E89 – Building Authority
[00:00:00] Welcome to the 100 Degrees of Entrepreneurship Podcast, the show for purpose driven entrepreneurs who wanna get inspired to step outside of your comfort zone, expanded to your purpose, and grow your business in a big way. I’m your host Stephanie Kowski, a globe TRO cfo, whose mission is to empower leaders to better understand their numbers, to grow their impact and their income.
Let’s dive in.
Hey. Hey everybody. It’s Stephanie. Welcome back to 100 Degrees of Entrepreneurship. I’m so excited to be here with you right now. As I may have mentioned on the show before, I typically batch my episodes, which means I record a whole bunch of episodes, um, in a short period of time, and then I don’t have to record for a while, which is really nice from a content creation perspective.
But what that means is that right now as I’m jumping on the [00:01:00] microphone, I have not done this in a few months at this point. So I just had to spend like several minutes trying to figure out my microphone and my sound settings and all of that good stuff because I just feel like I haven’t been here in a while talking to you.
So we’ve dropped a whole bunch of wonderful episodes lately with some amazing guests, but I haven’t been here, just me. So I actually got the idea for. Today’s episode from a couple of guests that I spoke to recently. So I spoke to Jasmine Haley, who is a business friend of mine, who is a speaker coach, and she’s fabulous.
And I also just. Dropped an episode with Lisa Reed, who is also a professional speaker. And then if you go way back into the beginning of the entire podcast, I think somewhere in the first few episodes of the show I interviewed Jessica Rasol and Jessica is also a professional speaker in Speaking Coach, and she is the one that [00:02:00] really helped sort of catapult the speaking that I have done.
And help develop my signature talk that I give, that I have now built upon and, you know, developed a whole bunch of signature talks and all of that really made me think about building authority in your brand or in your business. And so what I mean by that is putting out content and doing specific activities that let people know that you are the authority on whatever your expertise is.
Right. Getting yourself out there. So you are a well known expert. So when I first started my business, I, you know, I kind of got frustrated because I was putting good, informative content on my website that of course nobody looked at. Right. And I was sending really good emails to my list that had some really solid content in it.
But my list had like 50 people on it, and it was mostly my friends and family. Um, but nothing was happening. And. [00:03:00] Got frustrated that no one knew I was this expert in my field. But of course I’d been doing it for like two minutes, you know? So one thing that I have really learned over the years is that building authority is a long game, and that our efforts don’t always reap short-term benefits.
We’re here for the long haul, right? So you may see me now, and I’m speaking at this conference and speaking to this mastermind and getting featured on this podcast, like I’ve done a lot over the past, you know, probably five years or so. But it is all a result of the little efforts that I have put in consistently over the years.
So what I wanted to share with you today is some ways to build authority in your brand or business and some ways not to. So, Hmm. Where should we start? Should we start with what not to do? , Let’s start with what not to do. And I feel like now that I have a little bit of a platform, right? I have this podcast, um, almost [00:04:00] the minute that I started the show.
I started getting pitches for guests to come on the podcast. And they’re all exactly the same. They’re either like, my client, so and so would like to be a guest on your podcast. Here’s what they can talk about. Or they’ll insert some sentence that’s like, I really love your episode with so-and-so about blah, blah, blah.
And you can tell they literally just looked at the very most recent episode that was published and grabbed a sentence from the show notes and popped it into an email. Friends that is not customizing a pitch like that is not what you wanna do. I can see right through it and every other podcaster can see right through it as well.
And. Throughout my entire, like literally from day one of my business, any pitch that I’ve ever sent has never been from a template. It’s never been from a, um, like a script that anyone has given me. It has been from my heart, from my own brain, and. Even when I’ve pitched podcasts, um, [00:05:00] when I have pitched, I’ve pitched large companies to write a guest blog on their website.
That has led to like massive partnerships, which have been wildly valuable to my business and have brought clients and all that stuff about. My pitch has always been from the heart, Hey, listen, here’s who I am. Here’s the. Type of expertise and content that I have, I would love to help you out. How can we collaborate?
