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BiggerPockets Business Podcast 103: Are You Seen as Credible in A Customer’s Eye? with Mitchell Levy

BiggerPockets Business Podcast 103: Are You Seen as Credible in A Customer’s Eye? with Mitchell Levy

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What does it mean to be credible? Are you showing up and providing for your customers, your partners, and the world as a whole? These are questions that today’s guest, Mitchell Levy has been asking. Mitchell is an expert on credibility and is trying to make not only business, but the world a more credible place to live and work.

Mitchell has been working in Silicon Valley for over 30 years. When he left his last job at Sun Microsystems, he did right at the cusp of the dot com and ecommerce era. He became an e-commerce consultant and started selling SEO packages. Then he created executive business programs for top colleges, ran multiple CEO groups, started a publishing company, and wrote over 60 books!

To find clarity and credibility, Mitchell says that you need to find a customer’s CPoP, the customer’s point of pain. When you can accurately find your customer’s CPoP, you can change the way you speak to them, you can see what they want, and most importantly, you can tailor your business to fit their needs. This type of credibility goes beyond just your business. You should  also be known as credible within your circle of influence and online, Mitch shows you how to get there!

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Read the Transcript Here

J:
Welcome to The BiggerPockets Business Podcast Show 103.
If we look at the dictionary today, the definition of credibility is the quality of which you are trusted. So basically trust and credibility according to the dictionary, the same, and it’s not. That’s only 1/3 accurate. Credibility is the quality which we’re known, the quality which were likable, and the quality in which we’re trusted.
Welcome to a real world MBA from the school of hard knocks where entrepreneurs reveal what it really takes to make it. Whether you’re already in business or you’re on your way there. This show is for you. This is BiggerPockets Business.
How’s it going, everybody? I am Jay Scott. I’m your co-host for the BiggerPockets Business Podcast. Here again, with the one, the only, the amazing, this is Carol Scott, how’s it going today, Carol Scott?

Carol:
I’m doing really well. But oh, my goodness, my mind is blown over all the new social media stuff. I was already supposed to have figured out Facebook and Instagram or in star the gram or whatever you’re supposed to call it and LinkedIn and Pinterest, and like a million others. But one of my friends sent me this TikTok video that has like completely started this big snowball effect and made her company huge over the past little while. And now there’s Clubhouse and there are all these crazy, amazing, awesome things. And I’ve got to tell you, the people who invent these platforms are amazing, incredible people. I don’t know how I personally will ever figure out how to use them all, but people are absolutely amazing. We have so many incredible tools at our disposal. If we choose to use them, my mind is totally blown.

J:
For everybody out there listening and not watching this. I know Carol sounds like she’s 130-years-old, but she’s really not. She’s just technologically challenged. But social media is kind of an important component of our episode today. We have a guest on who’s… he’s really cool. His name is Mitchell Levy. And he is an expert in… Get this, credibility. He is an expert in how we can be more credible in our personal lives and our business lives. He is a TEDx speaker. He’s an international best selling author. He’s written over 60 books. He’s published through his various publishing companies, many hundreds of books, and he’s the founder of a group called Credibility Nation. His goal in life is, he is a thought leader. I’m not sure if I can use that word after this conversation. But basically, he’s a thought leader in the idea of credibility.
And on today’s episode, he talks to us about credibility itself, why it’s important, how its defined. A lot of us think about how credibility is defined, but he actually redefined credibility in a way that’s important for us as business owners to ensure that we can create credibility in our business, in our lives. He talks to us about how we can build credibility. He then jumps into my LinkedIn profile about three quarters of the way into the episode, and he starts critiquing my LinkedIn profile, telling me the things that I can do to be more credible on social media. It’s a really fascinating discussion, and I think you’re going to get a ton out of it. If you want to learn more about the things we discuss on this episode, check out our show notes at biggerpockets.com/bizshow103. That’s biggerpockets.com/bizshow103. Okay, without any further ado, let’s welcome Mitchell Levy to the show.

Carol:
Mitchell, welcome to the BiggerPockets Business Podcast. I’ve got to tell you what, ever since Jay had his first interaction with you he’s not stopped talking about you. He’s like, “Oh, my goodness, we are going to have the best discussion with Mitchell about Credibility Nation.” So we are so looking forward to chatting with you. I personally can’t wait to hear what all the hype is about. So thank you for being here today.

Mitchell:
All right, you’re welcome. Hopefully, it’s not a hype. It’s just whatever reality is.

J:
Yeah, Mitchell, I’m really excited for this conversation. You have an amazing background. You’ve done a whole bunch of different things. You’ve been a TEDx speaker, you’ve written literally dozens of books, you’ve published hundreds of books, you started multiple companies, you now have a… Well, we’ll get into it, Credibility Nation. But basically, most of what you’ve done has been around one topic, this idea of credibility. Can you take us back through your story and basically talk about where you came from, what you’ve done and kind of what led you to wanting to become and actually becoming an expert and a thought leader in this idea of credibility?

