As announced about my series for Forbes, this series of articles considers the business value of being viewed as an expert in your field, from peers giving greater weight to your opinions to consumers being more likely to purchase your products and services to achieving higher search engine authority. Google positioning is a much-debated topic, you probably know it as “Search Engine Optimization or SEO,” and while this is an ever-changing formula, there is a way that you can benefit from Authoritative Google Positioning, read on to learn how.
In the last article, we looked at the ways that increasing your visibility in industry organizations and associations builds your reputation as an expert. This article looks at the ways writing can increase your reputation as a thought leader and expert.
Maintaining your own business blog and guest blogging for industry blogs and trade magazines, as well as posting in social media, will build your reputation as a thought leader. To effectively build your authority and increase your visibility, you need to stay on top of the latest news, trends, and developments in your field, and use that knowledge to pitch and publish ideas which have relevance. Not only will your name appear under the headline, but you’ll also be able to include a (well-written) bio at the end. One caution: when you pitch blogs and articles, take the time to do your research and provide links to authoritative sources. This will enhance your credibility and expertise so that you do not come across as self-promoting.
So, What Exactly Do I Need to Do?
If you simply throw a hundred articles at the wall and hope one or two of them sticks, you’re not going to get the results you need. In the book Authority Selling, there is a method for building your Authority Positioning Portfolio™ to establish yourself as an industry expert. Becoming an expert in your field is easier than you think, but it does require work and a solid plan. What you need is a well-executed plan. Here are three steps to make your writing a tool to increase thought leadership:
1. Create Your Own Business Blog
The best business blogs succeed because they give readers important information they can use and back it up with links to authoritative sources and smart commentary. Consider the blog at FedEx. The company understood that a lot of its customers have e-commerce websites, so they regularly post articles which give those customers useful information—like Fred Smith Talks Autonomous Vehicles, Robots and More.
To make your business blog a tool to increase your reputation as a thought leader, you must spend a good deal of time reading in your industry, identifying topics which have current relevance, increasing your knowledge base, and learning which sources are the most authoritative. If you do your homework, your blog will build your expertise and get great search engine rankings because you are becoming an educator and advocate for your target audience and the needs they face.
2. Guest Blog on Authoritative Websites
As they say, you’re known by the company you keep. After all, if the New York Times links to your website, search engines will gravitate to you like moths to a flame. In the same way, if you guest blog for the Times, or for Forbes or Harvard Business Review, industry leaders are naturally going to take you A LOT more seriously.
The trick is to identify the most authoritative sites in your market niche. One easy way is to find out where industry thought leaders are guest blogging. For example, Neil Patel is a thought leader in marketing. If you Google “guest post by Neil Patel,” you’ll quickly learn that his posts appear with Forbes and Quicksprout, among other sites. If you’re a marketer, submit well-researched posts to well-known blogs in your industry.
3. Embrace Long-Form Content
The reason search engines like long-form content is that it requires writers to dive deeper into subject matter than the typical 600-word blog, which means it has greater authority. Get in the habit of posting long-form content like white papers, eBooks and even podcasts (because you can post the audio as well as have it transcribed to post the text as well). Research your topic carefully, and post long-form content on the most authoritative sites.
Research shows that when someone hears about a business or entrepreneur, over 85% of the time, they will go directly to Google and search for the owner’s name and the name of the business. They want to see what is being said online about them; from reviews to news stories or just online presence. When you begin building your Authority Positioning Assets™, you need to keep a collection of these URL’s and add to your SEO strategy! Think about it, when you are mentioned in a media piece or interviewed on a business radio podcast and the URL to those media is inserted in your SEO campaigns for your brand name and main keywords, what do you think will show up over time in the top Google results?
Imagine you have a critically important business meeting in the morning. You could go in cold, or you could send attendees a packet of your most relevant and authoritative publications the night before. Imagine that packet includes your guest blogs with Forbes or the Huffington Post. Let’s go a step further and imagine you even include an Amazon best-selling book. Imagine the look on their faces when you walk into the conference room.
Sound impossible? It’s easier than you might think, just make a plan and take small, definite action steps toward achieving it each week.
How can I help you?
I am the author of Amazon Bestselling book Authority Selling™, contributor to The Huffington Post, Adjunct Marketing Professor at several Universities and member of the Forbes Coaches Council – an invitation-only community for the World’s Most Influential Business and Career Coaches.
As an Authority Marketing Strategist, I help business owners build their Authority and Expertise to enhance their Competitive Advantage and crush their competition by helping them build a spectacular Authority Positioning Portfolio™ which is the solution for opening more doors to closing more business. Let’s connect: www.MarketingHuddle.com