070 - The Power of Leveraging Thought Leadership With Peter Winick




CEO Thought Leadership Leverage 

Show Notes

Josh Tapp 0:00
What's up everybody? Josh Tapp here again and welcome back to the lucky Titan podcast. So today we have Peter Winnick on the mic. Peter is the founder and CEO of thought leadership leverage and just an all around great guy. So Peter, let's just hop right in. Right, Peter. So tell us one thing about yourself that most people don't know.
Peter Winick 0:18
Right? Most people don't know that. I think it's okay to drink red wine with sushi advocate of Cabernet and sushi and sashimi and people will often look at that as an odd pairing, but
Josh Tapp 0:31
actually, it's the pure pairing.
Peter Winick 0:34
Exactly. Listen, you gotta you gotta stand for something. So that's my thing.
Josh Tapp 0:38
Some people stand for cancer research or what have you, but you're okay. Red
Unknown Speaker 0:43
wine and sushi. I'm a little.
Peter Winick 0:45
I love happy my shallowness.
Josh Tapp 0:49
So awesome. All right, Peter. So give us a little bit of background about how you got into the leadership space in general and then we'll really delve into your business model after that.
Peter Winick 1:00
Sure, I mean, so the way I got into the thought leadership space is, is really the integration of two sides of my of me, that I thought were very distinct that I actually realized could be connected. So on the one hand, I've always been entrepreneurs, starting businesses, you know, in my teens, and on and on started my first real business, I think I was 2122. But also simultaneously, always being an information junkie, always reading books, always reading magazines, Google, that if you're under 32, we were paper things that came in the mail, you know, on a frequent basis. And we just always really loved great content and thought leadership and it was about 2003 2004. Somewhere in that timeframe, where I got recruited to do a turnaround at a company that was a communications consulting firm based out in Australia had an operation in North America that was in trouble. And I learned about the business side of thought leadership and content like how do you sell programs and workshops and work with companies to help them do what they need to do. And I'm like, wow, this is really cool. This is like two things that I totally dig. So it's really sort of the business side of thought leadership and content is where I landed, which is a great place for me. So I enjoy it.
Josh Tapp 2:17
Yeah. When you've already done that yourself, like you said, that's pretty awesome that you were able to take your entrepreneurial journey and say, hey, let's let's leverage this now to help others do it. So currently, what give us a little bit of background on your your business model, because that's one of the things that really intrigued me the way that you're helping entrepreneurs to become thought leaders.
Peter Winick 2:35
Yes, it's not just entrepreneurs. So, thought leadership. Leverage is a boutique consulting company. We work with authors, we work with Speaker, we work with thought leaders, we work with academics, we work with consultants, and then we do a lot of work with founders and CEOs. And that just really is there. How do you Well, number one, the objective for our clients primarily is to get their content in Thought Leadership out there to have a greater impact in the world. And to monetize it more effectively, the monetization can be done directly. So I've got this suite of content, it lives in the book, I want to sell the books, it lives in a speech, I want to do more speaking, and then the derivative, product offerings and services, consulting services, video based training, validated assessment tools, etc. So that's selling the content. For others, it's getting the content out there to sell another business. So they want to get the content out there to show who they are and what they're about and how they think. But they don't really care about the direct monetization of the content. The content brings awareness to who they are and what they do. works particularly well in professional services firms, technology firms, financial services firms, you know, if you're if you're in a crowded space, trying to differentiate by the way most of us are content and thought leadership is a more cost effective way to build your brand and get the attention that you're looking for.
Josh Tapp 3:57
Yeah, and one you hit on an excellent point there because some people I mean, they're they're focused more on the branding side, they're not looking for the direct ROI. But for you, I mean, for a lot of people, they're saying, How do I, you know, turn a profit by by being a thought leader in general, right. And so I want to kind of talk along that strategy for a lot of people, because most of the people that, you know, we work with, that's one of their primary concerns to say, Okay, I want to actually take the time to brand myself, but I also want it to pay me right in the long run. So what's your thought about the difference between those two and between, you know, branding, so
Peter Winick 4:32
I don't think they're mutually exclusive. I think the only reason you would brand anything is in the hopes of ultimately monetizing it. Otherwise, what's the point? Right? So there's a branding piece to thought leadership. So in my work with clients, we start with the process that we take into we start with a strategy, what is the strategy for you, right? And the strategy takes into account typical business, things that you would look at strategically, who the market you're going to serve. How are we gonna serve them? How do you differentiate? What's your competitive advantage? You know, what's your product roadmap, etc, etc. And then the branding piece is the next phase in terms of what's their platform because the world doesn't need another sales guru or another leadership expert, etc. It needs someone that that has a platform that resonates highly in a subset of a market. So it might be, I'm going to be the leadership person for newly minted managers in highly technical positions that didn't have any management experience before. That's pretty niche, right? versus generic leadership or management. So the branding is a piece of the platform development, and then the monetization comes after that.
