Small businesses have to be scrappy—like the main character in The Little Engine That Could.
You probably don’t have a large marketing team or PR agency getting you exposure. So… what can you do?
Building authority is a crucial step towards success and recognition. Networking and building relationships can play a pivotal role in establishing that authority. I’m going to talk about how you can effectively build authority by connecting with peers, industry leaders, potential mentors—and by attending industry events, joining associations, engaging on social media platforms, and collaborating on projects or initiatives.
Here we go…
Connecting with Peers, Industry Leaders, and Potential Mentors
I’ve been trying to get out of my cave every once in a while, to network. As a writer, I’m naturally introverted but can hold my own in a crowded room.
But I realize that connecting with peers, industry leaders, and potential mentors is a powerful way to build authority in my field. The same applies to you.
You want to seek out local and industry-specific networking events, such as conferences, meetups, and workshops. These events provide an opportunity to meet and connect with like-minded professionals.
Once you start connecting, you’ll want to leverage platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and industry-specific forums. They’re excellent for connecting with peers and leaders. Share valuable content, comment on their posts, and engage in meaningful conversations.
Make sure to join industry-specific associations and organizations. They can facilitate connections with fellow professionals. Attend their events, conferences, and webinars to network effectively.
For many business owners, this is their “secret weapon.” Attending associations and organizations that attract your prospects serves as a great way to conduct market research plus make important connections.
If you’re reaching out to industry leaders or potential mentors, be clear about your goals and intentions. For instance, explain how their expertise or guidance can benefit your business.
And don’t forget to engage in online communities and forums relevant to your industry. Share your insights, answer questions, and establish yourself as a valuable contributor. The more people see your name, the more often you’ll appear to them as someone “in the know.”
Attending Industry Events and Conferences
A few months ago, I attended a conference for content creators. I didn’t particularly want to go, to be honest. I cherish my time at home with my husband but also realize that in order to meet my goals, I needed to attend.
As a result, I learned so much, met some great people, and made an important connection, which I believe is leading to building my own authority.
Industry events and conferences provide a unique opportunity. Select events that align with your business goals and target audience. Research the agenda and speakers to ensure they’re relevant to your industry.
You also want to prepare. Set clear objectives for what you want to achieve at the event. Plan questions to ask, topics to discuss, and potential contacts to meet. Once you’re there, engage with other attendees, speakers, and exhibitors. These are fantastic opportunities to foster connections.
Joining Associations and Engaging on Social Media Platforms
Associations and social media platforms can be valuable tools when you’re looking to establish your authority. You want to join a relevant association that caters to your industry. Being a member not only offers networking opportunities but also showcases your commitment to your field.
Consistently show up on social media. You want to maintain an active presence on platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. Looking for posting ideas? Share industry news, and your expertise, and engage with your audience.
Regularly create and share valuable content, such as blog posts, articles, videos, or infographics. This establishes you as a thought leader and an industry expert. And finally, for all my fellow introverts, you can participate in industry-related chats, discussions, and forums on social media. Offer insights, answer questions, and share your expertise. No need to leave home!
Collaborating on Projects or Initiatives
Collaboration with others in your field can elevate your expertise and build authority in several ways. You can partner with other small businesses or professionals on projects, campaigns, or product launches. The combined effort can expand your reach and credibility.
Another great way to make the most out of a new connection is to participate in webinars, podcasts, or panel discussions with those who are industry experts. This allows you to showcase your knowledge to a broader audience.
Enjoy writing? Collaboratively write articles or reports with industry peers. Sharing authorship with established figures can enhance your reputation. Remember, it’s a win-win for them, too. They’re getting the benefit of your expertise.
When you take the lead or actively participate in industry initiatives, such as standards committees, it demonstrates your commitment to advancing your profession’s growth.
Networking and building relationships are invaluable tools for building authority in your professional circles. By actively pursuing these strategies, you can not only enhance your authority but also open doors to new opportunities and partnerships that can benefit your small business.
Remember, building authority is a journey that requires consistent effort and genuine connections with others in your field. It does take time but, in the end, is worth it.