Marketing An Online Business? Step #1 – Create Credibility

Credibility… Believability… Proof…

You need more of it. That’s what everyone says… There are even entire books written on how to get it… Courses too!

But you know what I say? It’s this:  Boosting your credibility is necessary but, it’s always much easier if you…


So… please… keep focusing on making your products or services better.  Make it as great as you can.  Strive ever and ever to… create more value for both your prospects and clients.

What’s that?  You say you are already doing that?  And you’re not getting all the notoriety and recognition you deserve? And it’s costing you sales and profits daily?  And you want me to tell you how you can fix it?  RIGHT NOW?

OK, OK, don’t be so pushy!

Today we’re going to drill down into all the particulars of proof.  How to best leverage it to enhance your believability and credibility.

First, I want to share an incredible gem Dan Kennedy shared with me.  Pay careful attention, because  this one is a…


You see, most marketers think there’s only 1 level of proof.  But they’re wrong.

There are, in fact, three levels of proof.  Here they are:

  1. Proof you can do it
  2. Proof you can help others to do it
  3. Proof you can help someone worse off than your prospects do it

Now, obviously, all three are important.

But don’t you know, it’s the third type that is often the most difficult to get… and the most explosive in generating blockbuster sales.

Here’s why:  Low self-esteem is epidemic.  So even when you prove you can do it, and you’ve helped others do it too… you’re prospect may not believe you can help them do it.

Why?  Because they believe they’re…


And that, my friend, will stifle your sales more than you might imagine.

Up till now, you could often rely on testimonials to plug this leak in your sales.

But thanks to our good friends at the FTC that’s all changing.  And so for today I’m going to share a plethora of ways to establish more proof.

Consider it a smorgasbord of vehicles to pick and choose from.  And while you might not use all of them in any one campaign… the more you do use the more bullet-proof your positioning will be.

And, more importantly, your prospects will have…



OK, then let’s get down to it…

Yesterday, we talked about looking at your life experience as stackable proof points in your own abilities.  You can read all about it here…

Leveraging Your Strengths.. And Proof… TO EXPLODE YOUR SALES!

Now, let’s take this many steps further…

The Powerful Demonstration

What It Is: An over-the-top demonstration that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that either you’ve honed your chops to perfection, or your product is capable of making magic happen.  I wrote about this in my blog post about Billy Mays.  And when done correctly it’s MUCH more powerful than a sleuth of testimonials.

In fact, just this past Wednesday during my weekly BGS (Business Growth System) coaching call – I advised my client, Howard, how to leverage this technique in his course on outsourcing.

I told him to take a task or activity that most people find difficult, time-consuming and expensive.  Then create a 2-3 minute video that shows him getting it done through outsourcing for pennies on the dollar.  I told him if he did that for a few of the biggest time-sucking activities and business boosting activities he would have hordes of new clients buying his stuff.

Why It’s Powerful: Prospects discount and distrust testimonials more and more each day.  But show them how you can magically solve one of their pressing problems in a way that makes them say WOW and you’ve got them.

Why?  Because the prospect can see themselves solving their problem or getting the result as easily as you’ve just shown.  So they see themselves creating the same result in the same way.  And this is powerful stuff.

You’ve made what they (previously) thought as difficult – as something easily done.  And who doesn’t want that?

Example: Dan Kennedy wrote an amazing example of this in his latest NO B.S. Info-Marketing Newsletter (always a great read by the way).

Dan mentioned a sales trainer who sold courses on how to cold-call to get appointments.  The trainer would sit on stage with a phone (amplified so the whole audience could hear) and have audience members pick people at random out of the white pages.  He’d then call them stone-cold and get the appointments.

Man-oh-man!  Do you see how powerful that is?  To me, that’s 10x more powerful than a few people in the audience standing up and saying what great results they’ve gotten from his course.

In fact, If I were in the audience and I had to cold-call, I’d be rushing to the back of the room to buy his course ASAP.

Results In Advance

What It Is: This distinction comes from Frank Kern. And it’s a doozy.  Here’s the concept – let’s say your prospects have to achieve 10 sub-goals to reach their main goal… Then in your free content you help them take that first step, and achieve their first sub-goal.

So, let’s say your prospects want to make money online by having a massive list of prospects and sending them offers. In this case, if your prospects were wet-behind-the-ears, step one would be helping them get a website up with a squeeze page.

Why It’s Powerful: The power of momentum is a magical thing.  We’ve all experienced it.

When you taste initial success, your belief you’ll achieve your goal skyrockets… and you redouble your efforts.

It’s like when you first go on a diet, and the next time you weigh yourself you’re 5 lbs. lighter!  You think “IT’S WORKING!” and you find it easier to stick to your diet that day because of the perceived progress you are making.

And of course, if you’re the person that’s responsible for giving your prospects their initial win… then you’re the person that will lead them to the promise land.  And they’ll buy your products and services because they’ve gotten a taste of what you can do for them.

Example: When we relaunched our GPS (Guided Profit System) – we shot a one hour video where I taught the importance of isolating your constraint and then gave a quick exercise on how to locate it.

As soon as prospects did the exercise – they finally saw what was really holding them back.  And they were hooked. They saw first-hand how powerful identifying and eliminating constraints could be.

Marquee Clients

What It Is: blah – You’ve seen consultants do this for years… listing all the big companies they’ve consulted for.  And the reason they still do it… because it works.

I became “The Guru to The Gurus” because  I’ve coached many of today’s top Internet marketers.  And I don’t think it’s too surprising the incredible number of clients I got because of it.

Think about it:  You’re on Guru X’s list – you’re impressed with his success and his knowledge.  Then you find out he had a coach when he first started out – one that helped him get incredible results.

