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Should You Pay to Be a Recognized Authority?

A consultant emailed me this question yesterday:

David, I’ve been recognized in the past by an organization as a “Top Thought Leader” in my area. For 2015, this same organization sent out another invitation for nominees, but this time they included a $99 “application fee.” When I am included in their list they send a press release and include me in their monthly magazine. Plus, I can tout the award in my email signature, website and newsletter. Do you think I should pay the application fee?

Below is my answer to the consultant’s question:

Since you’ve been recognized by this group in the past, you can claim it on your promotional materials without being recognized again. But the bigger issues to consider is this: paying $99 to be recognized totally invalidates the recognition. Setting aside whether anyone else believes in it, how could you feel good about telling people you were on the list if you had to pay to get there?

What advice would you give this consultant? Have you paid to be included on a recognition list? If so, was the investment worth it for you? If not, why not?

Post your thoughts below.


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