| May 20, 2020 | | 9 min read

How to Boost Your Agency Using the Three Components of Authority


In today’s fast-growing digital world, the importance that a brand has on the success of a business is something that owners and executives consider quite critical for sustenance.

And, needless to say, building authority in the marketplace to establish your brand as the go-to entity for any service or product, is what gets the ball rolling on driving more business.

Think about it. What makes a Nike shoe sell better than any other ordinary shoe? Is it the quality of the material? Probably. But, often it’s the value of the brand that makes a product sell more.

Recommended Reading: How to Create a Strong Brand Identity for Your Agency

So, what’s the secret behind building your digital marketing agency’s brand authority?

One of the most proven ways through which agency owners can build their brands is to capitalize on content that ticks the three components of authority - who, what, and where.

These could be done either by using the help of existing customers or someone who’s a known face in the industry. Afterall, the best way to ensure that your agency gets the opportunity to service more customers is to take advantage of the work that your existing clientele is doing.

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The importance of building authority

Before I talk to you about the importance of building brand authority, let me ask you a question.

If you’re looking to buy a car for yourself, whose advice would you heed more when it comes to choosing one? A highly renowned automotive blogger, who has thousands of positive customer mentions online, or someone who claims that they know more about cars than anyone else?

That’s a no-brainer, right? Of course, you would pay more attention to the renowned automotive blogger. In fact, there might be people who would even be willing to pay them for their advice.

This is why building authority in a specific domain is critical when it comes to boosting your agency. It’s not the validation of someone from whom you’re taking help that matters, but the validation of those who’ve been in a position similar to yours that pushes you to take the plunge.

In the case of the blogger, the reason why listening to that person makes sense is because others before you, who wanted to buy a car, listened to them and gave them a positive review.

Components of Authority

Leveraging the authority that people give to a business, is what leads it to drive home more leads and paying customers. Therefore, if a digital marketing agency enjoys a good reputation, and has built a strong authority in the market, people would trust it more over its competitors. 

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The three components of authority

When it comes to building my own brand’s credibility, the secret weapon I use is to bootstrap authority using a combination of the three components. Therefore, I make it a point to always give importance to who I talk to, what I talk to them about, and where I talk to them about it.

For example, let’s assume that you get a chance to ask a renowned digital marketing expert a question live on their webinar. Not only does the expert showcase your question on their webinar for everyone else to see, but they also take your name and answer it.

In this scenario, the three components of authority are:

  1. Who - The renowned digital marketing expert
  2. What - The topic of discussion, which let’s assume is a hot marketing concept.
  3. Where - The platform for the discussion, which in this case is the webinar.

So, once you know that, what should you do with this piece of high-authority content? 

Assuming that the expert is widely known in the industry, would you agree that the amount of exposure your brand will receive by repurposing this clip would do wonders for your business?

Components of Authority

That is how agencies can bootstrap authority by engaging with people who have high authority. 

The key is to contact them (who), make content with them (what), and ultimately use that content (where) to show your audience that you have credibility, authority, and mean business.

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‘Who’ to talk to to build authority

The idea behind the ‘who’ component is to use the authority of someone important, bank on their engagement metrics, and exploit that association to attract other potential customers.

Now, I understand that it’s very easy for me to write stuff like this. I know that the most challenging part of this strategy is to take the plunge and contact that high-authority person.

However, it doesn’t necessarily have to be that complicated. All you really need to power your topic wheel is to get that one good connection. Once you’re able to connect with someone of high authority, it becomes easier to connect with others since you can leverage that authority.

When people see that you’re associated with someone they trust, they would in turn trust you. Because being merely associated with someone of high authority, even if that someone is not directly endorsing you, goes a long way in building your agency’s brand by implied authority.

Components of Authority

Therefore, in the webinar example mentioned above, when people see that your marketing agency is associated in some capacity with a renowned digital marketing expert, who they cherish and respect, it helps build trust and amplifies your agency’s authority to get customers.

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‘What’ to publish to build authority

Once you’re able to create that connection, any piece of content that you create with them would help your marketing agency since it would show your association with a trusted persona.

Therefore, looking at the webinar example, once you have your hands on that clip, there are numerous ways to repurpose the segment and produce micro pieces of content for distribution.

