Want to learn how to easily get your first 5,000 subscribers? Download this free eBook to learn how.

3 psychological tactics for gaining instant credibility
Last Updated August 1st, 2013

How CAN you be credible… even if you don’t have the authority or the experience yet?

(Heck, even if you DO have the experience, maybe you still feel like you don’t have enough).

I’ve been there, but I clawed my way out.

And while advice like “be honest,” “know your ish,” and “dont scam people,” is great, it’s not enough.

And that’s why I leveraged these three crediblility-boosting psychological tactics.

I reveal each of ’em in this new video.

How to Be Credible (without Credibility)

(“WHAT? Is Derek wearing a TIE?” Yes. Yes he is)]

If you liked this video, signup for the Social Triggers newsletter (like more than 115,655 other people)…

…and you’ll get more videos just like this (Plus exclusive material that I only share with email subscribers).

It’s free.

This should go without saying, but being credible, and being perceived as credible, are two different beasts. These 3 tactics ensure you’re BOTH credible and perceived as credible.

And you can take that to the bank.

The best part? You don’t need 100,000+ blog subscribers, tens of thousands of customers, or a huge business.

Use the three tactics I share, and BAM! You’re done.

Watch the video, and leave a comment letting me know how you plan on using these tactics.


I’m working on an all-new webinar that I’ll announce soon. On it, I’ll reveal some new strategies for building a raving fan base that’s ready to buy.

I’ve quietly developed these strategies, rigorously tested them, and benefited from them greatly. And I’ll show you how you can benefit from them as well.

To be sure you don’t miss out on this webinar, sign up for the Social Triggers newsletter (and webinar waitlist).

Here’s the link.

Spread the love!

Join OVER 200,000 subscribers


Click here to sign up

Need more? Choose your path below

137 comments Leave a comment
Pau Carvalho

Hello Derek, I liked your video on your website and subscribed to your newsletter.

I have a question:

Can I use phrase such as on my list I have… “as low as $…” and “as many as…”?

Most affordable product on my list: $
Biggest product on my list:

Thank you.

Nick Osborn

That’s some good sh*t right there!!!

John McCabe

Re: the second tip…

According to the video, 60.37% was more believable than 60%. I wonder if the same thing would have happened if the test were 60.00% vs. 60%. In other words, was it the precision (two decimals) or was it the implied accuracy (the “.37”)?

Are we hosed if something we measure actually does come out to an even number, or do we have to lie to be believed?

Matt Insardi

This is not for everyone…

Talking about who it is not for not only builds trust it helps qualify your prospects by letting them make their own decisions and that will increase your sales! Thanks Derek


So concise. I salute you! 🙂

Bob Bright

Derek I’m going to let people know who shouldn’t use my products.

Matt Joseph

I’ve just seen your video on “How to be credible”. I’m new to blogging and I’m also trying to get a business off the ground providing Outdoor Fitness holidays. Your video was great and the first point really made me think. Maybe I need to tell people, “Don’t come here if you think you’re going to go from non-fit to fit in a week.” I don’t believe that’s possible and I’d be surprised if anyone would be believe me if that’s what I tried to sell. What the hell am I trying to sell then? I am trying to sell the idea that you can have fun exercising outside and you don’t need to spend a fortune on equipment and/or gym fees.

So thanks, your video definitely has me thinking about things.

Laura Chattington - RebalancedLiving.com

Great practical advice. I have used the 2nd and 3rd but not the first tip which I”m going to test in my next sales letter I am finishing tomrorow.

Just watched 3 of your videos and I love the style and the content… really great!


I only just found you yesterday – wow, what amazing insight you provide and the delivery is perfect 🙂

I have a notebook with lots and lots of scribbles in it now having jotted down a load of tips and info from watching just a few of your videos.

For tech reasons I recently lost my last ‘advertise with us’ page for my business so have a temporary on while I rewrite and revamp it.

What perfect timing – I am going to absolutely implement what you have said with precise numbers (rather than ‘we receive approx. xxxx number of visitors) and our testimonials & media accolades (that are currently gathering dust) need to go on too.

I’m so glad I stumbled across you, another piece to my business jigsaw!

Thank you so much 🙂



I just stumbled upon your website and watched a few (or should I say 3) of your videos 🙂
I am a self-starter with a degree and professional experience, but I am completely new to “building my own business”. I seemed to have fallen into the same traps a lot of people do, and truly appreciate your input. I study Psychology, and therefore find your opinions and research even more exciting.

Thank you!


Wow, that was awesome. The precise number tactic is really standing out for me.

Michael Rich

Beauty. I really benefited from this video.