Josh Tapp 5:43
Yeah. So that's really awesome. And that's why I like how you kind of blend the two. We should just taught a marketing class not too long ago to a bunch of small business owners and they were, I think that was the part that a lot of people didn't get their call branding and marketing are separate, but like you're saying they're, they work together and if you can do both of them At the same time you'll you'll be paid. But you're, you also see a huge brand, like a big boom in your brand. Right? So as far as let me just add a thread to that one
Peter Winick 6:09
of the things that I've seen as of late last couple years is personal branding is different than branding, right? So there's this huge body of work that came out of Tom Peters 20 years ago, you know, the brand called you which, which led the personal branding movement, etc, which is interesting. I actually believe that thought leadership is sort of the next wave of personal branding, because you know, if you've got a perspective and a stake in the ground, as an individual that's transportable, so I might be a junior level something something here today, or the owner of a company that does why or whatever the case is, but that goes with me wherever I go in the future. And I could use that as a competitive advantage to stand out from the crowd, which is the whole point of a branding activity.
Josh Tapp 6:51
Yeah. Well, and so what why does it make you stand out more so than just doing regular branding activities? I think that's the point that's a little bit vague. Well,
Peter Winick 6:59
I think Think that we live in a world where
people are less trusting. But there's so much information coming at us so quickly through so many formats. We don't know what to believe and who to believe it from. Right. So the fault leadership shows that someone's got a stake in the ground, about a body of work. There, they're taking that conversation, elevating it to the next level, which is different than just regular branding. Right. So So branding are is a subset of that terms of the attributes of the brand, but thought leadership is around. Wow, the reason I tune into Josh is he's having interesting conversations with interesting people that benefit me. Now. Some of that is your brand. But I would also argue there's a thought leadership piece to that right, because the brand is the conversations are informal. The brand is I wouldn't expect the shamwow guy to be on the show. There's a certain expectation of Who would I expect when I tuned in that you're not going to shake me up every time I tuned in. I don't know what You know, it's gonna be, there's a style that's part of your brain. Right. So all those things contribute, but ultimately the thought leadership that's, that's extracted from programs like this are the conversations.
Josh Tapp 8:10
Yeah. Well, and I and I love the fact that you mentioned that, you know, in our context, for example, because what's really funny is when we work with podcasters, you know, there's there's over 400,000 podcasts right now. And at least at least, yeah, a lot of people, right? Well, man, it's a saturated market. I can't go into it. So what do you tell people? Because the reality is like, books are a quote, unquote, a saturated market, right? There's hundreds and millions and millions of books out there. But people are still writing books every day. Yeah, yeah. So I guess I my question to you is like, what what really, you know, why? Why does it not become saturated? Or what makes it different?
Peter Winick 8:52
I don't think saturations the question really, right. So whether you were to write a book, whether you do a podcast, whether you Do whatever, a YouTube channel, you know, Twitter, whatever you can make the argument that they're saturated that only matters is you're not adding anything new to the conversation if you don't stand out from the crowd if, if you're, you know, I didn't understand Twitter about a dozen years ago, 10 years ago when the first came out, because what I saw was a lot of stupidity. Right? So if I wasn't sure you were an idiot, and then I watched your Twitter feed, you now convinced me you were because what you're posting is useless. You know, I hadn't, you know, went to the market today and stood online. Really? Okay. Well, that's, that's, that's really fascinating, right? versus somebody else. It's actually as, whatever their frequency is for putting something out on whatever format. There's a benefit I get from it. Like that's interesting. Now interesting. Could be it's pithy. It's funny, it's insightful. It doesn't matter. But But just because everybody in the world now has a microphone, doesn't mean they should just because everybody should write a book doesn't mean you should. How is yours going to stand out?
