The Proven Path To Building Authority
- Part 5: Cut Out The Middle Man -
In my last article on building authority I showed you a method for evaluating any marketing strategy to see whether it will work well for you to help you establish your pre-eminent market position.
In this article I'm going to talk about the types of strategy I like to use best and that I believe work well for most people.
If you think of a lot of the traditional approaches to getting visible with your ideal clients, they all involve going through a third party. If you want to get a book out there, you used to need to go through a publisher. if you want to appear on a Tv or radio show or podcast, you're reliant on the host saying yes. If you want an article to appear in a prestigious publication or even as a guest blog post on someone else's site, you need them to say yes to it.
Wouldn't it be better if you could just go direct to your ideal clients?
Bruce Henderson thought that when he founded the Boston Consulting Group in 1964. He didn't have the established connections and powerful alumni network that firms like McKinsey who'd been around for about 40 years by then had.
But he did have great ideas. A distinctive point of view.
But rather than waiting and hoping to get his ideas published in magazines his potential clients were reading, or spending years trying to get a book deal, Henderson simply mailed his ideas in the form of essays called "Perspectives" directly to them.
Henderson likened his essays to a “punch between the eyes”. They were deliberately provocative - he wouldn’t publish anything that he thought executives already knew about. Those provocative ideas shook up enough of the executives who read them and gave them enough new ideas that they came knocking on Henderson's door to work with him and his new firm.
So much so that within a decade, BCG had become the biggest Strategy Consulting firm in the US.
Not only was this direct route faster than trying to go through third-parties, it was also uncensored. Henderson could make his opinions as hard-hitting as he wanted in order to provoke a reaction from his audience without worrying about what publishers or editors thought. And he could promote his firm's services as the answer to the challenges he raised and the logical choice to implement the solutions he proposed.
Direct mail is still a very viable method for getting your Distinctive Point of View across to a small, identifiable target audience like senior executives in major corporations. But in the 50 or so years since Henderson started using direct mail to get the attention of prospective clients there have been quite a few innovations we can now use to go direct to our audiences.
In particular, the targeting options available for advertising on Google, Linkedin or Facebook allow us to find pretty much any audience we want to build authority with and to get our message directly to them either through advertising or (on Facebook or Linkedin) by connecting with them.
Now, of course, advertising or messaging in and of themselves don't build your authority. What you need to do is use your advert or message to offer your potential clients a "lead magnet". A distilled form of your Distinctive Point of View that offers them some immediate benefit and so entices them to sign up to get it, and allows you to follow-up with them to deepen your authority over time.
One of the most effective lead magnets I've used over the years has been my "21 Word Email That Can Get You More Clients". It's a simple technique for following up with a certain type of prospect that gets results fast. It sounds powerful and easy to implement, and it is powerful and easy to implement.
By offering it through adverts on Facebook and Linkedin I got a large number of potential clients to sign up for it. And when they tried it and it worked, it raised my authority just like Bruce Henderson's Perspectives did five decades ago.
Now I'm not saying "don't write a book" or "don't do guest blog posts". What I am saying is that the fastest way to get your Distinctive Point of View visible to your ideal clients is to go direct to them online. Either through advertising or by connecting and publishing so they see it.
That's where I'd start, and it's where I recommend you start too.
In the Authority Breakthrough program I teach you all the steps you need to know to make a success of direct advertising on Linkedin and Facebook, and connection strategies on Linkedin to get your content to potential clients for free.
If you'd like to find out more and apply to join the program, just click here.