#1 & #3 hit home with me. You can guarantee moving forward, I will be telling everyone who my product is NOT for.

As well, I will be including a lot more proof when making statements. It really makes sense to to do so, and yah its time to do so!

Kevin Velasco

Derek, I enjoy your content and your videos but I opted out of watching your video this time because I don’t want to pause the music I’m listening to and I’m a text/transcript kinda guy.


Do your top button up and do up your tie man! Stop being so half assed ! 😀


Sooooo after really going out of my way for a potential buyer yesterday, who I knew darn well was unlikely to pan out, but on the off chance… Which is the excuse I always give myself when I know I’m probably getting yanked around. And then finding out they left the door open & lights on a vacant property – I have to go out of my way a 2nd day in a row for no reason! Takeaway? Oh. My service isn’t for everyone – stop pretending that it is!


Great Job! Like the info.

You’re a BEAST!

Keep it coming!

Alisa Meredith

Hey Derek! Your video inspired me to write about “who shouldn’t work with us.” The problem is, it kind of turned in to a blog post about who shouldn’t work with an agency to outsource inbound marketing, because when I wrote it more specifically about us, it felt too salesy for a blog post.

I am still wrestling with it, but I’m wondering how you handled your statement (couldn’t find it). Did you just make a “don’t hire me” statement on an about us page, or did you write a blog post about it like I’ve done?

Don’t you hate it when your content gets away from you?

Jim Hobson

I think the bottom line here is what your mother should have taught you.
1. Be honest.
2. Don’t be self centered or selfish.
3. Be considerate of others.

I certainly agree with the points made, but honestly it’s all about being a decent human being. I would add that forget about “appearances” and be genuinely decent – develop good character.

Ken Pierce

Derek, this is my first time experiencing your passion, your great content and your fun. It was inspiring. I am going to incorporate your ideas in my next video. I am hooked! Thanks. Ken Pierce

Luke Hancock

Hey Derek,

Great video. I’m going to try all three of these as I pitch a client an animated explainer video. He’s weighing his options of me (cheaper, less experienced option) v. expensive but leaders in market option.

My colleague is an award-nominated animator so I’m/he’s not concerned animation or video will be up to snuff but he is concerned if I can market it well enough. I believe using your tactics can help me, I’ll follow up. Wish me luck!
Cheers eh…

Clara Rose

Yikes… I am totally a number round chick. Thanks for the advice 🙂

Carmen Amato

I usually thing Derek gets it right but this time I have to raise my hand and disagree. I’m a fiction writer and signed up for Blog That Converts and found it enormously useful. While I don’t represent his target audience I can use the blog archetypes, especially for guest posts, network building tips, and information presentation ideas. Oh and in regards to this video: Don’t read my books if you don’t like 1. tough reality, sex, or new experiences in exotic places. Thanks again, Derek


    Carmen, That sounds like the kind of writing I’d like to read!!


I LOVED this video!!

As well as the awesome content I really like what you did with the editing – I am so inspired to try some new things with my BORING videos!



I’m a non-fiction blogger, so I’ll be using these suggestions:

1. Currently unknown, working 😉
2. Use precise numbers instead of round numbers. I’d always thought round numbers were more approachable.
3. I will dig things backup that I’ve read or seen in the past (If I can find them) as proof rather than incorporating just the ideas I’ve absorbed.



I’m a non-fiction blogger, so I’ll be using these suggestions:

1. Currently unknown, working 😉
2. Use precise numbers instead of round numbers. I’d always thought round numbers were more approachable.
3. I will dig things backup that I’ve read or seen in the past (If I can find them) as proof rather than incorporating just the ideas I’ve absorbed.



I am about to launch my first downloadable project on metalworking, and I am going to definitely argue against buying it if you are an experienced metalworker…this is strictly for beginners. Great video…I did make it all the way through and will incorporate these into my marketing plan!


Great tips and your video production guys deserve a raise. Very professional. Terrific job all around. Applause. And nice tie. 🙂

Susan Velez

Awesome video, it is funny how people think. But I have realized that people love to see numbers.

I have never rounded up on my numbers, I tend to round down.

I am just starting to grow my email list and I will definitely be using these tips. I want to earn credibility and will be using these tips in my business.

Jim Wang

Selling against yourself is also smart business because it gives you an opportunity to identify and address some concerns people might have about you or your business – instead of having them go elsewhere to find that information.

Dave Eddy

Awesome video – I can 100% vouch for these 3 strategies, the first one especially. I’ve found that turning a customer AWAY when you know that your product isn’t going to be right for them can be far more powerful than just signing up any prospect that comes your way. Instant credibility –> More sales in the long run via positive word of mouth 🙂


You forgot one important tip to gain instant credibility: Wear a Tie.

