I learned the true value of a distinct authority brand AFTER I left one of the global giants to build my first firm.
We positioned ourselves as the funkier alternative to the big boys: filled with master degreed refugees who’d fled the big firms, jonesing for more flexibility and creativity. When The Wall St. Journal called us mavericks and outliers, we were thrilled.
Not everyone loved us, but no one ever forgot us.
I ran the firm from a one-page manifesto—a snapshot of our brand.
We were nothing if not perfectly clear on who we were and what mattered most. That clarity didn’t just translate into name recognition and simpler selling.
It also brought us higher profits AND added an extra zero to the price tag when we sold the business to Arthur Andersen.
The lesson I carried forward and baked into my current business is this:
When you’re not just any _____________ (insert your specialty), but a known expert continually building authority, YOU get to choose.
You choose the work you do, the clients you serve, the people you invite into your orbit. You even get to set prices that your less well known peers can only dream about.
You build the authority brand—and the business—your work deserves.
Which carries some pretty hefty benefits along with it:
You build trust exponentially—the more you know and share, the more believable and therefore trustworthy you become.
You can choose to grow a community around your big idea—engaging your tribe on multiple platforms in ways that suit you.
Your social networks grow faster—as your target audience reads, watches and shares your content.
You attract a constantly expanding circle—people who want to learn from you, buy from you, align with you.
Media folk start seeking you out—which means you spend less time and money trying to reach them and you get to decide where you most want your wisdom to appear.
You make more money—you do less front-end selling (because your authority is working for you) and more closing business at price tags your less well-known competitors can only dream about.
You become a “must”—a must read, must watch, must listen—to your sweet-spot audience. Which means your email list grows, your keynotes and products practically sell themselves and media folks seek you out.
And—it’s fun. Seriously.
Because you’re not just working from your personal zone of genius—you’re also delivering transformational outcomes in the lives of your sweet-spot clients and buyers.
Doesn’t get much better than that.