Take a look at this graph…
It shows something very interesting.
What it shows is the performance of one of my recent YouTube videos (in blue), versus the typical performance of other videos across my channel (the gray area).
See how much quicker the views are coming in for this video, over the first few days?
In this case, we’re looking at viewers. The graph for watch time is similar.
Is this video that much better than my other videos? (I don’t think so.)
Did I pay to promote it? (Nope.)
Why is it getting so many more views?
In this video I ethically stole the credibility of someone better-known than me…
In this case, it’s Dan Kennedy. The video is No B.S. Sales Success by Dan Kennedy [One Big Idea].
It was my Video Friday issue from last week. And in it, I break down the single-most powerful idea I got from reading Dan’s book.
It doesn’t take away from the book.
If anything, it’s an ad for the No B.S. Sales Success book.
I strongly recommend the book in the video, and make it clear that it’s packed with more good ideas.
In effect, I’m pitching someone else’s work.
Why would I do this?
A couple reasons.
First, I want to share powerful marketing and sales ideas with you. And the lesson in that video has absolutely been a powerful idea in my career. And yet, I could’ve just taken the idea and presented it as my own, or even just minimized Dan in my presentation of it. But instead I’m featuring Dan and his book. Which leads to…
Second, I wanted to borrow Dan’s credibility to raise my own.
Here’s how this works…
The simple act of putting Dan’s name and book title in the title of my video makes it more appealing.
As much as I’m in love with my own ideas and think they’re grand, people respond to CELEBRITY.
In fact, this is something Dan teaches.
Being known in a market — celebrity — carries credibility. Which is great for the celebrity.
But it’s also great for anyone else who creates content in the market.
Because if you’re creating content in the market, you can talk about the celebrities in the market… And automatically garner more attention for what you’re doing. (Put their name in the title of good content, and it’s also good for search engine traffic.)
It’s no coincidence that the “Top 10” posts list on my site is constantly full of the posts mentioning marketing celebrities in the title.
And while this is a non-stop tactic of tabloid rags and the click-happy internet media, you shouldn’t ignore it in your content, either.
Dan Kennedy is, in fact, famous for using this strategy!
In the promotion of his book, Speak to Sell, Dan talks about having shared the stage with Gene Simmons of KISS, Zig Ziglar, Donald Trump, and four former US presidents. (This was published before Trump was president.)
Elsewhere, his list of everyone he’s shared the stage with has been much longer.
(Side note on this: The first marketing conference I spoke at was AWAI’s 2009 Bootcamp, in a 15-minute panel session. And the next session that day was Dan’s. So I actually shared the stage with Dan!)
Likewise, he almost always involves a celebrity in every conference he puts on. He frequently uses others’ blurbs for his book and work because of their celebrity.
And he applies this strategy in dozens of different ways, almost nonstop.
He also regularly mixes stories of people he’s had zero affiliation with but who are famous with his own client stories, in a way that makes it almost sound like they all got their best ideas from him.
Dan is constantly attaching himself to these other people, in a way that adds even tiny little credibility points to himself.
This is a proven strategy to attract more attention and build your own credibility…
Note here: you don’t automatically get all the credibility of someone just because you talk about them or their book. But you can get a little attention that you can turn into credibility with a few decent comments — or squander by sounding ill-informed or somehow off-putting.
My friend and coach Joseph Rodrigues has an entire YouTube channel dedicated sharing his insights and perspectives on business and personal development books.
He’s up to more than 4.5 million views and 66,000 subscribers.
He was actually recommending this strategy to me for a long time before I started it a couple weeks ago.
He regularly puts out new videos where he goes through his mind map notes on these books. It works for him because the content is really good. He dives deep into what he learned from the book, and his reflections on the lessons applied to his past and present.
He gets a ton of search traffic, from people searching for the books and authors. And through quality original content, he earns ongoing attention and credibility.
You can do this, too…
The fastest, easiest way is something similar to what Joseph and I do, or Dan Kennedy’s use of stories. (One of his early signature stories was the Domino’s Pizza “Fresh, Hot Pizza Delivered in 30 Minutes or Less” USP story — which he had ZERO to do with.)
Simply talk about others who are well-known in your marketplace, but from your own unique experience and perspective.
Call it the Perez Hilton model.
Or you can go much deeper. Interview them. Connect with them to feature them in other ways. Hire them to appear at your events. Find ways to appear alongside them, however possible.
Frankly, do all of it, as much as possible.
When you start to build these connections — sometimes solid, sometimes loose — you will start to get the same kind of attention and interest and credibility that all the celebrities in your market also enjoy.
This ethical stealing of credibility is a powerful accelerant in building your own presence in a market.
It works — and that’s why you’re likely to see it from me, even more in the future than you have already.
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,
PS: If you do this, please note there is at least some level of risk. “Trading on a name” can get you in trouble if you imply or claim some kind of endorsement that doesn’t exist, or simply if the celebrity doesn’t like your use of their name. In fact, some companies explicitly will not use names in their marketing, without written consent (although content can be a different story). Being negative about the person you’re featuring will only amplify this risk. While there is some flexibility to talk about public figures, you’re still talking about human beings and if they don’t like it they may come after you.
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