Who's Influencing Your Marketing? | Original Research

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

We spoke with 100 marketing leaders and asked "Who is the marketing influencer you’re most influenced by?" In this roundtable discussion Benji, James, Dan, and Logan breakdown the findings.  

Discussed in this episode: 

  • Brand personality + expertise = influence
  • Creating content as a strategy for discovering influencers
  • Helping your business by making your CEO an “influencer"

Conversations from the front lines and marketing. This is B two B growth. Welcoming friends. We are a month into a new way of doing B two B growth and internally here, and selfishly, I'll say I've been loving it. Looking at responses on Linkedin, we've been sharing micro clips and I've seen a lot of conversations started because of these episodes, and so it's early, but I think I would say a month in it's been a success, which is really, really exciting if you're new to this format. We sat down with a hundred marketing leaders. We asked fifteen original research questions to get a sense of where B Two b marketing teams are at. And what we're doing is we're tackling one of these fifteen questions on Wednesday's episodes of B two B growth. So the question we're gonna Dialogue about today is who is the marketing influence or that you are most influenced by? And so for today's discussion I've got our regulars from the last three of these. Have James and Logan with me here. But I'm excited because after three months away on fraternity leave, we have Dan Sanchez back with us. Dan, welcome back, man, it's exciting to have you damn man, it's good to be back. I missed this really. People think they want to be on primitive vacations. I'm like, not me, I gotta be talking about marketing, reading marketing books and doing some marketing stuff. Well, we are glad to get your insights on this one and glad to have your face on the screen right now. Okay, so I want to just toss this question to all of us and I want to discuss it personally before we talk about the findings from the hundred marketing leaders. James, if I'm posing this at you first, who's the marketing influencer that you are most influenced by right now? Yeah, so I am hands down most influenced by Chris Walker. So everything that he's been talking about around creating demand, capturing demand, dark social I'm listening to stated demand Gin at least once a week. I think there are three or four episodes a week. I at least listen to one of those every week. His linkedin content pops up on my feet every single day. A little context that I want to give for for everybody. Benji, we did this research all the way back in and then. So we bid off way more than we originally could you when we said we wanted to talk to a hundred B two B marketers for this original research, and we're like, Oh yeah, we'll just like snap our fingers and, you know, have conversations with a hundred different people, like every B two B company does with original research, bits off way more than they to and realize that's how hard it is. Yeah, so it was just a ridiculously arduous process and we we had fits and spurts. So we did part of it in we then brought somebody into focus on it, finished up in one and then we spent the early part of this year kind of packaging it all together, figuring out what our insights were gonna be. So this has been a long time coming and so I want to share that context though. This one though, marketing, I mean this stuff is changing, marketing influencers are popping up all the time. So I just want people that like even in some of the findings, as I've been looking through them on our prep doc I'm like, I don't know that that would be the case today if we surveyed the same people. Yeah, anyway, we'll get into it later. In the episode, but just wanted to give that context. This is from one is when we asked these hundred B twob marketing leaders this question. Yeah, I think more people would probably say Chris Uh. He was definitely still talked about, but even in this I'm, you know, doing another round and his name has come up a few times in the original research we're doing for for next quarter next year. So I think that's great context. James Dan, how about you, man like, who are you paying attention to? WHO's in when Sing your marketing right...

