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Tips, Tricks, and Advice for Elevating Thought Leadership | Robert Glazer

Tips, Tricks, and Advice for Elevating Thought Leadership | Robert Glazer | 539

Discovering the strategy, tone, and modality for thought leadership.

An interview with Robert Glazer about how he develops content, cultivates an audience, and pushes beyond limits!

You can find an audience for your thought leadership on almost any social media platform.
Time is the ultimate commodity – so, how do you break through the noise to get your audience’s attention?

Today’s guest has a keen understanding of audience, message, and modality! Robert Glazer is the best-selling author of Elevate: Push Beyond Your Limits and Unlock Success in Yourself and Others, a keynote speaker, award-winning executive, and host of The Elevate Podcast.

Our conversation starts by discussing creating content and discovering what the audience is seeking. Robert shares how experimentation is required, but one trick for content creation is writing an article on anything you’ve been asked about five times. This shows that the topic is a pain point to many and allows you to point back to the article as something you’ve previously dealt with, not something you are tackling at the moment. Furthermore, Robert tells us why you have to create content that is more than a sales pitch. By creating content and opportunities that are mutually beneficial you increase the odds of reaching your audience.

In addition, we look at the medium for thought leadership Robert explains that you need to understand the reason for tackling the platform you are. Many platforms like podcasting reward longevity, so digging in and preparing to stick it out through the crickets is required to find success down the road. He also discusses picking one channel and learning to excel at it. Once you’ve built an audience there, you can expand to other platforms.

Three Key Takeaways:

  • Pick a strategy, pick a tone, and pick a channel. Learn to do that one channel well before moving on to another.
  • Success of a platform can take on various looks. From increasing brand awareness, creating new relationships, or by establishing yourself as an expert in your field.
  • If you want to make something go viral, make something worth sharing.

If you need a strategy to bring your thought leadership to market, Thought Leadership Leverage can assist you! Contact us for more information. In addition, we can help you implement marketing, research, and sales. Let us help you so you can devote yourself to what you do best.



Peter Winick And welcome, welcome, welcome. This is Peter Winick. I’m the founder and CEO of Thought Leadership Leverage. And you’re joining us on the podcast, which is leveraging thought leadership today. My guest is Robert Glazer. He’s a serial entrepreneur, an award-winning executive, a bestselling author, a keynote speaker and a podcaster, amongst other things. He’s currently the founder and board chair of global Partnership marketing agency Acceleration Partners. And I can go on and on reading his bio, but I’d rather just talk to him because he’s sitting right here. So welcome aboard, Bob. How are you today?

Robert Glazer Good, Thanks for having me.

Peter Winick Cool. So I want to let’s start with you have used and continue to use thought leadership in a wide variety of ways, right? From writing books to Friday Forward to the newsletter, to your podcast mean you’re doing it in all sorts of ways. Yeah. How do you decide what formats to use and what to expect? Like how do you make those decisions? Because there’s lots of things you could be doing on any given day.

Robert Glazer It’s a little bit of experimentation. You know, we operated as a business. We operated in this kind of niche of affiliate and partner marketing. And I think we had a fundamentally different approach and disagreed with a lot of the norms of the industry. And so we get asked about stuff, and one of my tricks for content was always, if I get asked something five times, I’d be better off writing an article, and then the next time someone and maybe backdating it and then the next time someone asked me about it like, this isn’t new. We’ve, you know, we’ve covered this issue like it’s all right here, what you’re asking about. Because when you’re telling that to someone as a one off answer, it sounds like you’re telling them what you want to hear it. You know, I had the same thing when we started acquiring companies and I got into the same crazy valuation conversations every time I built the whole valuation chart in the whole thing. And when the 20th person gave me the same loony thing about what their company was worth, I’d say, Look, there’s actually an article and some information I put together a year ago, like maybe it’d be helpful to normalize around that. So I learned early on, like we kind of picked a fight with the industry too, and threw a couple of grenades into the model. And I think a lot of people resonated with that. And so that led to kind of writing some of those marketing books and saying, Why don’t we just put our platform out there? Why don’t we like we fundamentally think that the industry needs to change. We’re doing something different. Put it out there.