    Alejandra Ruani

    And use a brain image on your products, just as Derek does. Studies have shown this little detail generates instant credibility/authority. I use a little brain image in my website’s freebie (a quiz based on neuroscience).


Yikes, I’m an aspiring fiction author and a Blog That Converts alum! I think BTC is relevant for any blogger! I blog about peace and spirituality and my target audience are more logical thinkers. So, I find myself wanting to reference spiritual teachers that my target audience are likely unfamiliar with. Does that matter? Thanks, Derek. You’re fabulous.

Scott Branden

Derek, first point I’ll use in a sales letter I’m writing now, 2nd I’ll definitely go back over and change up all my numbers thanks for this one. and 3rd I’ll be sure and add proof at every opportunity from now on, thanks for this, have subscribed too! Oh, and I’ll go email this over to a friend I know could use this right about now! : D

James B

Thank you for timely reminders, like you say, some would find this obvious, I find it refreshing, informative and practical. I have a new business launching soon and I will definitely be using your tips, and then telling others too!


You are Brilliant!!!!!

Lou Johnson

Interesting tidbit about the accurate numbers. I was always rounding higher when I needed to say how many school shows I’ve performed in during each year. (this would be IF I WANTED more school shows.) I’ve always tried to round up or say a number higher than what was true. It’s a mental trick to envision more success and more business. It’s not lying. It’s telling the truth….EARLY. 🙂

Ali Davies

Interesting you should mention telling people not to buy for certain reasons. Recently a potential client approached me at a networking event. Based on the initial information she offered I told her I didn’t think I was the right person to help her. We went for a quick coffee to delve deeper and see if I could recommend someone that was a good fit for her. Turns out there was some stuff my skill set could really serve her with and she hired me on the spot to work on those things, purchasing one of my higher end packages. Once we had finished the programme I ask her about her rationale for hiring me over others in my field. Her response was that at the start when I told her I wasn’t sure I was the right person to help her she felt she could trust me and she liked my integrity of not being willing to work with her if the skills or personal fit wasn’t right (seems she had encountered people in my industry that didn’t operate to the same standards!). I think actually caring about people and their outcomes is always the right thing to do and a great business strategy too.

Terry Cline

Yes, the tie adds credibility as well as the more casual and often funny
debriefing comments at the end, conveying that you’re very comfortable
in knowing you come across as credible. Very helpful!! Thanks for your work
and sharing. Terry

Mj Thornton

I thank You Derek
1. You always make me smile
2. I’m going to go for the provide proof, do better research
3. Use precise numbers
4. Take a spin at “arguing against own self interest.”

You gave me 3 gifts, I’m taking all 3 with the gusto of a hound dog.
Mj Thornton


great video. I’m working on a new sales page and will think carefully about my service it not for (for a change). I’ve got great testimonials to back my case and will use facts about why the technology I use rocks.

Nice one



How am I gonna use it?? Against car salesmen: see, honey… he’s arguing against his own self interest there; see – that was using precise numbers instead of rounding…. just kidding!! Good thoughts! keep up the great work…. Jim

Kara Sorensen

Derek, this is golden! The biggest stress in my business has been attracting customers who are not a good fit for the deep work that I do. Not everyone is ready or willing to do this type of work.

I will now:

1- write out specific characteristics that people not ready to do the work have in common. I have a list of who it’s not for in a psychological respect, but it doesn’t have specific things like ‘someone who doesn’t want to eat real food to lose weight’ which is a problem I run into.

2-I will take the top 2 characteristics and post them on my website. I think 2 is enough as I don’t want to sound too negative, but what do you think, can the list be longer?

Thanks Derek!



I found this video to be 97.89% helpful….really.

Veso Mitev

Well pointed!

Accurate data brings credibility. Of course – it should be real accurate data, not made-up.

Also – the sources – it’s very important the data from the sources to be used accurately. If not used accurately – it can fool many, but some will find out the conclusions made out of this data, are bad. And this will insta-kill the whole credibility thing.

Btw a lot of scammers apply accurate data in very deceiving ways. Not good.

Kristy Alagna

Yo! thanks Derek for making these significant principles clear, detailed, exampled and go-to. Timing for this is great, Biz is in a restructure/develop/relaunch mode – where everything is in question. One way we’ve implemented a trust-factor is with a guarantee, although that’s a bit old-school. So I really appreciate your direction about arguing against yourself.
Question: The academic research and references that make the case, give our programs credibility are in the programs/ebooks – any tips on how to bring this to the web copy without getting so detailed folks glaze-over with too much “steak” and not enough “sizzle”?


