Learn in the Light

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode, Dan Sanchez shares abo ut his journey into thought leadership, and what it means to "learn in the light." 

Yeah, welcome back to another episode of B two B growth. I'm dan Sanchez, Friends call me dan Chevez and I'm here to talk to you about a problem with thought leadership because while I've been learning about this topic, been fascinated by this topic and talking to some of the experts, I've run into a major problem with thought leadership and that's Most people want to be one. The problem is there is not necessarily a clear path On how to become one. Now, if you a week ago or maybe two weeks ago, I covered a topic called authentic thought leadership. It's crazy that I have to even throw the word authentic in front of it because there's so many fake file leaders out there. But it is a real thing. There are true thought leaders. You probably have other podcasters, authors, other people you're listening to and hearing from stage whatever that you're listening to and are influencing you right now. They are legitimate thought leaders. They are helping you serving you and helping...

...you achieve your ambitions, your goals. You're helping you wish giving you strategies, tactics, whatever they are and whatever sphere of life. Some of them are marketers, right? They're real. And there are authorities out there and we talked about the three characteristics of authentic thought leadership, being expertise, contributing unique slash helpful ideas and having authority. That those are the three keys of being a thought leader. Otherwise, you know, you're a faker, Ak poser, A k a charlatan, right? Nobody wants to be that. So then what do you do if you aspire to be a thought leader? Right? It always feels like, well, it feels Presumptions to push up my ideas, like thus, Saith the dan, Right? So what do you do when you aspire to be a thought leader? But, you know, you're you're good at what you do, you're probably, you're great professional, but you know that, you know, whether you're an expert or not, it's like uh it's hard to say You have...

...some unique ideas, but they're not like research back. You don't have like 1000 surveys, like giving you stats to pull from. You have been doing this for 15, years and have substantial evidence that it always works. You know, you don't have authority because even though you have some following on social media, you just kind of like, uh like what is an authority? Like how do you measure that? Right? So how do you do it? When can you call yourself a thought leader? Well, I have a theory hypothesis for you. This is what I'm currently doing to do this, right? And it's a concept I like to call learning in the light, learn in the light, here's how it works. Don't position yourself as a thought leader. I know this is kind of counterintuitive, but you don't want to add the word thought leader to your bio. You don't want to add the word thought leader to your headline shoot. Actually, let's just call it out. The first rule of thought leadership is you don't call yourself a thought leader. The second role of thought leader is equally important.

You don't call yourself a thought leader, You just never do. You never will because you don't really need to. So here's the reason here's what you can do. Instead, as a marketer, you're probably brainstorming outside the box ideas to engage your prospects and customers working remotely. And you've probably thought about sending them direct mail to break through the zoom fatigue. But how do you ship personalized gifts to remote decision makers? When you have no idea where they're sitting at B. B. Growth? We use the craft and platform to send hyper personalized gifts to anyone working from anywhere. Crafting makes it easy for your prospects and customers to pick and personalize their own gift in real time and offers highly secured data capture. So decision makers feel comfortable submitting their home addresses for shipping purposes to get your own personalized craft and gift. Go to craft um dot io slash growth to schedule a demo and receive a complimentary personalized gift from craft. Um To claim your personalized gift, go to craft um dot io slash growth. You start by position yourself...

...as a student. Again, you position yourself as a student, even if you're a professional, even if you're an expert position yourself as a student, it will go better for you because I'll be honest, I have people that have quote unquote expertise and unique ideas. They have phds in their field and then they come and pitch me. I want to be on the show but I turned them away because I don't know them. I don't know their ideas. Sounds okay. It's gonna it's not a problem I'm thinking a lot about and that's usually part of the problem right? Is there just not really relevant? But they don't know them. They don't have authority. I don't I don't know like I can see that they have a valid degree and that they've been seen on T. V. And stuff but I don't know them. So I'm not gonna they don't they don't have authority with me. But you need to be able to build authority at a time over time and it's easier to do it when you position yourself as a student. So a fun rhyme...

...that I have stuck in my head that helped me remember this is if, if they watch you grow, they'll know that, you know, if they watch you grow, they'll know that, you know, because the problem with the ph d that has come ph d s that have come to me before is that I like, I get an idea that they, they know what they know. But if I had seen them from the beginning, posting and earning authorities step by step, I would probably trust them a lot more. Like we've all seen this with people around us that we've been watched, we've watched on linkedin, we've watched on social media, maybe we've been watched on Youtube, right? Um, people that have grown and influence over time and then we really respect them as we saw them when they were nothing and then we watched them grow and they're learning, We watched them grow and their expertise and their authority, and that's what you need to do. We all needed to humble ourselves, like stop calling ourselves experts. I'm not I still have a lot to a long way to go. I've only been a year into this topic and I've gone deep, but I'm like, man, I still have so much to...

...learn. And even if you are an expert, isn't there always more to learn? Isn't that kind of the dichotomy of learning? You only learn how much, how much more you need to learn, right? Like usually learn people, people that have gotten more degrees or spent more time trying to figure out how things work. Say these things. It's because there's always more to learn so we can always be positioned as students. And the funny thing happens when you actually position yourself as a student is that people don't are less likely to like call you out for being presumptuous, they're less likely to throw you under the bus for your bad ideas because if you position yourself as a student, it's hard to hate you, right? You're coming off humble and so they're not trying to pull you off your high horse, there's no high horse, you're starting, you're just like, hey, I'm just here on the ground trying to learn it works much better that way. Here's some ways you can position yourself as a student and grow in real authority as they actually watch you learn, as they watch you grow, as they watch you interview the experts, they watch you contribute...

