Early in 2018, Bruce McCully, Founder of Dynamic Edge, set a goal to hit $2 million in new sales from using this one secret weapon.
It’d only been a few months since he’d started using it when he sent the following message, “I just closed another $18,000 per month contract… in addition to the $60,000 in new Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) and at least half a million in project work.”
McCully was attracting attention all over the country, being asked to speak on Cybersecurity to groups and organizations that were filled with his ideal clients, and even offered a speaking fee to share his expertise.
Three years later, he is still getting clients and referrals from this same marketing. And he isn’t alone. Every MSP we talk to who is using this type of marketing is experiencing similar results.
This is remarkable because there is no shortage of options when it comes to marketing. This isn’t just true in the IT industry. Entrepreneurs in other industries who have added this type of marketing are growing their revenues tenfold and opening doors leading to major deals and partnerships.
This secret weapon is Authority Marketing. Today, we’re going to look at what Authority Marketing is, how you can use it to grow your business, and what to do if you want to quickly capitalize on this for your own business.
What is Authority Marketing?
Authority Marketing focuses on positioning you as the leading expert in your industry and market. It utilizes content marketing delivered with the power and longevity of print media and positions you as a mini-celebrity. Authority Marketing allows you to engage your audience on a different level and accelerate trust, stand out and generate new business and additional press while cementing yourself as an industry leader.
Don’t let the word “celebrity” put you off. This isn’t about becoming a household name celebrity. It’s about getting high-impact visibility and third-party credibility that causes you to be viewed as a thought leader in your specific niche and market.
Frequently IT businesses focus their visibility on their corporate name and logo. This makes it extremely difficult to compete because too often you are competing against big brands. You are competing against brands that have much larger marketing budgets. But, when you use Authority Marketing, you become the face of your brand which gives you a significant edge on selling your IT services.
The number one way to use Authority Marketing is to author a book.
A book is the most powerful “business card” you can own and the best sales letter you’ll ever develop. It lasts for an extremely long time and can even remain in a prospect’s home or office for years, unlike a business card which is usually quickly discarded and forgotten.
While the message inside the book promotes you and your point of view and sell your services, you won’t appear to be selling anything. Plus, when you are the author of a book, it is MUCH easier to get FREE press coverage. It’s also easier to get others to promote you for FREE and MUCH easier to get speaking engagements.
Books help make a complex sale easier too. When it comes to IT and technology, it’s a complex sale. Most people don’t truly understand how it will help them make their business more efficient, how it can be used to help them grow and scale their business, the true cyber risks that their business faces, and so on. A book allows you to explain the problems they face and the best way to solve them. It helps presell them on these complex ideas and helps justify why your prices are high.
Books are also a great tool when there is a team of people involved in making the buying decision. A book helps you to get your message into the hands of multiple decision-makers and summarizes why they should do business with you—again without making it feel “salesy” and without having to figure out how to get them all in the same room at the same time.
Another way to use Authority Marketing is for you to become the subject of a feature story.
Outside of publishing a book, nothing does more for your authority than getting featured in the news. Radio, TV, print, and online features build credibility, confidence, and trust because people see this as you being endorsed by the media. It also makes you stand out and get noticed. It creates curiosity and COMPELS the prospect to learn more. When you become the story and boldly declare your message, you are the catalyst that brings in more sales. Think about your own reaction to say a cover story on a magazine that catches your attention at the grocery store. This is similar to how your audience will react to your story—the cover will make a big impression, draw them in and get them to quickly view and consume your story.
Getting featured in the media is a conversation piece when it happens. But the biggest advantage is to remarket that media coverage by including it in your shock and awe package, distributing it at seminars and speaking engagements, or at your booth at a trade show. You can send it out ahead of a speaking engagement or a trade show to everyone who will be in attendance. You could ask local businesses to put it in their waiting rooms. Or send it to associations and Joint Venture partners as part of a campaign to get them interested in you. And you can forever put a list of media you’ve been featured in on your website.
Media coverage is an important lever you can pull to quickly ramp up your authority, and when combined with a book, it is a powerful duo.
Why Authority Marketing Is Your Secret Weapon To More Sales and Higher Fees
Many understand the importance of branding, but the focus is entirely on their company brand as opposed to their personal brand. In today’s highly competitive atmosphere, Authority Marketing and promoting your personal brand is your secret weapon to cut through the noise. Here are some of the ways Authority Marketing will help your business grow, it will:
- Create affinity with your ideal prospects. In the current business climate, people want to do business with individuals, not corporations. With individuals, an affinity bias can develop where people are drawn to you, like you, and trust you because you are like them and have things in common with them. For example, maybe you played competitive baseball all through college and they did too. Or you support orphanages because you adopted from one and they grew up as an orphan. While this is often an unconscious decision, your unique experiences and qualities can evoke a feeling of trust and likeability.
- Get a bigger return on your marketing. Books and media have greater longevity than most marketing campaigns. Books remain on bookshelves for years and print media such as magazines will remain on coffee tables and in waiting rooms for months. Plus, you’ll forever be able to say you are an author and include logos of media you are featured in on your website and in other marketing.
- Open doors. It allows you to get strategic partners, endorsed mailings, speaking engagements, free PR, and other authority marketing that you cannot otherwise buy. Peter Verlezza, author of Hassle-Free IT For Busy Medical Practices says, “I can directly attribute new sales to sending someone the book after meeting them. Moreover, the book has been a BIG credibility builder. I often tell people “I wrote the book on managing a medical practice’s technology” then whip out Hassle-Free IT MD… The “author” title has gotten me speaking gigs with the Medical Group Management Associations across the country.”
- Allow you the freedom to share your message authentically. A book is considered a point of view. This means you can say things and include case studies—things that you might not include in your marketing otherwise.
- Shorten the sales cycle. The reason you aren’t closing the sale is because people aren’t sold on your ideas yet. Books are designed to educate your marketplace on WHY they should do business with you and to get them to view you as a subject matter expert. While not everyone will read your entire book, prospects who read the whole thing are highly qualified and will be a lot less sensitive to price because they will be pre-sold on your ideas. Greg Hanna, author of Sitting Duck: Why Your Business Is A Cybercriminal’s Ideal Target said, “It has shortened the sales cycle from three appointments down to two, and on several occasions, I’ve closed on the first appointment because of the book.”
- Increase referrals. People feel comfortable referring someone who is seen as an expert. It can even be a source of pride to tell people that the person who takes care of their IT is an author and considered a leading expert on the subject. Greg Hanna said, “My book gets me INSTANT credibility from our prospects and has elevated my professional status with the associations and medical, legal, and accounting communities we service. Because of the book, we have generated LOTS of referrals from clients asking for a copy to give to their friends and colleagues (they always ask for a signed copy to give).”
The fastest way to increase sales, to charge higher fees, and raise your status in your niche, is to get your market to recognize you as the leading expert in your field. This is done through positioning and positioning is done through Authority Marketing. Writing a book positions you as the expert. It elevates you to the authority expert and rises you above your competition. This gets people to not only take your advice more easily, but they will also seek out your advice. It moves you from commodity to trusted advisor role which means you can charge more. And it makes you slightly famous.
Are you interested in using the secret weapon of Authority Marketing to elevate your status to the leading expert in your niche? Visit https://www.itmarketingconsultsurvey.com/ to get your FREE marketing consultation today!