Ahh endorsements. It feels as if sometimes we sell our soul or, at the very least, sell-out to get them. Endorsements can be a quick and easy tool to help you build credibility provided that you handle them correctly.
On one end, getting an endorsement from a New York Times best-selling author can be pretty cool. On the other end, too many fake endorsements can just make you look, well, fake. So how do you get good endorsements?
In the book industry, you will notice many up and coming authors who put out a book and get a lot of powerful testimonials from people who have already written a well known best-selling book. What you will also notice about these endorsements is that many times that are by authors who share the same publisher. Coincidence? I think not.
Sure I think it’s OK for a publisher to reach out for endorsements from their well known line up to help an up and comer. What’s not OK is giving out endorsements to things that you know nothing about. To be fair there are some thought leaders who are careful about this. However there are some thought leaders who seem to give their endorsement to everyone and everything.
Our society has gotten good at spotting these phony endorsements a mile away. If you want endorsements from high level people, offer to do something of merit for them to warrant the testimonial.
One tool that we used to create value for thought leaders is the radio show we had on a local AM station here in Salt Lake. We used this as a tool to help authors promote their upcoming books. I always made it a point to read the books prior to the interview so that I could ask great questions. These thought leaders loved the interviews and we always got a copy of the show to them right away as well. This made it easy for them to endorse working with us.
You don’t have to have a radio show. If you have expertise in marketing, offer to help them market a project. There are tons of ways to use your skills to create value that people want to talk about. Sometimes it’s as easy as getting their ear at an event and sharing your insight that may impress them.
Despite being over done, endorsements can still be a powerful credibility tool. Just make sure the endorser has something real that they can share with the public about what your bring to the table.