I am so excited to share some big news today – I have a new book coming out next week titled Authority Marketing: How to Leverage 7 Pillars of Thought Leadership to Make Competition Irrelevant (ForbesBooks, 2018).

I’m honored to have written the book alongside my friend Adam Witty, Founder & CEO of Advantage Media Group|ForbesBooks, which acquired my first agency, Shelton Interactive, in early 2016.

He and I are both humbled that Forbes Media Chairman and Editor-in-Chief, Steve Forbes, contributed the foreword to the book and called it “Bold and transformational.”

So what is Authority Marketing?

WittyShelton_AuthorityMarketing_Cover_3D (1)It is the strategic process of building personal thought leadership or “Authority” in the new media landscape. In this book Adam and I make a counterintuitive case for thought leadership over corporate marketing as the most important growth tool for your business and, by extension, your impact and we provide a specific system you can use to grow yours.

One of my passions in life is empowering people to make a positive impact by getting their message out online and I believe Authority Marketing is the most effective way to do just that.

When most people think about marketing they tend to gravitate toward corporate marketing, whether they are building a business, running a non-profit or working as part of a larger institution. As a result of this traditional “build the brand!” mentality, most people take a significant backseat to the “corporate” brand in terms of visibility, which unfortunately limits their impact.

Instead, when you focus on Authority Marketing – you begin with the thought leader – not the brand – and an emphasis on education rather than marketing. As a result of this “give-first” mentality, you make a much larger impact for several reasons. First, when you focus on a corporate brand, you are often competing against brands that have several decades’ head-start on you in terms of awareness and dramatically more money to spend on marketing. Additionally, when most people interact with corporate brands they are expecting to be marketed-to – on the flipside, when people interact with a thought leader or Authority, they are expecting to learn something, which dramatically shifts their perspective. Finally, as a general rule, we have grown increasingly distrustful of corporate brands and, as a result, we are giving our attention to individual thought leaders who we view as much more unbiased and trustworthy.

This doesn’t mean that building a corporate brand isn’t also important – it is – it’s just that often the best way to build affinity with your audience isn’t to lead with the corporate brand, it is to lead with thought leadership.

[Authority = Expertise x Celebrity]

There are many experts in the world, be they physicians, attorneys, entrepreneurs or leaders. Most sport decades of experience, high-end degrees and proof of concept in terms of results. So what differentiates one from the next in today’s crowded climate? Not much, which is why to stand out in the new media landscape you must “own” your brand and be intentional about the Authority you project.

Although being seen as an Authority certainly ties back to visibility, I want to be clear that we aren’t recommending that you build some kind of me-first “look-how-awesome-I-am” brand. Instead, we’re talking about the kind of high-impact visibility and third-party credibility that causes you—the expert—to be viewed as a mission-driven thought leader in your specific niche or field.

In our new book you’ll read about numerous Authorities—formerly unknown experts who’ve gone on to grow their businesses, secure personal leverage and impact countless lives by becoming well-known thought leaders

The good news is that it’s never been easier to build Authority. In today’s media environment—which is driven in large part by discoverability and brand-building pre-engagement—when you combine great knowledge and expertise with targeted visibility, you are perceived as far more than just another expert that someone can shop on price against competitors. Instead, you are seen as the go-to thought leader in your field!

Adam and I hope our new book empowers business owners, leaders and experts around the world to make a much larger impact with their message and I hope that group includes you.

We kick-off our book tour in Atlanta on May 9th and I’ll keep you posted on future events. If you’d like to pick up a copy, you can find it on Amazon, B&N and others.

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