...now, I tend to binge somebody for like a period of a few months and then stop listening to them all together and move on to someone new, and I like try to I don't know, like just smash their thoughts into my brain and then I move on. Right now, and probably for like the last ten months, this is longer than normal. Is Alex her Mosey. I just can't get enough of it, honestly, because he addresses topics that are deeper than marketing, often going down to the route offering, which is kind of marketing, but marketers usually never get to play there, going down to the offering and even did the market. He's actually given me tools to think about how to assess in the in the playing fields were actually playing in, because sometimes it's not a promotional problem. Might be a product problem. Shoot, it might be a market problem. Oh No, you know, without that marketers are just pulling their hair out trying to figure out why isn't this promotion working? Well, it's because it might be deeper. And Alex dives into all of that stuff, and and the promotional side, of course, but he's definitely had my attention for a while now. That's one I've definitely he's grown on me so much last year and I feel like he's now everywhere. It's crazy, and his muscles and mustache definitely have to help his brand on. Talking like tennis, I've been following I've been following his wife on Youtube too. I mean she's got phenomenal like contenter culture building at Alex and Layla her Mosey. I think are are some of the best in the game right now. Nice, Logan, you got a new new name to throw in the ring here. Yeah, I will, if I were just answering this and like who am I following the most, you know, being challenged by the most, seeing things differently that would definitely be Chris Walker for all the same reasons that James said. But to add another name to the mix, I would say if I stepped back a little bit and I look about the time that I joined sweet fish and really jumped into the B two B marketing world, Mien and those first couple of years after that, I really had my eyes on Dave Gearhart. Obviously he was at drift at that point. He's since moved on and and doing lots of different things, but I think even though he might not be front of mind for everybody as much as maybe Chris Walker someone else uh these days, to me he influenced my thinking and kind of solidified my thinking in what I wanted to bring from my journalism background to be two be marketing. He's talking a lot about and and has talked about building a media company for your niche rather than just building a marketing company, and when he was at drift that's really what he did. People were talking about like I feel like I'm watching a documentary just seeing what drift is doing, like I'm grabbing my coffee and watching D G and D C riff and I remember James and I talking about those seeking wisdom episodes all the time in my early days of sweet fish. But he's also done some very interesting things with community that I think we'll talk about here in if you look at maybe the last two years of D G's journey. So Dave Gearhart's definitely on the list there, and I would have said Chris Walker and and Alex and Leila as well. So very much like minded with James and Dan on that point. I think a few names come to to my one and I was thinking about it in in some different ways right, because there's like content I interact with at at a mascale or books I've read on marketing that have been influential and Dan, kind of like you, if I deep dive into somebody, I feel like if I really listen and I really digest their content for let's say three to six months, I feel like their voice starts getting in my head to an extent where, even though I'm not consuming their content anymore, I know they how they would think about certain things and then I'm operating from that. So it's like WHO's influencing my marketing? Well, technically like all these different people that I went and binged their content. You know, in the past and now that that all lives in me, just as other authors of other types of books outside of marketing. But I'll just say a couple that have influenced me since last November when I came on the team here at sweet fish. I think Justin Simon so good at talking about repurposing content over and over and over again. He's a content marketing at metadata and I just really appreciate how he picked a niche, a topic to...

