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

Episode 2099 · 10 months ago

How to Find & Package Ideas to Drive Change In Your Industry

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode, Dan Sanchez talks with Matt Church, author of Thought Leaders and Thought Leaders Practice about how thought leaders can find, validate, and package their ideas to drive change in their industry. 

Yeah, welcome back to BBB growth. I'm dan Sanchez with Sweet Fish Media and I'm here with Matt Church who is the Chairman of Thought Leaders and the author of the books, Thought Leaders and Thought Leaders Practice, which I have with me here and I finished reading it a few months ago. So Matt, welcome to the show. Hey dan, thanks for having me, awesome to be here. Absolutely. As you guys know, we've been doing a deep dive on the topic of thought leadership marketing over the month of june and I've been interviewing multiple practitioners. Thought leaders, Thought Leader Thought Leaders and a variety of different episodes about the ideas around thought leadership market. Now very excited to talk to matt because it's one of my favorite books on the topic so far because he had a few unique ideas on how to not only find ideas about how to package them so they're actually useful later on and we'll be diving into multiple ideas he's expressed in his book and it's always a selfish interest for me is I get to go in and go a little bit deeper with the questions that I had from the book itself. So to kick things off matt, can you tell us a little bit about, like how did you get into the topic of thought leadership? Like what even brought you here? Because it's uh always find that there's an interesting story about that. Yeah, well, we were talking just before we hit record about the reticence to talk about myself and I think, You know this and you know, how long have we got? Right? I'm 52, so I've been doing versions of this for a long time, but I was 17, I graduated with a black belt in a martial art and started to teach kids and from that space, the idea of being a teacher uh and sharing ideas and helping you know, being fully self expressed. So training myself and then being able to share those ideas with others was the start of the journey. I've loved reading books, I've loved listening to audio recordings back in the day, it was cassette tapes and I remember the first set of cassette tapes I was given and then your audience might be a bit young, but that's like a playlist, you can't change, right? And we were doing mixtapes and in the eighties and I remember getting brian Tracy's psychology of achievement where he was laying out these principles, it was classic eighties, nineties motivational tour, personal development stuff. And that began my journey and then later in Science and Education director of the Australian Council for Health, and then getting into corporate wellness performance, leadership training. It was all just for me this this space of what do you know? And is there a way you can share it with other people that adds value and utility to their world or life? And that's, that's pretty much what thought leadership is. We can talk about it as a, as a marketing strategy for growth and it is, but essentially at its core essence, there is something, you know, an insider and expertise and that if you can share it with others in a way they value, everything gets better, Business grows personal development life improves in whatever domain. So I'm kind of just, I know that's my jam and it's it's where I love to live, so to be able to think and speak and write um and be paid to do that. It's just like Nirvana for me, yes, I love, I've been falling in love with this topic. I was talking to Grant Butler, who's another guy, not not too far from you in Australia, but he was telling me yesterday that like, journalism is a record of the past while thought leadership is really a record of the future or what you're hoping the future will hold, write a recommendation for where to go, which I thought was kind of a unique and fun concept. Considering your as a thought leader, you're you're throwing out unique ideas and trying to steer steer a bit of the future in your particular niche or industry with your expertise. So it's a fun topic. And I could see, I know your your black belt came to play and lots of the book as you talk about the different levels of uh thought leadership. But let's go back to like the beginning, if you are an expert or you're working with experts, I find the hardest part, even as I'm working with experts is they don't feel like they have a lot to contribute, right? They kind of know everything about the topic and they're just like, oh I feel like everything's been covered already. I've heard this multiple times from people like as you're working with your own clients and working maybe with your own ideas. Like how do you go about finding topics that are both unique and helpful for people to kind of call their thought leadership ideas? Well, I'm really big on insight driven, the thought leadership that doesn't mean it's evidence informed, which is one of the fields of thought leadership and it doesn't mean it's opportunity seeking. So for me, thought leadership doesn't come from a gap in the market now realizing the B2B conversation, that might be exactly what thought leadership is doing. But in from my point of view, working with individuals who might end up writing books on a matter or doing ted talks on a matter or whatever it might be, It really comes from deep contemplation and insight. So it's almost like if...