Right? It’s always incredibly genuine, and I think people can see that. And nowadays, we are getting so many pitches in our inboxes, in our dms, like, Hey girl, how are you? You know, How’s your like business doing? I, I mean, How many do you get of those? I get them all the time. Right. And we could just see right through ’em.
So I think the, the one lesson that I would say is really be genuine because when you’re not like, You’re not gonna get the results that you want. The other way to not build authority in your brand or business is to not follow up. So I have two examples [00:06:00] of people who pitched me for my podcast, and typically I like.
Scan the email and I’m like, No, I’m not interested. You know, if I’m, I’m always like holding out for the day where like Amy Porterfield’s people pitch to be on my podcast and I think I would probably say yes to that, you know, that kind of thing. But I. That has not happened, but there have been two times where the person looked intriguing to me, they looked interesting, and frankly, they had a large following on social media of listeners to their own shows or you know, clients or whatever followers that appeared to be potentially an ideal audience for me.
So I was like, Sure. So the first one I said yes to, I actually responded and was like, Sure, I would love to have so and so on my podcast. Thank you so much for asking. Let’s schedule a time. Here’s my link. So they scheduled a time to record the show using my calendar link, and then they canceled and then they rescheduled.
And then they canceled again. And then they rescheduled. [00:07:00] And I think it happened four times, literally four times with four different excuses. And finally, I said, I just didn’t respond. I said, Okay, well that’s, this is not, this is not working. Clearly, you don’t really wanna be on my show that badly if we, you’ve now canceled on me four times.
So the lesson to me there, and the lesson for you all there is like, if you’re gonna pitch someone. Be freaking serious that you want to be on their show or write that blog or serve their audience or whatever it is, and follow through that commitment, right? Like you’re the one that pitched them. So follow through the commitment if, you know there’s emergencies, of course, but like I kind of don’t think there are four emergencies, right?
So follow through. The second one is just a little bit simpler, but somebody pitched me for, um, somebody to be a guest on my show. And I actually had interacted with this person before, but they had like a PR person or whatever pitch me and I said, Oh, actually I know this person. We’ve gotten on a Zoom call before.
Like, [00:08:00] we, we know each other. Um, so sure, I’d love to have her on. They never responded, So I. I’m thinking, I kind of wanna like go tell this business owner, Listen, I responded to their email and they never wrote back to me, so I don’t know what you’re paying them for. So anyway, follow up, follow through, be genuine, be authentic, be professional.
Um, I don’t know, I just, it’s not really a lot more than that, but I’ve been like, that has been weighing on me. I’m like, okay, I have to tell the people. If you wanna build authority, if you wanna pitch, if you wanna do these things like follow through, be professional about. Okay, so I wanted to just share a couple examples of ways that I have pitched, or ways that I have worked on building my own authority in my own business and the long term results that that has had, because, The internet is full of quick wins, right?
Social media is full of quote unquote overnight successes. Maybe some of [00:09:00] them are, but a lot of them aren’t. A lot of them, myself included, anytime you see me posting about something that seems like, wow, that’s really amazing, you probably don’t see the year. Or more than it was in the making, right? So I think about one experience where I sent a cold email to a dream client, and this was my strategy from the beginning.
I think I have a podcast episode on this as well, just searched for cold email on my website. I sent a cold email to a dream client a. I told them why I like them, who I was and why I thought we could be a good fit. Again, this was not a template email. This was something I literally sat down from scratch and typed out.
So they eventually responded. We got on the phone a couple months later. Now notice I just said a couple months later, right? It was not like, Oh my gosh, Stephanie, I need you. Let’s get on the phone tomorrow, a few months later. So, Got on the phone, had a great conversation, and then a few months after that, they actually decided to go in another direction and not hire me.
So, okay, great. Well, we had our conversation, now we’re connected. And that’s that. [00:10:00] Over an entire year later, over a year later, they emailed me and they said, Okay, we’re ready to work with you now. So it was probably a year and a half from that very first email to the time that we worked together. And we worked with each other for several years, and then they eventually moved on, and now we are, they’ve come back to us, now we’re working with them again.
So that is such a long game. That’s such a, like, that’s just such a long play. And so I just think of that in all of our authority building work, right? It doesn’t necessarily mean. Clients or money or revenue, whatever, in the next 30 days, it may be the next 330 days or more, but that doesn’t mean the work is not valuable.
