Authority or Anti-Authority: Both Make You Credible

We’ve been exploring together the ideas set out by Chip and Dan Heath, in their book Made to Stick about The Curse of Knowledge, making our writing sticky, simpleunexpected, and concrete. In this post, we’ll continue looking at the six principles you can use to connect with your ideal clients by focusing on credibility.

I Wanted to Look Older

The fourth principle we’ll delve into is credibility, which could also be viewed as expert status or authority. Perhaps more compelling, though, is the notion of using an anti-authority to drive home your point.

In my video on credibility, I shared the story of Pam Laffin, who was the spokesperson for an anti-smoking campaign. She started smoking at a young age in an attempt to look older. As she said, “Unfortunately, it worked.” During the commercial, she explains that she’d already had a failed lung transplant and was dying — at the age of 29 (she did pass away a few years later).

Her authority came not from degrees or certifications but from life experience. Testimonials offer credibility because they provide social proof that your program or methods work. For another great example of credibility, visit, which is owned by my friend Marietta. The image she shares on her homepage demonstrates that she’s ‘been there, done that.’

Now You Try

Take a look at your website. Where are your testimonials located? Are they bunched all together on one page or are they sprinkled among the other pages? Do you use testimonials on social media and in your emails? How can you improve your credibility?

I’d love to connect with you to chat about how to make your words attract your ideal clients. Schedule a FREE 60-minute breakthrough session with me.

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