...meditation was disciplining the mind to not have thoughts that mindfulness was filling the mind with sensors. Contemplation is the third choice and you can almost see it as a left brain, right brain and the inverted triangle. And so contemplation or insight developed. Thought leadership is where it begins. And I often like to think of it as a commercial PhD and I think that the academy and the whole idea of academia has some really powerful stuff and I think it's also a little messed up. So so one of the things that makes the academy really, really powerful is literature review. And so that before you do a piece of work, like a thesis, you want to be across the body of knowledge and however you choose to do that when when I work with individuals, I go, look, you've got a topic you're wanting to write or blog or talk on or whatever it might be, I say, can you get three books for me? Can you find the classic bestseller on that? Can you then? And that means like 10 years or more, can you get the contemporary bestseller on that book? And that's like five years or less? And can you give me the current best seller? That's the book that's popped this year and now I'm not suggesting that's an exhaustive literature review, but what it gives us is it gives us the past, the recent past and the present. And so you get an idea that it's very quickly and those three sort of reads whether it be a get abstract with a four page pdf of each or inaudible on two times. Listen. And as you're listening to those books, a couple of things will start to happen. Let's imagine you were reading a book, classic old school, right? And you're a student, you read it, you highlighted paragraph and you go, yeah, that's cool, I hope I can remember that. As a teacher, you read it and you go, yeah, that's cool, how could I share that? But as a thought leader, you read it and you go, that's interesting, what do I think about that? And you pause And you pause and you ask yourself two questions. Do I want to refute or extend that idea? And you're moving into the path of contribution which is you read something, you go, yeah and in the finance sector that looks this way or in real estate that looks this way or in banking that looks this way or in software service that looks this way, so you may be going yeah and and making it relevant or you're going yeah, but and what you're doing is actually contradicting it and you're going yeah but that does not relate to small business or that does not relate to globally distributed companies. So at contribution and contradiction you start to if you like, capture your insights and I think you can do this with, you know, with quotes with uh with the abstract on a piece of research with just a really cool mantra you hear someone say or something that's on an instagram post and these are the butterflies of ideas that should float around and that you kind of want to take them and then work them. Um Probably just one more thing not to extend the answer to make it too long, but I think there's a four step process and I think people start at the top and you don't want to, you want to start at the bottom. Uh The first thing you want to do is imagine you're an art gallery and you're the curator and what you're gonna do is you're gonna go, there's some cool stuff on, let's say service experience, your or or customer usability or something, whatever it might be. You know, there's some cool stuff on this and you just start curating it, just putting it up on the wall with really strong reference. The artist of that is the artist of that is letting giving good references. Then what you do is you start to promote those that really resonates. So let's say you're on behaviour change, you'd probably get James clear and his book atomic habits. You might get Professor fog from the stanford behavior and influence clinic and the work on tiny habits. And you'd be talking about promoting those as authors. If you're encourage, you might be, you know, talking about Brown a brown, right? So you start with curating and then what you do is you propagate. So you sort of share other people's ideas. Um, then what you do is you aggregate and the aggregation is where you go. So and so said this, so and so says this and I'm wondering it makes me think about this. So it's like one to me, one to me and you share your insight. And then once you've done those three things, which is almost enough, what you can do is you can think, okay, now here's my unique insight that I'm going to contribute. But if you spend all your time trying to be terminally unique, you don't engage with the conversation that's already present in the marketplace and you kind of, it's disrespectful because obviously we're all standing on the shoulders of giants when it comes to developing ideas and it's really good to be able to join yours back to source, you know, what, where was some of the original thinking? I love how you kind of pulled it back to academia because it's kind of the process that phds go through, right? I have a friend who's in a robust PhD program and he's telling me about all the reading he's doing and of course he read broadly. Now he's going to do his niche topic and reading every book ever written on like a specific, he's going...

...to do a dissertation on a specific man in history that only has one major paper written on on the man's life. So naturally he has to go and read every book about that man, the man's work, like every good friend demands had, you know, it's kind of like he's gotta go understand the conversation that's already happened in order to even understand what he could add. That's new to the conversation that I also kind of like that in your process, you have to um essentially, I mean modern days, it looks like posting on social media. Um but it could also be if you're in the academia world posting to journals and things as you're sharing out different peoples insights but allows you to actually build a credibility as people get to watch you learn and watch you grow. Um and I think that's an important thing. I certainly have phds contact me to be on this show and it looks like they've been published in Forbes and entrepreneur, but I've never heard of them and I don't like maybe their ideas useful, but I'm like, I have no idea who you are, I'm not going to have you want me to be growth, even though it looks like you have the makings of all the credibility you would need, but by publishing it and kind of sharing it out there in those stages that you mentioned, you can kind of build credibility with the industry over time. Yeah. And I think, I think the thing whether you ever publish a book or not, and I realized that a lot of your audience might be directors or VPs or in house B two B marketers and they're like, it doesn't hurt to go imagine I'm writing a book, you don't have to, but you just think about it as a book. And then anybody who is writing a book, I say don't write a single book, write a series. Now, you don't have to write the books, you don't have to actually publish them. It's just such a useful way to kind of catalog your thinking. And uh, and I'd almost encourage people go, what's the title of your book? If I read the back page, what would it say? Give Me the Table of Contents. All right, just give me the top 50 words of every chapter. And then I go, I don't need the book, I'm good, thank you. Now and now is there a diagram that summarizes the whole book? Can you give me some circles, squares and triangles, shove them together in some way? So I get a snapshot and is there a metaphor that explains your book? Because then the contents almost irrelevant, isn't it? The 40-70,000 words that goes into a book becomes irrelevant because you've given me the insights and you've given me the architecture of the framework of your thinking. So I always love to sit with thought leaders and go what your current book project, I don't even care whether they publish them. And you know that all my books are digitally free. So I believe that our job is to not be just in the idea business, but to be an experienced business. To your point about those academics, it's one thing to know something, but it's another to be known for knowing something. And I think that's the fundamental distinction between linking thought leadership and say B two B growth or growth versus just your friend who's going deep on one person as a contribution to a body of work in society. And I go, okay, that's cool. But I'm interested, I have a bias towards utility. Can someone grab this and use it to make life or business better? And so everything in my world excuse that way. So if you walk through your process and you started to share other people's ideas, share your opinions on other people's ideas and throw out some new ideas, how do you then go about validating whether those ideas like, hold like are going to be something, maybe you would put a book behind or push out there with your name attached to it in the public sphere, knowing that people are kind of kind of ruthless on things like twitter and facebook, right? They'll tell you apart, But I'm like, no, it's completely bowl and I'm not buying it. Right? So how do you go about validating idea or kind of getting to that point? Well, my answer is, you don't have to, the market does. That's an extreme capitalist point of view, and I'm not a capitalist, I'm a classical libertarian, so I'm not socialist, not capitalist. I sort of sit in this third choice, which is you do whatever you want, as long as it doesn't stop me doing whatever I want. And when I think of the, you know, I'm Australian, right? So I look with admiration at, like, say, Aaron Sorkin's version of America and the West Wing, and I look at and I go, oh, yes, I love that. And the whole idea of emancipation, that's meant to be in the constitution. And And so for me, and I don't mean like the invisible hand of economics and the invisible hand of the market, because we know that's a flawed, flawed model, if we just look at 2008 and even more recently, right? So but to some extent I go, well are people buying your idea and they buy it with their money is the lowest form of currency, right? Like are they buying it with their time? Are they buying it with their energy? And are they buying it with their identity? Because I think money is the lowest commitment. You can join the gym by paying the money, but that doesn't mean you go you got to put in the time, you've got to put in the energy and then when you ultimately think of yourself as a cross fitter, then you can't not train, you know what I mean?...