...really go after and has just figured out ways to keep talking about it. And so while he's not a macro influencer, he's someone that has influenced the way I think about how do we distribute B two B growth episodes? How should we think about redistribution in a new way and not as like this, create a piece of content, promote it once and let it die, and so that's been something I've I've thought about consistently really because of him. And then the other one is less like they only talk about marketing, but they talk about business and they talk about marketing enough that I'm learning a lot from them. And it's the guys from my first million absolutely fun, fantastic podcast and they're so like friendly and they're bouncing these ideas off each other constantly that it's like, Oh, we could take that and we could use it in our marketing, we could like so I I think my first million has just continued to grow on me and and those guys are are having an influence on the way I think about marketing. So alright, let's let's talk about what we actually found owned in the results here, and it's it's funny, Logan, because you brought up Dave Gerhardt and he was the standalone winner. So of the respondents said Dave, and then Seth Goden came up. I have this is marketing behind me on on my shelf. Seth is definitely played a distinct role in how I think. And then Chris Walker. So they were at like ten and eleven percent of the vote, James, like you said earlier, probably for for Chris, that number is higher in the B Two b space now just with all the content that they've pushed out. And then it's interesting to look at it in percentages. So when you think of it in three distinct groups, you could think of it as like macro sort of celebrities, hundred K plus followers. Then you have like micro influencers, let's say five or four thousand to a hundred K, and then you have personal connections. It was a bit like split. So thirty seven percent for celebrities, like the macro. Then you have personal connections at thirty three percent, people that we know like trust and maybe they don't have this huge following, but they're influencing our marketing, and then micro influencers. At with those numbers and mind James, like, what do you think of as as a key finding as it's sort of like, oh, that's that's interesting when you see that sort of Split. Yeah, so as as I look at the list of who these folks mentioned, one of the things that stood out to me is there's this combination of personality and expertise that equates to influence and some it's not like a perfect formula. It's not like Oh, it has to be half expertise half personality. Some people lean heavier on the expertise. I think Chris Walker Leans Heavier on the expertise, doesn't necessarily inject as much personality into his content, but he's so freaking smart you just want to gobble up all of that expertise. I would say Seth Goden errs on that side too, where it's like his ideas are so profound, he's clearly put an enormous amount of thought into the ideas that he shares in the content that he puts out, not necessarily as much personality, whereas like Dave Gearhart or Christopher Lockhead, I think they inject more personality into their content. They've still got great ideas, but it's a little bit more personality driven, even in their social content and what they're putting out on Linkedin. Like it especially comes out on their podcast when you're hearing them articulate these ideas. There's just more personality and more charisma in the delivery of the blockheads just trying to figure out ways to step on your toes, trying to annoy you, trying to get under your skin right, he's just trying to figure out how to push you up. But I think it's a camp like. I think a combination of two of those things. It's like personality and extra case. And as I thought about I have thought about this from my own like, as we're obviously all of us on this call, like we want to influence our market, and so it's...

...like where do I lean heavier and it's probably more personality, not necessarily in like a charisma like you look, look at me, but more like I'm much more collaborative. I want to have conversations like this. I don't just want to, you know, get behind a mic and and like pontificate on a thought, quite frankly, because I just I think there are people on this team that are always smarter than me and a lot of this stuff, and so I'd rather have it be more collaborative. My presence on Linkedin be more like tagging other people and like hey, like, this person had a really good thought, you know, on this idea too. So anyway, that was the key finding for me from this. Looking at the list of names going man, all of these folks seem to have either an element of like big personality or it's deep, deep expertise and like where, where's the balancing act there? So that that was my finding. I think you make a really good point, James, about the balance there and also some nuance to the quote unquote personality part of it. Like we think if, hey, someone's building a personal brand and their personality is a big part of it, it has to be this certain type of personality right, it has to be super gregarious or controversial. Like there's a list of like three personality traits that work with building a personal brand and I would say that, you know, you mentioned Chris Walker leaning more into his expertise, but if you think about it, his story is coming from engineer and that sort of mindset to marketing and he brings that personality to it. If you listen to demand Gen live and he gets a question, he's not afraid to just be like, okay, hold on, let me think about that, right, and you can almost see like the engineering mind working out that problem. And so he does bring a specific personality to it, even though it's not kind of your typical big personality. So I think you've got to think about that as well. I think that's a good point, Logan, because if you think of Dave Gerhard, he to me, brings more personality. He still has an element of deep expertise. Like I I've taken his mark it in course and I've loved it, but it's all community based, like all the sessions are him riffing on ideas with a group of marketers. Very different than I would expect. If if Chris Walker even though he does the lives. He's like here's a question, and Chris is like a surgeon going in and like thinking in a different way than where Dave is like, well, what if, like, I ask a question and then you ponder it and you think about it for yourself? And what would you what conclusion would you come to? And it's it's just a different way of thinking about it. I also think, James, I love that equation Brand personality plus plus expertise equals influence, because you could think about it in a team context where it's like we have people that can lean into personality and we have people on our team that can lean into expertise, and if you have a good mix of both, you can not just think about it personally, but you can think about it for how do we in the way that we all function like own do I lean into brand personality right now? Do I lean into deep expertise here? And then you get a good mix and multiple people are influencing the market in a way, so it's personal and it's like aspirational for your team. Dan, what's the key finding for you here? Man, I remember looking through all the data and I was going through name by name like taling up these names to see who had the most votes, but what was surprising to me was all the people who had like one, two, three. People remember, like these are the answers that someone's given to WHO's the most influential to you, the most influential on our people that are less recognized? I'm like, there's a lot of people that have influence, but only of a few. But as a marketer who wants to get into influencer marketing, I'm like, Dang, like everybody should be doing this process of gathering data from their customers or their prospects and asking him who's the most influential to not only so you can find the obvious people at the top, because we could have guessed Chris Walker, could have guessed Dave Gearhard, we would have. We knew those people were in the mix right and didn't know Steth Goden was as relevant as he is today as he was like ten years ago. But he's still high in the mix, so that's good to know. But he's not. He's not super easy to get. It's the people underneath and I'm like, Dang,...

