It goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway: Your credibility as an authority is critical. Without it you are dead in the water.
Let's be honest, there are a lot of other folks out there who do what you and I do. 85 to 90% of the fundamentals we teach by nature are the same (or else they wouldn't be fundamental). So, if this is true then what distinguishes a person from the masses? What sets a person apart from the crowd of other people who do and share similar things?
Or even more, how does one person make a statement and no one listens, while another person can say the exact same thing and it sends shock waves across the Twitterpher (ok, I made that word up)?
The short answer: Credibility!
In his best-seller, The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell shares the story of Paul Revere's midnight ride "The British are come...". What makes this story interesting was, Paul Revere was not the only person tasked with the job of getting the word out about the British invasion that night. A man by the name of William Dawes was also given that responsibility.
Gladwell points out that both riders went out to spread the word throughout Boston that famous night. In fact, Dawes had a one hour head start, yet Revere seemed to impact more people. Why was it that William Dawes was not as effective in his mission as Paul Revere?
Revere simply had more credibility than Dawes. Not only did Revere seem to know everyone in Boston, more importantly everyone seemed to know him. And we all know the rest of the story.
My point in sharing this little history lesson with you is simple. When you are establishing your platform, especially if you are just starting out, focus on building your credibility.
Here's how to create "Paul Revere" credibility.
As a leader, coach, or mentor here are 5 rock solid tips for you to run with:
1. Present yourself as the journeyman/ tour guide. What I mean is faithfully research and report on the subject you want to be seen as an authority in. Invite people on your journey with you and without fail give them your insights and road map along the way.
2. Give yourself permission to speak from a place of authority. Give yourself permission to be a trusted authority. Develop your own voice and have strong perspectives and opinions about the grey areas of your topic. Turn your "I thinks" into "I knows," and stand by what you believe in. I'm not telling you to be stubborn or thick headed. I am saying, as you do your homework and get your own results, be confident in the value that you bring to the table. People want direction from those who truly care about them. Take the lead and be their trusted authority.
3. Have a core competency. Just having an opinion is not good enough. You must have the skills to back it up. Become very good what you do, and remember you only have to be a little better than the audience you are serving. Have something that is of value that improves their situation and gets them results. Commit to mastering your craft.
4. Have a strong commitment to serve others. This is a big one. Your credibility will skyrocket when people can feel your commitment to your subject and their well being. Remember, people won't care about what you know until they know that you care.
5. Interview the experts, the enormities, and the outliers. Malcom Gladwell, truth be told is a very controversial author who garners a lot of criticism by historians and economist for his "creative license." Yet, in spite of that he's very successful at what he does. Why? Not only is he a talented writer who knows how to entertain while he educates, he interviews experts and outliers who are in the trenches of their industries and leverages his association with them to bolster his authority.
These are 5 tested and proven ways to increases your credibility.
Now it's your turn. Which one of these 5 actions seems to resonate with you the most? What has been your experience with any of these tips? Share your thoughts below!