It's like all these uh middle aged accountants who ride Harleys and identify as bikers. So it's like once identity starts to take over things work. So what I find is people gather around an idea and so the validation for me is in that Is there an audience for that idea? But we are in an outrage culture. One of the things that I really like is Professor cal Newport's work on deep focus and I really like the idea that thought leadership is the result of deep focus. Not 142 280 characters on Twitter and followership. So there's a distinction for me between thought leadership and being an influencer on social media. And I reckon the heart of your question around validation is probably in that. So I'm not looking for the superficial validation of likes. I'm looking for the significant validation that people identifying around a story and around a set of memes and insights and that being the ultimate validator. I find that most people when they approach validation are looking for some kind of mathematical or scientific approach to apply to ideas. But some ideas are easy to do to do that with. And you might be a research body and you have all the data and you just pull insights from that data. It's it's more but not all, not all insights are like that. Some of them are times, they're just epiphanies like oh well I noticed this and I noticed this and you mix them together and all of a sudden bam we have a whole different approach that seems to be working for a lot of people And sometimes can be hard to validate unless you have 10, 20 years of experience doing it. Then people tend to buy it. But sometimes you don't know if you wanna wait that long to produce to publish an idea. Maybe you just hold your idea open handed and be like, hey, this is something that's worked for us. It may not work for you. Well, obviously there's so many domains for thought leadership, Right? So there's, there's a thought leader that I work with, which is the individual solo consultant writing books and getting on the ted stage right there and they could be members of institutions, but they're like Harvard professors who then want to go out and be a brand in their own right. So if it's your name dot com, um, that's sort of the Worrell might come from. So I think that's one of the benefits of being on your show is you've got this unlike Wasabi, you wouldn't make a meal out of it, but it will make the fish taste better or the sushi tastes tastes better. So coming from that outside world view, my, my validation is if people aren't reading your books, if they aren't following your posts, if they aren't engaging with the conversations and applying it then there's your validation. It's real close as real immediate because you're so close to the customer. But if I was an entrepreneur so I was a thought leader within a large organization, I was using it to say build organizational agenda or customer engagement or or just classic sales growth. Then yeah. I think the key is if the this is probably probably more important than the algorithm is to move from convincing yourself through data and algorithm that it's a good idea and more having the conviction that that idea solves a problem that someone has. And I think that when experts develop empathy they are more able to become thought leaders. So they go from I know something to actually they figure out that part in which they know that is useful to someone else. And then the validation disappears because people go that is my problem. I have been looking for a solution that sounds like the solution and they start to engage with it in that kind of self directed self interest orientation. Um You know when you when you when you thought leadership is expressed in service to others, you get rewarded for the contribution. And so that's like this magic Venn diagram that kind of brings it all the life. I do like the way you describe people buying into and actually believing it actually acting on it. I think anybody who's done consulting knows that it's it's kind of disappointing even when people, they pay you good money for your ideas, they say thank you so much. This is so helpful. A year or two goes by and you're like how did that go? And they're like oh we never did it. But it was really good. You're just kind of like what they're like can we hire you again? You're like okay sure. If you want to keep just paying me money for ideas you don't implement right? I think I will consultant at some point. So I think you're right. I used to think of dollars is the way to validate something but really buying change and a true adoption of the idea is really is kind of like the final final goal post, right? Yeah. I love what you just did there that whole it's almost like there's a continuum right? And on the left, I'm inspired but on the right I implement and you go, well what what is it that help someone move along that curve and I feel it's a series of decisions. And so the mistake we make as thought leaders is we come in with...

