In last week’s column, we defined authority marketing and what is required to be perceived as an authority. There are some essential elements to holding an authority position, and that’s what we’ll explore for the next few columns.  

The first essential to creating an authority position is recognizing that the narrower your audience, the faster you can be found, the faster you can be identified as someone they need to pay attention to because you are speaking their language, and ultimately, the faster you can build an audience. Once you’ve built the audience and you genuinely know them, and what they need, you can provide additional value to them by creating products and services you can sell.

If you choose to keep serving everyone, you can still absolutely monetize a more generic position of authority (marketing expertise, for example), but if you want to get to this quicker, you need to narrow your focus.

It seems counterintuitive. Traditionally, marketing’s mantra has been the bigger the audience, the better.  But today that’s all changed. Now it’s all about the right audience, and a perfect-fit audience of 10 is far better than a generic audience of 10,000. It’s why niche publications (like the Business Record) are thriving, and generic mass media properties are struggling to stay relevant and valuable.

As consumers, we’ve grown accustomed to being able to tailor everything to our specific needs, including our media consumption. We pay attention to what we care about and discard or ignore the rest.

Many people believe that they need a massive audience to hit their sales and financial goals. We, as marketing people, know that’s not true. We know that we’re actually in a much better position if we’re in front of the right micro-audience, where nearly everyone is aligned with the organization’s ideal persona.

You don’t need a million downloads to have your podcast be sponsored. You don’t need to speak at 50 conferences to have someone walk up and ask you some questions that lead to a proposal. And you don’t need to be on the best-seller list to use your book as a fantastic biz dev tool.

Most businesses get this entirely backward. They’re creating broad, generic content as opposed to something that gets them in front of their ideal prospects. The content is fluffy and doesn’t invite anyone to ask questions or lean in to learn more. But when you home in on just your audience (remember one of the traits of authority is that most people couldn’t care less about their content) and ignore the rest of the world – they do lean in. They do ask questions, and they will eventually put you on a short list of agencies to consider.

Authority marketing is all about shortening the sales cycle. But there are other, potentially even more valuable benefits from having a niche audience. One of the most intriguing elements of content marketing from an authoritative point of view is the additional revenue streams that it opens up.

If your audience and subject matter are narrowly niched, you can take advantage of what we call the trident of monetization.

Again, the key to this element of building your position of authority is narrow, narrow, narrow.