Peter Winick For a minute because I like the idea. Whatever industry or business you’re in, if you’re doing something that’s different, which you should be, or contrarian, which maybe works for you or whatever. Yeah, not just expressing that in a sales pitch or a meeting or conversations with a client, but memorializing that in some form of thought leadership article, short form, video, whatever. I love the idea of saying, Yeah, everybody’s jumping on the bandwagon, but go back to 2015. I’ve been like, Yeah, other of something, right? Or you have more. You’re not someone jumping on the bandwagon. You could point to a point in time. So yeah, there’s an idea that I actually started or was early on.

Robert Glazer When any asked me, I was helping my financial advisor with this bias about like, what content should I write? I want to do this. Like, what do people ask you about all the time that you have a great answer to, right? Wouldn’t you want to increase the exposure to that, to people who might be looking for that, who don’t already know? You know, one of the things we used to get ask all the time was like, look, if you’re working on performance, can we can we just do it on performance? And I have ten answers like, look, we could I could write up this agreement for you. It’s going to have to have a two year tail. You’re going to take it to your lawyer. They’re not going to like it. Your finance team is going to hate it. And then you’re going to come back and ask me for a retainer. So, like, I’ve just what we’ve seen this movie.

Peter Winick About the middle man. Right? Right.

Robert Glazer Yeah. So that’s where a lot of the, the, the content started was generally as a response to you know common issues. But when I wrote my first book performance partnerships, I actually like our industry affiliate marketing had a lot of naysayers. So I kind of I went with that. So it was three parts kind of the past, present and future. And the past was like, This has been some shady jet lag and we agree with you and we actually share all your concerns. But there’s a totally different way to do this. And let us show you how the best companies were doing that. So it earned some credibility by kind of starting with the self everyone likes a little self-deprecation.

Peter Winick Yeah, no, that’s true. So again, you’ve got lots of different things, right? You’re right. Podcasting, you’re speaking. Some of them are directly for dollars, some not. How did you decide on where to spend more time and energy and where to spend less relative to your goals? So, for example, keynoting is easy. If there’s a fee that you want to get and you get it at, you know, whatever. Yeah.

Robert Glazer And look, I think you need, you need rules. And even speaking, I can tell you kind of the rule that I adopted and that’s well first is you got to kiss some frogs, you know initially and but I don’t do anything free anymore. I have to travel. If I do, it’s got to have a potential future audience that is like, you know, considerably. You know, there’s a thousand CEOs and it’s local. And I can go for an hour and possibly 100 of them want to have me then come to their company. But those are few and far between because I find that when people don’t have skin in the game, they overestimate the audience, They do a bunch of stuff. So if the primary value is for people to gain awareness of me, I’m willing to be flexible and do one of those events. If the primary value is for me to deliver value to the audience, I need to be paid in full for that because there’s no residual impact from that.

Peter Winick Okay. And the paid in full is at a premium based on your reputation, how long you’ve been doing this and all that. It’s, you know, speaking is one of those things where you’d never go to the dentist and say, Can you check out this cavity? And if you do it all the time, I’ll throw you the next one.

Robert Glazer And I know it seems really glamorous, but you know, I have kids that want to be around me now and I see people doing, you know, 100 a year and like it’s like double your eight and do 50. Like, you know, obviously it takes a while to build that up. But look, if I get I have a mark that I want to be at, it’s worth my time. If I get ten of those, great. If I get four of those great like I just not I’m not it doesn’t go on sale.

Peter Winick Yeah. What about the podcast Because that’s something you’ve been doing for quite some time. You’ve got some great guest success for you on the podcast look like because I think people get mucked up in the…

Robert Glazer So people do. Yeah. Like it’s like, you know, if you sell two books on Amazon, you’re in the top 50% or something like that. I think podcast is the same thing. I think most people don’t get past like their second episode and it actually rewards longevity. So I get people, do I? Two books ago I did this whole book podcast or with some well-known people. When I went back for my last book, half of them weren’t doing their podcast anymore, and I think it’s because they started their podcasts for the wrong reason. They started it as an incubator to their business. They started it like it wasn’t its primary mission minus super simple. Like, I want to have an amazing conversation with someone who’s incredible, who I can learn from, and I can share it like, so if that’s the one conversation we ever have in life, then that’s going to be like a great hour. Now, there’s.

Peter Winick Not though, but isn’t it usually a great way to either build or deepen a relationship?