...you need to start asking this question early and often to kind of get a pulse on who is it? Because reaching out to these people who have like maybe a small ten followers, but good followers there. For some people, maybe a thousand or two thousand people, they're the most influential person to M m. So there's something to be said for getting working this original research practice into your content marketing stream, whether you do it through a podcast or asking people on Linkedin, like, you need to be figuring out who these people are. Yeah, well said, and you pointed out something else when you were looking at the findings that I think would be insightful to talk about here, which is the fact that, and I am totally one of these marketers, but I don't like being the one to say this is an influencer in my life. And I don't know what it is about the language, but even like the thought leader stuff, when that comes up, it's like just the language is hard for us to get behind. Talk about what you were thinking there, because that that was a really good point, ma'am. Yeah, that was something I heard over and over again and it was even typed up in the responses that we took from verbal verbal responses. Is that I don't even some people are like influencers or just BS. I don't even like it. Some people are like I like more practitioners than influencers and generally when they said that or a number of other things that were kind of along those same lines, they all just felt cringeing about the word influencer, because we hear influencer, we think B TWOC influencer, which is the person that has no substance, that is just for some reason, really influential. You think of like the Kardashians, oh my gosh, the biggest influencers on the planet. But nobody like I knew you were going to say the Kardashians. I was smiling before you even said it. Everybody likes to pick on them because no substance, no substance, right. So we're carrying that mindset of influencers over to the B two B space. But in order to really work and be influential and B two B, generally, I'd say, or more of the influencers I see and B Two B are coming from practitioners, practitionership. There's a few evangelists out there that, you know, used to be practitioners but they haven't done crap in like decades, right. So there's a few of those, but most of them aren't the same. So while I know there's like influencers, seeing as like a, as a just has. It leaves a bad taste in people's mouths. When I think when we say it and B, two B, it's still it's still works and we can change the name of it, just kind of like we need to change the name of thought leadership because it's tarnish too. But generally it's still they're still influential because of their expertise, because of their what they're actually doing in their day jobs. So it's just you have to be careful when approaching these people, maybe not to call them influencers or lead, lead, like, Oh, I want to introduce you to so said influencer because they're joining us on this thing. Don't use that language. But when you're in the back room talking about which influencers to go and find for your campaign, then use it, but out externally I would avoid it at all costs, especially if you're talking to marketers, who I think have an extra bs detector on that stuff. Yeah, if your audience as marketers, I don't know that. Like for those listening to this episod that don't serve marketers like we do. You know, just the context there, like that word might not be tarnished in other spaces, like HR folks might be a okay with with that kind of language, but but if you're serving marketers, for sure it seems to be a dirty word. That's a really good point, James. One of the things we ask when we're launching new podcasts and we're thinking about the brand identity of a show, we ask our clients here at sweet fish what are words that your audience, your target market, would use to describe themselves and what are words that they wouldn't use to describe themselves? Like innovators is another one of those that people could roll their eyes out or they could be like, I'm an innovator right. It can have different connotation depending on who you're talking to. I think the other thing, this has come up a little bit, that that I thought about when looking at this research was that community building is a strong tool set in those that are really creating influence in their niche. You think about Chris Walker and what they did with demand Gen live.

