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Are you conflating business development with thought leadership development?


Hi there, it’s Peter Winick. I’m the founder and CEO at Thought Leadership Leverage. The idea that I’d like to share with you today is this: my observation from working with hundreds of thought leaders, authors, academics, and such over many, many years is this – the love, the passion is typically falling into the content creation, the thought leadership development bucket; creating new ideas, writing new articles, working out new concepts, etc. The struggle, for the most part, lies in business development. They don’t like to cold call – who does? They don’t like to do outreach. They’re a little bit rusty when it comes to marketing, sales, when it comes to doing networking, whatever the case may be.

So, here’s a solution to that, that I would advise you to at least give a shot, try it, run an experiment. And that is to conflate something that you love, something that you’re great at – developing great thought leadership – with something that you may not enjoy, may not do enough of, may not be great at, which is business development.

How might you do this? Well, let’s say you want to put together an article or you’re doing some research on a topic that is part of your work. Well, you can identify targets to reach out to that happen to also be targets that you’d like to do business with. And there’s two calls you can make to them.

One is, ‘Hey, I’m so and so. I’ve written three books on this topic or I teach here, or whatever your subject matter expertise is, and I’m doing some research on something that I think would be of interest to you and folks like you. In fact, some of the other people I will be talking to are ABC and D. Would you mind, if we do a 20-minute phone call so I can get your feedback on this?’

The second call you can make to them is, ‘Hey, I’m trying to sell you some consulting or a keynote or whatever because I’ve got this great expertise and great reputation.’ Which call do you think they’re going to respond to more often? Which call is going to end in a relationship and a rapport that is developed around a common passion, around a common interest?

So, anyway, my suggestion once again is conflate business development with the development of high-quality thought leadership in a consistent way to drive your business outcomes. Love to hear what you think.

Peter Winick has deep expertise in helping those with deep expertise. He is the CEO of Thought Leadership Leverage. Visit Peter on Twitter!

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