Mitchell:
I’ve been in Silicon Valley for 35 years. And the last time I actually worked for somebody else was I was working for Sun Microsystems and I left sun in 1997. Now, if you’re remembering 1997, that was sort of close to the beginning of the .com days. When I was at Sun for nine years, and so we were using internet technology before the world pretty much knew. It’s when Marc Andreessen came up with mosaic that we actually understood there was a worldwide web. And so we were using internet technologies before then. And so when I hung up the shingles, I call myself a e-commer… at the time, e-commerce was cool. So IBM spent a billion dollars making e-business the name versus e-commerce. So I hang up my shingles, I call myself e-commerce consultant, helping companies figure out what does it mean to use the internet? And my first job was it was one of my old bosses at Sun and he goes, “Mitchell, do you know anything about SEO?” And I go, “I don’t know, I don’t actually know anything. But if you want me to learn…”
He says, “Listen, we’re a web development firm, my people are completely booked. I don’t want to spend any of my people’s time worrying about SEO. If you can learn about it, come back to me in a couple weeks and tell me what we should charge our clients.” So in 1997, it was very easy to buy everything that you could, and what is SEO and how to do and how to make it work. So I bought everything I came back two weeks later, I said, “How about this, that you should charge your clients 15,000.00, I’ll charge you 10?” That was basically the conversation, we sold five, and that was the start of my company. Now, Jay, what was interesting to me because you talk a lot about how you start off as entrepreneur, I was originally thinking SEO was beneath me. And I don’t mean this for anyone who does this today. It’s just I wanted to do strategic stuff, high level. What happened though is on all five clients, I’d ask a simple question to start. And I’d say, “Can you give me your…” at the time, “Your 32nd elevator pitch?”
All five people took 10 minutes. And at that time, the people I was talking to was either the chief marketing officer or the CEO. All five people took 10 minutes I go, “Oh, I potentially have strategic consulting.” Two of them became strategic clients in addition to what I do.

J:
So this kind of led you into credibility. But you didn’t stop there. You went, and you speak about credibility, and you write about credibility, and you run Credibility Nation. What led you to say, “This is the one area that I’m going to focus on.” As opposed to, “Yeah, I’m going to I’m going to talk about credibility, but I’m also going to keep doing SEO or I’m going to start this company”? You’ve kind of made this your life mission.

Mitchell:
I hadn’t really picked up on credibility in that topic as is, that word until 2019. Yeah, 2019. And at Sun I was… I’m sorry, post Sun when I was doing my company and the company was called ECNow for e-CommerceNow. So ecnow.com. So when I was doing that, I was the guy that would actually go around to CEOs and VP of operations. And I’d say, “You know, this is new technology coming out. And it will help us understand how do we talk directly to clients and our sub component manufacturers are going to ship product directly to our clients.” I actually was walked out of the office in a number of companies. So doing the e-commerce stuff. I ran for conferences, for the largest IT conference at the time, which is Contacts. I created four executive business programs at local Silicon Valley universities, I was asked to join a board of a public company. So I was on the board of a public company for nine years. I ran for CEO networking groups. In 2005, I started a book publishing company.
At the time, it was the term that everyone was using, the term that I was comfortable with was thought leadership. So since I started my e-commerce company, it was very quick that was important was to be a thought leader. And the definition today that I have of a thought leader is significantly different than it was back then. But I was doing thought leadership for a long time. When I started the publishing company, what I recognize is I wanted to be on a trend that was changing and as Amazon was helping to democratize. Say that five times fast… the publishing industry, I just wanted to be part of that. So we’ve published over 750 books, I’ve written 65 myself. And what’s interesting is the models go… I was using very similar to… It wasn’t a hybrid publisher yet, it was simply very similar to newer publishers just friendlier. So I wasn’t charging for publishing, people would come along, I’d publish their books. And I did that between 2005 and 2017. That business model.
My first TED talk was at the end of 2017, if you just googled Mitchell Levy TED talk, you can find that. And that was on the book Being Seen, or actually, it was on the topic Being Seen and Being Heard as a Thought Leader. And after I did the TED Talk, I’m like, “Wait, I need a book.” That’s when I wrote the book on that topic. Because how do you market a TED talk, right? And when you’re thinking about a TED, what happens is, you need to think about what is an idea worth spreading? And so it can’t be a commercial. Like, you can’t sell yourself when you’re doing a TED talk. So what’s an idea worth spreading? It got me thinking outside the box. And one of the things I realized is in my publishing business I was serving the wrong audience. The audience I was serving were the people who wanted to write their own books. And by the time 2017 came along, if you still wanted to write your own books, that means you had enough time to write your books.
It also in many cases, meant that if you wanted to do it yourself, you felt like your stuff was so valuable that all you had to do was find a publisher, you didn’t have to do any marketing, and the book would sell itself. And it turns out, that’s not really the audience I want to play with. I wanted to work with those people, and so what I started doing, I want to work with those people were busy, successful, they don’t have time to write. And so what I decided to do is in 2018, we became a done for you writing and book publishing company. So nowadays for somebody who wants a book, we are four months after we start working together. And I only need 10 hours of the author’s time. We will go straight publish, distribute, and make them an Amazon best selling author.

Carol:
In four months, did I hear that correctly? Wow. I didn’t mean to derail you, but that is mind boggling. Go ahead.

Mitchell:
So what we do is on the inside, we have color. We also have QR codes and QR codes point to videos of the author talking about the sections. Now because people don’t really read books these days, the primary content of the book is 140 bite sized quotes that are now easily shareable on social media. And so what ultimately happens is the author is getting videos of talking about chapters, they’re getting 140 points to talk about, by the way, take three or four of them, and now you have a new speech. Okay, they’re getting a book, both hardcover, paperback color in the inside, Amazon bestseller. So we do that. And then as soon as we’re done with the four month process, we then introduce to our external audio guys. We were having that conversation, that’s why I’m wearing these. I’m wearing air pods because I’d normally don’t with my mic. But what happens when we introduce to our third party, these guys are fantastic, but they are things like a pin hitting the ground. Or just to give you a visual, the kitchen is 20 feet away, when my wife would walk in the kitchen, he would hear her walking.
What’s interesting is you then get to read your audiobook. And then the other thing we do as part of that process, is we take one of the sections of the book and turn it into a one-hour course. So because people don’t monetize on book sales these days, what you’re doing is you’re taking a book, it is the credibility piece. It is that lead gen. It is that thing that opens the door. And you don’t necessarily… You want to give away as many books as possible. However, you could monetize based on course sales. And so that’s why we create the course as well.

