Do you want to be seen as an authority in your niche? This can be a great way to get more attention, more customers, and more loyal fans who keep buying time and time again.
However, establishing your expertise can be tricky, especially when you’re on a tight budget. You may not have the money to pay for ads or sponsored placements on other websites, or the funding for a PR campaign.
The good news is that there are plenty of ways to establish yourself as an authoritative figure in your niche for free.
The first step is to pick a niche and stay focused on it. Once you’ve done that, here are some things you can try:
#1: Engage Consistently With Your Audience on Social Media
You might have an idea that “experts” are somehow aloof and distant … but these days, your audience expects you to be consistently present. If you want to establish your authority, that means showing up.
Writing about how entrepreneurs can pick the right niche, Dane Maxwell explains that social media can help you pinpoint exactly what your audience wants:
“The great news is that social media has made it easier than ever to connect with entire communities of like-minded people. All you need to know is where to look.”
Figure out where your audience gathers online and join them there. That might well be on Facebook, or it could be on Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, or a smaller social network or online forum.
Make sure you show up and engage. Offer value, share ideas, and get your name out there.
#2: Encourage Testimonials and Reviews
People won’t always believe what you say about yourself … but they’re very likely to believe what other people say about you.
Encourage your past customers and clients to write a short testimonial for you. It doesn’t cost you anything to send out a quick email – yet a few testimonials could give a huge boost to your status as an authority within your niche.
#3: Be Proactive About SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
If your company consistently shows up when your audience searches online for solutions to their problems, they’re bound to see you as an authority in your niche. You want to make sure that your authority content has the best possible chance of being found.
SEO (search engine optimization) can sound complicated… but following a few simple best practices can make a huge difference. The key things to remember are to:
- Get backlinks to your website (off-page SEO): this lets Google and other search engines know that your site is considered useful by others.
- Use the words and phrases that your audience would use when writing website copy (on-page SEO). These are called keywords and including them helps search engines to understand what your webpage is about. It’s particularly important to use keywords in your page title and subheadings.
- Make sure your site is correctly set up (technical SEO). This can seem a little complicated, but there are plenty of free SEO tools out there that can help.
Being viewed as an authority doesn’t require you to spend lots of money. Try the free techniques above, and watch as more and more people talk about you as the “expert” or “guru” of your niche.