I've been studying what makes someone a top voice or 'Authority' in their space. I.e. a thought leader and someone who leverages their professional experiences and ideas in the form of speaking, content, events, IP and services.
There are 13 'First Principles of Authority Building' as far as I have detected, and thought some of you might be interested if you're on this journey yourself.
1/ Bring diverse ideas *together*.
You want to strengthen, not dilute, so rather than being known for a range of different ideas, keep focusing on the intersection of them. It's in the combining of your interests and expertise that your ideas become more valuable, and unusual.
2/ Don't over-engineer every idea.
Many of your best ideas will come first thing in the morning, out walking or showering. Write them down and share them unfiltered or edited from time to time and see them land more strongly.
3/ Seek unusual sources of inspiration.
Go and get inspired not by just those in your same space, but adjacent or unusual places. This helps you avoids the mimicry and bland-ness of regurgitating what has already been done.
4/ Spell out how you help them.
Don't expect them to piece together what you are saying, literally spell out the transformation that your information can provide. Then share the next steps to make that transformation a reality.
5/ Be congruent.
Share what you believe in, as well as demonstrate doing this yourself. People can smell a rat a mile off. Walk the walk.
6/ Show the wounds.
Share something you had to overcome or are still overcoming, as well as the way through. By acknowledging the pain, you can connect and resonate more deeply with the people you came here to serve.
7/ Lay out the theory.
Explain the concepts that sit underneath the detail, too. Not only does this show your true Authority but it gives your people a map so that they too, can have the same result. A bit like this post ;)
8/ Be okay with turning people off.
Authority means standing for *something*, not *anything*. So be clear what you will and won't do, aka your values and what you care about. This is tribe building.
9/ Leave clues, open loops and rabbit holes.
Your loyal fans want to treat your work like an adventure and follow their curiosity. Reward their loyalty, create binge-worthy content and access to your 'in jokes' or turns of phrase. Authority builders have the confidence to do this on the regular.
10/ Master simplicity.
Edit, edit and then edit some more. Unlike that sentence. Be concise and show that you mean what you say.
11/ Create the platform, then tilt it.
This theory comes from improv comedy but is applied in audience building too. Create a clear ‘platform’ to establish your expertise, then occasionally, surprise and delight your people with a ‘tilt’. To keep things interesting.
12/ Pepper in personality.
Reveal what song you have on repeat, show you watched last night, or holiday plans on the horizon. This builds know like and trust, and gives your tribe a reason to connect with you, say 'me too', and ultimately, start the conversation.
13/ Say no.
Authorities don't try and please everyone, be on every platform, or add complexity or ideas based on trends. They double down. Saying no to what is new, or shiny, is KEY if you want to truly own your Authority and recognition you deserve.
Hope that was valuable and if you want to take your understanding of this further, you can leave a comment (or DM me) with 'First Principles' to join a free session where I'll show each Principle in practice and give you frameworks that further your own Authority building 😎