That went, you know, to a hundred episodes and they're kind of reinventing it now, but it was content, right, and it fueled his linked in which was already, you know, growing and getting traction there. But people were coming there so that they had asked live questions and it was a little bit different format. David Gerhardt started doing that with D G MG in those groups that have, you know, turned into now there's a job board component and there's there's different aspects to that on on facebook and the other ways that he's managing that community. And, as Dan was saying earlier, doing community can look a little bit different, right. It can be kind of a m a style, like Chris has done with demands in live. It can be more collaborative, it can be, you know, we've done some testing with community with building my club, and it's a little bit of both. It's a little bit of answering questions but also creating a space where people who have B two B podcasts can ask questions of each other, right, and so I think community building can have different components and you can prioritize different aspects of it. But when we look at a few people on these lists, community was definitely part of their strategy and something you should think about too. Yeah, community, how you actually engage with people. If you're an influencer of any size, or even if you're just like, okay, I'm going to be more active on Linkedin, if that's your goal, the type of community you create, how you actually connect with people, is clearly a big thing. You need to be thinking about engaging in the comments, not just creating this content, not just trying to be a thought leader, but like even creating better content. When you think of these people that we've mentioned, it's because they have good interaction with their their listeners, their ideal client, that then it informs their content in a very real way, and that community pieces is vital. I think of just creating content that resonates like you would about your favorite restaurant, and that was the thing I just kept thinking about over and over again. Is like if thirty three percent said that they're most influenced by personal connection. Like, Oh man, I you know, if I have something in my marketing that I've questioned about or whatever, I go to this small group of CMOS. I go to, you know, these people that I trust, that I used to work with. It's the same as word of mouth in like, I really like this pizza, so I'm going to recommend it to a friend and you'll hear these influencers talk about how, at some level what happens is they say something that really resonates and then a CEO sees it on Linkedin and shares it in their slack community and like everybody needs to go watch this. We do this all the time at sweet fish. We see something that should inform our marketing and we go and share it. So when you think of creating content, you're thinking, I want to create content that resonates, because if it resonates, it's shareable, and if it's share able, then it means that not only am I now hitting the micro right, like the thirty percent that have that four hundred thousand. If you're in that range right, you're already a micro influencer, but also it's being shared and so the peer space is sharing it, and that's the other so now you're hitting like this bigger part of our results. I don't know, I just kept thinking, like word of mouth and content matters so much, and that's why these guys that we've talked about really resonate, is because now these people that we know, like and trust are also sharing their content. So it's a flywheel of sorts for audience growth. To use the language we always use, your as sweet fish. I think that's why honing in on your message and being able to pound it over and over and over and over and over and over and over again, getting clear, like, for us, affinity over awareness, by by commodity content like those things like, the more clear we can be on the messages that we're putting into the market, and the more we repeat those things over and over and over again, the more we become associated with those things. So when, when that talk does happen, we we know that we're being associated with the things that we're just saying over and over and over again. It's easier. You're enabling word of mouth by associating your self with key messages that you intentionally and...

