requests to speak at events, host webinars, and a steady flow of referrals. I know from experience that those types of opportunities open the doors to dozens of new clients, and I also know through experience that those same doors wouldn’t be open if our website didn’t have quality content that helps our readers.
So I urge you to take a step back and examine your website and blog — is your company viewed as someone who’s in it for the short run to capture some quick cash, or are you viewed as a niche authority, a powerhouse who is here for the long haul and looking for long term, high quality relationships with your clients? There’s a huge difference between the two, and while they both work to achieve different objectives, I’m happy to say The Marketing Masters is here to be a niche authority for the long haul.