...the solution. So someone asked us for the time and we tell them the history of clocks when in fact perhaps the way of looking at this is not that they're fools for paying you and not taking on the idea and I know you didn't put it that way, but rather than we haven't done the work of walking them on the journey. And for me it's really what are the three decisions that someone needs to make to move from turned on to your idea, inspired to actually doing something with it? What are the three things that stand in the way? So for example, let's say you were working with small business owners, like I know you're not, but let's say you go, you know, and that you want to teach them that turnover is irrelevant like what you turn over, who cares, It's what you take home that matters. So get the money out of your business and into assets or something like that because they're small little businesses that are never going to be sold or statistically unlikely to be sold. So this is such a good sort of hypothetical to talk about because we can all look at it and go, all right, what's the biggest problem they've got and its cash flow, what's the second biggest problem? They've got its staff and what's the third biggest problem? It's time they never take some time off. And so what you want to do is you want to talk about cash flow staff and time not take home and you come in as the expert going, let's talk about take home and they go, you know what, I just need my cash flow up. And so the idea is help them with a series of decision gates that helps them move from just simply being turned on by possibility to actually implementing things practically. And I love that the word decides, it's from the same Entomology as suicide homicide, Regicide. So all of the kill off words and and you know, homicide as I kill another suicide as I kill myself, Regicide is I kill a king or a queen. Um but but to decide means to kill off choice and I think that's what happens at the inspiration and everyone's got unlimited choice. And what you want to do is narrow it down to a series of decision gates where people are moving from the convergence of possibilities. So the divergence of possibility to the convergence of of decisions and like, wow, we could do everything. Yeah, but let's do one thing, we could do everything. Yeah, but let's do this thing and that kind of out and in because because when we when we develop our thought leadership it's very divergent. You were talking about your friend doing the PhD reading everything on a topic, you got to go really divergent, but at some point you have to converge down onto one person at one point in history and he'll probably end up talking about one quality or character attribute that person has and that is the fundamental difference. So this whole expanding and contracting I think is why people don't adopt great ideas is they don't know where they are and they they, you know, output. And bali wrote a great book. Uh such a good book is called before our next meeting, read this. And he basically says there's two types of meetings, brainstorming meetings and you want beanbags and muffins, you know, or cupcakes and then he goes and decision making meetings where you want an agenda and everybody standing up and we keep running our meetings confused between those two and I think that talks to that idea eating nature and that deciding nature and you've got to get that balance just right. My head's swimming with all the ideas and thoughts that you, just from what you just said. I am. I've often thought like a lot of thought leadership is really the work of simplifying things for people. But you made it even clearer by saying like Snow did the work of deciding is by eliminating choice and essentially just giving people an easier and smoother path to go down there, desired to get to their desired end goal and just make it easier for them to get there. So you're as a thought leader essentially, like just foraging new new paths to get there. Now for the implications for the audience. Often think of like 22 major audience members, right? We have our service providers and we have people who sell a product of some kind often assassin tool. The service provider is actually kind of benefit from them not being able to fully implement it themselves. I mean that's sweet fish as a B2B podcasting service provider, I do try to make it as clear as possible so people want to start a podcast but at the same time it's like, well, like if they like the advice, they liked the idea, if they want to do it, they could also just pay us money and we could do it for them, you know, and that's kind of the thing. But if you're on the sas side, if you're selling a software, you trying to you and usually your, your software, your system, um your your product has an idea baked into it the more you can actually do what matt saying and making it easy for them to make decisions to actually get to execute the idea that your tool actually helps them do. The more use you're going to get out of it, the less turn you're going to have with your products and the more revenue you're going to make, the more you're going to have positive word of mouth. Um so that really has legs to it now once they've validated their ideas and have tested it with the market and um probably tested it over time in small ways and...

