How to be a Credible Thought Leader

(Episode 1 of 2 with Mitchell Levy)

How to be a Credible Thought Leader
Mitchell Levy is an entrepreneur, global credibility expert, TEDx speaker, and an international bestselling author of over 60 books. After interviewing 500 thought leaders on credibility, he created the Credibility Nation community, published a five-country international bestselling book, created courses, and is working on getting the definition of credibility rewritten in the dictionary. 

As you know, I’m very passionate about credibility and credibility marketing. Today, we’re going to find out how Mitchell views credibility and we will go over ways we can become a credible thought leader.

Key Takeaways

In today’s episode, we will cover the following key takeaways:

  1. Before we can be credible externally, we should be credible internally. 
  2. Credibility is “the quality in which we are known, liked, and trusted.”
  3. If we don’t know the number one pain points and the number one passions of our audience, it is very difficult to be credible. 
  4. We have to listen first before we can be credible.
  5. If we aren’t credible, we become invisible.

What does it mean to be credible?

Mitchell believes credibility marketing is just marketing. In order to do marketing well, we should first become credible. 

He also explained that we shouldn’t use credibility marketing as tips and tricks to manipulate our customers when we are not credible people at the core. We shouldn’t try to fake reviews or pay influencers who have never used our products before to promote our brand. Before we even think about credibility marketing, we have to become credible ourselves. We have to follow-through with our promises and create products our customers really love. 

“Before you can be credible externally, you have to be credible internally,” Mitchell said.

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How to be Credible Internally 

Based on the 500 interviews Mitchell conducted on credibility, he found that credibility is “the quality in which we are known, liked, and trusted.” If we want to build credibility, we have to work on these three core principles. 

  1. Be Known

The first pillar of credibility is being known. Our customers should know who we are. If we are a stranger, we likely won’t be credible to them. 

Being a servant leader falls under this pillar. To be credible, we have to serve the customer and address their #1 pain point. When our customers know we are here to serve them and they know we value them, we will become more credible. 

“Articulate in 10 words or less, [what] I call your customer point of pain. I call it understanding your purpose and your purpose needs to have your passion bundled in,” Mitchell said. “You’re in this world to be of service. To be credible, you have to be a servant leader. And if you’re a servant leader, who do you serve and what pain point do you address?”

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If you don’t know the number one pain points and the number one passions of your audience, how can you ever be credible to them? How can you serve them? You have to listen first before you can be credible.

  2. Be Liked

If we want our customers to see us as credible, we have to be liked by them. While we didn’t dive into this pillar in today’s episode, you can learn more by reading Mitchell’s book, Credibility Nation: For Professionals Who Want to Be Seen As Credible.

  3. Be Trusted

Under the pillar of being trustworthy falls vulnerability, integrity, authenticity, and coachability. 

Coachability focuses on teachability. If we want to learn and grow, we should be teachable. Mitchell worked with someone on their standard pitch and suggested they make it shorter. With this suggestion, Mitchell asked, “Do you mind if I do a little bit of coaching?” The person replied, “Yes, I do mind. I have my way of doing things and you have your way of doing things. I don’t want to learn your ways.” 

When we aren’t coachable or teachable, people likely won’t want to work with us. “Can you imagine us wanting to hire somebody who wouldn’t listen to the CEO, who wouldn’t listen to outside customers and their opinions? Who wouldn’t listen to the Board of Directors because they had their way of doing things?” Mitchell said. “It’s just not the way the world works today.”

Another word for coachability could be humility in that situation. We should be open to learning and different views.

Why Credibility is Important

Mitchell’s currency for credibility is CPOP: Customer Point of Pain. If we want to be credible, we have to show our customers we understand their pain points as we discussed earlier. And we can’t do this, if we aren’t credible, we become invisible. 

“I’ve talked to 500 people in creating the book and many of them are super well known,” Mitchell said. “[Yet] 98% of those people cannot articulate their CPOP. 98% cannot articulate their purpose. 98% cannot articulate their passion in life. Subsequently, 98%, even those that are well known, are invisible.”

While we might have a product or service that will add value to our customers’ lives, we likely won’t get the reach or momentum we need if we can’t connect to them. We need to be credible if we want to really resonate with our customers and be successful. 

Mitchell created a pledge of credibility we can all adhere to: “I pledge to live credibly every day without hate in my life. I strive to be a good human and make this a better planet for myself, my family, and other people’s families in this generation and the next.”

Connect with Mitchell

Thank you so much Mitchell for sharing your stories and insights with us today. To learn more about or connect with Mitchell:

Next Steps

  1. Get a free ebook about passion marketing, and learn how to become a top priority of your ideal customers at
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    About the author

    Nathan Gwilliam

    Nathan Gwilliam

    I help organizations navigate tectonic shifts that are transforming the business landscape, so they can optimize marketing, accelerate profits, and make a greater difference for good.

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