You hear me talk all the time about how important it is to know your numbers as a business owner, but you may be thinking, Well, how in the world do I do that? [00:11:00] Where do I even. So I have a free resource for you. The Profit Playbook is an amazing template that you spend about 15 minutes getting it all set up, and you can literally see into the future of your business.
Revenue expenses, cash flow, just like a crystal ball. It is a huge resource that will absolutely help you create a roadmap to reach your goals in your business. It is for free over at 100 degrees consulting.com/.
So the second one is about sort of doing, you know, speaking in public. So I did my signature talk at a conference. There were hundreds of non-profit leaders there, and I, I kind of hate big conference networking. So I’ve always told myself like, I’m shy. I’m an introvert. I like, I can’t just go up and talk to somebody.
I feel like I’m getting a lot better at that, but this was a few years ago. So anyway, at the conference I really did the bare [00:12:00] minimum. Weeks later, I got a LinkedIn message from somebody that attended my session and wanted to talk more. Followed up right away. I was like, Oh my gosh, great. This is so cool.
Let’s connect. We didn’t actually even end up connecting for another several months after that when I happened to be, or in their city where they live, but as soon as we met in person, they were ready to jump on as a new client. And we worked together for a really long time because again, they had known me, they saw me speak, and then we sort of connected online.
And so when we did finally like make that connection, the authority was already built. They were ready to go. So I just think of how, like what building authority is not like, it’s not stalking people on Instagram, right? It’s not sending those like God awful like mass messages on LinkedIn that. All getting, I so swear I’m getting probably like at least five messages a day [00:13:00] of cold pitches that are disguised as, Hey, Stephanie, great to be connected.
How you doing? Like, what are you working on in your business right now? I’m like, No, dude. I know that like two messages from now, you’re gonna pitch me something that I’m not looking for and I don’t want, so it’s not that and it’s not. Looking for an instant financial payout or for something in return, right?
So much of the speaking and content creation and authority building work that I do in my business is unpaid because I’m strategic about it. Meaning I’m not gonna do stuff that I think there’s no potential return in the future. So I, I do work that’s very aligned with. My business and with my clients and who I’m looking to serve, but I’m not looking for an instant financial payout.
So I’m willing to speak for free. I’m willing to create content for free because I have seen proof that it turns into something. and building authority is also not trying [00:14:00] to become well known without any like meat behind it, right? Without any meat behind that notoriety. You wanna be known of your expertise, not just like go viral, Flash in the pan, famous quote, unquote, for a hot minute.
You know, it’s not a quick thing, right? Because going viral on TikTok or Instagram is fun and it’s kind of like a little ego boost, but is that really building authority? Is that really, you know, a long term play for your business? So I. Here’s a few things that I have really worked on and honed in on over the years, and I have not gotten this right from the beginning at all.
These are all, these are all lessons that I have really learned sometimes the hard way. So really understanding your niche. I feel like we’ve heard the phrase, the riches are in the niches a bajillion times, and there are a million resources out there talking about why it’s important to define exactly who you serve [00:15:00] so you can attract exactly the right people for your services or your products.
So this is especially I. For authority building because if you’re creating content or speaking or whatever it is, you wanna make sure that you are speaking to your people, that your people are literally in the audience of where you are. And so a. I used to say yes to anything that anyone would ask me to do, speak to my mastermind, speak to this group, speak to that group.
Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. Sure. It was flattering, to be honest. It was flattering being asked to speak at different events, and so I said yes to everything. But the problem is you spent a lot of. And a lot of energy creating content for people that are not your people. So they were never going to become a client or buy from you anyway.
And so it’s just a waste of time and frankly, it could potentially be a waste of their time too, right? Like if I don’t have any way to serve them after I speak, then what is the [00:16:00] point? So that is one thing I have learned and. only speaking at places where I know that my dream clients are not because I’m gonna walk out of that room with six figures in new business, but because I’m building relationships that may lead to something in the future.
So that’s one thing. Is really nailing your niche. So the other thing that I do, um, is really be authentic on social media. I don’t have a strategy for like, you know, approaching people that I would like to be a client on Instagram or a. On LinkedIn, I just try to be genuine. So yes, I do start following people that I’m interested in.
