Lorrie Thomas Ross, WWW’s founder, frequently speaks on how to go from expert to authority. Here are some tips from her to help you be better seen and heard!

What does it mean to be an expert vs. an authority?

Anyone can be an expert (whether it’s in web design, social media, style, etc.). But how is it that there’s a sea of experts, and yet certain professionals are always ahead of the game? What sets those people apart from all the other experts? The answer is: they embrace an authority mindset and take different steps in managing their personal brand. Being an authority is a different mindset and evokes a different perception that results in more credibility and long-lasting brand and name recognition.

How can I gain authority?

The first step is to become comfortable with your expertise. The second step is write to share what you know. In the word authority is the word author. Walk the authority talk! Take time to look at your online bios. How are you describing yourself? Every piece of that is part of your personal brand and should be tailored. When you tell your story, you sell your story. Revisit old bios on platforms you don’t use as much (websites, Instagram, Twitter and make sure they read they way you want to be seen).

And if you feel you can’t do it on your own (it’s hard to write about how awesome you are, we know!), invest in someone to help you write your bios. Those two little sentences to the paragraphs you share can really make a difference; people will pull that greatness out and make it so others recognize the greatness in you.

Why is it so important to make that transition from Expert to Authority?

When you position yourself as an authority, you’ll get hired more, can attract more speaking engagements, more speaking power, more PR pieces, better ROI, etc. Respect is reciprocal, so when you present yourself in a certain way it’s going to expedite your sales process. We care about it because the sales process is important. Presenting yourself in the best way will cut that sales process in half and your customer’s experiences are going to be much better. It sets the tone for the entire relationship between you and your clients. You’ll be putting in the same amount of hours, but getting more $$ out of it.

What are 3 ways women can start to make this shift for themselves?

  1. First: Remember that in the word “authority” is the word “author.” You need to write to share what you know. Writing content doesn’t mean a book – could be blog posts, LinkedIn, tweets, Instagram, videos, etc. Content doesn’t have to be lots of text either – photos, etc. Writing what you know works in 2 ways: positioning you as the expert you are, facilitates client relationships (if you’ve written blog posts about things you get questions about, send them to your clients!)
  2. Second: Use tools like HelpaReporter with PR. Pitch yourself to the media. Being able to send a post to someone interviewing you. Talk is cheap, but when you have content and someone goes to your blog (because people will Google you!) it legitimizes you.
  3. Third: Be consistent. Don’t do it so hard that you’re burning out; start small. We don’t go to the gym to the first time expecting to be able to complete exercises that bodybuilders do. Work your way up!  Do what comes most naturally to you, whether it’s making photos or videos or writing text. From there, you can build and layer. It’s a marathon and not a sprint.


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