For the past year, I’ve struggled with the whole concept of authority.
Sometimes the word “authority” conjures up an image of someone sitting high up in a chair with a large mallet. Is this even something that I want? Do I want other people to look up to me? What type of content should I create to start building authority?
Authority Intensive marked the end of my struggle, the end of my meandering blog and the end of me not starting. Once I was able to experience the truth about being an authority, I understood what I needed to do.
You Can’t Be Batman And A Unicorn
Every content marketer wants to be an authority. You can’t be an authority by running a content mill. The goal is to go beyond mediocrity.
In his keynote, Seth Godin showed a cartoon image of Bruce Wayne dressed half unicorn/half Batman. Bruce couldn’t decide what he wanted to be, because he liked both unicorns and bats. In a lot of ways, I was like that cartoon.
The Batman cartoon in Seth’s presentation made it very clear. You can’t be everything to everyone. Pick something. The idea of what you want to be has to be specific. Who you want to help has to be specific.
Only You Can Answer Your Secret Question
As much as she wants to +Sonia Simone, can’t answer my secret question. Nope, she can’t answer yours either.
Good advice can get you far. It can even get you to the right door, but only you can walk through it. I’ve been a little scared to open that door. What’s on the other side? Is it authority? Is it failure?
Seth Godin said that when you get to that fearful point, you are onto something. You just have to be able to dance with that fear.
To answer your secret question, you have to do the work and find your answer.
Authorities Are Ordinary People Doing Remarkable Things
I was lucky enough to share a one-on-one elevator ride with each Seth Godin, Brian Clark and Darren Rowse. Watching them push the elevator button reminded me that they are ordinary people.
No doubt, they are brilliant. But if they only thought about doing brilliance, we would have never been able to admire them.
To do something remarkable, you have to actually do something. To get to the right floor, you have to push the elevator button. Darren Rowse shared three powerful stories of ordinary people that inspired others by simply creating useful content on a specific subject.
Usefulness is King.
‘Success’ is more about DOING the things you know you should do than discovering the secrets you don’t yet know. – Darren Rowse
Hearts and Minds Build Authority, Not Clicks
Tom Martin is one of the best public speakers I’ve ever seen. He uses no slides, visuals or props. His facial expressions, mannerisms and delivery captivated the entire room.
Everyone in the room needed to hear his message. When marketers start chasing clicks, click through rates and page views; content will lose its soul. It will become bland and useless.
Meaningless content will not convert.
Being An Authority Is Not About You, It’s About Your Audience
Brian Clark loves talking about the hero’s story. He even dressed up as Morpheus. During the event, it became crystal clear to me that everything Copyblogger Media does is for their audience.
I love hearing the story about how Copyblogger started as a one man show. From the beginning, Brian Clark put his audience first. In doing so, he was able to understand his customer’s needs and how to meet then. This is how business should be done. Copyblogger’s first customers were wondering (begging) for Copyblogger to sell them something.
This happens when you are 100% customer centric.
Most companies start off wanting to sell something. This explains why 80% of companies claim they are customer-centric yet only 8% of customers agree. If you are trying to make a quick buck, you probably are not putting your customers first.
In the Matrix, Morpheus put Neo first. He was his mentor, and his servant.
Are You Ready To Serve?
The topic of servant leadership came up during presentations by both Darren Rowse and +Jerod Morris. They explained that to truly become a leader, you must become a servant.
During Authority Intensive, I was immersed in the spirit of servitude throughout the entire event. Not just speakers, but the people sitting to the right and left of me. No one there wanted to sit above everyone else with a large mallet. None of the people I spoke with wanted to be looked up to. They wanted to learn how to serve their audience.
If you’re ready to serve, you’re ready to become an Authority. They are one in the same. That was the biggest take away for me. Reading about it is one thing, experiencing it is something else.
Who can you serve tomorrow with your content? You want to be an authority? Start serving them.