Jeremiah here, with a word of comfort for anyone who’s just starting out: you don’t need years of experience to be successful.
You don’t need a chorus of glowing testimonials.
You don’t need success stories and case studies out the wazoo.
You just need to be you.
Here’s what I mean by that.
We’ve all felt uneasy at times. Whether it was your first week on the job… or stepping out on a big stage to face a demanding audience…
Whatever it was, we’ve all had to ‘fake it ‘till ya make it’ at one time or another.
That’s not the problem.
The issue is when inexperience metastasizes into full-blown ‘imposter syndrome’ and those feelings of inadequacy lead to gross overcompensation…
Puffed up ego. Outrageous claims. These are just a few of the symptoms… and none of them really help you grow your business.
That’s why you’ve got to rip these feelings of inadequacy up by the roots and unceremoniously kick ‘em to the curb.
But how do you do that, exactly? … So you never come across as just another one of those over-inflated wannabes?
Well, just keep reading, and I’ll show you 4 simple ways to establish a solid track-record and golden credibility… even if you just fell off the proverbial turnip truck.
This is how you start connecting with your email list from a place of trust, empathy and genuine confidence.
How to Be Seen As An Expert, Even If You’re New in the Field…
The first key to success in any field is to develop a real passion for what you’re doing and stoke that fire into an inferno of dedication and daily persistence.
Then demonstrate that commitment by position yourself as the consummate student; as someone who is always striving to be ‘in the know’.
This is known as the Investigative Reporter model.
And all you have to do to adapt this positioning is just get out there and start interviewing all the stars in your arena.
Do that, and, before you know it, your interviewees’ credibility will start rubbing off on you. And your audience will start seeing you as an expert in your field, as well.
The best part about this approach? Zero chest pounding required.
What’s the One Skill that Separates You From the Pack?
The second thing you need, to really ramp up your credibility, is to learn how to ask good questions.
You do that by taking the time to really listen to what your market wants.
‘Yes’, this ties into step 1, above, but it also deserves its own mention. Because every question you ask reveals a LOT about the depth of your expertise and your knowledge about your market.
So research the biggest uncertainties that are keeping your target market awake at night …
And then script the best questions you can possibly think of before every act of investigative reporting.
And, when done well, you’ll be showing everyone that you know what’s important to them, that you understand them, and – by extension – you might be someone who can help them reach the next level. And that’s some pretty powerful stuff!
This is why you should be constantly developing and refining your questioning skills.
A well thought out question at the right time, and in the right place, really is its own credibility element.
We’ve All Got a Story, and People Need to Hear Yours Before Doing Business with You…
The next essential element in gaining credibility with your market is giving them a crystal-clear picture of why you’re doing what you do.
This is KEY! because, if people think you’re just in it for the money, they’ll slowly drift away from you, little by little…
To make sure that doesn’t happen, use your origin story to demonstrate your deeper motivations.
Now, this doesn’t have to be a grand ‘rags to riches’ story, by any means… it just has to show why you’re focused on your topic, in your niche… so people can relate with you on a human level.
Take my origin story, for example.
After 4 years of living in Tokyo, I was suffering from some serious Mexican food withdrawals. And, as anyone living in the southwest knows, these symptoms can be pretty bad.
Visions of owning my own taco truck started plaguing my thoughts, pushing me to take bigger and bigger risks.
On the way back from one California visit, I smuggled a load of chilies past security. “Nothing to declare”.
Then it was a $150 tortilla machine.
Followed by an intense year of planning and paperwork to get my business and food handlers’ licenses (all in Japanese!).
Then, one day, I completely lost it, investing around $15k to finally buy my taco truck and set it up with a new paint job and fresh set of tires.
On my first day of business, down on the jam-packed streets of Shinjuku, I was all smiles.
It seemed I had finally kicked off the constraints of my work-a-day life, and I was finally embarking on my own entrepreneurial journey. At last!