Josh Tapp 9:59
Yeah, absolutely. Literally, when so and that's kind of what you do as a company is you help people to to make their content stand out. So what's kind of your strategy when you work with somebody to help them in building their content and making it, you know, brand them? Well?
Peter Winick 10:15
Yeah, so at the risk of sounding like a consultant, it depends, but
right. But I think it's about it's different for everybody is figuring out number one. you're applying real business skills to a discipline that can be fairly creative, and doesn't always do that. So for example, you know, if you were to say to me, Josh, hey, Peter, I'm going to open up a whatever a donut shop in my local town in Idaho, right. I asked you a series of questions that you'd be able to answer. answer, right. What type of doughnuts Oh, they're organic vegan doughnuts. Okay, I get it. That's a particular market. Right? What's the price point? What's your competition? Where are you going to locate? Are the margins gonna be? Well, you know, there's like, 10 years questions if you if you weren't able to ask answer them, I'd say, okay, Josh, you're an idiot. money into this, right? But if you answer them effectively Now we could have some back and forth, it's actually I think the margin should be higher or lower. Maybe vegan is good. Maybe it should maybe be vegan and gluten free or whatever, right? But but we would have a target. People go into the thought leadership space by holding their nose and jumping into the pool, and on the way down, maybe looking if there's water, because they don't, they don't plan it. And that's not necessarily a fault. I think it's just the way it happens, right? They, sometimes they write an article and it takes off and then someone to ask them to write a book and that takes off. And then the next thing you know, you wake up two years later, and you're speaking 35 times a year for an exorbitant fee. So the first thing I do is say, timeout, let's apply logical business acumen and savvy and develop a strategy even if you're off the charts successful or if you're struggling because in the absence of strategy,
you know, serendipity is not a It's not going to get you to the bank. All
Josh Tapp 12:02
right. Yeah. And I think like you're saying, it's not about just being vague. It's not about just it's almost not about going in blind. But you do have to, like you said, jump in with your nose plugged in. Don't even look at the water sometimes.
Peter Winick 12:17
Well, you know, and there's nothing wrong with taking risks and taking advantage of opportunity and stuff. But But you know, I look at it, they listen.
Congratulations, you're in the content business. Now. There's 30 models that you could use, right? So you could develop a training company that puts people out in the field to deliver the content in a Coronavirus world that we're living in. That's not a good thing. You could be in a licensing business and say, You know what, I'm a really shitty manager. I'm awful with people. So I just want to license my content to others that can distribute it. Build a moat around me. I just want to create cool stuff. I'm willing to take a smaller piece of a larger pie. You could be in the technology because you can develop apps you can develop video based learning systems. You can develop a consulting business are you building it for cash flow? Are you building it for an exit? So these are all the decisions that you need to make, which feel overwhelming to many. But once they get there, I mean, ultimately what we're selling early on to our clients is clarity. And from clarity comes the ability to effectively prioritize because what smart people do in any space that they're in, is they confuse activity with productivity. Right? So none of my clients are sitting around, you know, eating bonbons all day, they're doing lots and lots of stuff. And then we get involved and go, Okay, stop doing this and start doing that, or do less of this or more of that. Or if you've done this thing 500 times and it yielded no results. Why would we want to do it first, and just having someone to help them sort of decode all that?
Josh Tapp 13:43
Yeah, one and you're hitting a really good point there. I mean, Dean grassy OC talks about all the time that not to do lists, right? It's everybody has their to do list and he says, one of the things you shouldn't be doing or you shouldn't be outsourcing. And it's really funny when you do that in your life, how often you're like, oh, wow, I'm doing A bunch of stuff that's just a waste of time. Or I could pay somebody to do this, you know, why am I spending four hours on this thing that I could pay somebody, you know, $50 to do?
Peter Winick 14:09
Right? What have you deconstruct all the
functional things? Well, the capabilities to be a, you know, a successful thought leader today, there isn't one human being on the planet that has all those, right? So you've got to be creative, you got to have writing skills. You got to be a social media expert, you have to have instructional design skills, product development skills, negotiation, like, there's 82 different buckets and you're like, nope, you know, at best, you're good, or, at best, your great and a handful good at some and crappy at the vast majority. Right? And it's usually that crappy at the vast majority of that you're spending way too much time that you can either if you have no one else, but you would hire you to do that job. That's one thing I always ask like, anybody else pay you money to do the job that you're doing for yourself? And they sort of laugh and go, Oh my god, I'm awful at this. I'm like, so maybe by yourself.
