- Tamara Payne
Step Into Authority
Step up and into what you are meant to be. Empower yourself to be the expert, the one people seek for help in what you do. I’ve had multiple conversations about this very topic over the last several weeks. Mostly because this is something I am working on myself.
Yes! I’ve been a business owner for nearly twenty years and I am struggling to put myself out there.
Maybe you know who I am, maybe you don’t. You might have seen me on the Ensemble Facebook page, on LinkedIn, Twitter or some other social media stream. But...it’s been mostly hit and miss for me. I promote a lot of other people and the great things they do. I don’t put myself out there and say, here I am, this is how you can work with me.
Do you or someone you know struggle with stepping into your greatness? Not doing so is quite a tragedy actually. Someone reminded me recently that when we don’t share our gifts and talents with the world, we are being selfish. We are actually hurting others by not showing up to help them and lift them with the expertise that we have.
Well, that’s a reality check. When we don’t show up, we aren’t helping, which is what we all desire; to help others and to make a difference in the lives and businesses of others.
20 years in business! That’s a long time. In that time, I’ve experienced the up’s and down’s of being an entrepreneur. I’ve made bad financial decisions that nearly bankrupted my first business. I’ve gone back to work for someone else only to find out that I am seriously unemployable. I’ve pivoted my marketing business multiple times. I’ve mentored hundreds of business owners. I’ve won awards. I’ve published articles. Oh, and I’ve not paid myself for years at a time. I’ve got the resume. I’ve got the experience. Why then do I continue to struggle with putting myself out there, to step up and be seen?
There is no one answer as to why this is a problem for me and for so many others? It’s a deep emotional hitch, something about my generation of women and what we learned and witnessed from them? I don’t know the why. I do know this. As I write about being an empowered entrepreneur this month, I realize that it’s time to empower myself to be seen, put myself out there and share my knowledge with you and others that need it.
Be an Authority
Who or what gives me the authority to be anything? That certainly comes to mind. I do. It’s as simple as believing and acting as if I am. Not pretending...but act the part, be the part. Be an authority. An authority is an expert in a niche.
Here’s how to position yourself as an expert and therefore, be an authority in your industry or niche. Remember, that you, like me have to put yourself out there. Step up and into your authority.
Be everywhere. Online, social media, offline, conferences, networking, etc. The more visible you are, the better.
Speak at events. Small ones, big ones, specific ones, non-specific ones. Just speak. Speak about what you know best. Be heard. Share your message. Establish a platform.
Create videos. There is no bigger platform to place you as an authority right now than creating videos. From Facebook Live to IGTV, YouTube, Periscope or direct links on your website, share your knowledge, thoughts and wisdom via video. More importantly, create and share videos regularly.
Write what you know. Educate and share your expertise via blogging, long form social post and traditional social media posts. You can also guest blog for others. Find other influencers and thought leaders and do a guest writer blitz. This will propel your exposure.
Charge what you’re worth. OOOHH this one hurts. I struggle with this one and so do many others. Here’s the hard truth about what you charge. Authority figures and niche influencers never work for free and are confident in charging higher prices, i.e., what they are worth. Said and done. Do it.
Give compassionate advice. Yes, you know your stuff and you are good at what you do. Remember that you can speak from experience without being pushy or coming across as a know-it-all. Know one wants to work with someone that is cocky. Confidence is a necessity but arrogance is a turn off.
Comment and answer questions expertly. Do your research and check your answer, but don’t answer what you don’t know. You will knock your credibility down significantly when you answer a question about something in which you are not an expert. Also, don’t forget to check your grammar and your spelling. Again, you don’t want to write anything that will take away from your authority status.
Give shout outs. Do you follow someone that inspires you regularly. Give them a shout out publicly. Mention the post or blog from that influencer publicly. Make sure to tag them on social media and show appreciation and gratitude.
Attend as many conferences as you can. I already mentioned being everywhere, including conferences. Conferences connect you to resources, people, other authority figures and influencers. The key is to find your tribe and stay in touch with them. Remember to reach out to speakers and leaders as well. Don’t forget to say what you do, who you are, what your expertise is.
Stay current with your industry and niche - always be learning. The world is changing fast and so is everything about what you do. It’s critical that you stay on top of your niche so when you post online, share a video or comment, what you talk about lends credibility to you as an authority.
Persuade don’t sell. Connect with people who have the problem you had and solved. Build rapport and let them get to know you. Then get to know them. Remember not to sell. Don’t be pushy.
Create webinars. Webinars allow you to give away information for free while reaching a wide audience. They are a great opportunities to share your expertise and build a following.
Make serving others your mission. Once you’ve found your ideal customer, make everything you do about serving them. When you serve your target market, you will level up as an authority.
Be authentic. Always be you, be authentic. Your audience wants to see you and will connect with the real you. They can see through a fake and false presence and you will lose credibility quickly.
Drill down your niche. Niche as tightly as you can, as long as there is a sizable audience for this.
Believe in yourself. Know that you are enough. You are not too small or not experienced enough. You’ve put in the work, you know your stuff. Build your reputation and experience on your own.
Do the work. Success doesn’t come overnight for entrepreneurs, small business owners, influencers or authority figures. Reject the “get traffic/get rich quick” schemes and put effort in your content, marketing, promotions, and networking.
Who am I? I am a serial entrepreneur, a mentor to many, a business consultant and leader, community builder, women's advocate, professional speaker & trainer and a passionate connector of people to each other and the resources they need to build a thriving and sustainable business. I am a master facilitator of meetings, masterminds, and workshops. Connections, collaboration and community are in my blood.
I am fun loving and goofy. I am type A, driven and I see and hear all things around the office. I am a caretaker and a nurturer. That's why they call me Momma T.
I got a tattoo at 35 and my nose pierced right before I turned 48.
I send goofy photos to my husband like the one on the right and he makes them my profile photo because he loves me that much. Ha! I have twin daughters that are 19 that are my pride and joy.
I am serious about sharing my knowledge to help others start and grow businesses. I am an authority.
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Ensemble is a collaborative business community and coworking space in Fort Worth, Texas. We offer busy entrepreneurs, small businesses and remote workers a warm and welcoming place to be productive, to connect and collaborate while being part of a community.