What makes you so special? Why should anyone purchase your product or service or listen to your opinion over someone else in the same field?

Related: 8 Tips for Building Your Personal Brand in 2017

The best answer to that question is that you have established yourself as the authority and gone to great lengths to ensure that this is known to every one of your potential clients. You have figuratively, and sometimes literally, written the book on your field. That is the power of authority marketing.

As CEO of Epstein Financial Services in Holyoke, Massachusetts, Charlie Epstein saw a lot of competition in his field. So he skipped to the front of the line by writing Paychecks for Life (published by my company) and soon tripled the size of his business. In short, he created authority. While all other companies were (just) salespeople trying to win a deal, he was the expert. Epstein literally “wrote the book on it,” and that inspired confidence and attracted business.

Misty Young is another example. She’s the co-owner of Squeeze In, a California-based restaurant chain, which started life as a 39-seat restaurant known for its omelettes. But as Young’s company grew and other restaurants asked her advice, she realized she had established authority. Next, she published (again, for my company), From Rags to Restaurants: The Secret Recipe.

“As soon as people realize that I have written a book, I am immediately set up as an expert,” Young says. She has appeared in the New York Times — twice. And she has used her book to solidify her business ventures. “It helped us leverage investment money for our fifth restaurant,” she says. Young and her husband now own seven.

Establishing yourself, then, as the authority in your field is how you can dominate your competition. It positions you above others and opens doors, which is the most important responsibility of any business owner/CEO: to acquire and retain customers.

To develop that authority you need a solid presence in each of what I call the seven pillars:

1. Branding. Building brand isn’t just about building your company’s brand but also your personal brand. For your audience to recall your name, it must be clearly recognizable and associated in their minds. Distill your personal brand into what makes you unique. A few key factors will help you discover your unique brand: your personal mission, your philosophy, your journey and your community. Well-known leaders are very clear about who they are.