Josh Tapp 15:01
Yeah. See, and that's a really good way to look at I've never looked at it that way. Four or five things. I'm like, No, no, I wouldn't do that for myself. I would give myself for that. Wow, that's that's a good, good way to look at
Peter Winick 15:15
right. And if I was paying someone else I fired that person cuz the results stink because they're awful lot.
Josh Tapp 15:20
Right, great boy. Well, Peter, I want to ask you this, you know, especially as somebody who's been in this space for so long, you've got amazing experience in this. What's got you most excited about the content industry right now?
Peter Winick 15:34
what's most? That's a good question.
I think what's most exciting is that there are so many different formats and ways. So if we go back to the old days, let me let me sort of frame it. If you go back to the ancient days of Fred Flintstone 15 years ago, the model for typical thought leader was fairly straightforward. Write write a book There was a 12 month time there was an 18 month time, there was a cadence that the world said you should write a book this frequently. By the way, the publisher would give you a fairly healthy advance to write that write, and then go out there and speak. And life is pretty good, you know, and you can make a million bucks a year and you had a quaint little kitchen table business and we beat him on the travel that's not a bad way to make a living. Well, today the publishing industry is up ended. It doesn't even deserve to be called the industry because most industries by definition, put out more than they take in the publishing industry is a disaster. So it's not all about the books, the speaking industry has been turned on its head, meaning it used to be you can get you know go through the bureaus, they will get you booked, etc, etc, etc. You have to do all of that on your well 70% of that market. You have to book on your own. If you don't have those skills to do that. It doesn't matter how good you are on stage, you know, and then we hit a crisis like you know, in the middle of of now Coronavirus, gets flat You know, every events getting canceled. So if you're if you have a shop with one one product, like a speech The world is no longer buying speeches. That's a bad thing. So that's that's the old world the new world is how do you know you're in the world of getting your, your your thought leadership your content out to more people more often and more ways, right? So it's deploying digital, it's packaging in ways that make sense. And it's monetizing in ways that don't require you to be in tune with your content in order for dollars to change things.
Josh Tapp 17:25
Yeah, well, and I really like the way you're bringing that up because a lot of people think that okay, if I'm a speaker, I'm always have a job. But like you're saying, I don't think people take into account you know, the natural disasters. They the diseases like the Coronavirus, like, like you said, that's that's shutting down. Huge speakers.
Peter Winick 17:44
You know, listen, I I've earned the gray hair. We've had 911 that put the word to an end. Yeah, we had the financial crisis in a way that was a three year punch in the face. Right. Right. Hopefully the Coronavirus will dissipate. shortly. We don't know if that's a one month hiccup or six month thing or again. Changing way it's too early but that but but just from a risk mitigation factor. If you're in an analog only world and don't have anything digital and that goes away, that's not a good place to be. And right, you can't make that business up. Right? If you if you lost eight gigs in March, then you're not gonna get that back. Maybe, you know, right now what's happening, things are getting rescheduled for later on down the year, they might get canceled, you know, like all that revenue that was just lost a soundbite that's not coming back. You can't find the restaurant there. I can't sell 10,000 hamburgers next week that I would have sold this week.
Josh Tapp 18:34
Right? Well, so let me ask you this. It does it. Does having your your content digital. mitigate all of that. I mean, is it Are there more risks to putting your content digital because everybody's kind of going that direction? Right? That's even how we are. We put all of our content into courses or webinars or we do virtual masterminds. Like those are the sorts of things for us that I feel like help us protect against those sort of things, but what are some of the risks that also lie in that realm?
Peter Winick 19:02
Well, there's risk in every realm. So, to me, there's only three ways to make money with your content. Number one, you do more of what you're doing. So if you're, if you're not at capacity, whatever, however you define that as a coach, as a consultant as a speaker, problem, one is how do I get to the capacitor? I want to be right? That's usually a marketing, branding positioning function. Next Level is pricing, then you want to charge more for what you do, right? If you are at capacity, well, geez, how do I make more money and do less? How do you get your price point? Well, you can serve different markets, you can go more upstream on the market, you could you could deal with problems that are higher stakes, etc. But ultimately, each market has a seal, right? So even the best of the best.