...gotten more and more adoption with it. It's picked up steam. One of my favorite parts of your book talks about what's called building an I. P. Snapshot and you kind of hit on it briefly when you were talking about developing a book. So tell me like where did the idea for? Like why, why was how did you even come up with this idea? What's the story behind it? And then how does someone actually like implement an I. P snapshot? Look, the casual name for an ip snapshot is a pink sheet. The formal name is an IP intellectual property snapshot and it's basically, can you summarize an idea on one page and you could almost imagine, well the principle that sits behind this is full spectrum thinking the reason I'm pausing is this is such a big piece of work and I'm trying to find the most simplest access point and then sort of step us through two levels of depth. So it's like we're sitting above the Mariana trench, the deepest part of the ocean. And we're on the surface on a boat and then we're about to go down into a submarine and then we're going to drop down into a deep dive decompression chamber and then we're going to end up in a jules verne city on the base of the Mariana trench or lit up somehow. So this concept begins with everything you would want to say exists at multiple levels. But at least three. There's the thing, you're sharing the stuff, there is the point, you're making the concept and then there's the big picture that it nests within. And when you can travel across those three levels of abstraction from concrete, through the abstract, what you start to do is you start to fully form ideas because I think a lot of ideas are half baked and they're not fully formed. So just giving it a backbone. Do you know what I mean? Like a concrete example, and that might be some numbers that back it up. Very left brain or it might be a narrative that brings it to life very right brain. So I like to think of it almost like a cross hair or or a compass with the north, south, east and west. Uh and at the south is the concrete stuff like the numbers and narrative at the north is the abstract stuff. And I think that, you know, the left brain abstract is some sort of model or diagram squares, triangles, circles, geometry shoved together some way. Um you know, the consultant to buy to, you know, the xy graph, the Venn diagram that the three by three matrix that you know, concentric rings that, you know, the pyramids of Maslow's hierarchy of needs. You know, all these sort of things are geometry and metaphor of course, which is, you know, some kind of short symbolic myth, a poetic narrative that doesn't need a story to go with it and that communicates rich meaning, which might be it's like the tip of an iceberg is like turning a battleship, it's a plane that's off course, or indeed a compass. So all of all of these tools, whether it's the numbers and narratives, which are the concrete tools, or is the models and metaphors, which are the abstract tools, they sit on this level of concrete, abstract and from analytical tour motive, which is essentially left brain, right brain. Uh and I realized that all the left brain, right brand stuff is in itself a metaphor. And, you know, whilst there is a corpus callosum that joins them, there's been some interesting research to debunk the left hemisphere right hemisphere game, but I do love Jill Bolte. Taylor's ted talk on that a neuro anonymous out of Harvard who had a stroke and then talks about what happens when you only have access to your right brain. So all of that sits to me on a piece of paper with like a big infinity sign or a figure eight over it, you know, and you go there's all the, you know, the big picture and then there's the all the detail and it's sort of all brought together like a circle with a belt, like an eight. It's all brought together in the middle around, you know what's what's your point? And I try to work with thought leaders to get them to go look. The numbers can make a lot of points and a story could make a lot of points. The models could make a lot of points and the metaphors could make a lot of points. So what we need to do is have a piece of paper where the top of the piece of paper might be the same across 12 of them. And the bottom of the piece of paper might be the same across 12 of them. But the point you're making is uniquely differentiated. So where the figure eight squeezes in the middle and so the pink sheet process or the snapshot is that and it's been, you know, it's it's yeah. Is it me sure? Is it what we do with thought leaders? Absolutely. But is the idea of abstract concepts sitting above I guess as old as time. If you want to talk about tactics and you want to talk about strategy if you want to talk about meta and matter. Uh if you, you know, you know, context and content, these ideas have been around forever. So what we've done is sort of if you like, put it...

...into a template that enables thought leaders to capture their insights because and this is at the heart of it if you have a thought and you capture it in application, so as a speech as a workshop as a slide or as a blog or as a and you capture it in its application, it is baked into that application and it loses its insight mobility, which means that idea can only be used as a speech or as a book or as a post or as a tweet. I go, no, no, no, no, we need to leverage this stuff. So you want to capture your insights agnostic of how they'll be delivered or shared with the market in the world and then look at them as a body of work. And that's how you go from not just one snapshot but to like a filing cabinet full of snapshots and almost like in the movie matrix you can have filing cabinets on filing cabinets slapped into an inception movie, you know going on and on into time and you can develop your thought leadership that way I like I like to think of it as a never ending journey of capturing insights and putting them on this piece of paper. This take a snapshot of them and then go okay I got that and I can draw that out at any time and like a deck of playing cards like in poker or something, I can lay them in front of me and go, you know what that one and that one are really good for this client. And the idea is think before you speak, think before you write, think before you sell and capturing them on the intellectual property snapshot is the tool we use and the practice we use to take you down. That contemplated path to take you down into deep inside development around an idea. It's honestly one of the most powerful ideas on um thought leadership that have come across in all the reading that I've done so far. I still have more books to read. But it really got me to start thinking differently as I was thinking about my own ideas or spins or different things and it forced me to sit down and actually flush them out to actually explore them a little bit. And most people don't do it until they go to write a book about a topic and then they do. The problem is you can do, you can create a lot of useful ideas without having to write books about them. Or if you are going to write a book, it's a great it's a great place to start because if you can't flush it out on a piece of paper, you're sure it's going to be beating your head against the wall if you can't, you're not going to write a whole book on it. Um So now every time I think I have a unique idea, I'm like, oh that's interesting. I try to describe it in a sentence and then maybe I describe it and I like make a paragraph to kind of like if I had to do that and then I might give it a name. So even if I'm kicking around internally, we're not thinking like, oh that one idea you had last week. Yeah. Yeah, that one. It's like, no, let's talk about that idea of content based networking, which is one of our c E O s books, right? But it has a name. Content based networking without the name. It's hard to even refer to the idea that could be documented somewhere. So now I even started working with multiple employees being like oh that's a good idea like let's sit down and put that on like a one page google doctor even know to access that later. Usually I put it in a blog post. Um You can really start to do its its powerful that you can build a whole portfolio with it. Right? And you were talking like a filing cabinet. I come from a graphic design background where it's all about the portfolio right? Here's my logos, it was my print work, here's my website and you could do that as a thought leader. And as an intern if you're an internal thought leader of content marketer you could do that for your comfort. Be like where are all the unique ideas you have about this topic that you guys deal with? What about this topic? You can have like a collection a portfolio around all those unique ideas. So it's it's certainly changed the way I approach thought leadership even with Sweet Fish. But even our our employees who are developing some of their own thought leadership themselves in small ways is getting them to think about cataloguing their ideas. Um And I certainly liked like thinking about it like logically what's our um with research and findings and then the right side brain right? Uh With a metaphor with the diagram with the story. It's a great way to like really encapsulate an idea. If you can get it on one page at least it's been helpful for me. I love the idea also just to extend that a little bit like we're giving people a checklist, right? And and for me it's like people say, what, what business are you in? And you know, if I'm in a mildly playful mood, I'll go I'm a property developer and they go, I like you buy condos, do you and me? Are you develop property? I don't know, I'm an intellectual property developer and just like you would find a plot of land and design a blueprint and build a building and you would go to work on the design and architecture and landscaping of that. It's the same process is just we're doing it with the intangible of ideas versus the tangible of real estate. But you do want to develop it, you do want to, you know, is it a well formed one? Is the one that's going to fall down, Is it well built? Is it, you know, is it, you know, weather tested is a climate appropriate? You know, in the southern hemisphere, does it face north? In the northern hemisphere, does it face south? You know, it's you know, you want to get all these different orientations going um And so yeah, I get that's a metaphor,...

