7 Steps to Becoming an Authority
Cocina del Conflicto.
This is the current name of an awesome, new concept restaurant in the center of Pittsburgh, PA. Conflict Kitchen is, in their own words, “a restaurant that only serves cuisine from countries with which the United States is in conflict.” From the menu, to the decor, to the guest speakers, performances, and events, Conflict Kitchen has built a brand that is quickly gaining recognition as an authority on global conflicts involving the U.S. And as they are currently opening a new location, it appears that they won’t be slowing down any time soon.
How have they done this?
According to Brian Clark, there is a 7 step framework for becoming an authority that can be applied to any topic and works with any audience. These 7 steps are:
1. Be Agile. – Agility means making constant changes to your initial plan based on continuous research and the feedback you’re receiving from your audience. Conflict Kitchen is adapting constantly. They are up to date on what is happening in the conflict they are following, and are making changes frequently based on this info. They also have several social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, and a blog that allow them to constantly receive reactions from their audience.
2. Be Authentic. – Authenticity means having real, current, and relevant information that you genuinely want to share with your audience. Conflict Kitchen’s cornerstone is their desire to give people insight into a region’s culture and people, and to provide them with authentic and delicious food.
3. Attention. – Attention means refining your voice in order to attract a larger audience. This can be done by creating relationships with other producers, building social media networks, etc. Other than their Twitter, Facebook, and blog, Conflict Kitchen’s website has an entire page dedicated to showing everywhere they’ve been promoted or mentioned by an outside party in social media. Be it “Al Jazeera News” or “NPR”, there are around 30 separate media entities pictured on this page.
4. Audience. – Once you have an MVA, the goal is to get that audience to expand on it’s own. This is done largely via social media…and we again come back to Conflict Kitchen’s media platforms. As of today, their Facebook page has 3,492 likes, their Twitter account has 3,019 followers, and they have a regularly updated blog.
5. Authority. – At this point in the framework, you’re well on your way. The goal now is to expand in all areas. Conflict Kitchen has expanded their industry influence by bringing in guest speakers and hosting events and performances. They also are working with other organizations to sponsor bigger projects, like one that they are hinting at on their blog involving North Korean defectors and some drool-worthy looking food.
6. Action. – “Now we’re talking sales, and lead generation.” Conflict Kitchen has a webpage devoted to showcasing and promoting their upcoming events and and performances. They also have awesome food wrappers that feature interviews and information about the conflict they are focusing on. This way, customers can read all about the culture and people of the country, while eating the food.
7. And finally, Acceleration. – The focus now is to “evolve along with the natural outside forces that affect you industry and audience.” One of the main ideas here is to begin forming alliances. Conflict Kitchen currently has support from several sources/funds, such as The Heinz Endowments and the Sprout Fund, among others.
So. A relevant, cool company that seems to be doing some good for the world as well as making money and spreading their message. Which is what most of us want, right?
I’m sure there are TONS of other new and exciting companies out there doing similar things. If you’ve heard of any cool ones, I’d love to hear!