Great video, I think the first point always tends to work well at making your product more creditable.

Also I like the precise numbers point, although Derek I did see that you ‘About’ box on the right hand side shows that you have over 100,000 readers each month… perhaps last months accurate stat would help here 😉

Leah Jantzen-Life and Business Coach

Derek this video was soooo fun!! I loved the tips but I also enjoyed the presentation. It was fast, entertaining and full of cool bells and whistles! I am about to launch a new program and I will def be using the precise numbers technique AND the fight against your own program approach. Genius stuff Derek thanks!!!

Alejandra Ruani

Derek – I must say, you look fit, got yourself a tie, groomed your hair… what a transformation! 🙂 By the way, a few weeks ago I sent you a research article (from HBR) about the psychology of price phonetics: certain numbers though smaller are traced as more expensive by the brain (keep that in mind for your next offering!) – Hope you saw this?

Keep up the great work!

P.S. My new website is live! I implemented EACH ONE of your B-school profit formulas – now fingers crossed it works (!)

Kelly Buckley

Thanks Derek,
I love the piece on backing up your arguments with evidence, research and quotations. That’s a key thing I love about your work – that you quote research. Thank you for sharing the good stuff!

Beatrix Willius

Great video. Doesn’t the advice for precise numbers fall under techno-babble? What is the difference between 60% and 60.something? As professional number-designer this looks rather unconvincing to me.

The tie looks great, by the way 🙂


Hi Derek

Probably one of your best so far. The numbers idea is something I will do immediately – I am an avid rounder up now I will be to 2 decimals!

Prarinya K.

Thanks Derek,

This my big problem that delay my product release, I’ll apply your tips on my problem.

Phillipa Kiripatea

Great post Derek. I love it when people can get me to take action.
So I’ve changed all my estimates to precise numbers.

I’ve been working on polarising my market for the past 6 months, it’s been one of the best strategies I’ve put into place.
I get very little undesirable clients ask to work with me now, and when they do slip through, I’ve been strong enough to not accept them into my programs.

Sara Lynch

boom. I just incorporated this into my “work with me page” I am an artist who does a lot of custom work. I often have people who want something wild and crazy and custom but then balk at the price. I am not for everyone and that is fine. Thanks for helping me to find the right words to say this up front. It feels good and maybe I will now waste a bit less time dealing with potential customers who have no real intention of following through with an order.


In all three cases one of the primary underlying reasons is that you are working against your own interests. In case one you might lose out if people follow what you say. In case two, putting in accurate numbers takes more effort/time, giving away your time is against your interests. Same applied to the 3rd case as getting references means you lose time and expend energy without direct gain. In both those cases that’s lost time in researching but also in saying/writing the information.

Lisa Allen MH

Great video Derek! Before watching it, I thought one of your tips had something to do with you wearing the tie. Nice surprise that they are all different tips, but I wanted to share with you something I learned when I was younger and without much work experience. A woman in charge of a temporary job I had told me that to add instant credibility (and even authority) was to wear a blazer and to not take it off during the interview or during your work. While removing one’s jacket is seen as opening up to others and being accessible, it is important to know when each tactic is needed and use them well. Even if it is summer, wearing lightweight fabrics and blouses with no sleeves will allow one to wear a lightweight jacket, and this has an interesting effect – it adds inner confidence. It isn’t appropriate in every situation but it could work in the right situations! Thanks for the awesome video, you are getting better and better at these 🙂


I listen to regularly Jason of TWIST, Kelvin Rose, Andrew of Mixergy but Derek gives you real things you can use and that helps. I see value here everytime…I love it!!


These are so easy to implement! Love the way you seamlessly weave facts into your dialog. It is almost as though we don’t catch it consciously…gotta try this myself. Thanks for another great lesson!


This came right on time! I actually was sitting here drafting the text for my life coaching website and your line about one product not appealing to EVERYONE stopped me in my tracks. You’re absolutely right. I should embrace the uniqueness of my service and be ok with having a target demographic. Everything you mentioned was extremely helpful and encouraging. Much appreciated my friend!


Great video as usual. As I’m watching, I’m thinking – I have to update my about page. This is where my credibility may be lacking and it may be simply that I’m not using precise numbers. Great tip!

– Rusty

John Frauenhoffer

As an industrial B2B sales & marketing professional, I used tip #1 last week during two introductioin sales calls and shared that “I don’t want everyone’s business, just those who value having their problems solved, their producution improved and/or their total cost of operation reduced….if you want lowest doller per gallon, I am not the partner for you.”

Need to use tip #2 better as I am guilty of lazy memory and always round to easy numbers….completely agree that being precise adds to credibility and will change going forward.

