Anyone can learn how to gain authority and influence, it isn't a mysterious dark art. However, this isn't something which can be handed to you on a plate. You'll have to work at it.
It's no good being completely saturated with knowledge if you're not willing to share it. And also be able to communicate with your fans to give them exactly what they want.
It is your fans which are your lifeblood, otherwise all that lovely information you know won't be noticed by anybody! This is why commenting is so important if you want to know not only how to gain authority and influence, but also to keep it.
The infographic below gives a snapshot of what I mean:
And here's some code you could paste into your own posts (via the text mode) if you want to share this Infographic with your readers.
How qualified are you?
Before you start to find out how to gain authority and influence, stop and think whether you qualify. How much do you know about your subject? Do you think you've managed to gather more information than the majority of other experts out there?
You could look at it in another way. If your chosen topic is readily available, consider how you could present it differently. Could you make the concept easier to understand? Should it appeal to a wider audience? How could you unravel its mysteries to reveal its secrets?
This is only one element of how to gain authority and influence. The other is accruing a sufficient amount of fans. It's no good being the go-to-expert on a particular subject if you have nobody knowing about or following you.
How altruistic are you?
It's no good being mean to preserve your knowledge. Your main objectives to becoming an authoritative influencer is to willingly share what you know with as many people as possible. Certainly this is for monetary gain, but a large portion should be available for free too!
I'm sure you've heard of the 80/20 rule. Share 80% of what you know for free, so that people understand you really are an expert in your chosen subject. The remaining 20% is kept aside to sell, as this is where the real treasure lies.
If you wish to excel in understanding how to gain authority and influence, you'll have to get used to giving away some of your secrets. Just ones which whet people's appetites and maybe solve a problem which prevents them from progressing further.
How much do you understand your fans?
I mentioned earlier how important it was to accumulate followers or fans. They make you as an influencer authoritative, because they have chosen you as their main source of knowledge above all others.
Avoid letting this adoration go to your head. It's not about you, it's about them. You are just as dependent upon them as they are on you. Therefore you need to find out as much as you can about them, so you can serve them better.
This is why you need to open your commenting airways. Start communicating with them. Ask them questions to get feedback. Find out what they want to know, what is missing from their lives, what is vital for their existence.
How much do they understand you?
Commenting is a two-way process. This is why it should be seen as a dialogue. You may be happily communicating with them via your chosen medium, but they need to be able to return this favour.
As well as you finding out about them, they need to do the same with you. They need to feel there is a connection, an affinity with you. They need to be able to ask you questions to reassure themselves you are the right person for them.
In other words, both they and you need to develop a relationship with each other. You need to become friends rather than acquaintances. And this can be done by holding conversations with them via the commenting process.
How comfortable are they with you?
The further your fans venture into your relationship with you, the more comfortable they will feel with you. This is necessary if they are to return for more or talk to their friends about you.
They need to feel able to ask you any question they like. Any problem they have they need to feel you can solve. Some of these many not be relevant or appropriate, but you'll know you've gained their confidence in you.
Your authority, and with it your reputation, will begin to soar. And as a result your expertise will be shared and recommended much further afield. You rely on your fans to publicise your prowess to get even more followers.
How much do you talk to them?
Every time you communicate your knowledge with your fans, your first point of call should be to help them. Doing this will eventually help yourself, especially when they start buying your products or hiring you.
However, as well as preaching what you know, you need to set aside time for conversation. Open your commenting facilities and reply to each one. Get help if you receive too many, as every 'real' comment needs a valid answer.
Your popularity will eventually gain the attention of spammers. But bear in mind these are usually late to the party. Tell your fans the window for commenting will be reduced to a certain number of days only. This allows only your true followers to have their say.
How easy is your advice to use?
Before I go, I need to tell you how to retain your new-gained authority and influence. Once achieved, you'll have to maintain it. Go dark for a while, and your fans will soon forget you, and move onto the next big noise elsewhere.
So whatever information and knowledge you share with them, it needs to be immediately tangible. Make it easy to use to get these instant results, and preferably be able to be repeated to act as a reminder of your expertise.
Also how your fans can find and contact you needs to be equally simple to do. Your website or blog should be busting at the seams with other valuable information. It should be seen as a treasure-trove combined with a welcoming contact page for further communication.
Do you fans value your expertise?
Simplicity continues to be a virtue worth exploring. How straightforward is your expertise to understand, use and remember? How accessible is this knowledge for hungry fans to find?
Every aspect of what you offer needs to be painless to obtain. Also your information should seem to be boundless. If you wish to accomplish this, try explaining it in a variety of ways, so it becomes relevant to many different people.
Get seen as being on the same level as your fans, understanding their needs and using the same words as them. Increase your accessibility by sharing stories containing your knowledge, or relaying your experiences in a way others can relate to them.
How to gain authority can be gratifying
How much can your knowledge make a difference to your fans' lives? Would sharing your expertise to benefit others make you unforgettable? Could you be seen to be everywhere spreading what you know to obtain wide acclaim?
Learning how to gain authority and influence within the social web is hard work, but it is worth it. Once you've obtained it, you know you've arrived! And you can be content knowing your fans are happy as well.
If you've already managed to achieve these lofty heights of achievement, please reveal your secrets in the comments below! Go on, isn't this what being an authoritative influencer is all about?