...which is only partially useful, but it's but it doesn't hurt to realize that you don't want your ideas only in application, you want to have them application agnostic. So you want to have them as this is like insite mobility. And for example, if I was to read, You know, you were talking about one of your directors and and the content, networking, content-based networking, I go, okay, well I bet there's like 24 ideas in that, and I bet four of them have got nothing to do with networking and nothing to do with content. And I go, well what are they and now I can take them and repurpose them somewhere else because I think repurposing content is the leverage of thought leadership. We just think once apply often and find all the different ways to deliver and apply those concepts. Um yeah, it's super cool, super cool. So if you're working with people and thought leaders on this, do you find that you have them packaged their ideas and then use that as a starting point for their content marketing for their speeches. Um How do you usually take their their one shooters provided that they flushed it out? It's good, they've validated it to some degree. Like how do you then turn it into more? Well there's a three step process and you've alluded to this because it's the subtitle of the blue book, all my books are like jelly beans, they're color coded, so you can choose in that way. But the blue book Thought Leaders has a strap line that says capture package and deliver your ideas and we're really getting from packaging in this interview now to the delivery question which is around how do we go to market and how do we share them? I've been for if you study law and you go into law, you kind of learn that dialogue and conversation has sort of three directions to it. It has a declarative direction which is you make statements, it has an instruct development where you give process and steps and it has a questioning element where a space is created in the conversation through questioning and you could summarize this as tell show us and when you're telling people stuff, you're making a point and then sharing concrete examples. So whether that's in a book or a speech, but when you're asking people stuff, it's the exact opposite your you're establishing a context like a framework and they're having a conversation into it. So, in fact, the content comes from the market when you're in a facilitation mode or an ask mode, and so we split that into six delivery modes, speakers, authors, that's the telling modes, trainers and mentors, that's the instructive mode, or the show mode, and facilitators and coaches, and that's the asking mode. Now, obviously I'm teaching people how to do that and to go to market as consultants using those six delivery channels, but they translate into every organization as well, because they're answering six primary questions. You know, if we just look at authorship, it's could you please give us a strategy and can you document it so we can follow it? And if you look at speaking, it's basically can you share that strategy and give us a vision? So if someone says, do you have a strategy and you have a vision? They're saying are you being a speaker and an author and that's how it turns up in an organization. So I think what you want to do is take one pink sheet or one ip snapshot and then figure out which bit of it to use around whether you're in a telly moda showy mode or an asking mode. And that way the one pink sheet can go to market in six different ways and that translates to not just consultants who are writing books and getting on the being executive leadership coaches. You know, it also translates to those who are trying to deploy their ideas either internally to their audience. That's internal. So people understand like value propositions and points of difference and how we work or externally out to market, where you're like the rainmakers for the business and you're starting to bring in people who are attracted by the depth and quality of the thinking within your organization. I like how you break it into three different sections. Most people when they think of thought leadership, they think of just the, you know, the speaking, the broadcasting of the idea, but there's so many different ways to express an idea I think is useful and I think Is just fun to have more applications of thought leadership than just broadcasting, publishing a white paper or a webinar or speaking on stage, which is what is the most common for B2B marketers. But I want to link it back to your observation that getting people inspired is not the same as getting them engaged. And if you said to me travel me through that inspiration to engagement, I go, well, the telly stuff, which is everything you just identified is very good for inspiring people. But if they actually come into your funnel for one of the better term or into your process or your pipeline or into your workflow,...

