If you want to be seen as an online authority, you should be an online authority, and that means you need to carry yourself like one. There are a few things you should always keep in mind to ensure you don’t risk harming your authority status (that you’ve probably worked very hard to reach in the first place).
Always try to be helpful
Helping people whenever you can is the best way to make sure you’re seen as a knowledgeable authority in your field. This could mean offering your advice through email, participating in forum discussions or chiming in with your thoughts on social networks. The more people you help, the more you’ll cement your authority status.
Admit when you’re wrong
Staying humble and being able to admit when you’re wrong about something will not only ensure the longevity of your authority status, but also keep you well liked among your peers in the community. You can be an authority figure without being liked, of course, but you’ll likely find the polite, respectful path much more effective.
Embrace controversy when appropriate
Sometimes you’ll find yourself in situations where your opinion goes against everyone else’s. That’s when you should move full speed ahead and state it loud and proud, providing you’re confident that you’re right about it. People respect those who aren’t afraid to go against the grain and stand up for their beliefs, and doing so will do much to cement your authority status in the community (even if you turn out to be wrong, in which case you’ll simply admit it, as you just learned).
Be open to networking
Whenever you get a chance to make a new friend or connection — take it! Networking is something every successful authority spends much time doing, as the benefits are numerous. To network effectively, make sure you keep an open mind and don’t reject anyone because you think they couldn’t bring anything to the table. You never know who among your connections that will turn out a great help in the future. That said, watch out for freeloaders who are only looking for handouts from you. The more well-known you are in your niche, the more of these you’ll get — that’s the unfortunate downside of being an authority.
Make your momma proud!
These were just a few of the things you should focus on to retain your authority status. If you try to follow these basic recommendations you’ll stand a good chance at keeping your position indefinitely. Good luck!