When you live a social and connected life as an entrepreneur, it’s not uncommon to get emails from people asking you for interviews or podcast appearances. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that, and we all send plenty of those requests to other people as well! But as your network grows, it can be a tricky thing to navigate… and in the worst cases, it can even become a trap.

Behind those requests is an idea I call “giving credit to credentialize.” What it means is giving someone else “credit” in order to “credentialize” yourself, though you can be on either side of the equation depending on your audience and perceived “status” in your field.

For example, if you have a fairly popular podcast, someone who is just getting started and doesn’t know you might write you a flattering email to get a guest spot on your show—so that you will give them “credit” on-air and lend them your credibility by doing so.

On the other hand, maybe you’re the one reaching out to someone with a bigger audience in the hopes that they will either invite you on their platform or come on your show. It’s the same principle there, only reversed.

As we all know, there’s plenty of I-scratch-your-back, you-scratch-mine activity in business, and when it’s among friends or between people who are actually exchanging value, it’s just a part of life.

But often, these exchanges can come off as inauthentic or one-sided. Used correctly, using credit to credentialize can help a network grow and let everyone share in the successes…
…but the flipside is when done incorrectly, it can make people feel used, sour potential relationships and block the opportunity for true connections. Now, I’m not saying to never exchange favors like this if you know what you’re getting into. But remember that there’s a right and a wrong way to do it.

At the heart of all great marketing is connection and authenticity. And it has to go both ways.
If you’re reaching out to someone with more status than you are, ask yourself: Why am I doing this? Do I really care about this person’s work or do I just want their brand name close to mine? If you do really care, reach out—but know something about them first and find a way to offer them value, even if it’s just a kind word or a thoughtful gift. 

On the other hand, if you find yourself fielding dozens of cold emails and requesting your time, take a step back. How many of these people really care about your work? Are any of them offering you anything in return? Are they asking for your help in an authentic, long-term and reciprocal way? Ultimately, using credit to credentialize is not a bad thing. But used sloppily, it’s a dynamic that can get frustrating fast.

Remember: true growth comes from creating authentic relationships and mutually beneficial collaborations, because those are what lead you to an ELF (easy, lucrative, fun) life!

by Joe Polish
Founder of Genius Network

Joe Polish

P.S. I've created a resource page as a central guide with access to valuable resources available to you right now. Check it out at www.GeniusNetwork.com/Vision-Insight. Bookmark this page. This is where I will post every new update.

P.P.S. Whenever you're ready... here are 3 more ways I can help you make YOUR business and life more E.L.F. (Easy, Lucrative, and Fun!):

  1. Discover the 10x Multipliers to grow your business exponentially… Amplify your opportunities and reveal the untapped potential in your business: www.10XTalk.com/Vision
  2. Trigger these 8 Profit Activators in your business right now: www.ILoveMarketing.com/Vision
  3. I'm often asked what books I recommend. So, I've put together a collection of books and products in 9 specific categories. These are resources we've shared in Genius Network to help improve life and business... To check them out visit www.JoePolish.com/Books-Vision

P.P.P.S. If You Or Someone You Know Is Struggling With Addiction, visit www.GeniusRecovery.org/Vision-Letter
Also, check these out 🙂

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