...ideas. So the first thing you gotta do is just share what you're learning on social media from day one, you can set a goal to be a thought leader, don't say that you're setting a goal to be a thought leader. Just say, hey, I'm trying to, I'm trying to learn how to do this well, whether it's email marketing or if your company, if you're trying to even position your company as this as an expert or authority in this one topic, you can just say, hey, we're trying to master this. We're trying to figure out how to make this a better world in this way and then share your learnings as you go from the books you read from the blogs you read, give credit where it's due, show that you can actually take in the information and participate in the existing conversation that's going on in that particular niche field. Ask good questions. In fact, it's one of my favorite things about having a podcast because you have an excuse to go and talk to all the authors, all the writers, all the other podcasters, all the people with phds that are are...

...authorities in the space to invite them on the show and have conversations with them. So what I'm doing right now in this series on Thought leadership, I'm growing in my learning and you can use a podcast to be able to do that very well. Yeah. So part of this whole series has been selfish for me to learn and to grow. But it's also great content for you as you get to learn with me with all these experts and thought leaders on this show. So share what you're learning on social media from all the books and podcasts and interviews and research and tests and experience of you just testing out the different stuff, share it, take screenshots of it asked good questions on social media. There's a lot of experts that love to share what they learned. Then after you've learned some things you can go and help other people at first it'll just be the people that are a few steps behind you. But there's usually way more people at the very beginning stages of any topic than there are people at the advanced or expert stages. So there's always more people that need help in the beginning. Go and help them find the questions,...

...find the things that they're talking about and engage with them in their posts and their comments. This is a slow game. But as you help one person after another after another after another you will start to build authority One person at a time it works. I've seen it work. I've only been at this for a year but I'm already starting to see the effects of it and I'm just showing up in the comments. I'm showing up in the D. M. S. When people ask me a question, I shoot them video responses sometimes. Um just sharing the things that I've learned that have gotten me to where I'm at and I still have a freaking long way to go. So help people and then you'll find that over time as you learn and as you grow you'll start to develop your own ideas about how things work and you'll start to actually have some practice in it. You'll start to form an opinion that might differ from some of the common generic advice that's out there because you've been testing and you've been helping people, you've been having conversations about social media and everybody's been kind of watching this happen. So you'll start to share ideas, you put out unique ideas and sometimes...

...will be shot down. Sometimes people be like oh shoot dang, that's good. Um and sometimes you as a student, remember you need to position yourself as a student throughout the process. I would even ask for feedback on things like hey had this idea what if such and such were more like such and such, right? You like you have these ideas and you throw them out there and you be like just a unique idea. What do you guys think and invite criticism? Truth be told. It actually makes you better, helps you learn faster because somebody more experienced than you, more of an expert than you. And there's always some out there, we'll be able to point out some flaws with it, right? And that's where thought leaders or people professed thought leaders get in trouble is they're, they're coming up with ideas and not even validating and not even really having a conversation about it before. They're they're pitching their ideas. Don't do that, throw your ideas out there, test them, see how people react to them. That's what the real, authentic thought leaders are doing their testing ideas just like good comedians, go and test all their jokes in front of small crowds over and over and over again and...

...refine them, refine them. You need to do the same thing with your ideas. I've been practicing this and it works remarkably well on linkedin, but I'm sure it works pretty well on twitter as well. And over time you share your ideas, you perfect them, you make them better, you can publish them in bigger and broader ways. You go from small social post to longer meaty blog post to a full on book with a collection or portfolio of your ideas that are all around a central theme or a topic that address something and then you're starting to become a thought leader. But you've never called yourself a thought leader, You've never positioned yourself as a thought leader, you were just a student that was there to help. And that's kind of the secret. If you want to learn in the light, you position yourself as a thought leader, your humble yourself and you just say, I want to serve people by learning as much as I can about this topic and helping others with the problems in this particular niche space. And over time, over the years of learning and...

...the years of helping, in the years of just helping others, you will just be a thought leader, you will just be the one everybody trust on this topic because you've helped so many people, they've watched you grow, they've watched you wrestle, they've watched you help one person after another, that's how real authority is built. And that's kind of the answer to the problem. You can't just come off the scene, not even with the PhD, which is credible. You can't even just launch off the scene as an unknown and just be like, here I am like, open the curtains, I have arrived to take care of your problems. No, you can't do that. You gotta do it one person at a time and kind of go low to be able to be an authentic thought leader. So this is an idea of mine. I've actually tested it on linkedin. I've kind of gotten feedback and refined it. Um and I want to do that now, I do not, I'm not the expert in this and this is just something is a hypothesis that I come up, came up with and I love your feedback on this. Let me practice what...

I preach right now. Like I want your feedback. Does this ring true. Have you seen circumstances where this isn't the case? And somebody became a thought leader, one that you actually respect that just launched on the scene and then everybody knew them, love them, trusted them. I'd love to know. Let me know at Lincoln dot com slash en slash digital marketing dan. I answer all my direct messages that aren't automated and anyone that comes from the show and answers me there. I certainly love to have conversations with. So let me know How did this go? Are you on linkedin? That's a stupid question. Of course, you're on linkedin here, Sweet fish. We've gone all in on the platform. Multiple people from our team are creating content there. Sometimes it's a funny gift for me. Other times it's a micro video or a slide deck and sometimes it's just a regular old status update that shares their unique point of view on B two B marketing leadership or their job function. We're posting this content...

...through their personal profile, not our company page and it would warm my heart and soul if you connected with each of our evangelists, we'll be adding more down the road. But for now you should connect with Bill Reed, R. C 00 Kelsey Montgomery, our creative director dan Sanchez, our director of audience growth Logan Lyles, our director of partnerships and me, James Carberry. We're having a whole lot of fun on linkedin pretty much every single day and we'd love for you to be a part of it.

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