J:
That makes perfect sense. Okay-

Mitchell:
We’re still getting closer to credibility. I’m almost at answering your question. So let me answer your question. And then you could ask questions and we’ll just meander.

J:
Sure.

Mitchell:
So in 2018, I ended up building a writing school so we put our writers through it. And we had a number of clients. It’s somewhere between 10 to 12 clients that we did the ghostwriting for in 2018. And at the beginning of 2019 I go, “I need to change my title.” So I went to Miami, one of my friends there runs a branding place and I ultimately came up with the title Global Credibility Expert. And having done thought leadership at Silicon Valley for 25 years, I felt comfortable with that title. But two months after I had the title, I woke up one morning with a Napoleon Hill moment. I woke up and I just thought, Napoleon Hill 500 millionaires, Think and Grow Rich, and we now see an entire industry of people were focused on that, Think and Grow Rich. And I just thought, Mitchell Levy, I’m going to interview 500 thought leaders on the concept of credibility. And I know I’ll do a book, but I didn’t know what would come out of it. And so that’s where credibility really became a focal point, a word for me.
It took me a little over a year to interview 500 thought leaders. I finished the interviews in August. It was somewhere around July that I had this massive aha, moment. It is we as a society, we’ve been taught wrong, almost everything we do in business. Your guys show is much more on par with what I see. But if you go into school, because you guys have kids, when you send your kids to school, the academic system in the United States and mostly around the world today is designed to produce people to be shaped to go into companies and work for them for the rest of their lives. The academic system is designed around the industrial age. And that’s not where… By the way we are in the industrial age today, but that’s not where we need to be. So with smart entrepreneurial parents, you guys will make sure you do this, the side things that your kids need to know to be successful.
Let me give you a couple of stats that came out of so this is in the book of the 500 people. 2% of the people who signed up for interviews have no integrity. So they signed up for an interview and they didn’t show up and didn’t say why before or after. Now, you guys might say because you’re podcasting, “Oh, Mitchell, that’s normal,” or, “Those numbers are pretty good.” Let me just say to you, that is not normal. It is not normal to schedule your time in an appointment with somebody else where you’re taking their time and not show up. That is just not acceptable. Period. 4% of the people are rude. I have a live interview. 4% of the people come after the hour for a live interview. So think about this, you’re being interviewed by the global credibility expert on your credibility, and you think it’s credible to come after the hour for a live show. And I just go, I got my hands in the air like, “I don’t get it.” Overall, 23% of people were late.
Now I consider late coming within three, if you’re doing a live show, within three minutes, because the host is already packed. Now here’s where it gets really interesting, the last two stats. When people would come into the green room, I’d get to know them, I’d make them feel comfortable. And after the interview, I’d go back to their web presence, I’d see what they look like online, I’d see what they looked like in their LinkedIn profile. 80% of the people who are really late, have a really big online presence. And what I mean by it, not that it looked ugly, or it wasn’t. It didn’t show who they were. And what I’ll say is and the last step’s the most important, and that is 98% of the people I interviewed needed clarity on who they served and the pain point they addressed, 98%. And Jay, I see you shaking your head. The question becomes, why is that? I mean, 98% means basically, we’re not taught how to have clarity, and whenever we want to do the interviews, I have five questions.
The first question I always ask is the one that 98% people needed help with? And what would happen if you sign up for an interview with us, we actually send you a 30-minute video on how to prepare. The first question is what is your C pop? What is your customer point of pain? And what I’m looking for as a C pop, is I’m looking for something that is one to 10 words, one to three seconds. It’s short enough that it’s memorable. If it’s memorable, it’s shareable. And the question is, or the statement itself should beg the question, “Tell me more.” So my C pop is humans that want to be seen as credible. It’s both a pain point and an aspiration point. So somebody who came in yesterday is one of two people in the last four months who walked in with their C pop. Otherwise, everyone else needed support. His was creating successful marketing funnels by both a pain point and a success point. The other person who I really adore, are you ready for this? Hourly billing, somebody who does time based pricing.
And so a C pop of hourly billing like, it’s sure, it’s memorable. And you guys are, “What do you mean, hourly billing?” Well, it’s trading time for dollars. It’s better to do value based billing versus hourly billing. So, what I’d say for you guys to think about is what are your C pops. And, what it ultimately comes down to is, the credibility you bring to the table is the respect that you have for other people by being clear and crisp of who you are and how you serve.

J:
Yeah, and so I guess that was going to be my next question. Certainly, some of the things you’re talking about there goes to the traditional definition of credibility. Showing up late, not showing up at all for an interview, that reduces your credibility. You look at these people, and you say, “These are people I don’t want to do business with.” But then when you start talking about things like not understanding your value proposition, not understanding what your customers point of pain is, those don’t typically think of me as lowering credibility it thinks of me as lowering the likelihood I might work with somebody. But, the word that comes to mind wouldn’t necessarily be credibility. So it sounds like what we’re doing here is we’re redefining credibility to some extent, can you talk to us about what that definition of credibility is that you think about when you use the term?

