Rules of genuine authority

1. If you have “guru” anywhere on your profile, Facebook page, website, blog, or email signature, I don’t trust your authority.

2. Valid experience – plainly and clearly stated – is the best way to establish authority.

3. Peer reviews and client recommendations are the second best way to establish authority.

4. Give me those things first, then give me links to your articles and posts and so on.

5. Give me those things first, and give me links to your free informative articles and posts and so on, before you even mention selling me anything.

6.  Don’t be offended when people question your authority. Quick-to-offense tells me you are insecure about your own position.

7. I don’t care if you are the foremost expert in your field, blah blah blah. In fact, if that’s what you claim, it makes me distrust you. I just want you to know more than I do. That’s enough. If you can share some of your knowledge with me in a fluff-free, efficient manner, that’s really helpful.

8. It actually helps me to see that you are a real person. Don’t burden me with minutiae, but be real. A real person trying to sound like a non-human entity makes me question your sincerity. And if I’m questioning your sincerity, then your authority no longer really matter.

9. A real person trying to sound real ends up sounding fake. Don’t try to sound real. Just be real. Maybe don’t market yourself… just be yourself.

10. It’s okay to say you don’t know. I trust you more if you can admit your own limits.