...thoughtfully talk about in different ways, but it's the same key message over and over and over again. Like people know that Chris Walker is associated with, you know, doing attribution, differently, dark social, creating demand and capturing demand, and he's done a masterful job of of packaging his ideas. I know that's something that I've heard Dan talk about. This idea of packaging your ideas. U is not something that we talk about enough, but it's a really good point. I had a former client of ours reach out on linked in and she dmed me and said, hey, we're looking at this platform as a podcast host what do you know about them? And it's a platform that we don't currently use as our main hosting platform, but we've engaged with I know some people at the company, I know a little bit of history. I was able to give her some insights and like hey, here's what I think is maybe good bad, here's some questions to ask, here's limitations of what I know, and after I sent that back she was like thanks for the dark social insights. Right, and I know that she said that because she's been following Chris Walker, because she used the same language. Now, that doesn't just happen overnight. Like you said, you've got to deliver the same message in a lot of different ways, in a lot of different scenarios, and you've got to package them in a way that people can can repeat them. I think sometimes we don't think about that. We're just like I'm bringing good ideas, right, but are they packaged in a way that it is very easy for someone to start using it in conversation? So that was a very clear example to me of Chris's influence coming through in an interaction where I recognized where that term came from and why she was using it. Yeah, lockheads are great example of this as well. Like you just clearly know, he's gonna keep pounding this idea of category creation and he's just gonna do it over and over again. He's gonna think of really creative ways to do it and people use the language that he creates because he's masterful with folks writing and with speaking and communicating. That and the whole idea of being pirates. I just category pirates like that whole thing is just so brilliant it's I obsess over it. Okay, I want to go get to remedies here and I want to just talk about like, okay, it's one thing to be like, Oh, who's your favorite influencer? Right now, that question at its surface. Maybe like all right, we're just gonna toss out some names. Maybe it's some New People for you to follow, or you'll just hear us like gushing about these people, but there's actually prescriptive things I would say because of the results that we're going hey, pay attention to this or try this, do this, Dan, as you think of remedies and recommendations. What's something you think of? I think if you're able to get the right data about who the influencers are of your prospects, like we just talked about before, it makes it right for B two B to finally enter into influence our marketing. You know, however, you take that term right, and before it was kind of hard, like Oh, who do we find? What do we do with them? But now you have a list and, more importantly, and not a list, of the big names, with a little names, and you can reach out to them and build relationships with them one on one, either through social or having them on your podcast. But I think now, now is the time, because you can essentially test your way into it without losing your shirt on one big deal. You can do a bunch of small ones and see how it goes and kind of scale it out. There's actually a way to do that now that you can just go and just ask him who's influencing you. I know it seems like we should have just asked them before who the heck they're influencer is, but sometimes you you look back, Um, like at your past self you're like, Oh, past self, why didn't you know this? Maybe maybe other people knew this, but I'm just figuring it out looking at this research now, like Dang, I wish I'd been doing this my whole freaking career, just asking the prospects who's the most influential and then going and reaching out to those people, building relationships and collaborating with them, or asked, building relationship and asking an approach your event or your Webinar or whatever you have coming up, your book launch. If you've built relationship with them and added value to them, then they'll probably do so in return and build a good relationship with all the people who influence your prospect and other people have written about this. Holmes is probably the most famous. The dream one, the same concept, but using...