Mitchell:
Very insightful, Jay. If we look at the dictionary today, the definition of credibility is the quality of which you are trusted. So basically, trust and credibility is according to the dictionary, the same and it’s not, that’s only 1/3 accurate. Now, particularly in real estate, there are three words other than location, location, location, that are used all the time, the three words is we do business. And then as an entrepreneur, we do business with those we know, like, and trust. So credibility is the quality in which we’re known the quality, which were likable, and the quality in which we’re trusted. And under each of those, I have 10 components that go under each of those. Under trust, we’ll do that first. It’s authentic, being vulnerable, having integrity. One of the components that are also under trust is being coachable. You ever bumped into that person who knows it all and they’re not coachable? Guess what? That’s some… Like, would you trust somebody who knows everything? And the answer is probably not.
Now, when I talk about being known, it’s not that I know of you it’s that I know you. So the first component of being known is servant leadership, it’s having the desire to serve others. If you’re interacting with somebody, and you see them, and all they care about is their self serving versus self less. It’s once again, that affects their credibility, if all they care is about themselves, you don’t know what the answers are. There are three other components in terms of being known. It’s having the intent and commitment to do the right thing. So we have to decide now what is the right thing mean? And that’s open ended. And I will define that further. And then also, integrity is one of those words that I use twice. And so integrity is 20% of value. Authenticity is only one. And so integrity is also to be known. And then we’ll give you one more I’ll give you that being likable.
What’s nice is actually sometimes people say, “Well, how can I be likable? What do I need to do to be likable.” I actually now have a definition, there are two components. One is sharing your stage. You guys are doing that by having this platform, multiple platforms where you’re bringing people on. Sharing your stage means that, there’s a term I love, I introduced into the marketplace called Credit Dust. Credit dust is that sparkle that happens when you share somebody else’s ideas, thoughts, or actions. So we’ve been taught as part of the industries we’ve been taught as a thought leader that we should know it all, stand on top of the mountain shout out. That’s opposite to what it should be. What it should be is you’re standing at the same level as everyone else, and you’re bringing about other people’s ideas, thoughts, and actions and giving them credit for it.
So spreading credit dust is one of those things that’s helpful of a being likable. The second is what we already talked about, and that is showing the respect to other people by showing up when you show up. That means coming early, being prepared, and coming with your heart.

Carol:
So Mitchell, take a step back for us. You talked about just like in real estate, the three words that matter are location, location, location. You talked about in business, we do people that we know, like interest and that’s where credibility comes in. So can you talk with us as business owners, and as entrepreneurs, on just some of the really… You’re speaking about giving an elevator pitch, talking about why things are important, where our points of pain are, and so on. Why do we as business owners, as entrepreneurs need to make credibility a front and center initiative in our business in order to be successful? Why is it important?

Mitchell:
Let’s add to that. If you want to be successful in life, you need to make credibility part of your life. The way credibility is defined and I did a TED talk in January, that will be out in April. It is focused on credibility. And it is probably actually, let me say it is the best thing I’ve ever done to date so far. I was going to say my… I really love the book Credibility Nation. That’s of the 65, it’s my favorite book because of what it means and what it’s doing. When I think about the TED Talk, it’s a step further, because it’s 16 minutes in a platform people understand that has credibility, the TED platform. And, what it does is it shows A, what is the definition of credibility, but the first thing it does, it shows that life has gotten worse since the two of you were born. Over the last couple of decades, we’ve entered… by the way I call the opposite of credible, dubious. So over the last couple of decades, dubiousness has entered more and more and pervaded society more and more.
I then go ahead and share the updated definition of credibility. And at the same time, I share the definition of humanity. And what I do towards the end of the TED Talk is what I demonstrate, is that if we want to be more humane, if we want to make this a better world, not just for ourselves, but for our kids and their kids, all we have to do is act credibly, because that will bring back our humanity. And so that’s what the TED Talk does. So if I’m going to shortly answer your question, what’s really cool about the word credibility is, if you’re credible, that means you’re not a different person at home, or a different person with friends, or a different person with business, or a different person with partners. You’re that same human that’s coming across, you’re that person who people can rely on, they could trust, you have the integrity, that you have the authenticity to do the right thing. That you have the intent and commitment to focus on the things that matter to you, which by definition should matter to your clients. And with your C pop, it’s not your elevator pitch. With your C pop, that customer point of pain, that represents your purpose.
So you can be a better human helping to contribute to society, while also running a business. And you don’t have to make any pretenses, you don’t have to do anything. You just need to be you. And we’ve been taught to be somebody else when we go to business and that’s silly. You just need to be yourself. Now, if you don’t like yourself, that’s something else.

J:
Yeah, I mean, that really resonates with me and I like that. Something you said, and I’ve heard you say this in other podcasts. And so I’d love to have you repeat it here for our listeners, because I think this is valuable. You’ve talked about the idea that credibility starts with clarity. Can you talk to us a little bit about the relationship between credibility? I mean, again, we now have a good definition for credibility. I think we all know what clarity means. How is clarity a path to credibility?

Mitchell:
If you know, you’re… Actually, let me do two things. First, let me answer the question and then let me give you how to deploy it. Answering the question, if you’re not clear of who you are, and who you serve, you’re not clear as a person, if you don’t have clarity, then you end up losing people who may want to interact with you. Have you ever been in any of these meetings? And now nowadays on zoom, where everyone gets like 30 seconds or a minute to say who they are. And then somebody goes for three or four minutes, and you’re like, “Oh my god, he wasted everyone else’s time”?

J:
Yes, absolutely.

