Just as ‘Street Cred’ is critical for supremacy for gang leaders, ‘Media Cred’ is critical for your survival in a competitive business world that’s constantly evolving.
Qualifications, titles or even advertising won’t automatically garner you the recognition you need, and deserve.
Being perceived as an expert doesn’t have a whole lot to do with how good you are in your particular field or even how many degrees or certifications you hold. I’m sure you’ve noticed that.
How irritating is it when someone with less skills, less talent and less experience than you gets chosen for that new job, or promotion, or contract? When they’re the one getting the kudos, even though they’re not half as good as you are? It’s sad but it’s a common occurrence.
Dan Kennedy agrees, “The highest income people tend to get paid more for who they are than what they do.”
But, as they say, “Don’t get mad. Get even!”
How do you ‘get even’? Now that you know why you need Media Cred, let’s look at what it is, and how you can get it.
Media Cred is a term I’ve coined (as far as I know, no one else has used it at this point). It describes the state of credibility that comes from being able to cite yourself as being published or featured on major networks such as CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox e.t.c.
The fact that you have been ‘picked up’ by this caliber of networks immediately suggests that you’re an expert and that your opinion is considered to be authoritative.
In the ‘old days’ it was known as ‘basking in reflected glory’. It’s an old concept, but it’s still just as powerful. People assign you almost the same level of respect as they assign the network itself.
Think about it. If you’re choosing between two people for a particular job, say as a business consultant, how do you make your final decision?
You’ve weighed up their qualifications, experience and skill and they both seem pretty good. You like them both. The biggest difference between them is that one has been featured in Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, whilst the other has been a presenter for their local Chamber of Commerce.
Obviously you’re going to choose the one with more ‘credibility’. The reason is that ‘reflected glory’ aka Media Cred works both ways. It makes the person with it more desirable and more reputable, and it elevates you when you become associated with them.
You might look at all this and feel intimidated. But don’t be. You are already an expert in comparison to most of the people you do business with.
Now that you know what Media Cred is, let’s take a look at how you can get it:
Step 1: Be seen in the right places
There are a number of ways to be seen in the right places, depending on your particular industry and market. The first place you’re going to want to investigate is the local and national certification bodies for your industry.
Becoming a speaker or publishing articles, manuals or books for this industry are all great options. What’s even better is being able to have your book a ‘best seller’ and your material syndicated on top level networks and their affiliates. Being a contributor to a big name network like CNN is also an excellent Media Cred opportunity.
Step 2: Get others to call you an expert
Having Media Cred opens up many doors. It can often open doors to live and written interviews. It can lead to others asking your opinion and quoting you in their material. This in turn leads to more opportunities, including new business offers.
But this won’t happen on its own. You need to put yourself out there and let people know about your Media Cred and that you’re always available as an expert for their articles, newsletters, interviews, books and so on.
Step 3: Be a mentor… publicly
The measure of your success is when you can help others succeed. Becoming a mentor, coach or instructor in your industry becomes a lot easier when you have Media Cred. When you’ve ‘made it’ and are recognized as an expert then you’ll find others seeking your help to train them.
You may feel at times that there are others far better qualified for the role of mentor, but, as Jack Mize, Authority Marketing expert says, “You already know more than you think you know…”
When you do this, why not use it as another opportunity to add to your Media Cred? Putting out information about where and how you’re providing this service adds not only to your credibility but also to your desirability. The more you’re seen to be an expert, the more people will want you to share your knowledge with them.
As you can see, Media Cred isn’t a one time thing. Getting one article syndicated, publishing one best seller, getting your name out one time will not do it. Media Cred is not everlasting. It has to be continually added to. News gets stale and drops off the radar. Once you’ve begun getting Media Cred, make sure you have a plan to keep it alive.
Who is Jackie Cooper?
Jackie Cooper is an online media authority strategist and CNN contributor. Her material has been syndicated nationally on many well-known network affiliates. To find out more about how to develop your own Media Cred check out http://jackiecooperconsulting.com