...what you want to be doing is moving from talking at them to talking with them and you want to be moving to How does this idea replies? So you go from tel to show to ask and in fact thought leadership should run, not just at the attraction growth marketing phase, it should also be deeply embedded into how you do what you do and the experience that your customers and clients get. As a result, I just blew my mind. I was like holy cow applying it to the thought leader that way. I mean I was thinking about in terms of different business models, but to think about those stages of thought leadership, I haven't heard anybody talk about as far as like telling on the front end of the funnel, having a conversation in the middle and then asking questions, which is like perfectly mirrors the funnel. And that's how I thought leadership can really be echoed all the way through and not just be top of funnel, which is how it's usually referred to. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. And it should be that's not thought leadership, that's curating content as a way of differentiating your products and services and that's that's not deeply embedded and baked into your value proposition. But, you know, the minute it is, I believe that everything begins to hum and it's you know, when, when we silo anything in an organization, we're in trouble, and what we do is we compartmentalize for. E So let's put finance over there. Let's put marketing over here, let's put sales over there. But an integrated system of course, is what a high performing organization is and it operates in service to each other. Um So we see that in a lot of industries that disintegration and silo going, whether it's market silo going, whether it's employee tears, silo going and it's not an effective way to run a high performing organizations. So do you find that there is usually at least from the people I'm talking to about that leadership and they're on this podcast talking about that leadership because they do it usually do it remarked fairly well. Otherwise I wouldn't be talking to them about it, but I've just never heard of somebody actually working it into their usually it's kind of like they're pulling from their own subject subject matter experts, the ideas and therefore the subject matter experts are kind of like it's kind of already their thing. So you would hope that it's baked into the whole process. But usually there's just some gaps like the sales people might not be fully in line with what the unique idea that the organization is trying to present is so try to bake it in that way is interesting. I can't remember if this is part of the book and I have to go back to check, but do you actually lay out a framework for how to how to how to bring thought leadership into the asking part? Yes enough. The in the blue book, Thought Leaders, which is the first book we wrote on it, there is a chapter about Tell Show Us And it talks about the six delivery modes and how they work in organizational entrepreneurial and personal consulting practices. So it's kind of light. But the ask bit, I'm actually working on a new book in that space, which is looking at was a book called deliver, which is going to be across all of these three directions. Tell Show Ask, but they ask stuff is really exciting because I think it's it's where we get to do. The deep work of engagement may be a reference for your listeners that will take them down a rabbit hole. Is I love Forest Landry's work on ephemeral group process, which is essentially a collective decision making. And it's how does a town has a let's imagine a bridge goes down and you get the whole town together to talk about. What are we going to do about the fact there's no bridge connecting us to the mainland and you go, well, do we even want a bridge or do we want to barge? Do we want to build the same kind of bridge or a different kind of bridge? Do we want to hire? Lower? Do we want to open? So there's a lot of questions that go into the collective decision making around whether a community is going to build a bridge. So forest begins with that and he begins with that as a line of inquiry and says, how do we now get a bunch of people together to make a good decision? And it's a really cool process. And it reminds me of Owen Harrison's work on open spaces technology, which is some of the original. How do we how do we get self organized learning environments? And his story in his book, open spaces was three weeks before he was dumped. This association conference where he had 3000 delegates coming, but no speakers have been booked and no sessions have been organized and he goes holy great, what am I going to do? And so he says, well there's no way I can get speakers or sessions, so I'm just going to get the 3000 people to self organized around topics that interest them. And in the heart of those two things Forest Landry's work, there's a lady called linda must show Hamilton as well who's Azan none but also an organizational consultant. And you can understand like zen is about sort of sitting in paradox, sitting in ambiguity, sitting in the space of uncertainty and not rushing in with a slide deck and a pithy answer. It's and so I reckon in those three people you might have three really good reference points to get you off and running on this stuff about...

...facilitation coaching or asking as a modality versus telling and what it's done is it's flipped diagnostic selling, so diagnosed, you referred to consulting earlier on in this podcast. So in diagnostic selling the basic premises of course is if we understand you enough we'll do business together. So I want to ask you enough questions. But you know, let's say you were in a large pursuit in a like in the SAs corp or something like that and you were you were looking for a large piece of work. Sometimes. What you want to do is you want to not do diagnostic selling. I know this sounds uh controversial but you want to use the content based networking that you're sort of proposed, which is kind of like here's what we know, here's the kind of person we work with if that's you, let's do business, which is very different to let us understand as much about you as possible. Ah look at these insights that we've created now let's do business. And so it's almost it's kind of flipping the game and for me it's moving from an orientation of selling others to an orientation of creating the conditions where people will buy. And for me, what thought leadership does is it creates the conditions that attract people so they'll buy what you do and it's giving them the agency to go, no, thank you. Um Seth Godin wrote a book. He's written a lot, but one of the books I really love one of the best in my opinion was permission marketing because it took us from a game of, let's interrupt the hell out of people to a game of earned the right to talk to them, you know, and if you read permission marketing alongside tribes, which says, you don't need a lot of people, you know what I mean? You just need to find your people, what you'll actually find is to me, I think this is where I thought leadership as a, not just a marketing strategy, but a full business development process can really go to town. That was certainly two books that were fundamental in my early career. Uh one of the first ones I've read, content based networking is close. It's actually an idea that you can use something like a podcast. Like I am now to build relationships with people like I am sitting here talking with you now, but oftentimes from a B especially BTB perspective, you can build relationships with your ideal buyers and it's not that you finish the episode and then give them a pitch because then there, it's not going to feel great for them and they're gonna walk away, not having a bad taste in their mouth, right? But you build a relationship with them naturally, they're going to check out your website and see who you are. And uh if they're in the market for what you offer, chances are you've just spent an hour talking to them showcasing their best thinking, they're probably gonna think about you and when they're in the market, you're probably gonna be in the consideration. That's kind of the idea behind it. But I have implications beyond B two B sales. I mean if you even if you're job hunting and just interviewing hiring managers on the marketing manager podcasts, chances are you're going to land a job really soon because you're building relationships by creating content together. That's kind of the idea behind that though, I certainly buy into the idea of it's certainly what we do is sweet fish media and that we have a very particular methodology, that methodology of content based networking through podcasting. And we present that it's like this is kind of our thing. You just need an audio editing shop. There's a lot of people cheaper in us shoot. I wrote the whole blog post on like all of them with all their prices on it. I'll give it to you and you can go like there's better providers for you. I will help you find it or even give you the advice to do it in house if you if that's what you want to do. So. But I've we've certainly found that it works better. And I like the idea of trying to blend your thought leadership and essentially having a point of view and then just presenting that to people and asking them the question. I think that's what you're trying to get at. Two is having letting your thought leadership present itself and be like, this is the way we do things. If you'd like to work with us, that's fantastic. But if not, then maybe we can help you find the right place. It's swagger. You know, it's like brain surgeons don't get built, don't do billboards, Cosmetic surgeons might, but a brain surgeon doesn't what a brain surgeon, If you're going to put a scalpel in my mind, I'm not I'm not doing it from search engine optimization. I'm going to talk to my general practitioner, I'm going to talk to someone who's had surgery. I'm going to read who is the best surgeon who has published the most on it, Who's written a book who trains the other surgeons. And I'm going to go, right, that's who gets to open my head with a scalpel. You know, I'm going to find the person who's, who's got that reputational positioning. Look, the other thing about this content stuff is it's deeply respectful. It's deeply respectful of who you are and what you do and not trying to be all things to all people. It's deeply respectful to who they are. And the fact that they should have freedom of choice. And I think that from, You know, the 90s and 80s and before there was a little bit of an ugly process around business, which and the ugly process was if we're...

