Transition from an Author to an Authority

From Author to Authority by Joanne McCall

It’s one thing to be an author, but it’s something greater to be an authority.

Most nonfiction authors want to be a credible authority.

Fiction authors, on the other hand, need to build community with their readers and also put a huge focus on those reader reviews.

With regard to the former, transitioning from an author to an authority means you’re moving from simply having written a book to being recognized as an expert in your field. If you want media coverage, then becoming an authority and looking like an authority are absolutely necessary.

I sat down today and thought about the various ways to do that and want to share them with you.

A Roadmap from Author to Authority

Specialize: Choose a niche within your writing domain and aim to become an expert in that area. The more focused your expertise, the more authoritative you become. Case in point: I had a client who wanted to be an authority in the “purpose space” but most everyone knows Simon Sinek holds the top spot in that very crowded field. We found a way that his work stands above and beyond what others are doing and we focused on that. It worked with the media. (I will share the full story in an upcoming post.)

Content Creation: Beyond your book, regularly produce valuable content — articles, blogs, white papers, or podcasts — that resonates with your audience and showcases your depth of knowledge. You most likely know to do this, but it’s on my list so I am sharing it here. Make sure you have a professional look.

Public Speaking: Engage with audiences through workshops, webinars, and speaking engagements. Public speaking not only enhances visibility but also establishes your credibility. When you give talks, see about getting them videotaped either by the organization or ask if they will let you bring someone in. This footage can help you in many ways including securing media and other speaking engagements.

Media Appearances: Be a guest on podcasts, radio shows, and TV segments as an expert. Media exposure can significantly boost your profile as an authority. Have a media page on your website where you can load the interviews you have done so people can easily see them. Be sure and get some media training before doing an interview campaign so that you are on message and delivering in a compelling and powerful way right from day one.

Social Media Presence: Build and maintain a strong social media presence. Share insights, comment on industry news, and interact with your community. Social media is also a great way to amplify all the earned media coverage you are getting.

Networking: Connect with other experts and influencers in your field. Collaborations and endorsements can enhance your reputation and elevate your standing. Strategic relationships with peers can lead to powerful endorsements, amplifying your credibility and extending your influence.

Continuous Learning: Stay abreast of the latest research and developments in your field to ensure your knowledge remains current and authoritative. We are all experts and beginners at the same time, rotating between the two poles. The learning curve continues so embrace that and continue to learn while sharing your vast knowledge.

Teaching and Mentoring: Teaching and mentoring allow you to not only shape understanding in your field, positioning you as an influential leader, but also deepen your own expertise as you guide others. Every client I work with expresses a desire to give back, and the success of your protégés serves as a living endorsement of your authority.

Publishing: Continuous publishing, across various mediums, showcases your evolving thought leadership and keeps your name at the forefront of scholarly and industry conversations. Every article, book, or online post that bears your name cements your reputation as a dedicated and knowledgeable authority in your domain. Keep it up!

Bottom line

By consistently creating value and sharing your knowledge, you can successfully make the leap from author to recognized authority in your subject matter. This can bring you additional, wonderful opportunities. If you want to discuss, send me a note.

To your success!


P.S. It’s different when you’re the authority – and when people want what you have!!





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