Authority: Build it and clients will come eventually

What is “authority”? It’s the “power to influence or command thought, opinion, or behavior.” Authority figures are appealed to as experts. All industries are comprised of knowledgeable professionals with extensive expertise; the law is no different. If anything, due to the nature of the legal profession, there are myriad opportunities to
develop expertise in a specific practice area, or within a narrow topic or issue. Being an authority, however, is about more than having the technical expertise and knowledge to do one’s day-to-day job exceptionally well– in a way that peers and clients respect.

What makes you the “go-to” resource? Why are you different? How do you stand out from the “pack” of well-respected lawyers? These are all questions that lawyers and others who aspire to be authorities in their industries must ask of themselves, because commanding authority matters. Authority as a vehicle to amplify your reputation and grow your client base makes business sense in the best way possible: authentically.

Dr. Robert Cialdini is an authority in the area of persuading others to say “yes.” In fact, you may know him from the ground-breaking book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. It turns out there is a science to successfully persuading others. Successful salespeople use this science to get you to buy that new car; telemarketers leverage it to get you to buy their insurance or rewards card. In an ideal world, we’d all have the “brain-space” and time to carefully consider our decisions. In the real world, we’re inundated by lots of noise. We’re overloaded by content. We’re constantly distracted.

Social media is overcrowded. Savvy industry leaders employ “shortcuts.” Cialdini calls these shortcuts “Principles of Influence.” Years of research led him to six universal truths that guide human behavior. You guessed it – authority is one of them.

Cialdini describes the “Principle of Authority” as the idea that, when presented with credible and knowledge experts, people will follow their lead. Before you can attempt to influence others, you need to signal to others what makes you so credible and knowledgeable. How do you do that? Why does it matter?

Building yourself as an authority figure within your practice area or niche could be the best thing for your firm. True authorities in their fields find it all the easier to maintain or secure those fundamentals of a sustainable business:

  • Endear trust.
  • Build credibility.
  • Align clients with your areas of expertise.
  • Provide real value.
  • Attract the type of clients you want.
  • Provides another avenue (besides talent) to build business.
  • Fact: Individuals and businesses who are authorities get the lion’s share of industry profits.

The “authority advantage” also aligns with the dynamic nature of today’s business and marketing environment. What was fundamental to business two years ago, let alone five to 10 years ago, may not be relevant today. Consumers are much more cynical about professionals’ or companies’ brands than ever before. Would-be clients know when they’re being sold a service or product. When you break through the noise as an authority, you’re able to endear rather than repel. Genuine bonds are forged. Trust is inspired. A little input upfront can pay off when that prospect trusts you, appreciates your insight, and eventually becomes your client.

To be an authority means first identifying and actually “knowing” your niche. Areas or topics shouldn’t be too narrow, nor too broad. The best niches are based on those topics that you could “recite in your sleep” – you know the topic so well that it’s almost second nature. This depth of knowledge enables you to carve out a unique and powerful voice.

Amplify that voice with outlets that allow you to share your genuine, authentic, and valuable stories and insights. It’s one thing to post a speech or blog post on your personal website; it’s quite another to have an outside vehicle to allow for your presentation or content to be seen and heard by the masses. This arrangement creates
“social proof” that your tagline or “brand” aligns with who you actually are, and social proof is one of the best tools to persuade others – attract prospects and turn those prospects into clients.

Having a presence on a high-authority platform gives you an edge over the competition. Your presence is further multiplied when that story is shared by viewers or subscribers and on social channels. The effect of a single video or one post is magnified. Since consumers can increasingly discern quality from quantity content, what you say matters.

Here is something that will help you to build your authority & brand.

Law and Me TV allows you to showcase quality information that educates, entertains, and endears.

  • Give us your stories and anecdotes about the topics you know best and are most passionate about. Law and Me TV does the rest.
  • We’ll record your suggestions and experiences.
  • Our authorities pair your recording with high-impact infographics.
  • The resulting video is posted on Law and Me TV’s online destination for trusted legal insight.
  • From there, our team distributes the video across multiple digital, mobile, and social channels.
  • As your knowledge about pertinent legal topics is conveyed, your practice name and contact information spreads.

Some of the world’s pre-eminent legal professionals have already shared their knowledge and skills with millions of current and prospective clients. Law and Me TV brings lawyers like you and the people who need your services together. We provide a unique opportunity for you to distinguish favorably from other experts in your field, and to elevate yourself from expert to authority figure.

Contact Michelle David today. We look forward to hearing from you about your experiences, and the topics that you’re most passionate about.