This is the third in our series discussing the value to your business of establishing a reputation as an expert, authority and thought leader by building out your Authority Positioning Portfolio.™ The first and second looked at the ways increasing your visibility in industry associations and organizations, and how writing, can increase your authority and expertise. In this article, we’ll explore the ways getting and leveraging media placements will help you be viewed as an expert.

Being a Big Fish in a Small Pond

Being “rich” is less a function of how much money you have than whether you have more money than your neighbors. When residents of a middle-class neighborhood see a Porsche parked in a neighbor’s driveway, they’re likely to start talking, and wondering, and asking questions.

In the same way, whether or not you’re an “expert” is a function of who it is you’re trying to persuade. When a C-suite executive or entrepreneur’s website starts to feature a product or service linked to “As seen on” or “As featured in”—followed by the logos of Forbes, or CBS News, Huffington Post or even local media mentions—his colleagues and his customers will start talking, and wondering and asking questions.

So How Do You Do It?

Think back to when you were starting your career. You needed experience to land a great job, but the only way to get that experience was with a job. That same catch-22 applies to getting top media hits—top-notch media want authoritative commentators who’ve proven their worth and validity with similar top-level media appearances.

But there’s a key difference: while a job interviewer usually knows your industry, probably better than you, the media usually doesn’t. As psychologist at Yale University, Stanley Milgram discovered when he conducted an experiment focusing on the conflict between obedience to authority and personal conscience: The marketplace will blindly believe the words of an expert. That means if you have the right credentials, you can become a recognized expert in your field, even if you’re starting from scratch.

And, as American linguist, George Zipf, discovered, “your ideal clients intentionally narrow their choices to those who are on top.” In other words, you can amplify your credibility to persuade the media of your expertise, then use those media placements to beat out your competitors.

Here are 5 ways to increase your reputation as an expert by getting media hits:

Highlight Your Credentials with a Media Page

A media page is like a one-stop shop where media types can find out, in detail, who you are and what you’ve accomplished. Your media page should include a short and long bio, a list of the topics you’re available to discuss, press releases, a high resolution head shot, your contact information, and, most important, all previous media coverage. Don’t wait for media to find your media page—tell them about in phone conversations and with links from your blogs and articles.

Become a Local Authority

Your goal is to get media attention to impress your clients and prospects, but you can also build your expertise with local placements. Local magazines, TV programs and newspapers all need authoritative voices to sell their stories. Pitch current, relevant topics to them and use your media page to impress them. Remember that local coverage often leads to national coverage through syndication.

Jump into Existing Stories

If there’s a hot story which is getting a lot of national attention and it touches your industry, latch onto it. For example, if you’re a higher education consultant and you see story about affirmative action practices in college admissions in the media, call or email the editor to share your expertise and the specific ways you can add depth to his coverage, perhaps in a follow-up piece.


Newsjacking Strategist David Meerman Scott teaches that Newsjacking is the art and science of injecting your ideas into a breaking news story so you and your ideas get noticed. In fact I was privileged to interview him on my podcast, you can listen to the interview here.


Getting coverage in media outlets will make you an instant expert in your local market and beyond, and it’s easier than you might think. But then it’s how you use these Authority Positioning Assets™ in your business development to open more doors to close new business.

Mike Saunders has helped people publish bestselling books on Amazon, and he can do the same for you. Author of the Amazon Bestselling book, Authority Selling, contributor to the Huffington Post, adjunct marketing professor and member of the Forbes Coaches Council, Mike possesses deep experience as an authority marketing strategist. To learn more about the ways Mike can help you publish your Amazon bestseller and build a reputation for expertise, contact him today.