...original research to find who that one is instead of guessing. That's the key. Mm Hmm, great point there. Yeah, Logan, what about you? Man? I love what Dan said about adding value. Right, let's say you've identified the WHO right, it can be very easy to say, okay, now we're gonna go ask all these people to collaborate on content or to create some sort of partnership. But think about before you make that ask how are we going to make it worth their while, because they're getting a lot of pitches right, and so how can you make the most of that? So I just wanted to reiterate that point. The other thing I would think about is look at their content and what's really resonating. Just because you you see, whether you do research on Spark Toro or you ask your clients or you ask your market on Linkedin or other social platform, it doesn't mean that just like Oh, you get this influencer to do some content collaboration with you and just ask them to show up and just drop fire right, because if you look at some of the people we've been talking about, James and I were talking about this the other day. D G posts a lot recently, like three or four times a day. Some posts will blow up and others it's crickets. Right. I mean these influencers, like the term or not, these folks that are influencing people. They have content that really resonates and some that misses a little. So make sure you're prepared to get the most out of that collaboration once you identify who it is, once you do the research and add the value to get them to collaborate with you, make sure it doesn't fall flat and just ask them to show up and drop fire. The other thing you can do, let's say you're gonna do a Webinar, you're gonna do a podcast with some influencer in your space. People have probably heard from them elsewhere. That's why they're an influencer, right. So how can you make your content with them different? One thing you can do is go to listen notes DOT COM, search their name, listen to five, ten or more podcast episodes that they've done in other places and think about what did they not answer right? How can I go deeper on something where, Oh, if I was listening to that episode, I wouldn't ask this question, and then use that in the content that you create with them to make it different, as opposed to, Oh, I'm seeing Gary V on another podcast, where I'm I'm hearing from you know this person again, I know what they're gonna say. Trying to go a little bit deeper, and that's a tactical way that you can do that with someone who is already creating a lot of content. How do you infuse your P O v Logan when you're thinking of the episodes of B Two b growth that you used to host, because I think this is a constant battle. I said, like for myself, we're like, okay, sweet, you got so and so on your podcast. You got so and so, you know, collaborating on content with you. They have a big platform. You might get more listens on that episode. Maybe. I don't even know if that proves out all the time, because if they're everyone doesn't always. It depends on a number of things, right, it depends. So then it's like, okay, it's very vital that if I have a business piece of content I need to infuse, and we've been beating this like and non stop the last month, like we have to infuse our P O v, but they also have theirs and so like. How do you do that tactfully? Any any strategy thoughts there? Yeah, I'm actually thinking of a time when I interviewed Chris Walker, probably to maybe three years ago, on B two B growth, and I don't think I was, you know, as prepared for it as what you know, I was just describing now. I wish I would have, you know, like Dan said past self, you should have done this, you should have done that. But when he was saying things that aligned with the things that we talk about at sweet fish. I found myself saying, Oh, I agree with that, we think about it in this term or we use this term to talk about that. So that's where the packaging ideas, if you're ready with like Oh, we think of that as affinity over awareness, right. And you know, let's say I'm interviewing Chris and he says something to that effect but doesn't use that language. I can kind of capitalize on the fact that, hey, this influential person is saying this thing. It maps to the way that we package this idea and now I'm I'm tying...

...their reach and their influence to our vehicle for making that piece memorable. There's two other ways I can think of, because I've done that. One that's like essentially sharing, like Oh, you said this, we agree, but we twisted a little bit differently. It's like this. But there's two other ways that I found you can do it and that you can actually debate them and be like Oh, that's funny. I actually think the opposite. Here's why we we call it and then you lay out your your message and then you have a fun little casual like debate and go back and forth and test each other. That honestly makes you some really good content because it creates tension. Usually I almost find you end up somewhere in the middle if you're both pretty good experts, like the truth is the truth, and you usually ends up being sebmantical. Or you can ask for feedback. That's the other one that I like to say, if they're like really good an author on the subject, like Hey, what do you think about x? Maybe it's an idea you've been working on, you've been preparing, you've tested it, it's been going well and there there's someone you admire or someone you know has I would have some good thoughts on it. Asking for feedback live on a podcast interview is another way to get your message out there and funny it's fun to have them pick it apart or affirm it or I don't know. It's the way you get better too. It's vulnerable, but honestly it's the best way to go. Yeah, I love that one. It's just hey, I've been thinking about it this way. What do you think on that? Like, here's my theory. Give me some feedback on on the way that I'm thinking about this. It's such a good prompt because it's not like this formal question like you typically would do. It's a little open ended and you've provided some context for from where you're coming from. So that's that's good. Uh. And actually to the debate side of things. We just re UH featured the conversation, Dan, that you did with Sam Moss where you debated brand and branding. So it's just really good timing. If you're look at the B two B growth feed, you'll see that. But that's that whole deal right. Create some tension there. Had A little bit of different views on Linkedin and uh, that produced some really fun content. James, what are you thinking about as as it pertains to ways that we should perceive because of the findings to this question? Yeah, so, I mean, obviously influencers are playing a huge role in how markets are making decisions, whether it's for a software product or a service, and so I think the marketers listening to this really need to start considering how they can turn their CEO, or at least a subject matter expert on their team. But oftentimes the CEO is a great fit for this. But turning an individual on your team into an influencer as cringe e as that word is to to whoever is listening this, and I think we've developed a pretty strong formula for how to do that, even with what we're doing here on B two, B growth. So you have to start with POV development. You have got to get clear on what your CEO or the subject matter expert what are their points of view? What's a commonly held belief about our industry that you passionately disagree with? What is something that people in our industry should stop doing today because it is damaging to them and they don't even realize that? What should they start doing today that they're not doing but they desperately need to be doing? Like those three P O v Discovery Questions are a magic bullet for figuring out what your point of view can be. Once you figure out that point of view, come up with ten to fifteen questions that you can do original research with in your market, so you don't have to go ask a hundred people like we did for this research. You can go and ask, you know, fifteen to twenty people. That could be existing customers, it could be potential customers, that could be people that you have on your podcast that you do a pre pre interview with where you ask them these questions. Some of them are going to be related to your CEO's point of views, our points of view, others are just things that you want to know about them, and then you, as the marketer, like extract insights from the responses that you got to these questions and then go riff with your CEO or your subject matter expert on these topics...

