I’ve talked a lot about how your business blog can be used to build trust with prospective clients – especially if you’re in the business of “selling your knowledge.” However, there’s another term which is emerging which may be an even more compelling reason to begin blogging for your business.
That term is AUTHORITY and it’s becoming a buzz word in the world of business blogging because business blogging is a powerful and effective tool you can use to establish your authority.
Authority is powerful stuff. According to Dictionary.com, one of the definitions of authority reads:
“right to respect or acceptance of one’s word, command, thought, etc.; commanding influence: the authority of a parent; the authority of a great writer.”
Think of authority as the natural next step in the whole “trust building” process.
Authority = trust + power… the power to motivate people to take action.
There have been lots of behavioral studies surrounding the power of authority. One of the most cited works on obedience to authority is the Yale study conducted by Stanley Milgram. In the study, inspired by the trial of the Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann, Milgram sought to answer the deeply troubling question of whether authority could cause a person to contradict their deeply held beliefs.
In the study – volunteers were recruited and told they were part of an experiment which tested memory and learning in different situations. The “administrator” was dressed in a lab coat and armed only with a clip board. and the “student” was actually an actor. The true subject of the study was the volunteer – who was assigned the role of “teacher” in the experiment. The volunteer was instructed to administer increasing electric shocks to the “student”. The results of the experiment were sobering to say the least… 26 of the 40 volunteers went on to administer the maximum (fatal) voltage three times, despite the student’s pleas for mercy and apparent impending death. Only one participant refused to administer shocks to the student.
That’s the power of authority.
In the study – the stage for the administrator’s authority was planned carefully. The administrator was dressed in a lab coat and given a clipboard. In later subsequent studies, it appears the “uniform” is an important control in creating the appearance of authority. While the uniform in the original experiment was a lab coat and clipboard, subsequent experiments and a few well known scams have used police uniforms to create the authority required to quickly gain the trust needed to influence people to act in ways they would not without the misuse of the power of authority.
Blogs are the “uniform” of authority on the web
So if you’ve been wondering what all the “fuss” is over business blogging – it’s this: Business blogs are great tools for building authority. Bloggers in every niche are constantly being cited regularly as “reliable sources” by various media outlets. Search is a tool used by journalists worldwide – and blogs are very search engine friendly.
Which is why – blogs are quickly becoming the “uniform” of authority on the web.
However, it’s important to remember that trust – and the resulting authority – are not earned quickly nor easily. The newly minted police officer who abuses the privileges his uniform imparts is quickly dismissed from the police force. The same is true of your business blog.
Blogging authority does not come from a single blog post. It doesn’t even come from a dozen or so blog posts. In many cases, it comes from literally HUNDREDS of blog posts on a specific subject.
The path to authority begins with building a foundation of trust. You gain the trust of your blog readers by providing lots and lots of quality content. You answer the questions your readers are struggling to answer with your blog posts. You give behind the scenes “glimpses” of how you solve problems. You demonstrate your expertise time and time again through your blog posts.
Lather – rinse – repeat.
That’s how you “earn”the uniform of authority via blogging on the web. It doesn’t happen overnight – but it does happen – one authority building business blog post at a time