“A leading authority is anyone who has guessed right more than once.” – Frank A. Clark, Born Mar. 28, 1860.
Frank here probably meant it as an admonishment for trusting self-described authorities. But you know me, I never let appropriate context get in the way of making the point I want to make…
If you want to be SEEN as an authority figure in your market, it's a matter of being seen as a good guesser. What you guess about is the future of your market. You're a prediction maker. An oracle.
And these can be reasoned guesses, educated guesses, or even just hunches based on gut feel – (hopefully honed with experience).
Or, hey, even a lucky guess can work.
The thing is, everyone wants to know the future, but no one wants to take a risk on a bet if the outcome is uncertain.
People like us can make those outcomes less uncertain for clients. We can help them make plans. Implement contingencies. Leverage assets. Etc.
If you guess well, clients and customers will make business bets on your advice, and they will pay well for advice that delivers ROI on your predictions.
Here is where the magical part is when it comes to how human brains work.
Say you guess wrong.
Say you miss the mark. Multiple times. By a lot.
Seems like that would make the audience think you’re full of shit, right? Like you’re a BAD prophet?
This exact mechanism is how phony psychic mediums are able to bilk their marks. Sports pundits, too.
People will remember ONLY what is relevant to them, and almost immediately forget what isn’t. So the guesses you get wrong will fall out of their heads and they will only remember the hits.
So the more predictions you make, the more guesses you will get right. Repeat the ones you make that have proven true. Reinforce your oracular skill.
Those will STICK. The ones that fell off won’t. To go back to what good old Frank said from the jump – you need to guess right a couple of times to become an “authority” – but there’s a flip side.
You can guess WRONG over and over again, and your followers will forget or else forgive. Nobody’s perfect.
So take the perception. It’s yours.