And yes, I do comment and say like, Oh, you started a podcast, congratulations. Or, Oh wow, this, you know, this looks really cool, or, you know, whatever. Yeah. But it’s not strategic because I feel like when you start to be quote unquote strategic is when things start sounding completely fake. So if I wouldn’t do it in person, if I wouldn’t say it in person, I don’t do [00:17:00] it online.
What that means is that honestly, we don’t get a ton of clients from Instagram, and that’s okay. But when people do find us maybe through a referral. And they pop over to Instagram, they’re like, Wow. They’re super authentic. She’s super authentic. She doesn’t really look spammy or salesy at all. This is cool.
I kind of trust her. Right? So it’s all these little drops in the bucket to add up to be somebody that, um, you know, that people look to as an authority and that people really trust. So social media be super genuine. Um, so the other thing I kind of mentioned is being willing to share your knowledge for free.
I probably have some business friends that would disagree with this, and probably actually some of the speakers that I’ve had on my podcast would say, Uh, no. You need to be getting paid. But listen, several years ago I got on a guest posting kick. I started researching. All different places where I could write, um, and do a [00:18:00] guest post on somebody’s website.
And so I did that with a large software company that has many of the same clients or same ideal clients that I do. And so I. Pitched, um, you know, an article for their like sort of knowledge base on their website. And they said, Yeah, sure. Okay. And because of that, they said, Oh, would you like to like expand this into a webinar for our audience?
And I was like, Yep. Yes, I would. Since then, I have done. Probably, I don’t know, at least half a dozen more webinars for them all at their request. So now when they need an expert in my field, they come directly to me at their conference This year. I’m not only doing a talk, one of only a few non-employees that have a session at this conference attended by, uh, well over 10,000.
But I’m also on a panel, so I’m their go-to person now, all because I pitched myself, I [00:19:00] pitched a guest post, they said yes, and I’ve done good work since, right? And so all of this is for free. I have not gotten paid a penny for any of this, but the exposure to 10,000 people who are my ideal clients, um, I’m not sure how much I would have to pay Facebook to put me in front of that many people through advertising.
Do you know what I mean? So like when you think about it that way, it is beyond worth it. It is beyond worth my time to do that. And so think about who you can serve, how you can share knowledge for free. And not only is that exposing you to potentially, you know, some new audiences, but it’s also just building your authority.
On the internet, right? Like they’re gonna post that on their website and your name is gonna be linked back to it in your website. It’s gonna be linked back to it. So all of these, again, they’re little deposits into your authority building bank. So offer to share your knowledge for free. Same thing with podcasts.
Um, I’ve pitched myself for a number of podcasts. I’ve gotten a number of [00:20:00] yeses. I’ve been a guest on a whole bunch of different podcasts. And again, it’s because I personally have reached out. I’ve offered to share my story and my expertise, and I’m not gonna give you a pitch template or say. Okay, the first sentence should be this and make sure you include that.
No, because everybody is doing that, I, believe me, I save all these pitches, so I have an entire folder in Gmail of all of the podcast pitches I get, and there is a formula that literally everyone is using. Don’t use a formula. Use your heart. Use your brain. So I would say, yeah, podcast guesting is awesome.
A podcast host. We’re always looking for good content, interesting people, and an interesting person is gonna share, you know, a personal email and not have some podcast pitching person send it to me. So be genuine. So anyway, all of these methods, all of these different things, and there’s probably a ton more.
This is what’s worked for me. They can build your notoriety, they can build the, your authority in your field. The only thing [00:21:00] that you need is patience, right? Cuz it can take time to see a return on this. So I spend a decent amount of time, like three to five hours a week on authority building activities like networking, speaking with prospects, podcast guesting, writing, guest posts, building decks for speaking, engage.
Writing, speaking proposals, preparing for, or presenting webinars, like I spend a lot of time doing that, so it’s not a minimal effort and I’m consistent with it. Um, right now I have a list of three different things that I need to pitch myself for this month. Their deadlines are coming up. I need to do it, and it’s gonna take me some time.
