As a writer and marketer, I do a lot of research; I purchase a lot of products and courses. One thing that’s gotten my attention is becoming an expert. It’s not a new concept, all the guru’s tell you to become an expert in your field to get more traffic and make more sales.

Recently, I ran across a bit of a different approach; being a trusted authority, as opposed to just being an expert.

I’d like to share my thoughts with you and let you decide which is best; the expert or the trusted authority.

What is an expert?

An expert has a lot of knowledge in their field of choice, whether it’s blogging, marketing, social media, etc.

People look for experts to acquire the knowledge they have, to learn from them. If you’ve been in marketing any length of time you know they aren’t buying what you know, they are buying what you can do for them. They want to know how you’re going to solve their problem, so it boils down to delivering value to those people. An expert gives them that.

As an expert you will know your stuff. A trusted authority, on the other hand, wields power and influence, but they don’t become the trusted authority overnight.

Look at all the A-list bloggers. They set themselves up as experts in their field and over time they’ve become the trusted authority.

What does it take to become the trusted authority?

First, you have to have competence in what you do. Experts don’t always have the competence or the confidence in the beginning to claim the title of “authority” but they work towards it.

The second thing you need to be the authority figure is to be committed to helping others, have a passion for helping those people. Often times, the expert wants to help others, but it’s not their driving force. Their driving force is to be the expert. The trusted authority moves past that and their goals focus on helping others.

I believe that most people need to be an expert before being a trusted authority. Being an authority figure is something you grow into. It happens after you give tons of valuable advice and have a deep caring for your target audience. The only way to be a trusted authority at the onset of your marketing plans is to be the first in your niche with something new, exciting and has a leading edge to it—something no one else has covered yet.

Look around at different marketers. You find those who are establishing themselves as experts or who have reached expert level already, but if you really watch them, there is still something missing—that spark that tells you they care—you instinctively know if they are genuine with their feelings about helping others.

You can spend years being the expert, but until you make that transition of having a true passion about what you do and delivering value to people because you truly do care about helping them—you will never have the level of success that you truly desire.

What are your thoughts? We’d love to hear from you.