Robert Glazer It’s a great way to start a relationship. There’s people who don’t want to get a phone and chat with me and but they will come on my podcast and then they see that I ask super thoughtful questions. I did my homework and research. It’s organized, I marketed it. I send them a lead where someone says, Hey, I heard on the podcast, can I get, you know, Peter to come speak? So then finally want a testimonial on a book or otherwise. So yeah, so that’s that is a great way to connect to people and meet people who I’ve always wanted to have a conversation with. And I built enough of a platform where it’s valuable for them to do that.

Peter Winick Yeah, I think it’s exactly what you said in that there are zillions of people that won’t necessarily take my call, but if it’s behind a microphone.

Robert Glazer You’re doing something for them. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, that’s.

Peter Winick What.

Robert Glazer This is the reality of human nature. I always would say this in our business, I get calls all the time, right? That would say, hey, we provide X and Y services. I would love to connect with you and talk about how we could provide these services to your clients. Oh, great. I want to take a meeting with you to pitch services to my clients. That sounds super helpful, but I had a 100% success rate when I would reach out to another firm and I’d say, Hey, firm, you offer so and so. Our clients keep asking us for a vendor for this and we don’t do it. I’d love to connect with you and learn about how we might send you referrals if you think that person is going to take that.

Peter Winick Yeah, right.

Robert Glazer I mean.

Peter Winick Yeah. Right? Exactly.

Robert Glazer It’s not un genuine, I mean, but it’s just the approach of like, Hey, can you help me out or can I help you out?

Peter Winick Well, you’re putting them at the center versus Hey, can I take your time so you can make me more successful versus wow, there. Here’s a way we can make one another more successful. And there’s a carrot for you right here.

Robert Glazer So, yeah, 100%.

Peter Winick If you’re enjoying this episode of Leveraging Thought Leadership, please make sure to subscribe. If you’d like to help spread the word about our podcast, please leave a five-star review at and share it with your friends. We’re available on Apple Podcasts and on all major listening apps as well as at

So what other thing we’ve got the Friday Forward, so how do how does that how did that come about.

Robert Glazer Yeah.

Peter Winick So what’s the value to you in that.

Robert Glazer That’s so it came about because I started sending this note to my team after I went to a leadership thing that was about better morning routine and writing something positive. And we were given like chicken soup for the soul stuff. And that wasn’t the type of positive that motivates me. Like, I like something a little more spicy chicken soup for the soul. And so I started taking these quotes and stories and things about leadership and personal development, and I didn’t have the language at that time, but now what I call capacity building. And I started sending them every Friday to my distributed team. People started sharing them outside the company. Eventually, after a discussion with some other CEOs, I shared it with them. They started flowing into their company and I was like, Huh, Maybe other people would like this. And I kind of opened it up. Three years later, 100,000 people in 60 countries had signed up for this newsletter. Again, it’s just about providing value to other people. Have I got tremendous value from it? Have I gotten speaking and clients and all kinds of stuff? Absolutely. But I don’t sit there and be like, What would be a really good way to get a client from this? I try to create something that’s valuable to someone else, and this is an example of doing something for the right reason. So every year there was a massive conference in our industry where the whole industry would be there and a lot of people were on my Friday for it and I read a lot of industry contact how to launch your affiliate program, how to do this or otherwise. Every year I go to the party that they have that night and 5 or 6 people come up to me and say, I love your Friday forward. I loved this one. No one talked to me about. I loved your ten checklist thing. So even though it wasn’t about work content, these are partners, people in our ecosystem, like key people who I had permission to be a communication with every week and share some value. And that’s what they chose to come up in and talk to me about.

Peter Winick And your name is familiar with them. It keeps coming up and then you get to a point where there’s a flywheel effect. And I don’t think the thought would cross your mind now to say, well, you know, it takes me an hour, a week or two hours a week, I’m going to stop doing that.

Robert Glazer Right. And early on, look, James Clear talked about this thought leadership and writing in this stuff. It just rewards longevity. And if you understand the compounding rule of 1%, you almost missed the hockey stick. It feels like crap. Nothing, nothing, nothing. And then eventually the 1% combat. So all the people that have quit their blog and quit their podcast after the they don’t get what they’re looking at, but out of six months pave the way for the people. You know James clear was like 6 or 7 years into his blog till some of his really old CEO pieces started taking off. And that’s also a good reason why you want to. Everyone should understand basic SEO who writes content and how to tag and title and try to write things that are that are evergreen and that will always be true.

