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You’ve probably heard the advice over and over again that you need to become an authority and build your own personal brand to stand out. How is all of this done? It’s not as simple as using the same colors consistently on your website. Here are four steps to take to start becoming an authority so you can build a brand:

Get credentials

Today, you don’t need to go to school to work in a certain industry. Writers can write without a writing degree. You don’t need to have gone to school for design to become a designer. However, having certifications or other credentials is still valuable and it can show you have authority to speak on a topic.

In this online landscape, people want to know they can trust you. There are a lot of people online overstating the value of their results and products online. You want to show people that you have the credentials to backup your brand.

There are many different places online where you can study to get certified in an area of expertise. For example, Hubspot has a Content Marketing Certification course. Some colleges have certification courses as well. You can also find industry specific certification programs through companies or associations.

Practical experience in a field is also a great credential. If you have several years or even decades of experience working in an industry, include that in your bio and other copy.

Develop your story

What’s your story and what are your talking points? Who are you trying to help and why are you the best person to do it? Developing your story gives you something to pitch when you want to get featured in blog posts, news stories, podcasts, tv segments, and more. There are thousands of business owners out here trying to be heard. Your story is what differentiates you and makes people pay attention.

Get media mentions

Getting media mentions is how you can draw attention to yourself and your business. Obtaining credentials and developing your story makes it possible for you to attract media. Pitching for guests posts on various blogs is how I started my writing career. The posts helped me practice my craft and brought attention to my work.

Not sure how to start getting featured in blog posts, podcasts, or other media outlets? HARO (help a reporter out) is a good way to start. HARO is a site where reporters look for experts. Each day, subscribers of HARO get an email broadcast with different stories where reporters need quotes from experts. Usually, there’s a deadline to respond so make sure you shoot an email back quickly.

Network with other thought leaders

Authorities and thought leaders in your niche aren’t competition. You should see these people as peers. Partner with other thought leaders to make a greater impact. Networking and making friends within my niche is how I got access to new audiences and aligned myself with other people doing great things.

Final word

Advice everywhere online says that you need to build authority. The truth is, building authority can be a long process. It happens after you put in the work consistently to show you’re someone to pay attention to within an industry. Don’t give up!