Mitchell:
What I have to tell you is people get so excited about who they are and what they need to say. But well you’re not recognizing, think about the pillar beam, you are disrespecting the people in the room, you’re disrespecting the host. If the host gives you a minute and you take two, okay, you get away with it once but you get away with… Do it two or three times you will not get invited back to the party. And so, what happens is people keep talking because they haven’t been able to clearly articulate what they wanted to say. And so they keep talking eventually they stumble on it kind of like I did in answering your question is just we happen to be on radio, so I have a little bit more time to play around. So clarity is important because you know exactly what you need to say. I think the way I like to do it, what’s actually in the book is that the first words out of your mouth is your C pop. Like if you said, “Mitchell, tell me who you are, what do you do?” I serve humans that want to be seen as credible.
Well, if you have any interest in me or humanity at all, you’re going to say, “What do you mean?” You’re giving me permission. So what do I say next? What I say next is typically the, “What do they want?” I want to hit somebody and hit like, “What do you want?” So if I’ve talked to him ahead of time, I might say something about the book. I might say something about the guardrail? Or I might say something about the fact that, “Don’t you want your kids to grow up in a world that’s better tomorrow than it is today?” And they’re going to say, “Yes, tell me more.” Now, I’ve got two or three minutes where I can talk about what does that mean, and why they should be part of the community called Credibility Nation. So what happens if you could be clear and start off at a small site then you give him permission to continue to do that conversation, and to go further Does that make sense, Jay?

J:
It absolutely does. But I guess that leads me into the natural question you’ve done a good job of leading me down this path. I want a better world for my kids. So how does Credibility Nation and what you’re doing today lead us down that path? Talk to us a little bit about that.

Mitchell:
So imagine, if you can go to a place where the people who were there are people who you could get to know, like and trust quickly. People who are there are people who do follow through with their word, they have that integrity and authenticity, that they really are who they say they are. The downside is those people who end up acting dubiously will eventually be ejected out of Credibility Nation. So you can actually go to a place where you can meet the type of people who really are like yourself. We’ve got a pledge, and the pledge is what is sort of the foundation. So, “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, for other people’s families in this generation and the next.”
When you think about what that means, it’s a place where you can go to where there’s no hate, and where there is the desire to serve others servant leadership. Now, there could always be dislike, so let me tell you about something going on in the world today. Like right now, that just is killing me. And I can’t believe this happens. If you’re a Democrat or Republican, and you’re strong on one side, your view of the world is so different, and many of them hate each other. Like, we’re Americans, right? We live in this planet, we live in this country, we should be able to have a conversation. But it’s right or wrong. It’s heaven or hell. So we need to get to a point where we can have conversations that are based on a level of understanding, of respect, as opposed to conversations based on hate. And so how is Credibility Nation going to help? The benefit is being educated. For instance, for people who come late to a podcast, maybe they just don’t know better. Maybe they’ve never been educated.
Think about everything else that people do that are not part of Credibility. I look at it as… And this was a big part of that Ted Talk is I actually mentioned that my first boss had a business goal. I originally thought he was just with me for 13 years, but he was actually with me for 36 years, even though I actually stayed with him for only a year. The last lesson that I learned from him was blame, which is a dubious lesson. And what’s interesting is, how do we educate each other? How do we help each other? And then what’s happening with the community and there’s a cool part, because you guys should think about this is we’re creating villages. So for the same $10 a month you could be in a village.
Imagine being in village of people who are interested in real estate investing. And so if people join the village of real estate investing, and they’re paying 10 bucks a month, they get all that base functionality of credibility. And then guess what else happens? You and I split profit 50/50. And so it’s a way in which you can communicate and build a village of people of like minded people who are interested in the same topic you guys have.

Carol:
Super. So this concept of these different villages within Credibility Nation, is very cool to hear about, especially in the context of just being a good human overall and doing things respectfully. Treating other people the way they need to be treated, and just living a good life so that we can just create a better future for all of these generations that are going to follow us. But let’s talk about the types of things we can start doing today. For example, when we were chatting before the show, I think you’d mentioned that in your research you’ve looked at several 1000s of LinkedIn profiles, for example. What are the types of things where you can tell how somebody is credible within a LinkedIn profile or within their online presence? What are those? What are the green lights? And what are the red flags that we should avoid so that we can make sure we are credible in telling our story with clarity?

Mitchell:
What I’d say is, when you go to somebody’s LinkedIn profile, what’s the first thing you see? So it’s at the top of the page. Do they have a good picture of themselves or not? Do they have a really fuzzy picture? Do they have no picture? No picture at all, I just go away. Do they have a picture with them and a bunch of people? So anyhow, what is the picture you see? What is their tagline? What do they actually say? I want to read in the tag line. I want to read their C pop, I want to read, I want to be able to figure out really quickly who they serve. And then behind that image, a number of people use the standard imaging at the back of LinkedIn, you can put in an image there. And on the image you put there, you want to reinforce your C pop.
So what you want to do first thing you say like, for instance, if I went to your guy’s LinkedIn, and I didn’t do that, I just went to your website. And your primary focus is real estate investing. That’s what I want you to reinforce. I get there and you’re reinforcing. And particularly since you do this as a couple, by the way really cool to do business together that way, I want to see that. I want to see that what you’re promoting, the values you stand for and who you are. And if I could see that in the first five or 10 seconds that would help. Now, let me tell you how I would reinforce it. The reinforcing would happen when you then scroll to the bottom of your LinkedIn profile, and you see where people have endorsed you. What’s really interesting is when I’m looking at somebody, and they say something up top, but then you go to the bottom, like what if you see those people with 7000 followers, and they go to the bottom, and they have 10 people who said they did WordPress phony account.
And then there’s the thing I do right after that. That’s easy and you want that… LinkedIn has a number of 99, you want to be at 99 plus. And you pick three, by the way, you get to choose the three you want to pick. The three you pick should reinforce your CEPA. And we’ll do one more. And that is I then if I’m really curious about the person, I’m going to go in and read their endorsements. So I typically want to see that they’ve got endorsed 15 times and they’ve given… Or recommendations. That they’ve they’ve got 15 recommendations and they’ve given 15 recommendations. And if you really want to know about somebody before you talk to them, read the language they use and how they recommend others. Because that’s the languaging that’s relevant to them. And if you’re interested in NLP, Neuro Linguistic Programming, if you read the way other people talk about others, if you use that in your languaging, they’ll get to see you in a different light.