Wouldn’t you immediately seek that very same coach out?  Of course you would.

Why It’s Powerful: With the right marquee clients, prospects naturally assume if it’s good enough for them… it’s good enough for me.  Especially when the prospect aspires to get the same results of those marquee clients.

You probably heard that old saying “No one ever got fired for buying IBM” – just take that sentence to it’s natural conclusion and you’ve got the point.

Example: Nowadays I no longer stress all the gurus I previously coached.  Instead I stress the fact that I’ve worked with or taught Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Agora, Motley Fool, The Street, etc…

The reason:  for the past 2 years or so I really went after more corporate clients… I knew the gurus I coached weren’t the sort of marquee clients I needed for the prospects I was aiming at.

Now that I am back, many of the gurus I used to coach are now seen as THE COMMON ENEMY – some rightfully so.  So I’ve distanced myself – and I’m creating a new set of tomorrow’s biggest gurus (who are ethical and honest) in my current programs.  For example Alex Jeffreys, and many more.

Track Record

What It Is: An impressive array of previous accomplishments.  In investments it’s about picking winner after winner… In health it might be the first to expose effective alternative approaches… In my business, Strategic Profits, it’s the results we’ve achieved ourselves.

One of my mentors, Michael Masterson, built a 100+ million dollar company in his 30’s, and a totally different 350+ million dollar company in his 50’s.  Is there any wonder why advice from Michael is valued more than from others who haven’t achieved his level of success?  I think not.

Why It’s Powerful: A great track record shows:  you’re a step ahead of everyone else… you’ve got a high success rate… and… you do it consistently!

Who doesn’t want to be around success like that?  Ultimately you want to be the “go-to” person in your field for your prospects and clients – and one of the easiest ways to be that person is to advertise your successes.

Example: I gave you some of my own examples in yesterday’s post – so no need to go over them again here.

Powerful Association

What It Is: If you associate with powerful people then it’s assumed you’re powerful… if you associate with great marketers then it’s assumed you’re a great marketer… if you associate with the rich and famous then it’s assumed you’re rich and famous too… and so on.

Also, when you partner with big name players, often times their credibility extends to you.  In fact, even when you interview enough thought-leaders you’re seen as a thought leader.  (More about this in a minute.)

How To Do It: If I was just starting out in a niche – this is one of the tactics I would immediately leverage.

I’d create a blog… begin posting… then head over to Amazon and buy the most popular books in my niche.  I’d read them, and then approach the authors to interview them about their books.

Almost every author is willing to be interviewed about their books – and when you ask insightful questions (proving that you’ve actually read their books) a friendship is likely to develop.

I’d post the interviews as soon as I did them.  And when I had enough of them I’d put them all in a free report – with a snazzy introduction and conclusion from me.  Whamo… instant credibility by association.

Why its powerful: It’s simply human nature to assume that if those people (whoever those people are) seem to think you are worthy then so will I.  Of course, this works the other way too – associate with sleazy people and people will think you’re sleazy.  In fact, if I knew now what some of my guru clients were going to be doing after I coached them… I would have declined coaching them.

Example: This past year my credibility skyrocketed because of The League of Extraordinary Minds.  I got to associate myself with Stephen Covey, Robert Cialdini, Dan Ariely, Al Ries, Jack Trout, Jay Conrad Levinson, Julie Morgenstern, Marshall Goldsmith, Ori Brafman, Michael Gerber, Herb Cohen, Sergio Zyman, Spencer Johnson, John Kotter, etc…

And before that I’ve interviewed famous authors like Dan Ariely (Predictably Irrational), Robert Cialdini (Influence), Joseph Jaffe (Join the Conversation),  David Meerman Scott (The New Rules Of Marketing And PR) for the blog about their books.

In fact, I’ve got a doozy of an interview arranged for you next week!  I can’t wait to share it with you.

Unique Mechanism

What It Is: Gene Schwartz went through a very thorough explanation of this in his book:  Breakthrough Advertising.  I also wrote about how Billy May’s used it in the blog post I wrote about him (if you haven’t read that post – you need to asap).

Here’s the gist of it:  A mechanism is a new way, unique method, new system, or approach to getting the benefit your prospects desire.

Why It’s Powerful: Having a new way to achieve a result makes getting the result more believable to all your prospects who already tried other approaches.  So there’s an immediate increase in the believability of your promise.

Example: Like I said, I give you plenty of examples in the Billy Mays Post (so, read up).  But here’s another one from my personal history.  When you look at what I did with The Internet Business Manifesto and The Missing Chapter – one way to look at it is… I created a new mechanism (knowing how to build and run a business) to succeeding online.  And for many who had struggled this seemed like a new, different and better approach to succeeding.  Get it?



Where does the time go?

I’ve got lots more examples to tell you about too – but they’ll have to wait until tomorrow.  Sorry.

I also wanted to show you how to better leverage these too!  Like I did with #5-Powerful Associations.

So, if you want to help your fellow readers out, feel free to give some advice on how you might leverage any of these.

Here’s what I already have on my list:

  • The Sinatra Test
  • Displays Of Knowledge (real articles, blog posts,etc..)
  • Research + Studies
  • Media Mentions
  • Case Histories
  • Credible Certifications
  • Displays Of Honesty & Integrity
  • Awards
  • Personal Endorsement Of YOU

OK – Before I go…


I’ve got 2 quick questions for you…

  1. Which one of these do you plan on using first?
  2. What am I missing on my list?


And thanks to all of you who’ve been commenting – sometimes it feels like I’m pulling teeth here (LOL)!

Oh yeah, don’t forget to tweet this too!

To higher profits and beyond,

Rich Schefren



Create Credibility… Boost Believability… Pile On The Proof! (part 2)