By Brian Horn, Special for USDR
Since 2009, small businesses have seen their monthly health care costs almost double, rising from $590 per employee to $1,121.
These statistics are mind blowing, but there are some ways to offset these costs to make the pain less severe.
The first step is to realize that you have no control over what the government will decide to take from your business in the form of taxes…Even when the intent is to really help.
Ayn Rand once famously said, “Government ‘help’ to business is just as disastrous as government persecution… the only way a government can be of service to national prosperity is by keeping its hands off.”
So what can the small business owner do if they can’t control how much more they have to spend on health care now?
The only viable option is to focus on increasing revenue.
In this article I want to focus on how an entrepreneur can use something known as “authority marketing” to quickly position themselves as the top expert in their marketplace and command higher fees.
In essence, authority marketing helps entrepreneurs leverage their knowledge to gain authority status in their industry. This authority status then allows them to dramatically amplify their message and convert their new audience into higher paying customers.
In other words, it’s the process for positioning yourself as an authority, or even a celebrity, in your marketplace.
Why is Authority Marketing Needed to Offset Costs
We’ve all heard the saying before:
“All other things being equal, people buy from people they know, like and trust.”
While that may be true, if you are competing with a business that is using authority marketing strategies, you’ll find yourself at a huge disadvantage.
Let’s say you are deciding between using the services of one of two tax attorneys to represent your small business in a lawsuit from the IRS.
Attorney A has been around for several years and you know him from church. He seems to know his stuff and is a really nice guy.
Attorney B wrote a best-selling book on how to battle the IRS in court, in addition, he is a regular contributor on the local news about overreaching IRS actions.
This now becomes a pretty clear choice for most people.
Is Attorney B necessarily smarter than Attorney A? Will he do a better job because of having written a book and doing the TV appearances?
Not at all.
But Attorney B will be able to command higher fees because of how he has positioned himself as an expert. He is now the “Go To” person in the marketplace.
Commanding higher fees is just one of the benefits of doing authority marketing.
Benefits of Authority Marketing
This works for a solo entrepreneur as much as a CEO that has 100’s of employees.
Increasing your perceived value leads to many benefits which impact every part of the sales cycle.
For example, once you develop authority, you don’t have to chase potential customers. In fact, you’ll quickly discover that they find you.
In our example, Attorney B will find that he no longer has to market as heavy for leads. People find him because of his positioning and once they do, they will stop looking.
And that’s actually the key.
You probably have many people that look at your offers right now but DON’T choose you. By converting to an authority position, those people will choose you.
As noted, entrepreneurs that are seen as authorities have a higher value position, and are therefore expected to have higher rates. People will happily pay more for services from someone who they perceive to be the top expert in a field.
Another benefit is “trust.” Your opinions and advice are trusted by clients. No longer will you devise a plan that will help one of your clients, only to have them question every step, and in the end, only do certain parts. With your new positioning, your advice is valued and followed.
You also can replace expensive marketing techniques with cheaper ones by just publishing valuable content. Books, podcasts, radio appearances and blog posts become sources for information in your industry.
You will gain influence in your marketplace and opportunities for speaking and partnerships with other authorities will readily present themselves to you. These, in turn, increase authority further and open other doors.
Authority marketing is one of the most powerful ways to differentiate yourself from your competitors. If you are not actively working on creating a sense of “celebrity” for your business, you are missing a key ingredient to success in the 21st century.
So, instead of focusing your time fighting against the ever growing government, use your energy to grow your business and increase revenue.
America was built on self reliance, and we as business owners need to take to a new level to keep the American dream alive.
Conservative author and commentator, William F. Buckley, Jr. summed this up when he said, “There is an inverse relationship between reliance on the state and self-reliance.”
Entrepreneur and best-selling author, Brian Horn, helps business owners leverage their knowledge to gain authority status in their industry, then dramatically amplifies their message and shows how to convert the new audience into high paying customers.
Brian has been profiled and featured on ABC, CBS, Forbes, Advertising Age and dozens of other media outlets. Inc Magazine even named Brian an “emerging business leader to watch.”
Brian co-hosts a weekly talk show, AuthorityAlchemy.com, and is a contributor for Huffington Post on the topic of authority marketing.