Carol:
I think that is so powerful. Right, Jay?

J:
I love that.

Carol:
I’m sitting there thinking about, yes, it is so true when you consider things that people have said about you. Additionally, though, I think it rings even more loudly and clearly when you think about the language that you use to give testimony to others. It really does give you that much of a deeper insight into a person. So I think that’s really, really cool.
I’m curious, Mitchell. Jay has a much more engaging online presence, if you will, than I do. I mean, it’s kind of my value proposition I guess in addition to running our businesses, I’m very much unashamedly, unabashedly CEO of my household and my boys are 10 and 11. And focus a significant amount of time and energy on raising the kids in addition to our business. We have chosen as a family to kind of make sure that Jay, is front and center in the running of business. And so as far as his credibility online, I’m curious of little things that you may have noticed about, just from things that you’ve learned over all these years and doing these interviews and these tips and everything that you teach in Credibility Nation. Are there examples of things that Jay has done specifically that have boosted his credibility? Or are there things that you’re seeing, for example, that Jay, and of course, I mean this by other listeners out there that maybe in similar situations could be doing to boost their credibility?

Mitchell:
What I’ve seen so far. I’m okay-

J:
He’s digging into my LinkedIn profile.

Mitchell:
… I just realized I needed to turn on. Thank you. I needed to put my glasses on so I could go into your LinkedIn profile and learn a little bit more. Jay, you okay with me to sort of?

J:
Absolutely.

Mitchell:
Okay.

J:
I’m an open book help me.

Mitchell:
The backdrop you have, when I first get there, here’s what I see. The picture of you, I wouldn’t mind seeing a picture with a smile versus sort of just a half thing. It’s not a bad picture at all. So you don’t need to change it. I just, the way you come across is a little bit happy, that picture looks a little frumpy. I love the picture of the two of you doing the podcast, I think that’s perfect. And then when I’m reading the book titles, I’m getting an impression that you guys are expert at real estate.
What’s missing when I look at what you wrote. You wrote entrepreneur, investor, author and speaker. I don’t know what that means. It’s not encouraging me to do anything. Obviously, I know what those words mean but there’s no call to action. There’s nothing here that says why I should reach out to you or not reach out to you. So I kind of want to see a C pop there. Like what are you personally interested in? We could work on that. If you want, we could use this time to work on that. Let me just go to the bottom and see what it says. So I’m scrolling to the bottom. Now the bottom says that you have skills and endorsements for product management, strategy and management. I have no idea what… So there’s a disconnect to me between what I see up top and when I see at the bottom. So there’s nothing that says that. And then you’ve received one recommendation and given four.
The thing that I’d say is I would definitely beef up the recommendations. I’d figure out what skills and endorsements you want to be known for and enhance or reinforce what goes up top where your C pop is. The only other thing I’d suggest when I look at your stuff, you’re missing the important elements. And that is, since you do podcasts and videos, you should incorporate podcasts and videos to reinforce the things that you’re working on.

Carol:
I absolutely love that.

J:
That makes sense.

Carol:
Thank you. This is great.

Mitchell:
You’re welcome.

Carol:
Well, I had to ask this because I think what you were alluding to when you were talking about the types of things that we can be doing to beef up our credibility online is, I think often people just list their credentials but they don’t tell us what we should do with them or why those credentials matter or can make the life better of the person on the receiving end. Isn’t that right?

Mitchell:
What many people make the mistake of thinking is that LinkedIn is your online resume. And that is just purely a mistake. You, don’t even let that happen. Think of LinkedIn as the search engine optimized landing page for what you want to do. It’s a search engine optimized landing page for you. So if you ever C pop up customer point of pain and that’s highlighted everywhere. And now let’s make it much more fun. If your C pop is also your passion. Right? If your C pop represents your passion and purpose in life. And then you go into your LinkedIn profile and you optimize it around, what are you’re doing, you’re magnetizing your purpose. You’re magnetizing your compass. Jay, if I stumbled upon your site, the LinkedIn profile first, I’d throw you in the same camp with… I don’t see any of the heart that I see with this. And particularly with your better half on the line, right? Significant.

J:
Sure.

Mitchell:
And I don’t see any of that, I might see the two of you and I go, “Well, that’s unique.” Like that one picture that the two of you use, that would probably be the one thing that would stand out when I looked at your LinkedIn but everything else I don’t get it.

J:
Got it. That makes perfect sense.

Carol:
Yeah, and I think that’s really helpful in showing us the types of things that are not even difficult things to do. But that can really boost our authenticity and clarity, and make sure that people realize what type of value we can deliver to their lives.

Mitchell:
Perfect. Yes, I think you got it.

J:
Awesome. You talked earlier about you’ve written 70, 80, 85 books was it? Your company has published hundreds and hundreds more, and you’ve talked about using books as a tool for credibility. I love that idea, and I’m seeing that a whole lot more these days where people are, basically when you have a book and you can hand somebody a book, this basically says, “I’m not a fly by night in whatever it is I’m doing. “Nobody’s going to write a book, if they’re basically in that business for a month or two. It basically says, “Hey, now you know where to find me.” So it basically sends the message that, “I’m not going to scam you it’s not something that I’m going to hand you this book and I’m going to take your money and run.” It’s great.
Are there other things besides writing a book that can really boost somebody’s credibility? Big things like other than just focusing on your LinkedIn profile? Or, you’ve given TED Talks. So clearly, that’s something. What are some other big things that we can do that can really, if our goal is to massively increase our credibility over the next 6, 12, 24, 36 months? What are some big things we can be doing and thinking about doing?

