Alastair McDermott: How to Become a Recognized Authority in Your Field?

June 28, 2022
Are you interested in becoming a recognized authority in your field, but you’re not sure where to start? Everyone starts out as a novice and through experience becomes an expert. However, most do not go on to become recognized authorities. The difference between a general expert and an authority is visibility and specialization. Without choosing a specific niche, you will not be able to move forward and become a recognized authority and will instead, remain an invisible generalist. In today’s episode, Alastair McDermott, digital marketing and business strategist at The Recognized Authority, shares his tips for going from unrecognized generalist to successful specialist. 

It can be really scary to take the first steps toward becoming an authority in your field because you first have to commit to not only a field, but a specific niche within that field. When deciding on a niche, consider what you love doing, what you are good at doing, what pays well, and what would benefit the world. And from there, see where your answers intersect. Alastair explains that to build your authority, you will have to turn away opportunities that fall outside of your chosen niche. This will open up your time to research, write, and publish content for your specialty. As you produce more content for your field, you will start to be recognized for your expertise and your network will organically grow. 

Tune into this week’s episode of Powerful Marketing Tips for a conversation about becoming a recognized authority in your field. Learn why it is important to choose a niche, how to get started gaining authority, and when it is appropriate to pass over a client or opportunity in favor of ones that are a better fit. 


  • “I love the concept of people building their own authority and becoming known as a recognized authority in their field because I think it's such a great way to do marketing. It's such a pleasant way to do marketing because it's not hard selling. It's just a really nice way because what you're doing typically is you're teaching and you're helping people.” (3:45-3:67)
  • “If you want to become an authority, you have to be known for something. And that's the difficult part because when you're niching down, you're actually turning away opportunity. You are making a conscious decision to turn away most opportunities in order to say a bigger yes to a small subset of that.” (08:10-8:30)
  • “You've got to get yourself to the place where you can afford to say no, and then you can become more choosy. The opportunity cost of saying yes is too much. So you have to say no so that you keep your free time for when the right fit client comes along.” (10:55-11:12)
  • “What are you good at doing? What do you love doing? What pays really well? And what does the world need?” (14:27-14:30)
  • “In businesses, we run small tests all the time. And it's not really failing, it's just learning that something doesn't work and trying something else.” (19:48-19:54)
  • “Everybody starts out as a novice, and then you go on to become this invisible expert. And then the path ahead of you goes through a mountain range. And that mountain range is specialization.” (20:39-20:51)


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What inspires Alastair into action:

Here's the full episode on YouTube:

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