...clever enough, you'll do business with us. If we can trick you enough, you'll do business with us. And I think any of us who live in the current era go, you know what? Our authenticity filters are so strong. You know, we've seen so many people in positions of authority just fall from grace that we go, hey, you know what to show me your stuff first and let me decide whether I want to do business with you. And so I think the other thing about this content based networking is how is how deeply respectful it is and that, that can't be a bad thing, can it like to build long term trusted commercial relationships around respect? I go, that's got to be a good thing. It's been working well for us. We've been growing just through sheer relationship building because even if we know someone's in the market, I'm not gonna, I'm not gonna try to like persuade them to be in the market. Are you kidding? Like if they like us and they're like, no, we're just not looking at the podcasting right now, you're like, cool. And then they quit that job, go to another job and they're like, hey, this company is, and then they call us right, It just works. Um, and still, I love podcasting particularly because then I can use it as a way to meet fun people like yourself. You know, I love meeting the author's behind the books I read because you get a, such a different perspective when you get to read it, wrestle with it. Maybe wrestle with a few others on the topic and then actually ask them yourself. Like what do you mean by this? Tell me more? You know, uh, one of the true delights of my job and this, this episode has actually been a delight. It's been fun to kind of kick around a lot of ideas with you. Um, and I have to ask one last question, is there any so many topics we've covered and I've wondered if there's anything else that you wish you would have added that maybe we missed? Oh no dan, we could go to so many places. I do believe that standing up and speaking in front of a target rich audience is such a, it cleans you up really quickly. If you stand in front of 1000 potential clients and you bomb you learn really quickly really quickly. It's like this rapid fire crucible of personal development and maybe just exploring what it's like to be a good speaker. I see too many thought leaders doing death by survey. I see too many thought leaders doing death by PowerPoint and I think what you want to do is you want to create an engaging conversation with people rather than just delivering a presentation and and that that comes down to just not what you're saying, not just what you're doing, but also who you're being as you turn up as the messenger for a particular message. And I think doing some work on that, it's like personal development, public speaking thought leadership. They all come together to help you sort of stand in a place of conviction. Thought leadership is about you, standing in your conviction and therefore not having to convince anybody of anything. And that's why it integrates so well in B2B growth, that's why it integrates so well with marketing and sales divisions and why it should be integrated and baked into the whole service offering. So I love that idea. I'm going to be probably thinking about this all weekend and thinking about how we can be better incorporating our own thought leadership into the rest of our process. Um so I have a lot to think about now matt. This has been a fantastic time. Learning from you, flushing out these ideas if people want to learn more about you and from you like I have in this episode, where can they go to find you online? Uh so my personal location is matt church dot com. So M A T T C H U R C H dot com. Maybe download my books, they're free, have a re see how that works for you and then we'll connect and for those who want to be Thought leaders themselves, writing books and speaking, go to Thought leaders dot com dot au and you can begin a journey there. Fantastic again. Thanks for joining me on GDP growth. Thanks dan. Also, for the longest time I was asking people to leave a review of GDP growth in apple podcasts, but I realized that was kind of stupid because leaving a review is way harder than just leaving a simple rating. So I'm changing my tune a bit. instead of asking you to leave a review, I'm just gonna ask you to go to beauty growth in apple podcasts, scroll down until you see the ratings and reviews section and just tap the number of stars you want to give us no review necessary. Super easy. And I promise it will help us out a ton. If you want to copy of my book, content based networking, just shoot me a text after you leave the rating and I'll send one your way, text me at 4074 and I know 33 to 8.

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