Mitchell:
Let me answer your question in a way that you didn’t expect. Your question says, “How do I get to be more known in the marketplace?” And what I’d say is, “That’s not the first question to ask.” The first question, because you can’t be credible externally until you’re credible internally. So who are you? How do you show up? Carol, the fact that you said that I’m the CEO of the household, and we’ve made a conscious decision to run the family that way and I still help my husband in his business. And of course have your own personality. That relationship, that conversation that we’re discovering online, can I see that online? I wanted that, because that’s part of your credibility. That’s part of what you two bring to the table together as a couple in this business that you’re doing. So the first thing I’d say is, “You’ve got to figure out who you are and who you serve, and how best you serve them.”
And that’s really the credible part is figuring out. Like, it’s hard not to say C pop, because it really is, it’s what is your focus, what is your purpose? People hear that and they go, “No, no, no, that’s fluffy stuff.” Okay, don’t worry about purpose and focus by the way it is not fluffy. But, the best thing I say is, let’s say you and I were on the phone and I’ll take a half hour conversation with anyone. Getting the second half hour is harder. So I’ve got a counter based system. In 2018, I saved three weeks of my life by having people book time on the calendar versus scheduling the time manually. And so, lots of times people get on the call with me. And I don’t know exactly why when I look at their profile, I don’t know exactly why we’re talking.
So the first thing I’ll say is,“What is a good outcome of this conversation?” And those people with clarity will give me a good outcome. And so if you want more credibility, first make sure you have it internally. Second, if you have it internally, you have a much better understanding of where do you need to be known more. It’s interesting to me when I think about real estate investing, would you do real estate investing in Saudi Arabia?

J:
Probably not.

Mitchell:
So, you don’t need to be known in Saudi Arabia. If, depending on who you are and, like if you have a carpet cleaning service, well maybe your state and local states, you need to be known. But you don’t need to be known around the world. You don’t need to be known around the US. And so what happens is when we think about this word, thought leader, what people think about is, “Oh, I need to be known around the world so I could stand on the stage and everyone wants to buy my stuff and be me.” And that’s an outdated concept. So if you want to be credible, who is the audience you serve? And then you need to go after that audience. So depending on who it is, so the basic stuff, Carol, as you mentioned, go to the places where your audience is going to be looking. Depending on what you’re doing particularly if it’s real estate investing, they’re going to look on LinkedIn. Dude, beef up your LinkedIn profile, not that hard to do this stuff we need to do.
It’s not that it’s bad, it’s that it doesn’t show you by it being that 80% of people that you just don’t show up the way you actually are when you interact with you immediately. Okay, that’s kind of easy. Well, where else do if it is real estate investing? Where else are those people hanging out? Where else do you need to have a presence? And what do you need to do to get that presence there? Sometimes, it’s time. Sometimes, it’s energy, it could be writing, it could be speaking. It could be being a sponsor, being in a place where it’s a magazine that because of COVID, they’re having a hard time surviving, “Hey, can I sponsor this for you?” And you make your awareness known there. There are many different ways to be known as you’re getting your brand out. The best in today’s world though, one of the best ways is that word of mouth marketing. And how do you get people to talk about you? They see you and then you make it easy for them to share you.

Carol:
Real quick Jay. I know we need to jump into four more because of our time, but I just have to follow up on it super quick. Is that what that credit dust is about like making it easy for people to share you and sprinkling information about you to other people in the right circles in the correct places where your audience and the people that matter are going to be looking? Yes.

Mitchell:
We do this all the time. The people who are good at what they do, they naturally will talk about other people. It’s just someone to put a word to it and put brownie points on it like, “Hey, you should do this. It’ll be helpful for you.”

Carol:
Cool.

J:
I love that. I absolutely love it. Okay, well, we are about an hour into this episode. So I think it’s time to jump into the final segment that we call the four more. And that’s where we ask you the same four questions that we ask all of our guests. And then the more part of the four more would love to have you tell our listeners where they can connect with you and find out more about you. I’m going to take question number one. Mitchell, what was your very first or your very worst? I’ll let you pick job and what did you take from it that you’re still using today?

Mitchell:
The first job I did, what many people do as young little sort of entrepreneurs anything I can do to make money. When you’re young, it’s lawns, cleaning houses, babysitting. As soon as I could, busboy, waiter. All of those, but I do the worst job. The worst job is in high school I wanted to make money. And I ended up finding… I’ve always been a night owl. So I find a factory that you could do an eight hour shift at night. So I’d finish school and I did it one day. And I just, because it basically was you’re standing in a line and you’re doing the same thing over and over, like no thinking just mechanically and that’s not me. I just, I can’t… It’s the world in which everything is structured around but it’s definitely not me.

Carol:
Cool. Okay, I’m taking the second question. And that is Mitchell, what is the single best piece of advice that you have for entrepreneurs or small business owners that you haven’t yet mentioned today that they can start doing in their life right now this minute?

Mitchell:
The advice I would give and… Well, first join Credibility Nation and take the course on, Going Through Life With a Sponsorship Mindset. Because we should go through life with six simultaneous sponsors. And the sponsors that we’re thinking about are financial, spiritual, credibility, awareness, accountability. There’s one that’s missing and I could never get all six when I think it through. But what happens is if you go through life with multiple sponsors, whether or not you want to call them sponsors, or partners, or mentors or whatever you want to call them. If you go through life that way, what’s interesting is it allows you to focus on that particular area that will get you to the next level. And we need that. We often think that we should have one sponsor, one mentor, or be a sponsor or be a mentor and those are great. But thinking about having six, potentially at the same time, six different ways to learn and grow and be very focused, pretty powerful.

