Renting Out Your Authority

  • Category: Running Your Business

Once you’ve built some authority in your niche, you’ll start to receive offers to—essentially—rent it out.

That might look like requests to pay you for:

Placing an article on your blog.

Writing a bylined article for an advertiser’s site.

Running a promo on your podcast.

Reviewing a product in exchange for free merch.

Blurbing a social media promotion.

The first time you get one of these feels pretty cool: “you mean I get paid just for the audience I’ve already got?”

But of course you know there is no free lunch.

You are trading the precious attention of your audience—the authority you’ve earned through consistently serving your tribe—for some cash.

Or said another way, you’re trading a long-term strategic asset for what may be a short-term benefit.

The solution? Strategically considering the full impact of your arrangement and—ultimately—full transparency with your audience.

So a podcast promo by a strategic partner might be a relatively easy yes if the amount is high enough to be worth the trouble (there will be a negotiating process around their content, placement and payment).

And podcast promos are pretty clearly ads—you’re being open and transparent. But the others are trickier and require clear disclosure—if not legally, then ethically.

One quick test: would you do this for free because you feel so strongly about the message?

If not, it’s probably not the right fit.