A Trusted Authority is always an expert but most experts will never never ascend to the level of a Trusted Authority. An expert has a certain type of credibility but, by understanding what the two terms mean a bit more, you can understand the difference and see why becoming the Trusted Authority should be your ultimate goal.
Being an Expert
An expert could be anyone with very detailed and accurate knowledge about a subject. They have developed their credibility in this area and are recognized as someone who can provide relevant and useful information. They might be, for example, someone who knows a lot about banking and who could tell you quite a bit about where to invest your money. This wouldn’t mean, however, that they were the Trusted Authority in their field, and there’s an important difference.
An authority would be someone that you would trust to help you invest your money, rather than just a generic expert. An expert may know a lot, indeed, but that doesn’t mean that they have done the hard work of building themselves up as someone people can trust beyond their knowledge. It also doesn’t mean that they haven’t differentiated themselves from the herd at all. There are plenty of experts out there.
An authority is someone who has a unique blend of expertise, intelligence, compassion and knowledge of how to treat people. They have built up credibility by proving that they’re out for more than their own gain and they have built up trust by proving again and again that they know what they’re talking about. Being an expert is something anyone can do but being an authority takes a willingness to truly commit.
Becoming the Trusted Authority
A key element of becoming the Trusted Authority is that need a core competence in what you do – but what’s important to realize is that you don’t have to be the best in the market. It’s important to focus on something that you love to do and that you’re good at, which is normally how most people become competent in something. You’ll want to find out what it is that really drives you and that really makes you able to offer people something more than what others can offer them. Once you know your core competence, you then need to be committed to continually growing and developing it.
As you do this, you can develop trust with others by establishing that you’re working in a field that you’re very well suited to. This means that they can go to you for advice but, because you’ll have taken the additional step of making a commitment to others, they’ll know that they can trust you more than they could trust any expert. This is what the an authority offers. The Trust Factor means that people really can believe you when you tell them something and that they know that you have their interests at heart. This makes you something more than an expert, by far, and makes you a rarified resource in a world full of people who know a lot, but who really offer very little. You’re then in position to be seen as the Trusted Authority, which then brings reputation, credibility and – most important – a flow of prospects and clients coming to you.