As for tip #3, it’s all about getting in the habit of providing proof in my follow up…gotta be more consistent!

Thanks Derek…….passing along your tips to fellow salespersons so keep em coming!

Sathya Prabhu

Hi Derek,
Informative. I am marketing professional. When I quote the price of products in precise numbers people try to negotiate for next closest rounded figure. Instead if I quote some odd figures like 20.36 then they try for 20.35 or 20.30. So showing off rounded numbers would make some feel that they could be negotiated further.
Nice work.
Sathya Prabhu

Jacqui Linder

The challenge is narrowly defining a client base. I have many skills for a variety of patient populations. I like variety in my work. I have been working on putting together packages that appeal to specific groups, and setting upy website to direct different types of clients to different areas targeted to their needs

Catherine Saunders

A great video. I will be trying to incorporate these ideas into written material and face to face encounters.


Excellent content, especially the social proof and testimonials, now we went even further and reduced our refund rate from 12.6% every month to 7.21% just by putting a few testimonials online about the “refund process” and the guarantee that we stood by and how quick and easy that process was.

Sounds counter productive, but that one tactic equaled an additional $13,478.91 in the first month of implementation.

Test everything but what Derek is saying here works a treat and as you can see above, you can get creative with how you use it and gain even further.

Thanks Derek for your great content as always, it helps to know that it’s keeping me on track with what I’m doing 🙂



As Always, you are the MAN! INVALUEABLE ADVICE.


Sounds good to me I’ll have a go at putting it into practice in my wedding dress store asap


Was working on my bio for a campaign site I’m building. Had said I’d won over 90% of the races I’d consulted. Number has now been made a more precise 91.67%.


I wish I knew this earlier.

Shyneeta Rush

Great tips…I plan to use them…to get more effective results!

Jan Koch

Derek, you timed this video perfectly!
I’m creating my first online course right now, for mentoring young entrepreneurs.

There are a lot of statistics involved and rather rounding them I’ll put them out in their whole beauty of preciseness 😉

And your first two tips are perfect for setting up the opt-in page.

Thanks man!


That tie makes you look like a chump! Good thing the video content is as good as always. 😉

When I upped my regular ensemble from niche t-shirts to polo/golf shirts new prospects started taking me a little more seriously off the bat, which cut down on a lot of the BS I had to go through to turn them into clients. I’m not planning to move up to a tie anytime soon though. Maybe I’ll throw a blazer over that polo from time to time…

dave rosenthal

I’m writing my next post entitled. “how Carlos Danger would plan his next vacation. I’ll explain when NOT to use a travel advisor.


thanks derek! great video with even greater info!
i am going to launch a program in september and i am PSYCHED that you talked about saying who the program would not be for. my program is very specifically not for certain people so thank you for that perfect advise for me.
i am totally going to use it!


This sounds amazing and I may just be in asshole mode but not sure how to apply this to my photography business. Thx


Very enjoyable and engaging video.

But I have to caution that while using decimal places may “sound” more credible, that doesn’t mean it IS more credible and in fact it can be very misleading. There is a confidence interval around any data point, which decreases as the sample gets bigger.

If 133 out of a random group of 205 people support “X”, that is correctly stated as “65%”. If you are going to say “64.88%” then you had better at least footnote that the confidence interval/margin of error is 64.88% +/- 6.8%. (The confidence interval means if you asked the same question of similarly defined groups of 205 people, then the proportion who support “X” should fall into the interval between 58.1% and 71.7%, 19 out of 20 times.)

Even on a larger sample of N=1000 people, the confidence interval on a measure of 65% is +/- 3.1%, so it could be anywhere from 62% to 68%.

I don’t have a problem with people using 2 decimal places with census data (sample in the millions) or on a massive study done on samples of 25,000 or more, but when you use two decimal places you are implying that your measure is THAT accurate when very likely it isn’t. And you risk losing credibility, certainly among those of us who try to accurately present data (disclosure: I’m a market researcher).


Thank you so much this has been really helpful! What if there isn’t an easy way to say “who this product is not for” without offending that group?

Angela Todd

I’ve been thinking for three years about who my ‘ideal customer’ is. It seems so much more plausible to figure out who really is not my customer. Thanks!
ols lady maker fan (first day without the day job, huzzah!)

Jessica Oman

In my business, if I did not use concise numbers and proof to back up my claims, I’d be a total sham and I’d make my clients look like total shams. All we do is write business plans, whitepapers and research reports. All of those documents, to have any credibility whatsoever, must be well researched (and well-written). It’s what we do!

