I grew up going to satsang, a traditional Indian religious activity where millions of people, including my family, would seek the opinion and advice from a spiritual guru (similar to a pope). This tradition may be what drew me to a career of working with gurus. I have helped gurus in a variety of industries and niches from real estate guru, Mike Ferry, and nutrition guru, Kimberly Snyder to my cousin, a mindset guru, and eventually, my mentor, Neil Patel, the marketing guru. Many of whom have become the gurus of gurus helping professionals increase their status and get as far as possible in their careers.
For years, I have been the guide on the side helping gurus become the sage on the stage. So, how do you become the sage on the stage or the guru of gurus? You must position yourself as a celebrity authority in your niche, AKA the Tony Robbins of your industry.
When you are starting out as a digital creator, you may find yourself striving to be a jack of all trades, both building and creating as a generalist. You are doing all the things: planning ideas, filming videos, editing, posting, promoting, replying to comments, and managing the backend of your new business. You may also find yourself trying out different types of content in a variety of niches for different audiences to test the response. However, if you try to be a jack of all trades, you will be a master of none. The most successful creators have established themselves as the ultimate gurus in their niches.
A comparison that comes to mind is something called the caste system that Indians use to have. Americans have a similar, modern-day caste system to characterize levels of professionals. In every industry, you will find five levels: generalists, specialists, authorities, celebrities, and finally, celebrity authorities. Let’s look into each of these terms through the lens of the medical field to better understand the differences between each.
First, it is critical to understand the difference between a generalist and a specialist. A generalist has knowledge, skills, and experience in a variety of areas within the industry. A specialist is someone with advanced knowledge and expertise in one particular area. For example, a generalist doctor treats common medical conditions (who you would see if you have a cold) and focuses on general preventative care for a wide range of clients. Cardiologists are specialist doctors who you would see if you were having issues with your heart. Specialists have increased expertise to address a patient’s problems on a deeper level.
Specialists learn from and respect authorities in their niche. An authority would be a medical school professor or a practitioner who creates and shares original content such as articles or books. Authorities, while mildly recognized in their niche, are likely unknown outside of their local areas. However, a celebrity is a famous expert or entertainer who is well-known nationally with access to reach audiences beyond their immediate sphere of influence. By this point, they’ve developed on-camera charisma and presence. In every industry, it’s not what you know or who you know, but who knows you; many more people know you at this level.
The final and most famous level is the celebrity authority, the ultimate guru. These are the most well-respected, and multifaceted experts in their niche representing their industry to the rest of the world. Celebrity authorities are called and trusted for expert opinions and likely have their own show like Dr. Oz, Oprah, Ellen, or Martha Stewart. They are the most magnetic to money and opportunities. Anyone that is in their proximity is naturally influenced by their presence.
In order to become a celebrity authority, you will need to position yourself as the expert in your micro speciality by narrowing your focus and creating content consistently. If you are sharing useful content and solving the problems of your potential audience, you will have an omnipresence of being everywhere your target audience is looking.
At this level, you would have already nurtured your own audience of hundreds or thousands of loyal fans with high engagement. Your goal now in pursuing celebrity authority status is to get access to even bigger audiences. You can increase your overall visibility by gaining media exposure and finding opportunities to share your expertise through speaking, interviewing or hosting events. You can write a book, start or join a talk show or build and collaborate on a podcast.
As you invest in growing from a generalist to a specialist and eventually an authority, your audience will begin to seek you out for your opinion and advice. You will no longer need to go looking for customers in your niche, as they will find you, and the content you create will solve their particular problems or answer their questions. Anyone with the knowledge and expertise has the opportunity to create content and position themselves as a celebrity authority in their niche.