The easiest way, of course, is to post the clip as is on your social media channels. You can, however, also take it a step further and write a detailed blog or create a small video on the topic.

Writing a blog on a hot marketing concept by showcasing your association with a high-authority persona is a win-win and will do wonders for your marketing agency. Such a move would help you build authority as people would see that you are intellectually proficient and well-reputed.

Another interesting tactic that you can incorporate to produce content is to comment in a meaningful manner on a recent post of someone important and then have them reply back. Once they do, take that conversation and either create a standalone post or blog about it.

Components of Authority

The ultimate goal when it comes exploiting the ‘what’ component to build your brand’s authority is to show potential customers that you have the desired digital marketing expertise they seek. Furthermore, the meaningful content that you post will make you someone worth listening to.

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‘Where’ to publish content to build authority

Now comes the main part. You’ve done the tough task of connecting with someone of high authority and creating content related to them. However, all that content means nothing unless it’s posted somewhere where the people (preferably potential customers) can consume it.

Most people think that when it comes to posting content, the best places to do so are their own social channels. This means their websites, their Facebook pages, or their YouTube channels.

While doing so isn’t necessarily a bad move, it’s also not the best one. Posting all your content on just your own channels is the marketing equivalent of keeping all your eggs in one basket.

What would happen if for some reason you happen to lose the basket? 

I had an incident recently when a hacker took down all my personal channels and deleted all our content from our learning management systems. However, that did not dent my business because our content was already present on external platforms due to my brand’s authority.

This is why the ‘where’ component of building authority is of utmost importance since people would trust your brand more if someone, apart from yourself, is talking about your agency.

Going back to the automotive blogger example, the reason why you trusted that person to guide you to buy a car is because other people shared good things about them on external channels.

Components of Authority

Therefore, exploiting external platforms or mediums of distribution that enjoy high authority helps your brand build its own authority. The posting starts with your own channels, but you know that your strategy is working when you find that same content on someone else’s channel.

You can do so by having your lighthouse client post content for you. Afterall, who better to recommend your services to a potential customer than one of your existing ones, right?

Recommended Reading: How to Generate Leads Using the Lighthouse Client Strategy

Another powerful way to use the ‘where’ component is to create strategic partnerships with other agency owners. Collaborating with other businesses similar to yours helps your brand reach more people and shows them that you enjoy a strong authoritative presence online.

Learn to create and distribute powerful content on the Conquer Local Academy!

Collect positive mentions to amplify content

Now, once you’re established a protocol to master the three components of authority, and are producing high-authority content at scale, it’s important that you keep track of all the positive mentions that you receive on those pieces of content in order to amplify those posts further.

One of the best ways to amplify your content on LinkedIn is to go back to your old posts at a later stage and comment on them to reignite the conversation, thereby reaching more people.

However, the problem arises when it becomes a cumbersome task to keep track of those positive mentions. There might be instances where you would want to comment on an old post, but can’t do so because you just don’t remember which post had the best positive mentions.

Components of Authority

The best way to solve this problem is to build a content library. Doing so, not only would you be able to keep  track of all your posts, but you would also be able to rank your content - a strategy that would help you prioritize the important posts from the less important ones in the future.

If you allocate each component of authority with 10 points on a scale, you’ll be able to rank a post based on how important it was once you jot down a positive mention in your content library.

For example, a high-authority piece of content that you created, which was featured on the American Marketing Association website, would probably be an eight on the ‘where’ component scale as opposed to a low-authority content piece that resides on your personal blog.

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It goes without saying that keeping your existing clients from churning is much more important for your marketing agency than getting new customers. And building your brand’s authority is a great way to retain them since it gives them the feeling of being associated with a trusted brand.

However, keeping that ‘retaining’ mindset should not mean that you don’t aim to get new customers at all. Using the three components of authority to build your brand not only would you be able to boost your business, but also be empowered to get new paying customers on board.

Building your authority is by no means going to be an easy task. It involves a lot of time, effort, and resources. There will surely be a lot of ups and downs; however, once you’re able to scale that mountain, the benefits you’ll reap are going to be endless.

About the Author

Dennis Yu is the inventor of the 9 Triangles framework. He has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, LA Times, National Public Radio, TechCrunch, Fox News, CBS Evening News and is co-author of Facebook Nation – a textbook taught in over 700 colleges and universities.

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