But this video is a great reminder that I need to go out and get more testimonials from my most recent happy customers. It’s on the To Do list for the week. Thanks again for another great video.

Peter Wright

Thanks for the 3 tips.

Been trying to find a way to make my target market of older visitors feel welcome without making them feel old.I like your “tell them who it’s not for” idea. Much more effective to tell younger visitors they might be wasting their time on my site.

I generally use precise numbers, dates, time intervals to the degree of being called pedantic, but sometimes take the easy road of rounding off.

Chris 89


Nick Ardagna

As a custom closet designer designer, I often talk about the accessories I won’t sell to a customer because they are not right for them. Folks appreciate that I am not just trying to sell them “stuff” just to increase the sale amount.
Good video!


Love it man!

Already using #1 right now at my site to filter my clients.
#2 can come in handy on sales pages…I’m sure I’ll use when comparing the alternatives and the costs involved.
#3 is something of a weakness. I typically just run with it.

Brian Bennis

Great tips as always Derek. Was that really your longest video at 7 minutes 22 seconds? It felt no more than 2 minutes 47 seconds. I’ve just amended my rounded-up numbers, and added the proof from where the stats came from. It instantly looks much more credible. Because it is!!!

Joe Stone


Another value packed piece of content.

Well done!

I currently use the first tactic as a filter in my marketing funnel, it’s always great to know I am on the right track.

The second, I need to implement (which I will do right after I finish this comment), I just put the finishing touches on a new lander and video but I rounded to 41% instead of 41.03% — which in hindsight looks and sounds much more authoritative and legitimate.

As for the third tactic, I usually weave the proof into a story. For example, in the aforementioned video I told a story of a doctor client; where his practice was prior to us working together, what his goals were, where he is now and how he got there. This tactic proves very effective because the avatar is a peer of my target audience. I try to create the ‘if he can do it, I can do it’ mentality.

Nevertheless, it’s always great to know I am rolling down the right road.

Thanks for your work — it really helps!

– Joe

Jackie Brown

WOW! While creating a page on my website regarding my Change Your Story, Change Your Life 90 Day Challenge, I had intuitively written several paragraphs on why this program may not be for a prospective customer. I second guessed myself and removed the paragraphs. Today, I viewed this video and realized that I was on point. I’m re-writing those paragraphs. Thanks Derek. You are Awesome!


Great points!

I’m definitely going to do more of the last one. I’ve always felt that referencing to something will make me more credible just never did it.

I will start making a list of who my services is NOT for as well as who it’s for so that I can say umm this program may not be for you.

I will also start using numbers. I never did but I’ve been seeing the value in that.

thanks for this!!!

Ken Robertson

For one, I plan on wearing ties in videos!

Great stuff Derek, as always. I’ve been doing a lot of research to find supporting references for my business (we use cutting edge techniques to help businesses stop sucking and start kicking ass!).

I’m curious how you find all these great academic papers Derek – are there any resources \ mailing lists for social psychology studies you’d recommend?

Keep kicking ass D!


I love all three of these. Thanks so much. These tactics are going to help me communicate better with my clients and potential clients. It also reminds me to ask my current clients for testimonials and permission to use them in future marketing. Love your energy btw.


My lessons learned, Derek:
1. Don’t watch this video, if you are not ready to rock it!
2. I am 200,51% certain that I will implement these tactics,
3. because my grandma will smile in haven!

You rock!


This study (Joe ‘the Shoulder’) kinda highlights how psychological studies can have wrong conclusions – what if it ACTUALLY showed that the people being surveyed were generally in favour of stronger punishments?

… The study may have controlled for that as well, I don’t know without looking at it. The point is, experiments don’t always show us what we think they show us.

(I do agree with the general point about trustworthiness and arguing against your self-interests, I’m just making a general point about studies and conclusions)

    Thai Wood

    Good point Justin, fortunately in this experiment, they compared a “low prestige communicator” (Joe “The Shoulder” Napolitano) with a “high prestige communicator” (“G. Williams Stevens, New York Prosecutor who has sent more criminals to prison than any other”).

    Additionally, a control group was given the question book prior to reading the articles and were told they would be (not reminded that they had, as in the variable) reading an article by the criminal or the prosecutor and asked to answer the same questions.

    Thai Wood

    Good point Justin, fortunately in this experiment, they compared a “low prestige communicator” (Joe “The Shoulder” Napolitano) with a “high prestige communicator” (“G. Williams Stevens, New York Prosecutor who has sent more criminals to prison than any other”). Additionally a control group was given the question book prior to reading the articles and were told they would be (not reminded that they had, as in the variable) reading an article by the criminal or the prosecutor and asked to answer the same questions.


I’ll use the 3 pointers in making my own video to sell my e-Book “25 Secrets To Starting A Successful Ebay Business.”
I’ll also use it promoting posts for lingerie on our Facebook Page KissMe: “If you don’t care about feeling sexy anymore, this 63,251 FB Page isn’t for you!” Ha!

Jenny Tynes

Quite simply, I intend to work on recalling numbers…
Thanks for the encouragement.

Jon Giordano

93.4% of all statistics are made up on the spot.

Nice video, Derek. Thanks for sharing!


João Leitão VIAGENS

I just love this new topic of yours! great tips indeed. I’m on the road traveling at the moment soI had to take some TIME off to focus and watch your video. Greetings from Santarém – Brazil – Amazon River bank.


My next info-product is almost finished…I will give the “you should not buy” description a try on the landing page.

Since the target group is a small niche, its easy to define the people who shouldn`t buy…


Excellent advise. Will be passing on to my sales team. Thank you!


I love this… especially the points about specific numbers and providing proof. Thanks!


Great tips! I will definitely be more precise with numbers, and telling who my work is NOT for. Having proof is something I will have to focus on, since I get nervous about misquoting studies and sources, although I have a lot them them to work from.


Best video ever!
I can’t stand marketing messages that are “dishonest” in claiming to work for everyone! Drives me nuts!
I try to be as honest with my clients as I can (about their expectations and the reality of what they can achieve through their work with me).
Thanks, Derek!

Chris Aitken

Hey Derek — great content as always. In particular I’m going to update my site copy and “live” messaging (e.g., during sales calls) to be far more specific about who we are best suited to helping … and focus more on highlighting the “proof” of our prior successes.

Similar to others, was hoping for the explanation of the tie! Thought it might come out in the “bloopers” at the end …

Melissa Breau (@MelissaBreau)

Hey Derek,

I’ll definitely be using all three of these points, both when working for my clients and when working for myself.

I’ve just started work on a new website/blog (www.contentmarketingthatconverts.com) and I’m planning on including research as per credibility tip 3 — thanks to this video I’ll make sure to use precise research stats without rounding. And I’m sure point 1 will work its way in there too!


Very informative video! I hadn’t really thought about this.

I am going to
1. Make a checklist for my blog so I consider these things whenever I do a blog post
2. Put something in my shop intro about who my jewelry is not for (people who only want to buy the cheapest thing and don’t care about quality.)

Thanks for sharing this!


Social proof has always been a strong force to persuade people. However, I really like the first point you make in particular, because it also reconfirms the identity of the people who are already interested by saying that this product or service is not for x or y.

On one part you don’t come across as needy or desperate, since you’re arguing against yourself, but you also paint the picture of the kind of person that your prospect obviously isn’t similar to. If you let your prospect confirm this observation about him- or herself it will be very hard to resist your offer, since people like their actions to be consistent with what they’re saying. Good stuff Derek!


Almost forgot… nice shirt and tie. And yeah, what is up with it?


Isn’t ivory soap 9.44% pure? Didn’t they even use that in their jingle?!?
Seriously, this was one of your best–the cool rewind effects added a lot.
Imprecision is a personal pet peeve. I like two decimals with percentages, though sometimes I’ll use 1 when it is more credible with a small sample size.
I am big on believing in companies who will send me to a competitor if they can’t help–even if they could help next week, but I need a product this week. That’s how to get a return customer.
And I love research. I love reviewing journals and looking at data–I’m kinda weird that way! I know it’s old fashioned, but this–and being a trained writer–is why I am not into self-publishing. I think that skips a credibility step.


    oops…99.44% Sorry Ivory Soap.

Thai Wood

Hey Derek,

I’ll be changing my website to use precise numbers. Not only because of your great video, but research from Columbia University, published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, showed that precise numbers are very effective in negotiation too.


You’re right, not every product is for everyone… we should argue against our interest… Perhaps someone will think that we’re bragging… but surely they will be curious about WHY.

And THE WHY is definitely part of social triggers… Very good video Derek.

Rod Flores

Great … I’m learning I encourage to use and be expert in this 3 ways …

Thank you you’re helping a LOT !!!

God Bless!


I am a custom portrait photographer, and I had had the thought in the past to write or present something to the effect of “my services/custom portraits are not for everyone”. This would help me quickly weed out clients who just want cheap photos. I haven’t implemented this yet because I didn’t know if it would be too negative. But after hearing your argument, I’m going to revisit this idea. Thanks!


I’m glad you didn’t say one of the three points for gaining credibility was wearing a tie 🙂 What’s up with that?


I think I’m going to use all 3 of these tactics on all of my landing pages. I’ll definitely be using them in my blog articles as well. Thanks, Derek!