That was, until the numbers failed to add up at the end of the first month… and the next… and the next…
Even with a constant stream of people in front of my truck, business was dismal, and I never knew why.
I had fresh salsas, daily, and hand made tortillas, yet nobody wanted anything to do with it. What was I doing wrong!?
After a year, I was forced to face facts, and I unload my “dream” on someone else, to suit up, cinch on my old tie, and crawl back into the workforce.
It wasn’t until I was walking along the busy streets of Harajuku one day when it finally dawned on me.
There it was, staring me in the face: a long line of people, all eagerly waiting for some guy selling BBQ hotdogs on the street.
His setup probably cost all of $50, and he didn’t even have water to wash his hands.
But he had 2 things I had been desperately lacking.
He spent $300 on his sign. It absolutely sparkled, with massive glossy pictures and bright neon lights.
And he had over $200 worth of customers lined up at a time, because he was smart enough to pick a product that the market ALREADY had a taste for!
I stood there shaking my head.
And I still carry this lesson with me to this day.
If you’re so intent on your product… that you ignore what the market really wants… and you’re spending so much time working inside your business that you forget about your marketing, then don’t be surprised if someone comes along and eats your lunch.
That’s when I realized that it didn’t matter what business I got into next, if I didn’t stop seeing myself as a business owner who does some marketing, instead of a marketer who makes some products, then I would always be setting myself up for failure!
That’s why I got into copywriting… why I’ve made it my mission, since then, to keep my clients from making the same laborious, capital-intensive mistakes I made…
… And why the EMAIL ALCHEMY message resonated with me so much: Your business is not your product, it’s the relationships… the fellowship you have with your list, and the market at large.
Nothing conveys authority like a good cautionary tale. You’ve taken it on the chin, so your customers and clients don’t have to.
Remember that the Best Way to Command Authority is to Communicate Well, and Communicate Often!
The $300 sign was a good, street-level example of this.
But when we’re talking about internet marketing, it really comes down to having your own publishing platform.
And the easiest and most effective way to do that is, you guessed it, an email list.
As the publisher, you can take the publisher’s mantle of authority and amplify it by borrowing existing stores of credibility and making them your own.
You take the investigative reporter model a step further, assembling facts, figures, news, and the expert opinions of others, as articles of evidence.
And then you turn your article/email/blog post into an opinion piece, where you draw your own conclusions from that evidence.
That takes a bit of research, of course; getting clear on exactly how your audience talks, how they think, and what their biggest concerns are…
Then, once you sit down to write, you make the case in clear, simple language that inspires, enlightens and entertains. Make an authoritative case, and you will be seen as an authority. Do the thing, and you will have the power.
The quality of the telling, the soundness of the analysis, and the airtight logic of the conclusions drawn… is credibility, in and of itself! And people will follow your advice.
Because higher fluency sends a very specific telegraphic message. That is: if the message has an impact on you, if it’s easily understood, and pleasurable to take in, it means you’re looking at the real deal.
And this, more than any overblown promises or manufactured guru status, shows your market that you have the quality they’re looking for and you can deliver the transformation they need.
Once this essential message sinks in, ‘yes’, you’re well on your way to more sales… more repeat customers and clients… and – most importantly – you’re building a real fellowship with your subscribers.
And, ultimately, isn’t that what mental shortcuts like ‘proof of credibility and track record’ are all about, anyway?
Big Claims Bring in Big Clients, Right? WRONG!!!
Don’t fall into the puffed up way of posturing that compensating for ‘imposter syndrome’ can lead to…
You don’t have to be the biggest and the baddest to be successful.
Just demonstrate your commitment. Be a good listener. Show people why you’re doing what you do. And make your marketing clear and compelling.
If you do these 4 things, people will naturally assume you have all the track record and credibility you need to deliver real results.
And as more and more people are attracted by your refreshingly honest approach…
‘The proof IS in the pudding,’ after all!