Authority Hacking: Gain Immediate Credibility

Posted by Anant December 28, 2022


Authority Hacking: Writing a book and becoming a thought leader has many benefits, but actually being an author is hard work. Speed up the process using this recipe.


Skype Call Recorder


Graphic Designer


1-2 Months


Becoming a thought leader has many benefits. You get invited to speak at conferences, get access to the top people in your space, and have employees and investors lining put to work with you. It’s also really hard.

One way to gain immediate credibility and influence is to write a book.

“But Justin, isn’t writing a book really hard?”

Yes, it is. But, there are ways to simplify and speed up the process by compiling information from different resources and individuals. And, in the end, writing a book gives you an inbound tool and thought leadership credibility that leads to growth and traction.

I’m going to show you how to write your book.



First, you’ll need to choose a topic. What are some hot-button issues in your industry? What subject would you like to be a recognized expert on? Go with that. It should be something that hasn’t already been written about, yet still something people care about.

In our case, we saw that Traction was something most startups struggled with. We found that today, most startups aren’t failing to build a product: they’re failing to get traction. And because we saw this need, we decided to write the book on Traction (


Once you’ve chosen a topic, it’s time to find 5-15 companies or individuals who are considered experts on your topic. Use LinkedIn to find thought leaders and CEOs of well-known companies in your space. You can also use Klout to see who is considered influential on a given topic you want to cover.

Other tools like Buzzsumo can help you discover the most-shared content for your subject. Create a list of the most popular content resources and thought leaders in your chosen industry: this will come in handy for our next step.


Once we have our list of content creators and thought leaders, it’s time to reach out to them. Rank the individuals on your list in order of how well-known they are in your industry and how closely connected to them you are.

To begin, you want to interview the best-known person that you have access to via a personal relationship or warm introduction. Once you get someone awesome involved in your book, it makes lining up future interviews with thought leaders and other busy people much easier.

When reaching out, always try to get an introduction. However, when that’s not possible, try reaching out with this simple email script:

Hey [Name],

I’m writing a book on [topic] and have already gotten [some big name or names] involved. I’ve been following your [writing, tweets, whatever] for some time now, and would love to get you involved.

Getting involved would only take 30 minutes of your time for a Skype interview. Any chance you’d like to be a part of this great resource we’re pulling together?



Once you have several interviews lined up, it’s time to conduct them. Keep the interviews to less than 45 minutes, and be sure to do your pre-call research.

In your interviews, use Skype Call Recorder to record the call. In the interview, be sure to ask the questions you (and your audience) want answered when it comes to the topic of your book. For example, if you were to write a book on growth hacking, a good line of questioning would be asking people what growth tactics have worked well for them in the past.

Once you have a few interviews recorded, use Speechpad to get your interviews transcribed for less than $50 each.


Your last step is to actually create the book! You can publish your book simply as a collection of interviews, or – the approach I recommend – you can hire a ghostwriter on Odesk to turn your interviews into a 50-100 page ebook. This can be done for less than $500.

Once you have a draft, try submitting a post to a relevant community (a subreddit or forum somewhere online) that is made up of people who care about the topic your book addresses. Ask for 5-10 people who want to read and give feedback on a book you’re working on, in return for getting free access to the book once it launches. The feedback you’ll get from this will be invaluable, and allow you to create a truly valuable resource with input from some of the people who care most about your topic.

Once you have your feedback, have your ghostwriter go through the text one more time to make changes. This entire process should cost less than $500, and in return, you should have a finished book!

As the last step, hire someone on Fiverr, Odesk, or 99designs (depending on how much you want to spend) to design an eye-catching cover for your book. This is an important step since Amazon is such a visual platform and design is a great way to indicate credibility.

Now that you have your manuscript and your cover, enroll your book in the Amazon KDP program, list it on Createspace (to provide physical copies), and use some of the tactics in the other growth recipes to get distribution for your newly minted book. Congrats – you now have an officially published book!


Now you have actionable steps that can help you publish a book in the next month. Of course, you still have to write a great book and make sure people hear about it. However, the steps above will allow you to quickly establish yourself as a leader in your chosen industry and drive many leads and growth opportunities.


Recipe courtesy of Justin Mares, co-author of Traction book (

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