Credibility and What I Learned from Becoming a Three-Time Published Author

Credibility: it’s what we are all looking for. It’s why everyone goes off to college to get a four-year degree; why they show up day in and day out to a job that they can’t even stand. They go, because they want to be relied upon; they wanted to matter and boost their credibility. Your credibility has constant dance with your reputation. If your reputation is one that always shows up late, goes out all the time, and comes to work hung over then your credibility isn’t going to be very great.

I recently had a lunch with Demacio “Demo” Castellon, my mentor. He is a peak performance strategist, Grammy award-winning producer, and an award-winning speaker. You could imagine that his credibility is through the roof. He worked his whole life to build this credibility. We talked about the changing times and how social media along with Internet profile changed the way we live our lives forever. He is one of the very few who does not use social media. His belief was that if everyone is doing something a certain way, you should probably do the opposite. I understood his philosophy but argued that it would not work for everyone, though it had obviously worked for him.

During our lunch, we discussed how a social media account was a representation of you; how the new resume is a Google search of your name. I explained that I used to work in the nightlife and recently took down all the photos I could of the nightlife atmosphere, and he shared with me a gem that has gotten him very far in his career.


Photos with a drink in your hand are the fastest way to lose an endorsement.”


His whole career was built behind the camera, and he did so by building his credibility among the elites. If you show through your social media that you constantly going out living this “fun” life, then that is all you are going to be: fun. Your credibility goes through the window. I haven’t adopted all of the techniques Demo uses, including email only during certain hours and never using a cell phone; but I have adopted the “no social media” rule he places upon himself. It is a distraction; and unless your business is conducted mainly through social media, it will cause more harm than good.

The majority of us believe that we must have social media for our businesses (you yourself is your business) to strive. The easiest way to boost your Internet presence is to boost your social media profiles. To do so, the content must do one of the following:

  1. Educates
  2. Engages the user
  3. Creates discussion
  4. Has the capacity for possible viral growth
  5. Promotes a product or service

When I was working nightlife, those who were looking at me from afar would have just seen a promoter who partied a lot. From my perspective it was different: I was networking, staying connected, writing a book, and making easy money. When I released my first book, Growth Hacking, I didn’t tell anyone about it, because they were not in the market. Growth Hacking had been written by my brother and I, when we discovered that Ryan Holiday was going to release a book with the same buzz word called Growth Hacker Marketing in the next month. That book was guaranteed to be on the New York Times Best Seller list. So what did my brother and I do? We finished our book before him and beat him to publishing.

As a result, we piggy-backed off the sales of a New York Times Best-Seller and passively made thousands of dollars during the upcoming months. The target market? Anyone who bought his book and wanted more. I marketed second book, Socially Accepted, to everyone I knew and made a bigger deal of it. It still does great now, with over 100 audiobooks sold in November of 2015, not including kindle and print. Though the lesson that I learned wasn’t from the money that came with it, but the prestige.

I was speaking to my friend who was a doctor, and he mentioned how surprised he was at how often people asked him about investments. He was a doctor who specialized in medicine, yet people were asking him about something that wasn’t even related to his field. It was because those with a white lab coat were considered a master in all fields; why when you go to a CVS, the entire staff of pharmacists wore lab coats.

When I became an author, I gained prestige that I noticed through how people spoke to me. People started reaching out to me, believing that I was achieving great things because of what they saw online. I started receiving offers for business. During the first meeting I had with Chris Paciello in VitaSquad, he asked what I was doing. I placed the book, Growth Hacking: A How to Guide on How to be a Growth Hacker, on his desk, and we immediately began our partnership.

Nowadays, when you meet someone you don’t really meet him or her. You either saw them online, asked on Instagram, Googled them, or just asked about what they did. When people ask others about me now, they say, “Oh he wrote a book.” This recognition puts me on an intellectual pedestal, but the truth is that I self-published it; and even though I wrote the book, I could’ve easily gotten a ghost writer to write it for me. That idea actually led to one of my businesses that is doing great, where we interview you, create an outline, research, and then write a book for you. Being an author grants you instant credibility in whatever subject you are involved in. That’s what I learned after being an author; when you have credibility in one field, it expands to many other fields, even the ones you don’t have any expertise in. So I’ll leave you with this question: