Eight Reasons You Need To Become An Authority

When I left the big boys to start my first firm, I made the decision to continue to court the dozen or so mega companies where I had built strong relationships.

It was a calculated investment since my two-year non-compete precluded me from earning any revenue from it and I wasn’t sure if they’d buy from a tiny firm. But they were people I’d deeply enjoyed getting to know and wanted them to stay in my circle.

Just when my two-year moratorium was up, one of my favorite folks was getting ready to solicit bids on a project right up our alley. It was big. I figured we had the inside track since I’d already done the preliminary work and had proven I knew how to navigate their intricate business unit decision-making process.

And then I got the call. My best contact there—the one I’d nurtured for close to ten years—let me know she wouldn’t be asking me to propose. Why? Because she didn’t want the internal political risk of choosing a firm that didn’t have a national brand name attached.

It was a big ouch (it STILL smarts when I think about it), but an exceedingly valuable lesson.

When you have a small firm, you need to become an authority—if not THE authority—in exactly the right niche for your expertise and your brand + business.

Here are eight reasons why it’s worth investing the time to get yourself there:

You become a “must”—someone your sweet-spot audience simply must hear from before deciding how to proceed.

You build trust exponentially—the more you know and share the more believable you become.

You attract a constantly expanding circle—people who want to learn from you, buy from you, maybe even work for you.

Your content draws more interest—your email list grows, your conference sessions or keynotes attract more people and media coverage.

You grow a community around you—engaging your tribe on multiple platforms in ways that suit you.

Your social networks grow faster—as your target audience reads, watches and shares your content.

Media folk start seeking you out—which means you spend less time and money trying to reach them AND you get to choose where you most want your wisdom to appear.

You make more money—you spend less time on front-end selling (because your authority is working for you) and more time closing business at price tags your less well-known competitors can only dream about.

And—it’s fun. Seriously.

It goes beyond ego. Watching your brand of expertise unfold and transform lives is nothing short of breath taking.

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4 Comments

  • I like reading this and recall my days in that middle zone where I was too small to be considered for the larger jobs. Those days were difficult because I / we knew we were the best company to manage whatever the project was. But because we were a startup to the client, they were concerned about our capability and financial ability to weather the storm. Frankly, we were also concerned about our financial ability to weather the storm until we could “get on our feet”.

  • Rochelle

    Thank you for this Ed! “That middle zone” is such an excellent descriptor of the place we’ve all found ourselves…

  • Agree much. It becomes a basis to bring you in even where so-called big size competitive may be engaged on the same team. It makes for interesting meetings and interactions but there you are playing and seen playing with those “big boys” BECAUSE the situations demands you whether they want you engaged or not, they know your presence and participation as crucial to a venture’s overall success, and maybe even its credibility.

  • Rochelle

    It IS fun tweaking the “big boys” as the David to their Goliath 🙂 Thanks for the observation Corey!

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