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Build a mountain of credibility

Stand atop your mountain. Become credible in the eyes of your customers. Authority positioning is a blend of experience, expertise, and perception. Your experience allows you to position yourself in a market where your expertise can be leveraged by customers who perceive you to be the most credible authority on the subject. Building your mountain of credibility can be done in many ways and you must start now if you wish to secure your position as the subject matter expert in your chosen field or marketplace. [Watch Mike tell the story]

Building and climbing your own mountain of credibility is the key to gaining top of mind positioning with your prospects and clients. In the 60+ years since Sir Edmond Hilary and his Sherpa, Tenzig Norgay, were the first to reach the summit of Everest, over 4,000 people have successfully done so, over 300 people have lost their lives attempting, and quite literally, billions of people have never even tried. When someone says they’ve climbed Everest, we are still in awe of their achievement. In fact, that adventurer becomes instantly credible for somehow more than just the physical act of climbing the mountain. They become credible for things outside of their area of expertise. For example, if they were mingling at a conference of jelly bean flavor testers, and were asked their opinion of the chemical blend that makes bubble gum flavor possible, anyone within 20 feet would stop to listen to their insights on the matter. It is amazing.

Hear Mike tell this story:

If a respected authority celebrity introduces this mountaineer, their credibility rises even higher. Reaching the top of the mountain in a marketing sense is extremely challenging. From speaking, to writing articles, to appearing on radio or television, being interviewed or endorsed by an expert or celebrity, there are many ways to begin the climb to credibility. However, in spite of thousands of books being published every year, writing a book still creates instant credibility and immediately places the author at the very peak of the mountain.

The accomplishment of having written and published a book presents you as a perceived authority on a topic.

It is something so many people want to do and hope to, but writing, finishing, and publishing a book eludes the vast majority of those folks. Everyone has a book “in them” while proportionately few get one “out of them”. In this both simple and complex accomplishment, people are impressed. Oprah took this acknowledgement to a whole new level and redefined how a celebrity endorsement of a book written by you will place you on the highest peak as the recognized authority. I won’t lie, while it sounds very simple, it can be extremely difficult to write a book. I found that simply putting words on paper was not too challenging. Even organizing thoughts and ideas wasn’t that difficult either, but knowing when it was done and being able to finish a book was the real trick. How many times have you heard someone say they have been working on a book but you never see it completed? Harder than starting to write a book, is finishing one. It doesn’t have to be an epic, or the century’s greatest novel. To be effective for building credibility, it has to be a complete, sensible and topical book. My business coach, James Malinchak, when asked about some of his “smaller” books, responds to the typical critic by saying, “the tiny little book I wrote is a heck of a lot better than the book you didn’t”.

There are hundreds of thousands of published authors and books already written with thousands more each year. The thing about authors is they had to do the research to write the book, and thus become an authority on a particular subject. When it is a published work, people recognize and respect this for its completion. Finally, a book is content. Content is in huge demand. Quality, helpful content is invaluable. An author makes themselves a valuable resource for others who seek to learn more on a subject, or market one.

Early on, when I was working to establish myself as a credible authority by introducing my skill set and my thoughts on why a charity or endowment needed to work on their governance with such a smart guy as myself, I got nowhere.

When the stock market crash of 2008 hit, I decided to devote my energy to re-directing capital to charitable causes and guiding those charities to better manage their capital. As story after story of poor fund management and decision making were revealed with charities losing up to half of their investments during that time, I decided I would be the one who wouldn’t allow that to go on any longer. I would prepare them for the next time. I first wrote a white paper on the biggest challenges of the time faced by my target clients.

Even with the white paper and before I wrote my first book, “Philanthropy; an Inspired Process” in 2010, I was still struggling to gain a foothold in the non-profit marketplace. I was an investment advisor trying to help them and work with their donors. For sure, I was the fox in the henhouse. They distrusted my profession and peers. They did not know me, they were fearful of the risks they did not understand. There was painful evidence and damning headlines highlighting the consequences of poor decision making. They needed me, but I could not get to the influencers – the board of directors – to share my knowledge and ideas for a better process. Traditional marketing – cold calling, word of mouth and chasing warm leads did not open the door wide enough with this market. The negative perception was too great.

When smart people look for answers they turn to books. When they want to learn from an expert, they hire the authorJack Canfield, Co-Creator, #1 Best Selling Book Series, Chicken Soup for the Soul™, Star of the movie The Secret, Author of the Best-Selling Book, The Success Principles.

Then, I finished my book on the philanthropic journey taken by famous iconic philanthropists and donors moving from involved giving to committed philanthropy. It became the most meaningful “business card” I had ever possessed. Almost instantly, I gained credibility. I was invited to speak at numerous industry events and conferences. I was interviewed on the radio, in magazines. I was able to invite executive directors of charities to meet me in my office! I also received numerous opportunities to present to the board of directors of organizations I wanted to work with. Getting their ten minutes was always elusive before. Writing a book seemed magical. And it was. It was because it was hard.

Everyone, if you ask them, seems to “have a book in them”, but people rarely get it out. There is respect for the effort and an understanding that you’ve done the difficult work to become the authority. The only more credible endeavor would be to write two or more books … and have televised celebrity endorsement of your book. Remember the book you write is exponentially more powerful than the one your competitors won’t write.

Join Mike on June 26th 2019 in Squamish, BC for "A Book is Your Best Business Card" workshop. register at:

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