Specializing—building a niche for yourself in white space that only you own—is an essential step on the road to authority.
But specializing alone won’t make you an authority.
Authority comes from deep investment in your specialty: the thinking, writing, speaking, consulting and sharing you do with your audience that ultimately transforms them.
As a specialist you might consult in a narrow practice area—say executive compensation for privately held partnerships. Over time, you become an expert, making a nice living through client and center of influence referrals.
But you won’t become an authority—much less begin collecting the benefits of authority
—until you are consistently adding something deep and rich to the conversation around your expertise and client base.
That means investing in developing and SHARING articles, blog posts, white papers, podcast or video series, speaking, and/or book(s).
You don’t have to do them all—but you do have to pick one and start creating and sharing your ideas and insights.
The lens you want to use for this is what I call your point of view (learn more about how to develop yours here
Once you’ve articulated your unique POV AND made the decision to build authority in your niche, a few things start to change…
You see everything that happens in your day as grist for the mill, like when that one-off client question becomes a jumping off point for a stream of content.
You attract the like-minded who resonate with your POV and—as they read, watch or listen to your stuff—they start aligning with you.
You keep honing your knowledge (remember nobody starts out with all the answers) and become ever more valuable to your audience
Selling gets a whole lot easier—the more your sweet-spot clients view you as an/the authority, the more you can focus on consulting vs. selling.
You can more easily leverage your time to do what you love, which might look like developing products (books, courses and the like) and/or hiring a support team.
Your bottom line is flush—whether it’s more consistent revenue, higher fees per service or products that mostly sell themselves, you feel good about how you’re being compensated for your work.
Yes, you want to specialize and develop a clear expertise, but it isn’t until you decide to consciously build authority that you’ll start reaping its benefits.
Related: Do You Have A Positioning Problem?