...and in a very similar way to what we're doing here, the social content that is coming out of these episodes are getting far more reach than the episodes to themselves, and I think that's a really powerful concept that if you're getting your setting, your CEO, your subject matter expert up for not just creating great long form content that we know builds affinity, but you're also going to help them create lots of micro content. And when I think about the people that are influencing me the most, my list comes from like I listened to Alex and her layla her Mosey, because I see them pull up on Linkedin all the time. You see these folks micro content way more frequently and I see Chris's videos on linkedin show up way more often than I consume his long form content. Now, his long form content is fantastic and I consume, you know, about once a week, but I see Chris Walker on Linkedin every single day and I think we've got to if we want to turn CEO, or at least the subject matter expert internally, into an influencer, we've got to think about how we can make this person visible to the people that we want them to be visible. Too often, very often. Yeah, that's a good way of of putting it and summing that up. When I'm thinking of everything we've talked about, this idea of variety organized winds keeps popping up in my head, and what I mean by that is there's influencers who are doing a certain thing really well, like in Chris Walker's thing, it's like I'm gonna do this live and then we're gonna make it all this micro content and it's also going to be the podcast. And now he's evolved that and he's doing like tiktok stuff. When you look at podcasts, that when they don't keep it the same at all times, there's like some variety in there, but then it's organized, it's packaged, as we have mentioned here, in a way that makes sense, and so even for B two B growth right now, I think one of the things that's unique is we're trying in working on multiple things at once. So think about the fact that there's in this feed right now, there's episodes that we're doing with thought leaders, with influencers in marketing, and those conversations are wonderful. Maybe a little bit less of our shared Po v because we're spotlighting those people, but that's a lot of the way that sweet fish was built. Right. Content based networking still works because you're connecting with ideal clients, with ideal customers, and you're having informing relationship there. You're asking quality questions, you're creating content together, which deepens the relationship. There's so much value in content based networking. At the same time, James, what you're talking about now, with original research, with having someone on your team become an expert and always be in the feed, always be shared, like you're you're sharing your Po v and unique way we do that with these episodes that you're listening to, and it's these unique plays that are then organized in a way that makes sense. Behind the scenes. You can facilitate variety and that win. Like there's a lot of ways to win, but a big part of this whole thing right is like consistent content pushed out regularly using your p O v, whether it's with other people that have already built a platform or whether it's your team that's trying to build platform or has some level of of authority. I think that variety organized really really wins. Then that means we're gonna wrap it up and this has been a really fun conversation. If you've been liking this and you have yet to follow the podcast, do that on whatever your favorite podcast platform is so you never missed an episode. Connect with Logan, James Dan Myself over on Linkedin. We would love to chat with you about all things influencers. If there's someone that's really impacted you that we didn't talk about, we would love to know who they are so we can follow them and if they're influencing your marketing, we'd love to love to hear about how how they're doing that. All right, we'll be back real soon with another episode and keep doing work that matters. We're always excited to have conversations with leaders on the front lines...

...of marketing. If there's a marketing director or a chief marketing officer that you think we need to have on the show. Reach out email me, Benji dot block at Sweet Fish Media Dot Com. I look forward to hearing from you.

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