But it is worth it. I have seen financial ROI on everything that we’re talking about on podcast guesting, on speaking at conferences, and contributing my content for free to other sources. I have seen financial ROI on all of them. It is not like a quick cash injection, right? So if you’re like, Alright, I need 10 grand in [00:22:00] my business in the next 30 days, this is, you know, working on authority building activities is probably not gonna get you there.
But I can definitely tell you that I’ve seen tens of thousands, maybe over time it’ll be hundreds of thousands of dollars in long term impact from working on building authority. And let me tell you, if you are in the early days of your business and you are feeling like. You’re creating content. You’re on the like content hamster wheel.
I’ve heard that term before, and you’re just not getting any traction. You’re just not getting anywhere with it. Trust me that you will hit a turning point. , there will be a turning point, and I am so sorry to say it might not be this year. It might be a year from now or two years from now, but you’re gonna hit a turning point where you will be turning down opportunities to share your expertise because it’s just not the right people behind it to arrest me.
I felt this way so much. I had so much. , [00:23:00] Um, I don’t know if envy or jealousy is the right word, but I was just seeing people online. I’m like, how are they doing this? How did they get this opportunity to speak? How are they getting in front of these people? They seem to be like, at my level, or like as smart as me, or, you know, I’ve trying to compare myself, which is impossible.
Task to do to somebody you don’t even know somebody whose business you don’t know. Um, you don’t know any of the behind the scenes, but I was comparing myself to them being like, How are they doing this? But what I didn’t realize, because I was in the early days of my business, what I didn’t realize was that they had probably been doing this work, putting the little deposits into the authority building bank for years.
Years. And you don’t see that and. I just wanna give you a little bit of encouragement. I talk about this a lot, that most of what we do in our business, especially like in my business, when it comes to marketing efforts and things like that, like we’re talking about tonight, it’s all a long game. [00:24:00] So, One more benefit.
Building authority by speaking to small groups to large groups online in person has really helped me to hone my message also. And so if you think like, Okay, well I don’t really know what to talk about, or I don’t know if I have my framework, or I don’t know if I really have a signature talk. If you do what you’ve got, once you will refine it, refine it, refine it.
So I feel like I could probably go back. 15 different iterations of a talk that I do really often, and that first version probably looks so different than what it looks like today. But I feel like every time I speak, um, my message gets clearer. I see more light bulb moments in the audience and through the screen, and I think it just gets better and better, which is gonna lead to more and more opportunities.
Again, little deposits in the Bank of authority building. So, Building authority. I’m gonna leave you with this. Building Authority in your niche is a Sure Fire like literally, [00:25:00] I promise you. Surefire. Guaranteed. Yet long term strategy for growth that I prioritize greatly. Over here at Hunter Grace Consulting, I have seen it payoff time and time again.
I have seen a payoff financially, even though I’m putting a lot of effort into the front end, I’ve seen it pay off financially over the long term. Again, word of encouragement. If you are in the throes of like creating content and feeling like it’s not going anywhere, trust me, it takes a little time, but you will absolutely get there and.
It’s probably time to get a little bit farther outside of your comfort zone and pitch what feels uncomfortable. And remember, it’s all a numbers game too. You know, pitch, pitch, pitch, like find out where your ideal audience is and send genuine emails offering to share your content in a way that is gonna be really useful to them.
And yeah, and it will be beneficial to you as well. So hope that was [00:26:00] helpful, my friends. I do. I hope that was helpful. Because this is, again, a huge thing that I, a huge effort that I’ve put into my business that has really, really paid off. So hope that was helpful. Listen to this episode. Listen to the episode with Jasmine Haley and Lisa Reid if you’re interested in speaking, and I’ll get you next time.
Thank you so much for being here. Thanks for being here with me tonight when I feel like I feel a little bit rusty behind the microphone. So anyway, I’ll talk to. Thanks for listening to the 100 degrees of Entrepreneurship Podcast. To access our show notes and bonus content, visit 100 degrees consulting.com/podcast.
Make sure to snap a screenshot on your phone of this episode and tag me on Instagram at Stephanie dot s k r y and I’ll be sure to share. Thanks for being here, friends, and I’ll see you next time.[00:27:00]