Peter Winick Yeah. So I remember when I started blogging years ago, 15 years ago. I don’t really like to write on my best day. I’m a mediocre writer, but it needed to be done. And I went to a good friend of mine in Silicon Valley who at that point had three successful blogs, and he said, Oh, Peter, you’re like everybody else. You know, you’re in the CEO wants to do, you know, you want to hit send and then you want to click and see what the impact was and blah, blah, blah. Don’t commit to writing one blog, commit to writing 100. And I was like, Wow. And I actually.

Robert Glazer Sat for.

Peter Winick The week and I was like, jeez, all right. And you know, you get to number 20, you get to number 30 and it’s crickets and it’s crickets. And I’m like, Why am I? And you had every reason to justify, this is stupid. This is stupid.

Robert Glazer Yeah. It’s like the organic law of nature where it just rewards persistence in some way. Yeah.

Peter Winick I think that’s right. And then when I. So it wasn’t necessarily exactly 100, we saw some early indication it was good. And then when we did the podcast six and a half years ago. All right, how about 50, right? Yeah.

Robert Glazer Yeah.

Peter Winick And same thing. The first 50 were like, okay, yeah. You know, my next door neighbor downloaded it. He’s an accountant. Like, thanks, but I wouldn’t listen to your podcast on accounting if you had one buddy like whatever. And now it’s become a thing, right? So I think that most people don’t persist. Most people live in a short term reward basis. You know, there are places where thought leadership is a long term play, a mid term play. On a short term play. And I think you have to understand where to where to place the bets on what.

Robert Glazer The and short term is. If you’re the guy or the girl or whatever, and it’s your space and your space blows up and it’s hot and you’re that like thing of the moment, right? That’s like catching lightning. And it’s like I had a moment like that. We were a remote company for 15 years and we kind of, like, hit it. And but we were won all these best places to work awards and then Covid hit and everyone’s like, How do you do remote? And so, yeah, and I wrote a book in three months and it’s all anyone who talked to me was about remote work. But like, that’s catching lightning in a bottle.

Peter Winick Well, and that happens, right?

Robert Glazer It happens. But you can’t, you can’t you can only plan for that by being the expert when your industry steps up onto stage. Right. And so you can plan by being really good and being prepared, but it’s hard to make your industry out of nowhere.

Peter Winick So what would you say to someone out there that’s thinking about investing in thought leadership for their business to differentiate, to stand out from the competition, to punch above their weight, all the great things that it’s for? What are the things that you would advise? Yeah.

Robert Glazer I think pick a strategy, pick a kind of an angle or tone and then pick one channel and do that really well. I actually think companies struggle with this, like when they try to do one platform. One, Yeah, one platform. Like I’m going to crush Instagram and do it this way or I’m going to write blog content or because I actually find that when you build an audience with one, you can then leverage it to the other. Companies have this exact same problem. The ones that dive into all social media are not successful at any of it. And then you’ll see ones that nailed Instagram or figured out TikTok or figured out videos. And then from that base they were able to do the other channels. But if you don’t have the resources and you don’t have the team, as I would go for the longevity, make a commitment. Like you said, I’m going to I’m going to do 100, make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons and focusing on giving value to others and pick one platform. Those would be my advice.

Peter Winick And don’t call it thought leadership. When it’s really content marketing or product marketing.

Robert Glazer You don’t get to call yourself a thought leader. Other people can call you that, but it is never self. There’s no duty or thing I calling yourself a thought leader.

Peter Winick It is the duty is to do.

Robert Glazer Yeah.

Peter Winick Interesting. What about for folks that don’t know where to start? So you know and you’re saying pick one. So pick in-store pick or whatever.

Robert Glazer Pick LinkedIn, pick a newsletter, right? Yeah, yeah.

Peter Winick But I think that also assumes that you’re really clear about who you’re serving and who you are, who you like to serve and make sure they’re there. Right, because I’ve seen a lot of folks say, Oh, I’m not doing video, and then you get down to it, Well, why are you doing video? Like, well, I don’t like video. I’m like, okay, but you’re marketing to this group. In this group, in this group. And the data shows us that they’re consuming short form video. So if you don’t show up there, you’re not even an option. Like how do you how do you how do you balance that out?

