5 Ways To Boost Your Online Authority
“Opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance.” – Plato
Over thousands of years, Plato’s words remain influential. Even today, people use the great Greek philosopher’s writings as a basis for developing and supporting their own thoughts and ideas.
But consider that the quote used above is just an opinion. You may agree with it, sure, but it’s not based on any actual fact or findings, but rather on Plato’s own observations, reasonings and biases.
Why do Plato’s opinions still matter? Why do we still quote him, centuries later?
Besides his many contributions to Western thought and philosophy, Plato also founded what some consider to be the first University and mentored the equally well-respected philosopher, Aristotle. It’s clear that over the course of his life, Plato established himself as an expert in his field and his accomplishments are still recognized today.
How do you establish your expertise so people think your opinions matter? With the advent of the internet there are now so many avenues available for people to voice their opinion, whether its on blogs and web sites, Facebook or Twitter. How do you make yourself heard above all the hubbub?
1. Know your topic
You can’t be an expert at everything, so focus your energies on a niche that truly interests you. When you can communicate knowledgeably about your subject, it helps inform and influence others. However, “being knowledgeable” and “being a know-it-all” are two different things; strive to present your information in a way so people find you approachable, rather than condescending.
2. Know your audience
Who is your target market? The information you share will be accepted easier by people genuinely interested in your topic. If you find your opinions and knowledge aren’t being seriously considered, it may be time to assess who you’re speaking to. If you’re an expert on family travel, for example, it’s unlikely you’ll convince a young bachelor that a bargain trip to Disney World is a must.
3. Be willing to change your mind
As much as you know about your niche, other people may have knowledge about your topic you never considered or knew about. An openness to listen and hear what others have to say will help establish your opinions as credible, especially if your observations change and grow with that new information. Even Plato’s opinions evolved over time.
4. Accept criticism gracefully
Humans are passionate and we love to share that dedication with others. Exhibiting excitement and enthusiasm for your niche will help establish your following, but it’s key to remember that if someone doesn’t agree with your opinion, that doesn’t mean you’re wrong or have failed in your mission. Set the disappointment aside and focus on the people who want more of the information you’re sharing.
5. Be approachable
Make yourself available to the people who follow you, whether it’s via email, Facebook, Twitter, etc. This doesn’t mean that you need to eat up your day answering every comment or question at length, but even quickly acknowledging someone or thanking them for their input can make a casual follower into a fan for life.
Not everyone wants a budget trip to “The Happiest Place on Earth” and that’s okay; people have differences in opinion. Sharing and rejoicing in that diversity are part of what makes connecting with people more interesting. We learn and grow when we’re open to hearing opposing opinions and you may find that your willingness to stretch your mind helps your expertise status grow even bigger.
Plato also said: “Wise men talk because they have something to say. Fools, because they have to say something.”
Which do you want to be?
Tell us by leaving a comment! Your opinion matters to us 🙂
This article is part of SiteSell’s 6-week series, highlighting the benefits of “Being Yourself.” For more tips on how to “Launch Your Inner Entrepreneur,” check out the Be Yourself page.