Sarah Barrett

Hey Derek,

Love the idea of arguing against yourself. Definitely builds trust when people think you’ve got something to lose.

Dig the tie!


Absolutely agree with this.
More coaches/experts should include descriptions in their offers for “Who This Product is For” and “Who This Product is NOT For”
I don’t agree with the marketers who call this a “damaging omission”…at the end of the day you want to attract your tribe (or long term customer).
Good job – keep the good stuff coming!
Btw…you’re very “Noo Yawk” sounding (Not picking on you, I am from NY too)

Frank Schwarz

I guess you are right. At least 99.9342% of the time.
Great stuff. More precise numbers do ring more true to me then the simple rounding off that the news folks use.

Thanks again!


All three points are smart-on! THANK YOU!

I plan on using the precise number and provide proof more often. I have been using the “non-self serving” approach, but like you, I’d been a little lazy on the precise number aspect and hadn’t thought about promoting the “proof” aspect as I needed to do.

Always good to “see” and “hear” your valuable insights!
Great stuff!


Great video. I want to improve in using that first principle, by being much more specific about who can benefit from our programs. I will have to really work on our language when arguing against self interest to put it in a soft way. I like this idea, and I know it does work on me.


Solid video with very practical tips. Thank you.

In this vid, you seemed to “mean business” a little bit more than in the past videos. By this, I mean, it felt more serious and less animated, which I think also inculcates more credibility. When I watch or listen to content that features someone who is shouting or moving around, it makes me less confident in their credibility. It’s as though they are compensating for something or squeamish.

Anyways, I thought your delivery of the info in this video was your best performance yet. Well done man!

Alisa Meredith

PS – This is my favorite video of yours so far.

    Derek Halpern

    Glad you liked it!

Alisa Meredith

I just started a new blog post to remind myself to write about who SHOULDN’T hire us. Also, love the “exact numbers” tip. Makes so much sense, it should be obvious – but it’s not 🙂

    Derek Halpern

    What’s funny is: There are some people who will say “that was obvious” and assume they knew it all along. Oh, hindsight bias.

      Alisa Meredith

      Haha, yes. For me, it was kind of a face-palm video. Seven minutes of “why didn’t I think of that?” Sharing.

Jordan Coeyman

I have 3 meetings today for meetings with potential clients. This could not have been released on a better day (for me). I’ve now got a few numbers to bring along to help sell my solution, and tactics to try to persuade them. You might be getting a mushy thank you e-mail later tonight.

I also enjoyed the effects you tried out (the green screen, the “rewind” effect), and the length of this video. It was value packed the whole time.

Thanks Derek, you my boy!

    Darlene with BlogBoldly

    Hey Jordan..

    Why don’t you come back to this page and let us all know?

    I’m already curious about your outcome.

    Good luck!

    darlene 🙂

Harry Heijligers

Thanks Derek, very useful! So simple and so effective. Especially the rounding numbers idea is something I do always because I think that people than easier understand what I’m saying. But then it is maybe more clear, but less credible!


Hey Derek,

Great video PERIOD… This is 100% on point, I have a new product that is the first of its kind and generating ridiculous interest… YES the product is great, but if was were to be honest, the majority of our interest/international sales came from our Market research that we conducted that we used in meetings to show our credibility that we know what our clients are going through regarding the retail industry. The facts for amazing, and had our clients responding “WOW we didn’t know that”. Its the best sense of accomplishment when you present to a client that has been in retail for many years and they say something like that.. Kudos to you my friend, your on top of your game with this video.

Joeal Manimtim

Hi Derek,

The first 2 tips are things I can work on immediately and something that I really haven’t thought about before.

Great tips but the question at the beginning of your video is “how can you prove and earn your credibility?”. Meaning you still have to be somewhat credible to be credible.

The tie suits ya! Cheers..

    Derek Halpern

    Of course.

    You have to be at least somewhat good at what you do ;-P


Great and concise points D!

2 Takeaways I got from this that I will be using:

1. When prospects ask me to do work for them, I try to please them all. Reality is, the work I do is not for everyone. Thus, I am writing down guidelines on who I take on as a client, which will make my decision process easier.

2. I am guilty of rounding numbers myself (especially in headlines). I will from now on use exact numbers in all of my case studies.

Keep the value bombs coming!

    Derek Halpern

    Awesome Boris. The whole rounding numbers thing will get ya 😀

      Rahul Kuntala

      Great thing about the “longest video so far on SocialTriggers tv” is this: I didn’t even realize it was a 7-minute video.

      I was so involved. You know how to persuade people Derek 😉



Leave a comment