Robert Glazer Yeah, just be something to someone. Again, it comes to the value. Like if you’re if you’re a financial planner, again, think about the 3 or 4 questions you get asked a lot. Maybe prospects ask you your best clients, ask you otherwise, and figure out how you could deliver something that is a value and easy for people to consume and do it on a regular enough basis that they that they get used to it. Right? So and again, figure out what your voice is and what your style is. If you hate video, maybe you write. If you hate writing videos, you’re good at making social media things, then do that. I mean, a lot of this is just based on what your proclivities are. I would try to play to your strength and I would again always take the view of like, how is whatever I’m going doing helpful to this other person? And because you’re going to start with the people that you know, but your goal is for that content to move into the sphere of the people that you don’t know, and that’s how they get to know you.

Peter Winick Yeah, no, I think you want.

Robert Glazer To write virus. Something viral makes something worth sharing. Like it’s the thing that knows, you know, Morgan Housel talked about this years ago where he hired a social media consultant and you gave them all these hacks but never said like, write really good content, which would actually matter ten times more than all these other things.

Peter Winick Yeah, I think that’s right. And putting quality out there, making sure that like, you know, the scarce resource we have today is not information, it’s time. So whether you’re going to get ten minutes of my time or two minutes or, you know, eight hours if I’m ready to you.

Robert Glazer Can I can I give you a perfect example of this in a different context? So I have a I have a rental unit out in Park City and we built a website for it and it gets some traffic and otherwise. But the way you get people to your website, you need more links, you need more from us, otherwise. So I thought about like what would be helpful, you know, to this. And over the years people sent me tons of lists like the best Rest, and they’re all this format now for me. So I spent like 36 hours collecting these lists, doing resources, building the biggest ultimate guide to everything you could ever want to do in Park City. And I just hung it off. This rental website on another page doesn’t, you know, with an innocuous link to it. And I shared it with this morning with 200 people the amount of connections I’ve already gotten of people like we’re going to add this. Can you put this on there. Oh can you like it’s already like because everyone was like, this is so good. We’ve been like, look, you know, I had a restaurant list, I had a whatever, like this solve a problem. So we’re just going to link to it, give you stuff in it already. One guy hooked me up with reservations at his restaurant. Like. Like. But what did I do? I sat down. I spent hours trying to make something that would be really helpful for other people.

Peter Winick Well, I know, but those other people, I think you have a sense of the need because you’re also one of those other people.

Robert Glazer Yeah, because it’s so annoying to get all these different lists. And I’m like, Just tell me, give me all the stuff in one place. And I couldn’t.

Peter Winick I just did time. Now, clearly we’re falling into first world problem. Yeah, yeah. It’s hard to get a good read is a very important city but yeah, yeah. We’ll work on solving some of the other things. But this is a problem that’s been there, but.

Robert Glazer It’s a perfect example of like, honestly, I got super into it. It was fun. I spent an entire weekend. My wife was yelling at me like, Why are you on the computer? I was like, Let me just finish this list. Like, I just I want to make this really good.

Peter Winick For is it more fun because you get the wife to yell at you and value like.

Robert Glazer That? That ups the ante. But it’s a super simple example of creating content that goes viral because it’s helpful to other people.

Peter Winick Well, and what I love about your example, viral in that instance is clearly lowercase V That’s never going to get a million hits.

Robert Glazer It doesn’t need to.

Peter Winick Yeah, small community of a couple hundred people that are in and out in Park City, that percentage of them that could rent your condo or whatever it is pretty high. Like pretty smart. Pretty good, right? Because how many pictures of the.

Robert Glazer Manga and by the way, back to technical, the hardest thing for SEO, you can optimize your site. The hardest thing one of the most important is getting other people to link to you and link to your content. So how do you get people to link to you? You write something that is linkable, right?

Peter Winick Well, there’s been awesome. I appreciate your time and your candor and lots of good stuff that’s gone back and forth there, Bob, So I really appreciate it. Thank you. Thank you so much for spending time with us today.

Robert Glazer Thanks for having me, Peter.

Peter Winick To learn more about Thought Leadership Leverage, please visit our website at to reach me directly. Feel free to email me at Peter at and please subscribe to leveraging thought leadership on iTunes or your favorite podcast app to get your weekly episode automatically.

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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