Do you love audiobooks? I admit I’m addicted to podcasts and audiobooks! Sometimes I wish they didn’t exists, because when I pull myself away from my computer — to walk the dog, hit the gym, run my leg of the carpool, or any of the other non content-related activities in my freelancer’s lifestyle — I probably should take a break from, well, content.
Nevertheless, if I can’t be reading, I can’t resist pulling up an audio file of some sort. It’s usually a business book or a podcast on marketing.
Part of the reason I like podcasts and audiobooks, besides great information, is hearing the inflections in the speaker’s voice. To me, as an auditory learner, the best voices are those that radiate warmth and authority.
Though a charismatic voice has intangible characteristics, you can decipher some qualities that give the listener a reason to subscribe and learn more. You also know pretty quickly whether the host or read’s voice is one you want to hear for 300 pages or several episodes.
The question is, how do you transfer that charisma, warmth, and authority to your content to achieve that same vibe?
“Charisma + Warmth + Authority = Shareable Content”
Authoritative content is achieved by being passionate about your subject. You create it by siting other sources and building on their ideas with original ideas of your own. You also focus on the right audience.
Doing so increases others’ social sharing of your content, which increases your rank in search engine results and makes your brand one worth following.
When you’re just starting to build your authority online, you probably have a new business blog or website, and you are trying to increase your visibility and influence.
Here are some specific things you can do to increase the warmth of your content so that you are truly a charismatic presence that people want to follow and share.
Rules for “Warmthority” in your Content
Today I’m coining the word “Warmthority” because too many people try so hard to provide authoritative content, when all they need to do to increase clicks, likes and shares is to add warmth. Adding the human touch is one way to get off on the right foot with your audience by mentioning a personal story within your post. This can be especially meaningful if you show vulnerability, some point where you failed or made a mistake that helped you ultimately hone your expertise and authority. People need to know the steps you took to get to the place you are now.
Teachers, coaches, and other purveyors of information know that sharing the rough patches in their journey builds trust. If you just stick to the facts, ma’am, then your blog feels cold and barren. You can get facts and figures anywhere. People are searching for a connection.
Warmth doesn’t come only from sharing personal stories. There are other ways to convey warmth PLUS authority — Warmthority — in your content.
Warmthority comes out in ways that seem intangible, even chemical, but in reality it can be broken down into actionable chunks. Eye contact, listening, and positivity, are noticeable, specific ways to increase your charisma in life. You can attain that same vibe online, too.
The Root of Authority
Authority has the same root as Authenticity and Author. Genuine, original, principal… Auto (self) + Doer (accomplish, achieve).
When you are an authority, you know what you know and you act on it. You are self-intact. As an authentic author, you tell the story inside you. You are comfortable in your skin, and you act on your own authority.
Being an authority doesn’t mean you have the last word on any particular subject. The warmth sneaks in when you fear no competition — because you genuinely have none.
Qualities of “Warmthority” Content
Questions and opinions are welcome and shared!
Genuine authority also means you understand and respond to your audience’s worries and concerns. You ask questions to understand your audience better. You are also familiar with, and unthreatened by, other’s authoritative voices in the same arena of knowledge. You’re even willing to share by linking to other related content and sharing it with your followers.
Once again, sharing others’ authentic content has the benefit of bringing links to your content, too.
A real Warmthority’s voice is open-ended. It’s not always about pinning the customer down to the one topic that directly makes you money or sells your product. Warmthority content bounces different ideas around one core subject, but the reader never feels trapped within your company’s content, even if it is entertaining. Sometimes content creators do this by bringing their user’s stories into the mix, or by curating content that their readers appreciate.
New business owners looking to create content for their audiences sometimes think they must start and end with content about their product or service. However, it’s been proven time and again that good content is what people want to consume, not what you want them to know. That means taking into consideration the whole person, not just the part your business serves. Once you have the whole person engaged, they’ll remember your business when the time comes.
Some of the most memorable content I’ve ever seen was in the form of a genuine caring message sent late in the night on Facebook. Late night is a time when a lot of online business owners are trying to get stuff done, when willpower may be flagging, and they’re possibly feeling tired, lonely, or depressed. It’s a great time to hear an encouraging word from a trusted authority.
While I like these types of messages, encouraging memes are not something you can fake. Create and share content that feels right to you. If you are compelled to lift up others, encouraging social messages can be a powerful way to increase your authority and become a memorable leader in your field.
Real and Visual
You know how people are always saying they remember faces?
Most people are visual creatures and want to see your face before doing business with you.
Video is a great way to exude warmthority in your content. Don’t worry if you are not a natural at this; it takes practice!
- Guy Kawasaki says in his book Enchantment that you should always smile so that your smile lines show. It’s just one of his many tips on being a memorable presence, both live and online.
- Daniel Lapin advises in another good book, Thou Shall Prosper that if you tend to have a stony face, practice smiling in the mirror until your muscle memory knows how to get that friendly look! Yes, you can practice warmthority!
- Rand Fishkin’s famous Whiteboard Fridays sets the bar for consistent, quality content.
- Kim Garst recommends starting with live Facebook videos because people don’t expect perfection here, they just like seeing the real you.
Authority conveys your perspective on related subjects that may not be directly tied to your profits. To build warmth and uniqueness into your content, add a dimension that your competitors don’t. Relax a bit on the selling.
For example, say your business is about teaching moms ways to get their kids eating healthy food and liking it. What else could you provide that hinges on this subject that no one else is offering in your field? Some ideas to spin:
- You could review children’s books that show kids making healthy choices.
- Post international recipes that kids can make.
- Even showcase restaurants where children’s preferences are catered to, while at the same time offering healthy choices moms like, too.
What do your readers, viewers, and listeners want? Reviews and list posts often become your popular pieces of content that attract new readers every time they’re shared.
Are you ready to increase both your warmth and your authority in the content your business creates? How have you come up with ways to show warmthority?