So you decided to write a book, launch a blog or start offering coaching services. You did the research and the work, and now it’s time for the inevitable. You’ve got to talk about it. But not just talk about it. You want people to understand the impact your message or service can have in their life. To do that, you need to build authority.
Of course, as soon as you realize it’s time to get visible about what you have to offer, doubt and your inner critic have plenty to say.
- Who are you to be doing this?
- Others are doing this way better. Why even try?
- This space is already crowded. Will anyone even notice you?
- You’re an introvert. This isn’t you.
Nonetheless, you’re all in.
You’ve already decided to do this thing, and, my big-hearted friend, you do have the expertise and hope to offer someone in a practical way.
So here are five ways you can boost your confidence while building authority in your niche:
1. Be Knowledgeable in Your Niche
Imposter Syndrome is real.
It’s tough to navigate when you feel like you don’t feel like you have the authority yet. Your goal is to build your voice and increase confidence in what you know so you can share it with your audience, big or small.
The fastest way to gain authority in your niche is by becoming knowledgeable about that subject. You can do this by observing, researching, and practicing. You may have some natural instincts from previous experience or just being a hobbyist, but really doubling down on this topic will help separate yourself from other people who are doing similar things but in a different space.
If there’s something specific that you’re looking to be known for, especially if nobody else has covered it the way you want, experiment with it! Try testing recipes or products on your family or co-workers if they’re willing. Or try applying skills that aren’t super easy at first until they become second nature.
You want people who read your content or come to your store or follow you on social media to trust what you say. That trust will come because of the knowledge and insight into the topic that you demonstrate over time, and how helpful it is to them.
It’s okay – it’s part of the journey. If at any point you fail spectacularly (which will inevitably happen), own up to it! Sharing these mistakes and learning from them helps connect even more with an audience because so many people are making the same kind of mistakes as well! If no one says anything about it then nobody knows what not to do next time – so why not help everyone avoid those pitfalls?
Let’s get practical and start with what you already know.
Make a list of wins. What you know and can do in your niche? What experience and training in other areas of life have you had that you can apply to this niche?
2. Keep it Simple
You want to get your message across, not to teach a class. If you are teaching a class, or if you’re merely writing an email, then you want the easiest approach for your audience to digest the information. Keep these tips in mind to build authority in a relateable way:
a. Use simple language.
Forget the industry jargon. It might make you look like you know what you’re talking about, but that’s pointless if your potential client feels embarrassed about not understanding. Speak the way your audience will understand, and you’ll become more approachable. The quicker someone understands what you’re communicating, the more they’ll gravitate to you over others in your industry.
b. Include simple graphics and metaphors.
A visual or mental picture can help doer personality types internalize a concept on a practical level, giving them a quick win.
c. Keep it concise or short.
When I’m nervous or insecure, I ramble more, repeating the gist of my message in circles. My intent is to cover every angle to make sure my listener understands. In reality, they’re getting more confused or checking out. Keeping your message concise makes it more memorable.
d. Select one or two main points and keep them front and center.
Another mistake you might make if you’re insecure is to offer an exhaustive list of everything they could do to solve their problem. It might make you look knowledgeable, but who cares about that when your brain overloads and shuts down? Keeping one or two main points the main focus cuts through overwhelm, and your listener will feel hopeful.
e. Give examples that communicate your point clearly.
It’s one thing to understand a concept. It’s another thing for the listener to understand how it relates to their particular situation. An example helps make your point relatable and tangible.
For example, I was listening to an Instagram reel tip on addressing a client’s problem in a way that actually helps. I would have scrolled on, except I heard her next sentence: “This is what that looked like for my client Susie who was a financial advisor…” The example she gave came back to me numerous times that week as I considered its application to my own scenario.
Let’s get practical with narrowing down the issue (and takeaway) you could focus on.
Message a few people you know who are curious are struggling with a problem in your niche, and ask them one of these questions:
- What have you Googled lately about xyz?
- What do you wish you knew about xwy but feel embarrassed asking about it?
- What do you find exasperating about xyz?
3. Build Authority by Ask a Powerful Question
Asking powerful questions is a thought-provoking way to stop someone’s scroll or interrupt their assumptions and build authority in your niche.
What are powerful questions?
Powerful questions are those that can help people change their lives or perspectives. They get them thinking about their lives differently and gain clarity about a particular area they feel fine or stuck.
For example, someone who struggles with exercise motivation might ask themselves: What if I didn’t have to get motivated to work out? How would this change my lifestyle? How would it make me feel if I naturally wanted to exercise every day without trying so hard? Or how would it be if I knew I could be okay with feeling unmotivated and become more fit than ever before?
Go ahead and try it.
Write down some “yeah buts”, assumptions or areas of resistance that are common in your niche. Next, brainstorm some “What if….? How would….” questions.
4. Be Visible and Accessible
One trendy word for being visible and accessible is being authentic. I’m not talking about just being yourself, but actually allowing people to see you and what you know as you build authority. Be open and share your expertise at every opportunity. You are the expert – act like it!
You want to sell jewelry? Demonstrate what you know about types of style or what kinds of jewelry to wear with what outfit. Give examples of what jewelry would dress up a casual outfit or detract from it.
You want Virtual Assistant clients? Describe what it feels like for an entrepreneur to have too much on her plate yet not sure what to let go of first. Kindly call her out on how she’s afraid someone won’t do it as well as she does and how that’s affecting the impact she could make. Acknowledge that it feels scary and daunting. Then, give her a couple exact steps to her prepare for when she’s ready.
I know that’s scary if you’re an introvert. It’s nerve-wracking if you have glitchy self-confidence. Your heart is to truly help them, however, you won’t make much of an impact if no one knows that you exist and what sets you apart from others in your niche.
If they do know who you are and still don’t choose your services, then at least they made an informed decision. But odds are, when they find out about you, chances are good that they will be able to trust your expertise and feel more confident in hiring YOU over someone else with less experience or authenticity.
Let’s get practical.
What’s a mistake you made in your niche? What did you learn from that? Schedule a time to create a social post for each one telling that mini story.
5. Build Authority by Creating Irresistible Content
Do you know what the people in your niche are struggling with? What are the problems that keep them up at night? What tools do they need to overcome those problems and succeed?
If you want to build authority and boost your confidence, think about how YOU can help SOLVE their problem and how it’s affecting them TODAY. You can begin working on a solution before you’re ready.
Don’t worry about having all the answers or solving all the problems. Just get started with one area!
What would happen if you were able to create a resource that helped people in your niche overcome an obstacle or inner critic in a certain area? What if you were able to help them reach their goal faster simply by normalizing their challenge and offering a simple tutorial? Would that help build authority and trust with your audience?
A quick win will go far to deepening trust and bringing someone back to you as the expert again and again.
Let’s get practical.
What’s one problem someone in your niche is experiencing? What does being stuck there look like in their life TODAY? Write a brief tip social post with a simple mindset reframe or strategy to help them have a quick win.
When you become an expert and you’re comfortable with your style, people will gravitate toward your message.
As you build authority in the area you’re called to help, people are going to start asking you questions. They’re going to seek your guidance and advice because they want what you have.
When that happens, you need to be confident in your ability to help them. You don’t want to let the fear of not being good enough or official enough hold you back from helping them move forward with their dreams.
You can do this by simply keeping it simple, affirming and practical. While there are a lot of things that complicate business and make it hard for some people to get started, keeping it simple is a way that we can all approach our business and interact with the people we’re called to help.
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