Building Your Authority Platform

I was 26 when my career changed forever.

A new law passed that completely upended how our clients handled health care—and as the junior consultant, I was selected to become the “expert” in our Chicago office.

I pored over hundreds of pages—the law itself and detailed analyses by our crack team of attorneys. I traded insights with my counterparts in other offices. As my confidence grew, I was excited to start briefing actual clients. Since the issue was heating up in the marketplace, the practice leader decided to host an in-office client briefing and asked me to be the presenter.

It would be my first ever stint at the podium. Even now, I can still feel the alternating waves of thrill and nausea.

All was well until the acceptances started rolling in. Typically we’d get maybe 30 at an office briefing, spiking up to 50 on something hot. We had over 120.

The senior consultants were openly panicked that a hot client event would be led by the greenest member of the team. (I later learned they’d wanted me replaced but were overruled.) So a last-minute group practice session to test my client-readiness was hastily arranged.

The day before the 8 A.M. presentation, I took my slides and my notes into a small dark room to rehearse before the leadership team. Who proceeded to spend the next five hours critiquing, changing, arguing amongst themselves and (sometimes viciously) tearing apart my deck. When it was finally over, I was up until 2 A.M., revising, rehearsing and mostly praying I wouldn’t suck.

I didn’t.

107 people showed up that day (yes, I counted) and we had a lively discussion about the meaning of the new law. Could I have been better? No doubt. But I was candid, prepared and most of all—me.

The sometimes mean-spirited grilling session (which was part of the culture of that firm) was in hindsight a pure gift because it gave me an early, valuable lesson: it wasn’t about me, but about the clients. About how even landmark legislation isn’t about the content, but what you do with it. About how you help your clients to be wiser than they were an hour ago.

The clients gave the session rave reviews. Word spread and the senior consultants were quick to take me to meetings. It wasn’t long before I was speaking outside the firm (the birth of my speaking career) and snagging some national podium time. Locally, the visibility parlayed into becoming President of an 800-member industry association, all before the ripe old age of 30.

So why am I telling you this story?

Because it was the start of building my authority platform.

Being an expert on a technical subject happened to be the price of my admission. It fueled my ascent onto a national industry stage and allowed me to broaden both my expertise and my reach. Today, I command premium pricing doing work that speaks to me.

My trip was an occasionally twisty journey, chock-full of lessons I want to make sure you don’t have to learn the hard way.

Because building an authority platform is the single most powerful client attraction move you can make.

The right platform works on your behalf 24/7, constantly sending out the message that you are a force to be reckoned with.

But what is the best strategy—not to mention the highest-impact tactics—to build the right one-of-a-kind authority platform for you?

Enter Instant Authority: four weeks of focused on-line training where I’ll walk you through the steps to create and amplify your unique authority platform.

The news? On March 25th, I’m launching the inaugural course.

I’m looking forward to sharing more of that with you shortly. But for now, be thinking about your authority platform and how it fits with where you most want to take yourself.

Like what you see here? Head on up to that orange bar to sign up pronto and I’ll deliver my weekly insights directly to your in-box.


  • What a wonderful story and all the better to share — and I hope folks do — with the the young folks around us. I shared with my son; I know how it relates to his first gig out of graduate school. Yet it applies to us all; my friend Fred talks about it as being the “go-to” guy (or gal).
    What I find wonderful about this discussion: sometimes I found myself in similar circumstances includes at some stops in public service; I knew I was the authority but never viewed it as a “Platform.” I realized how it build credibility I was able to use to open doors and build other relationships, sometimes many years later. I certainly like this new description, perhaps better called a definition; my book even supports the “construction” — even if the thought was not overt at the time of its development and, event, at its release. Just so profound.

  • Rochelle

    Thanks Corey–glad you can relate! I’m a big believer in building our platforms intentionally–it’s how solos can get their message out into the world…

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.