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5 ways Experts Can Maintain Authority During Downtime of COVID-19

Use this time to build trust and establish yourself as a thought leader

In the weeks following Covid-19 lock downs, business owners, consultants and thought leaders are reacting one of two ways;

  1. Going Dark – stunned into silence, uncertain what to say to followers, or worried their message is irrelevant.
  2. Expert Mode – they seem to know just what to say, and are using this time to build allegiance and trust among primary audiences.

The playing field is leveling off and the opportunity to come out on top as a thought leader is there for those who can wield their knowledge appropriately.

Amanda Sutton

One thing is certain, online audiences are done with B*S*. They are looking for applicable answers and genuine leadership at this time.

As an expert or experienced practitioner in your chosen field, you have a choice; step into the mix and add your voice with valuable, genuine insight or wait until this all blows over so you can get back to ‘what you want to talk about’.

Good news, there is a formula and there is a way to move out of the dark, and into authority during these uncertain times.

In one week, you will have both solved the problem of ‘what to post’ on your marketing channels, while stepping fully into your authority and continue to gain trust.

Day One – Take Stock

For the first weeks during the height of the outbreak, everyone froze – it was crickets in online media and in ‘marketing land’. Now, you may notice people, businesses, maybe your competition, stepping up and stepping out.

Experts who wish to take this time seriously are taking a strategic approach and keeping themselves engaged in groups, providing counsel and sharing some of their BEST assets.

You’ve worked hard on your expertise. You’ve crafted some great pieces, blogs, presentations, whitepapers. If any of those are yours to share, I’d get serious about dusting them off.

  • What do you have ready-to-go for online, right now?
  • What other tools, resources, books, e-learning, podcast, interviews – can you re-purpose to help people during this time?
  • What message have you been sitting on that people would really resonate with right now?
  • Can you release a sneak peek – a book chapter, a webinar, part of a presentation?

Day Two – Provide Value, not Advice

Have you noticed that a lot of people on all channels are full of advice right now? Advice is great, but as experts we have an obligation to provide value first. Give your followers something they can put to use during this time.

If you have something you are good at, decide whether you can turn this into a useful online webinar, course or lesson to lend or share. True experts know they don’t give away their best stuff for free – but if there is a way to demonstrate what you have to offer in a tutorial or workshop style setting – maybe even a lively Facebook live tutorial – now could be the perfect time to get face to face and demonstrate just what kind of personality lies behind those smarts.

*It is up to each individual whether to take advantage of lead generation collection, or take a more benevolent approach with information sharing at this time. No judgement here.

Day Three – Write the Book

You can tell yourself two things during this crisis: 1. I’ve never had so much time to get things done. 2. I have no time to get anything done.

Both are true! We’ve all been given the exact same 24 hours in a day. Are you going to find a way to reorganize that closet for the third time? or are you going to finally get down to some introspective (I don’t wanna) stuff that has been sitting on your to-do list since last January?

Now is not the time where experts make excuses. They step up, because people need their expertise now more than ever. Write the blog, do the Facebook live, get the chapter finished, start the website, don’t make excuses.

Also, don’t shelve the dream proposal. Is there a company or opportunity that you’ve always dreamed of going after?
Guess what? After we all come out of this. The playing field will be more evenly leveled for the persistent and hard working. Those that come out strong will come out on top. So why not take the time to draft an incredible proposal or introduction and create an opportunity for yourself in the future.

*I’m not saying SEND it off now – that will take a bit more time and insight as the market recovers – but now could be a great time to put some brain power behind a great pitch!

Day Four – Find the Income

Being paid as a subject matter expert often means paid to speak, or appear in some sort of physical environment. With events and trade shows being cancelled – you’ve got to find a way to keep the income coming in.

Finding sources of new revenue is critical, and experts know that diversifying their income stream is as important as diversifying their skill set.

During this time, that could mean getting organized and staying on top of the money you COULD be collecting right now.

There are hundreds of government, association and education grants available to speakers, business owners and others whose usual sources of income have dwindled because of COVID-19. Based on your unique needs and circumstances, you could qualify for reduced or delayed payments, wage employment subsidies, daycare assistance, additional lending and financial benefits, tax rebates, free advertising, cash back coupons, any number of incentives being offered to help keep business running and on track.

Check your local government agencies and associations for most direct resources.

Day Five – Level Up your Skill Set

Most experts are who they are because they love to learn. Ongoing education and investing in learning is the cornerstone of mastery. That is why you will find most experts during this time, furthering their knowledge base, keeping abreast of their industry and filling any gaps they may be missing in their skill set – so they can pass it on to those they serve.

Now may be the perfect time to sign up for advanced leadership courses, a new certification, a personal branding program or other mentorship to keep your professional status where it belongs, at the top.

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