J:
Love it. Love it. Okay, question number three, you clearly know your books, you’ve written dozens of them, you’ve published hundreds of them. For our listeners out there, what is the best book that you’ve read that is probably not the most common book out there for our listeners who are business owners, entrepreneurs and want to learn and grow?

Mitchell:
I’ll give you two. I’ll give you one which is external one and one which is internal. The internal, I have to say Credibility Nation. This book Credibility Nation, my 65th book absolutely will rock your world if you read this. The book that I like to reference back as an entrepreneur, I think it’s 20-ish years old by a guy named Jeffrey Cox, and it is called Selling The Wheel. I always thought that there was one type of salesperson. What he did is he broke the world into four different types of salespeople. And depending on the situation you’re in, you need a different style salesperson based… so it gave me a view of the world that I just hadn’t really seen before. So Selling The Wheel is a really great book.

Carol:
Excellent. Thank you for those recommendations. Okay. And here is my final and fun fourth question. What is something along the way Mitchell, we love asking this of entrepreneurs, that you have splurged on along the way, whether it’s for your work life, whether it’s for your home life, a material thing or an experience is splurge that was totally and entirely worth it?

Mitchell:
What I’ll say is when, during the dot com days, I was working seven days a week, as many hours as sort of one was awake. My son was born. And when he was about a year, a year and a half old, I went to my wife and I thought I should give her a present. So I was talking to my friends and they figured out what the present should be. And I thought, “Well, I’ll take every Sunday off and I’ll spend it with my son.” Now, I could see in your eyes Carol, you’re like it’s not really a present. Well, that’s exactly what my wife said when I said that to her. She goes, “That’s a present for you, honey. What about me?” I thought about it and I go, “Great, give me a minute.” I just, I first of all smacked in the side of the head. I’m like, “Really?” And then by the way, she was right. That was a present for me and not for her.

Carol:
Of course.

Mitchell:
You say of course, but as a guy I didn’t know that. But anyway-

Carol:
Of course, you’re a guy.

Mitchell:
Yeah, exactly. Exactly, by the way. So I thought about it and she loved going to Europe, she loved spending more time with me. I said, “Well, listen, if you do the booking, I will take four to six weeks off a year. And we’ll go to some European city.” She didn’t kind of believe me the first time we did it. But we’ve done that other than this year, for 20 years in a row, we’ve rented a house for four to six weeks and invite friends and family to Europe. I can’t say no to work. I just don’t do bizdev. So existing clients I still interact with, but what’s nice is it’s family and friends first and the experiences that we’ve delivered to some people who would never have had a passport or my son who has experienced so many different European countries and thinks this is normal. So-

Carol:
Awesome.

Mitchell:
… that’s been a beautiful, I’m not even going to say splurge, it just seems like a normal way of life.

Carol:
Normal way of life. That’s your lifestyle. Awesome.

J:
I love it. Okay, so that was the fourth part of the four more and now for the more part of the four more can you tell our listeners where they can find out more about you, where they can find out more about Credibility Nation, where they can connect with you or anything else you want to tell us?

Mitchell:
Once again for those watching live or before April of 2021, you can go to credibilitynation.com and sign up as a basic member for five bucks a month. Starting April 1st, so it’ll be 10 bucks a month. Well worth, it’s probably more like 25 to 50 bucks a month but for 10 bucks a month you could join it. So it’s credibilitynation.com. I ended up getting the trademark for Credibility Nation so that’s really cool. So I’m holding up the trademark thing. What I do want to say is my life mission is to tip the scale between those people that are credible and those people who are dubious. And we need to do this together. So I’d like to encourage you to… I’m holding up a picture of a scale where dubious nation is being held down and Credibly Nation is high.
I’d like you to join and figure out how we can play together in Credibility Nation. For those that want to book time on my calendar, just go to mitchelllevy360.com. And it’ll connect to my social media sites and it has a direct calendar link there. So go to credibilitynation.com or mitchelllevy360.com.

J:
Mitchell, thank you so much for being with us. We really appreciate all the amazing advice and the stories and the actual tips.

Mitchell:
My pleasure. You guys were great. I love the energy that I get when the two of you are in the room together.

Carol:
Thank you. We appreciate that.

J:
Awesome. Thank you so much.

Carol:
See you soon.

Mitchell:
All right, thanks.

Carol:
How fun was that Jay, when Mitchell just jumped right into your LinkedIn profile and was able to instantly pick up on a number of different items that you can truly just take a few minutes that will really boost your credibility online? I loved how it was just an interactive discussion and gave some great actionable tips. Not only for you but for so many people within our community that can take this low hanging fruit to make a big difference.

J:
Yeah, and he made me realize I need to figure out what my C pop is.

Carol:
That’s right.

J:
What is the value that I offer other people? I don’t know. So I’m going to have to put some thought into that and update my social media.

Carol:
You have so much C pop to me, baby. You know that.

J:
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Carol:
Always and forever. You are my C pop, pop.

J:
Thank you. Thank you, Ma. All righty, everybody. Thank you so much for tuning in. This has been an awesome week. We will see you next week on the BiggerPockets Business Podcast. She’s Carol. I’m Jay.

Carol:
Now get some internal clarity and deliver some external value today. Have a great week everybody. We’ll see you soon. Thank you for tuning in.

J:
Thanks, everybody.

 

Watch the Podcast Here

In This Episode We Cover

  • Why credibility is so important in today’s day and age
  • Knowing who your audience is so you can solve their problems
  • Finding your customer’s point of pain 
  • Making the world a better place through credible business
  • How to make your online presence and LinkedIn stand out
  • And So Much More!

Links from the Show

Books Mentioned in this Show:

Connect with Mitchell: