The 7 Pillars of Authority Marketing
(Episode 1 of 2 with Adam Witty)
Adam Witty is the CEO & founder of Advantage|ForbesBooks. He has built the company into one of the largest business book publishers in America, serving over 2,000 members in 47 U.S. states and 22 countries.
Witty is a sought-after speaker, teacher, and consultant on marketing and business growth techniques for entrepreneurs and authors. He is also the author of eight books including, Authority Marketing. In today’s episode, we’re going to dive into his book and discuss the seven pillars of authority marketing.
We will cover the following key takeaways:
- Consumers seek out experts and leaders to counsel, educate, and advise them to make better decisions. Authority marketing is about systematically positioning ourselves or our company as a thought leader so we can better help our customers.
- We can create omnipresence by creating and publishing brand content in places our customers are.
- As the author of content, you create credibility for yourself as an expert.
- Our customers likely don’t believe what we say about ourselves; they are much more likely to believe what other people say about us.
- One of the most effective ways to get clients and customers for your business is by speaking.
- The best customer is the one that is seeking information.
- Not only do events create massive credibility and authority, it’s also a very effective way to sell, influence, and grow your business.
- We should be willing to pay more money for top talent early on in our business.
- There is opportunity in buying an existing business and making it better.
What is Authority Marketing?
Adam believes the biggest business tectonic shift happening today is the mass movement away from commercial advertising to content and educational marketing.
“People are . . . not looking at an ad and taking action as a result of it. [They are] looking for a solution to a problem and seeking out information and education to help them solve that problem,” Adam said. “It’s a marketing shift, and it is really authority marketing, credibility, marketing, education marketing, that is going to overtake traditional mass advertising in many, many categories.”
As you know, I believe credibility marketing is the most important tectonic shift happening today. Instead of the business communicating to the world why they’re so awesome in their own words, we need to find much more credible sources to communicate that message. Authority marketing is very similar. It is the idea that consumers seek out experts and leaders to counsel, educate, and advise them to make better decisions.
We, as entrepreneurs, can strategically position ourselves or our company to be seen as a thought leader on a topic in our category. We can position ourselves to have authority (or credibility) in our industry.
Many businesses and individuals have authority and credibility, but they don’t tell anyone about it. Authority marketing is about showcasing our authority in honest ways. We have to manufacture our authority strategically so show our customers they can trust us.
The 7 Pillars of Authority Marketing
As we said above, authority marketing is systematically positioning ourselves or our company as a thought leader, and there are seven pillars of authority marketing that can help us achieve this.
1. Branding and Omnipresence
Omnipresence is intentionally being everywhere our customers look. We can create omnipresence by creating and publishing brand content in places our customers are. We can post photos on the social media channel our customers are most active. We can write blog posts that rank high on Google. We can attend industry events. The key is to build a digital strategy of how we’re going to communicate online.
“Building your digital footprint and creating a novelty present brand is number one,” Adam said. “If I google your name, am I gonna have to pack a lunch? . . . When I type your name into Google, [if] I don’t find so much about you that I’m going to get hungry as I’m reading through it all, . . . then you’re missing the boat.”
We should strategically find ways to show up where our customers are. If they search for a keyword related to our niche topic, then we want to be one of the first results that show up.
“Google is the top way, Amazon’s number two, that people begin an education or a buying journey,” Adam continued. “If they type your name, your company’s name, or a certain product or service that you offer into Google, and there isn’t a high level of relevancy online to who you are and what you do, they’re immediately going to someone else.”
2. Content Marketing
Content marketing is about sharing what we know with other people. If we want our customers to know we are an expert in our field, then we have to teach them and share our knowledge. We can do this in multiple different ways. We can:
- Publish a book
- Write a blog post or other article
- Create a podcast
- Publish a newsletter
- Record videos
- Create social media content
- And more.
“As the author of that content, you create credibility for yourself as an expert,” Adam said. “[Content] makes you more relevant and discoverable online. . . . The more content [customers] consume, the more pre-sold, pre-framed, more compliant of a customer they become, and the more likely they are to buy. . . . You should be a prodigious creator of content on your topic and on the subject matter that you know a lot about.”
3. PR and Media
Our customers likely don’t believe what we say about ourselves; they are much more likely to believe what other people say about us. This is why it is so important to get other credible sources to talk about us.
“Getting other people talking about you is important, especially when those other people are credible sources that are newspapers, radio stations, magazines, TV shows, etc.,” Adam said. “When they’re interviewing you as a guest, when they’re asking you to contribute your content to their show or their publication, it builds your credibility.”
In addition to gaining authority with the live audience, the content is also cataloged online so others can search us.
How do we communicate our knowledge with others? We can write about our expertise or we can speak about it. Whether that is in-person or virtual, it doesn’t matter. It can build authority either way.
“Speaking . . . creates credibility and authority that is bigger and better than anything else you can possibly do,” Adam said. “Every time I speak, I have a lot of people that want to meet me. Specifically, a number of them will give me their card and say, ‘I really need what your company does.’ . . . One of the most effective ways to get clients and customers for your business is speaking.”
Again, when our speaking is recorded and transcribed online, we create relevance and more discoverability as well.
5. Lead Generation
A big part of authority marketing is lead generation. We can leverage our authority status and expertise to generate more leads and get more people into our funnels.
“The best customer is the one that’s seeking information, not the one that’s seeking a coupon or a buy now,” Adam said. “That’s the best starting point that a customer journey can begin with and using authority marketing to really drive your lead generation and quantity and quality of prospects is important. The more credibility you have, the more authority you have, the easier it is to generate high quality customers for your business.”
Events are another great way to build authority. When we host an event or attend an event with a large audience, we are showing our customers that we have knowledge worth sharing. When people travel the world to learn from us, we will likely get the attention of others.
“Not only do [events] create massive credibility and authority, but it’s a very effective way to sell, it’s a very effective way to influence, and it’s a very effective way to grow your business,” Adam said.
7. Referral Marketing
While we didn’t talk about the seventh pillar of authority marketing in this podcast episode, you can buy Adam’s book to continue reading about authority marketing and referral marketing.
In addition to authority marketing, Adam also shared a few tips he learned over his career. He explained that the biggest mistake he made was not hiring enough talented people early in his business.
When you are starting a new business, most of the hard work falls onto your shoulders. But as you scale, there just isn’t enough time for you to do it all. You have to start putting together a great team to manage tasks for you. The mistake most people make is not being willing to pay top dollar to get the best talent early on. Instead, they hire someone who is cheaper, even though they may not be the best person.
Adam explained that it’s better to hire one person who makes $80,000 than two people who make $40,000. Sometimes we are too cheap and because of that, we may be held back. We don’t have the best quality. Instead, we should bite the bullet and be willing to pay more for talent early in our business.
Best Monetization Secret
Adam also shared his best monetization secret. He said that most people think that the way to riches is to start a business from scratch. However, this is extremely hard and high risk. There are many potholes we may fall into.
Adam believes the best business opportunity is in the aging and retiring baby boomers who are current business owners that have no one to give their business to. He explained we should find an established business we can take over. The real opportunity is in buying an existing business and making it better.
Connect with Adam
Thank you so much Adam for sharing your stories and insights with us today. To learn more about or connect with Adam: