B2B Growth: Your Daily B2B Marketing Podcast
B2B Growth: Your Daily B2B Marketing Podcast

Episode 2091 · 11 months ago

Kickstart Your Thought Leader Journey With the 30/30/30 Plan

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode, Dan Sanchez shares his methodology for accelerating the process of becoming a thought leader through the 30/30/30 Plan. 

Essentially, ready 30 books, interview 30 experts, and write 30 blog posts to learn about the topic, build relationships, and begin building authority on a niche topic. 

Yeah, welcome back to be to be growth. I'm dan Sanchez with sweet fish Media and today I'm talking about how to kick start your path to becoming a thought leader. And we've already talked about many episodes that one you should never call yourself a thought leader, but to it's worth trying to become one because really a thought leader is someone who is an expert, contributing original ideas that has authority in order to advance and industry in order to help a group of people, which is a good thing to do. Now. Of course there is a lot of credibility that's built with this and therefore is very, I don't know, profitable, right? So a lot of people try to kind of misuse and manipulate this, practice this process in order to scam people and that's not what we want. We don't want to presume anything, so we'll never call ourselves thought Leader. So if you never call yourself a thought leader this, you won't have a problem with that because you're not going to try to use and abuse it. You're never going to call yourself an expert a thought leader and authority. You're just going to put out helpful ideas that help people. But after reading multiple books on this topic, I found that no one really had a great game plan for how to become a thought leader, especially actually there are a lot of books and they're great. I will say there's lots of books that will walk you through this. But I found that there was not a lot aimed at somebody who was kind of starting not from the bottom, but from just kind of like the baseline of being a professional in the topic, which is where I found myself starting, right? It's probably where you're starting. If you're listening to this now, you're probably not a thought leader yet, but you want to be, you know, you have some of the goods, you know, you have the ambition to become one and I'm telling you right now, that that is a good thing. Yes, that is not just pure selfish ambition to be a genuine and authentic thought leader. You have to want to help people and that's what we're here to do, and that's what I'm here to help you with in that process, no matter what industry you're in, no matter what your specialty is or what profession you're is, this will work in a lot of different situations. It will certainly work for marketers and BTB settings and it might help you as a marketer, help somebody else, Maybe a subject matter expert, become a thought leader, even though technically right now they're just a subject matter expert. They don't have quite the authority today. I want to show you how to kick start it. Um, with something I'm calling the 30 30 30 plan. And again, this is hypothesis. Like many of the ideas I've presented over the last month in this thought leadership series, um, is something I've done myself. It's something I've worked on to some degree with others. But this is just a hypothesis. By the time this is actually proven and well known, it might be different, it might be passed the time this idea is useful, but still I thought I'd throw it out here for everybody to hear. And I think once you hear it, I've tested this on linkedin. I've talked, I've talked to lots of people about it. It tends to hit home, it tends to resonate, it feels right, but I don't have any empirical evidence, but I wanted to tell you that to kind of like just be on the forefront. Like I don't have like tons of research that validates that this is beyond, without a shadow of a doubt the path to becoming a thought leader, but it's working for me so far and I think it'll work for you too. Oh, and in addition to this plan, I'm going to talk to you about how a podcast specifically, especially a personal podcast can help accelerate this whole thing and actually becomes like the tool that I think is probably the secret weapon of thought leadership, my opinion. But First let's walk into the plan and then as we go through each step of the plan, I'll tell you how I would accomplish this with a podcast. So the plan, the 30, 30 30 plan is 30 bucks, 30 interviews and 30 blog posts. This is what you need to do in order to kick start your path to becoming a thought leader. Now, of course this isn't this isn't going to like doing this plan isn't going to take you from a professional in your industry to expert...

...overnight. Like you can't just execute the plan in 90 days and then bam you're gonna be rolling in authority. No, but this is going to get you way beyond where you're probably at now and some people, you know, some of you are further along than others in doing this. But I've done this three times now or parts, I've done this fully twice in parts of this a third time and I can tell you man, things start to really change for me every single time I do this and once I just did it even recently and it it started taking my my perception of others in a kind of a direction that I wasn't even trying to go in, but because I was executing this plan, people started perceiving me as an expert and I would say, just starting to perceive me like I was starting to get into the crowd of like people known for this topic and I'll talk more about that later. But let's dive into the plan 1st 30 bucks. If you want to be a thought leader first, you have to be an expert and you can't be an expert without knowing everything that's been read on this next topic. Now, hopefully you're already a professional, you're already well aware, you already have hands on experience with this thing you've been doing it for, I don't know, at least five years, like you, you went through college, you've been doing this for five years. If you didn't go through college, then generally they kind of like, say, You know, add another five years of experience to equal college or whatever. But you've been doing this for a while. You've already read books generally and broadly on this topic. But to read 30 books is different to go into one single niche and read just about every book written on the topic. Now, if there's more than 30 books on the topic, then the niches too big go down lower. Like actually specialize in something that has 30 books or less. I'd say between 15 and 30 books should be about the mile marker. It's give and take because sometimes it's hard to define the lines of where a topic starts and stops, right? So I just say 30 books because you need to know what's been said, You need to know about all the ideas that have come before you otherwise, how do you know if you're contributing a unique idea, You don't, if you haven't read all the books on the topic, you have no idea if your idea is original. So starting with the 30 books on the topic is the best way to go. This also helps in a few other ways and that um if you listen to my other podcasts about learning and the light, you can start going on social media and sharing what you're reading, sharing your insights from it, sharing your favorite passages from these books. Maybe doing a blog post with all the like, like quotes from the books that you loved have all crossed all the books and people will start to kind of understand like, hey, hey, you're into that thing. Uh Susie keeps posting about these things. She keeps reading book after book and she keeps posting some of the best insights I've seen, right, great summaries of the books. She must be into this, right? You're sowing seeds to build authority later. Just by reading and talking about the books on social media. Now some of you are listening to me in like 30 books dan. I I hardly, I hardly read five books throughout college. Like 30 books dan. That's a lot of books. I'm not that big of a reader. Let me tell you, reading 30 books on one topic isn't as hard as you would think. Here's why when you have a really knits up niche subject, let's take let's give an example. I did the first time I did this was for nonprofit marketing. I was working for a non profit and I was trying to learn everything there ever had been written on the topic of nonprofit market. This is how I started to find that this was a thing that this actually worked to build credibility and get me into this space. There was 16 books on this topic and I went and read them all and honestly reading them all took way less time than I thought. I thought I was going to be into the slog of reading 16 books. It actually probably took the amount of time of 15-6, sorry, it took even though was 16 books, it took about The same amount of time to read six books. Because when you're reading all on one topic, naturally, naturally, if it's...

...that niche, they cover the same information over and over and over again and that's okay. This is something PhD students have to learn to do is that they start reading a lot of books. And then once they're, once they've picked their topic to write their dissertation on and do the research on. They've read all the books. So you have to learn how to fly through books faster by only looking and scanning for new information. Once you're on book two or three, like you start to find that there's just some repetitive information. You know, how many times I had to read about like social media marketing and the nonprofit space. And it just walked through the basics of setting up your account and thinking about who you're targeting and writing your first post. You know, many books covered that. I didn't have to read that again. I just kind of glanced at the page, knew what the content wasn't skipped. So I'm flipping towards the end, you're hardly reading every word. You're just scanning each page and here I am, flipping through each and every single page and scanning for new information. So you don't have to read every word of every book to have read every book on the topic because you have read at all, you're just not going to reread the same thing, but in different words. And that's kind of a shortcut that people don't really know about because most people don't think to read every book on a single topic, it's easier than you think just do it once you do it. The benefits of it our way are huge one. You just gain a sense of confidence knowing you've read every book on the topic. It allows you to speak with a little bit more authority when you say like, hey, my favorite thing about this or one thing I disagree with or like when you just writing about it and talking to people about it, you kind of know a lot more because you've, you know, confidently that you've read everything out there From the main books. Everybody talks about all the way down to the obscure kindle books that has five reviews. Yeah, I read those two again. Just pick a niche topic that has no more than 30 books on it. And your your father far enough down you might also add to that is extra credit research that's been done, top ranking blog posts, Listen to the top podcasts in the industry. So it's like, it doesn't have to end with books. Obviously you can do a lot more highly recommend going to go into google scholar and putting in your topic and looking for, you know, like a dozen different research reports. Those are really good to know if you want to be an expert on the topic and you have to know everything that's been before. Go and look at those things too. Now, what would be helpful with a podcast is just recording what we are reading and then sharing your insights about the book. There's whole podcast just around book reviews and they're great podcast because you can learn a lot about from a book without having to read the whole book in about a 30 minute or 10 to 30 minute podcast episode. You can do that. And the reason why I would recommend it is because it forces you to kind of think through what you've read, what you liked about the book, what you didn't like about the book, kind of take some of your things you underlined in it and share it with an audience. It just forces you to kind of chew on it a little bit more and you get to make content with it in the process. If you've listened to me, you know, I've reviewed multiple books on this podcast um in this series and in the past a. B. M. Series that I've done. Um and it creates its great content because people want to know about great books. So I'm highlighting some of the best books I've read on topics here on this podcast. So it's good content and it starts by recording and sharing that content again kind of like posting to social media. It starts to build your authority on the topic after you do book after book after book. Now I don't recommend doing this with all 30 books because some of the books are gonna be crap, let's be honest. But maybe the top five books record a podcast episode on those. The second part is the 30 interviews. So part of the 30-30 plan is to interview 30 experts in the field. Once you've read 30 books it's starting to become clear who those people are because some of them are the authors. Some of the authors reference other experts in the field. So as you're reading, you can start making a list of all the people you want to talk to. This helps in multiple ways. One, once you've read all the content or have read a lot of the content, not that you...

...have to like finish one section before you move on to the next. Being able to talk to the experts takes your knowledge to the next level. Because you could start to test your understanding, you could start to ask the questions that weren't clear in the books. You could start to take some of your favorite ideas that you've read about and ask the author about them and start digging deeper because believe me, every time an author writes a book, they're leaving like they're due slicing and dicing and leaving things off the table. There's more to everything they've shared. There's more stories, there's more research, there's more history behind every single idea they presented in the book and a podcast. You can take some of your favorite things and pull them out of the experts if their authors and then find the people that you want to learn from that haven't written books, maybe they're just really active on social. Maybe they've done a lot of research, maybe they're a professor at a university, maybe they're a famous entrepreneur, a business person, whatever that person is, you can go and learn from them first hand and interview them. This does something else other than just learning from them to increase what you know and understand and how you, in the grass that you have on the subject matter, you build relationships if you want to become a thought leader in a space, you can't just like launch onto the scene without anybody knowing you. You have to build a network a little bit. And by interviewing these experts, they start to get to know you. So when they see you or hear about you later, they'll be like, oh yeah, I've met I've met that person before. We did a podcast interview together. Huh? They just published a book on it. Oh, I just saw their social media posts. Oh they just got mentioned in this journal, this this thing, they're going to know you and they can validate that. I don't know. It just it comes back around to you and I can't say like all the ways that it will happen. There's not like a distinct way this will happen, but by having all these people know you and your spending time with them. So there's a lot of them are going to remember you. It helps you build authority later and of course by interview them. Hopefully you're recording it and you can publish this content later on to again, begin building some of your own authority, not that you're putting out your own ideas yet, but by sharing all the things that you're reading and all the people that you're talking to, people start to get a sense that you're kind of into this thing and that you're learning a lot and sharing really good ideas or others ideas at first, right as you go, that you start to become a perceived expert because you're the one hanging out with all the experts and just by hanging out with them and posting the content that you've been talking to them about something starts to happen. It's something James Carberry talks about in his book called content based networking. It's called he calls it the Oprah effect. You start to become perceived as an expert in that thing just through association, just by having your name next to their name and having conversations with them and then putting that out there in the public space association starts to take place and people start to some of the expertise of all the people you're interviewing starts to rub off on you. This is why we call it the Oprah effect because Oprah does this better than anybody else, right? There's a reason why Oprah is so beloved by everybody because she meets with some of all the coolest people on the planet, right? Interviews them, gets into their raw, vulnerable stories, uses empathy to like bring out the best, but she's talking to the best people, right? So over time over interview after interview, after decade, after decade, Oprah is a powerhouse because she's taken association from lots of people. Not like stolen it from them, but some of it's rubbed off on her slowly over time and she's interviewed that many people so that can happen to you, especially when you really focus it in while she's really broad and it took her a long time to do that. If you focus it in really tight to a very narrow subject, that will happen with you much faster, especially if you're sharing it on social. Again, learning in the light along the way. Now, of course, this is obviously where podcasting shines the best because it's easy to jump on assume call push record or if you want to upscale it a little...

...bit riverside dot FM is probably a little bit higher recording quality. But either way it doesn't really matter. The point is getting on recording and then just pushing that recording out onto a podcast, you don't even have to be fancy about it, you can just publish it free to anchor intro, you don't even have to have an intro and outro necessarily. Um it's also a lot easier to get an audience with these experts if you have a podcast and the podcast is named around their expertise that usually the experts are some of the easiest people to get a hold of when it comes to podcasting because they're trying to build a platform for themselves to and by saying, hey could you come on my podcast, the likelihood that they're going to say yes is really high um I know because we do this for BTB growth all the time. Any time I want to meet with somebody, I'm like, hey, you want to be a guest on GDP Growth? Really? It's not because it mean usually it has to be something that you, the audience wants to hear. But A lot of times it's just because I want to learn from that person. I'm curious about what they have to say about a certain topic and I just want an audience with them. So I invite them to be on a guest on B2B growth and you can do this even with a small podcast. I've done it with the small personal podcast before. They hardly ever asked like how many downloads it gets. Um but they're really popular. They might ask you how many downloads it gets, but generally most people never even ask most people say yes. And the 3rd part to the 30 30 30 plan is 30 blog posts. There's something about writing about a topic that just forces you to think, right, This is why colleges and schools have you right? It's not because they want to read your papers. I know I've I've done a few, I've taught a few college classes and if there's anything worse than writing college papers, oh my goodness, it's reading them, they're just horrible. Still the process is a helpful exercise if you've written than, you know, right? Like writing about what you're learning, just forces you to think about the material as you learn how to communicate it to others. Um There's another benefit when it comes to writing blog posts and that you get to learn what people are actually asking about. I would specifically write blog posts, not to just put them out there on social, but to write to rank on google. So that when you're doing keyword research, which is I'm writing ranking on google's can be a sophisticated topic but I honestly just, I can't even have time to cover this now. Just google the word alphabet soup and then an article will explain how to find the key words out of google search index itself um or Youtube video or something. But once you find the keywords that people are actually asking around the topic, you can start to get an understanding of like what, where the shortfalls are, like where people are confused about said topic because believe me, a lot of the experts write about things in academic journals and then just trade publications about things that other experts are asking about. They're not asking about what people are asking about or what your prospects are asking about or what the people you want to become perceived as an expert in on this topic, what questions they're asking about. So go to google, find out what people are actually google searching for and write those blog posts, become an expert in the topic and the questions people are asking all the time. It's a good place to start because generally the things that are the most googled are the things that beginners asking. That's where we all go. When we have a question about a new topic, we go straight to google. So answer their questions, become an expert and the things that they're asking about And by the time you've read 30 books and you've talked to 30 different experts on it, chances are you can write those blog posts with ease. they're not easy to write, but they're not that difficult either. Um The trick to writing for google to is writing easy to consume yet exhaustive blog posts. Not long winded, it's not about word count necessarily, but you want to write in depth content. So usually it's going to be about a 1,202,000 word article to answer the topic and you're aiming to make the most useful blog post on every single question to rank for number one. That's the kind of blog post you want to write, you want to write the blog post that it's going to be the most helpful. Don't worry about back links, don't worry about all the technical stuff. Just write the article that you think...

...is way more Helpful than the top three ranking articles and you're well on your way. So That has a few benefits, right? one. It forces you to think to your learning what people are asking about, getting a feel for the topic and what the beginners are asking. And then three again you're creating content to begin publishing, to search, publishing to social, and you're starting to build authority because now you're not just talking about what you're learning from others now, you're starting to put out your own stuff. And um honestly, in some of these blog posts, you might add some of your own two cents, right? And you should by now you've wrestled with the material, you've had conversations about it. You're starting to think as you right, and you're probably coming to some of your own conclusions. Again, hopefully you're a professional in the field already, and you're starting to put some of these ideas to use in the workplace. As you're going through this process, you're actually getting your hands dirty and testing it and playing with it as you're getting all these learnings from these books and these experts, and as you write about it, you're testing it out and you're going to share some of those tests and some of those experiments you've done in your day job in the blog post to make it more personal, making it more personable. But also just start sharing like, hey, I'm wrestling with us. I tried this and this expert recommended this. So I did this and this happened, that starts to build authority again. A podcast can make this easier. If you hate writing, you can actually shortcut the process through a podcast. You still have to do the keyword research. You still have to outline the blog post. But instead of writing it yourself, what you can do is jump on a podcast. Kind of like I am now, in fact, I'm going to do this with this, this very topic. This very episode is that I'm talking about it and now I can take this episode and hand it over to a writer that knows how to write blog posts and they can write it for me. I'm still, I'm still forced with having to come up with the content. But if you're great at speaking and not at writing, I like doing both. I like writing my own blog post, but there's many blog posts that I just didn't have enough time to write. So I handed it off to a writer after recording a blog posts like this one and then they can write it. Then that blog post can rank and you can start to build authority because you're the one showing up on google when people are asking the questions. And that way you get two pieces of content with it, right? You get the audio and the written one. So that's where a podcast can really help you kind of again speed up the process and build authority in multiple places. So that is the 30 30 30 plan. Again, I've tried this three different times, one with nonprofit marketing and I really started to build up credibility there. It started picking up momentum much faster than I thought. I probably spent three months on this and I launched a podcast. Um I started posting on social and I uh I read all the books in a short amount of time and started interviewing experts on the topic and I remember just feeling the momentum going up and people kept showing up being like, wow dan. I mean I knew you were a nonprofit marketer but I didn't know like I didn't know like you were this deep into it, what they were trying to communicate to me over and over again. It's like wow dan. Like I'm perceiving you to be a bigger expert in this than I thought as people would begin messaging me about it podcast like experts that I was just asking questions to wood. Like after the interview would be like, wow dan. I didn't know you were like, I didn't realize how good you were at this, which is funny because I was only asking them questions and they were the one talking, they were the experts and they were perceiving me to be the expert. That's just what starts to happen. Especially when you start to do all these things together because you're, you're dropping books, you're like, oh I like that idea. Remember this other author talked about that when you're starting to drop references like that because you've been reading and researching everything, you start to sound knowledgeable and it's because you are and it's not that hard to go through this process. You can get this done. Yeah, I mean you can you can do it as faster, as short as you can just depends on how much time and effort you put into it. You can knock the 30 books out in about 30-90 days. You can knock the 30 interviews out in one month. I'm doing it right now. Um it's a lot of work. Um You can do 30 blog post, probably takes the longest, but it's possible to get it done in two months depending on how fast you write or how fast you can outsource it. So I've done...

...this again, I get it with nonprofit marketing and I wrote I did the 30 books, I did the 30 interviews and I did the 30 blog posts. And it started to take off really fast and I did it in a short amount of time, probably like all of it together, probably four months. Um I did it again with account based marketing not long ago and I only did part of it. I read there was only 12, 13 books on the topic. So I read all of those over the course of the month and I did 30 interviews over the course of the month of this last february and I didn't write any blog posts on the topic. But already I was talking I was posting about it on linkedin as I was reading books, doing podcasts on the books, doing podcast with lots of experts. A lot of the biggest names in the topic on a. B. M. And I didn't have a lot of experience. In fact the whole premise I had for that that deep dive was that I know I don't know anything about this. I've only read a book on it. I'm still new to B two B marketing. I don't know what's going on. Please tell me what this means. But as I started posting it on linkedin, people are like started associating me with this topic. Again, the power of association happened. The influence and confidence that I had from reading all the books in a short time period started to kick in in my interviews and in the post that I was writing about account based marketing. So people are reading, people are listening. People are hearing me associate with the names in the field. And naturally by the time the deep guy was over, people were starting to tag me and things being like, oh listen to these people on A B. M. And I was throwing showing up in those lists. I was like oh my gosh, I wasn't even trying this time to like I didn't want to be a perceived expert in a B. M. I'm still practicing it myself. I still have a lot to learn. I didn't have a baseline knowledge in it per se because I hadn't done a B. M. Before, but I was already starting to be perceived as an influencer in this space, as a leader in this space And it wasn't my thing at all. And now I've been kind of doing this with the topic of thought leadership, not because I'm a thought leader on thought leadership. Um that's kind of where I'm trying to headbutt again. I would never say it about myself. I am still a student. I still have a ton to learn a whole reason why did this 30 this deep dive right now is begin Again, doing everything I just talked about in the 30, 30 30 plan. I was trying to eat my own dog food and it's working like people I'm showing up. Unless people are starting to talk about it. All I'm doing is showing up and trying to be the most helpful in a topic that I think is important. That's it. So if this sounds interesting to you, I highly recommend like start just search for the amazon books that you think would be start making a list of all the books that you want to read by, five of them. Start reading them. Talk to others about what this might look like for you. Bring some of your counsel in and see if what topic this might be that you could focus and specialize in. It is a great path. It's been working well for me. I have a few others that I'm working on it with the team on. And again, it's just a hypothesis. So I'm feeling it working well for me, it's resonated with others. I talked to them about this plan, it doesn't get you to expertise, but it is a fantastic way to accelerate that process. So if you have any ideas about this or have any tweaks critiques about this 30 30 30 plan um ideas or if this has inspired you, I'd love to hear about it. Come find me on linkedin dot com slash science slash digital marketing dan. I love connecting with anybody from BBB growth and talking about how the podcast is. I don't know how how the podcast is sounding to you. Is it helpful? Is it not helpful? Is there something you would add to this? 3030 pretty plan? I'd love to hear it because I'm still formulating this idea and it's getting better and better with time and of course with your feedback. So let me know one of the things we've learned about podcast audience growth is that word of mouth works. It works really, really well actually. So if you love this show, it would be awesome if you texted a friend to tell them about it. And if you send me a text with a screenshot of the text you sent to your friend meta, I know I'll send you a copy of my book, content based networking, how to instantly connect with anyone you want to know. My cell phone number is 40749033 to 8. Happy next thing...

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