Unknown Speaker 19:41
You can
Peter Winick 19:42
wake up one day and say, I'm going to charge you know, $20,000 to be a speaker, unless you were, you know, President or you did something way off the charts, like the percentage of speakers that are in that realm or, you know, point oh 1% right. And then the last thing is to digitize your content and the digitization is not a one size fits all. It's really, you know, is that an individual assessment tool? It's sold on a subscription basis? Is it a library of video that is sold through partners? Are you selling directly to mid cap companies or large caps? It really, you know, digital is not a one size fits all. And to me, it's what are the right formats and modalities, the right strategic partners? What is the ecosystem you want to you want to create? And what do you want to do with that?
Josh Tapp 20:27
Yeah. And like you're saying, I think for some people, I think the problem that a lot of them are falling into, and I know I even fell into this early on was, if you, you take a core, she spent 1000 $5,000 on a course or a training or you go to an event or something, and you learn this new way to package your content, right? Like, I'm gonna, I'm gonna start a podcast, right? And a lot of people will do that. And then they don't start making money so they quit. Or, you know, it just kind of blows up in their face, but sometimes that just wasn't the best way to package your content. So I really
Peter Winick 20:58
well, so I think there's two things there. I think There's having realistic expectations around timeframe. So a very dear friend of mine, called me about, I don't know, whatever it was 1012 years ago, when I started blogging, I don't particularly like to write, I've written hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of blogs. I don't think this is my favorite thing in the world. I'd rather do this in every conversation, which is why we've moved to podcasts. But what my friend said to me when I started blogging, so listen, your guy likes to measure everything you want, you know, you're impatient, you've got a DD You know, you're the entrepreneur that wants to see it happen quickly. If you're gonna write a blog, commit to yourself that you'll do 100 of them before you go crazy. Looking at the metrics doesn't mean don't look at anything, but it's nothing until you've you've done 100. And I used so I did that. And it worked, right? Like we get a ton of our new clients come in through content that we've created and put out there, etc. When I launched our podcast two years ago, same deal. You know, we have over 200 episodes that we've put out to date in two years, which is a lot two episodes a week. We didn't really see much going on until we hit about 60 or 70. And if you if you actually know me, I'm the most impatient guy in the way really do anything 70 times without getting some immediate gratification, like, give me a cookie, you know, but but you have to you have to play the long game with thought leadership. Now it's paying dividends that are off that we couldn't even fathom when we launched it two years.
Josh Tapp 22:14
Yeah, see, and that's super awesome, because I like that mentality because it's kind of like that SEO mentality, you know, some people like, Oh, I'm just gonna invest $100 this month in SEO, and it's like, well, yeah, that will be great. Just throwing it away. Try investing out for a year, and then you'll be like, wow, I'm glad I invested that money.
Peter Winick 22:32
Well, what happens is, the more you sort of skip around in my
role, for example, when someone makes an introduction, or someone finds us online, or whatever,
I have to assume like everybody else,
they're gonna do their homework on us. They're gonna research they're gonna look around. And what we hear now is, is in an initial conversation with a client, I'm having conversations now that would have taken me sort of three or four conversations six or seven years ago, and the reason that the sales cycle is shorter Because they're they're learning a lot of what they need to learn by consuming the content on their own. So they'll, you know, they'll start quoting Oh, and I, you know, I heard you on this podcast with this person doing this, or I saw your video on that or whatever. That makes my life easy, you know, when they can when they can sort of take themselves through the sales cycle?
Josh Tapp 23:19
Yeah, absolutely. Well, that's so awesome. Well, well, Peter, we're coming to the end here. So I'd like to have you give a little bit of background on what you're doing and how you're helping, especially entrepreneurs become thought leaders. How does that work for you guys?
Peter Winick 23:34
Yeah, so on the entrepreneurial side, I think there's a couple different things that we see if you're an entrepreneur that successful and there you've got a passion play like hey, you know, all my friends told me to write a book, or it's something that I just want to do. Right? We can help you not waste a ton of money. And I'm using a book as a placeholder for content because one is I talk more people out of writing Books and anybody I know, it might not be write a book, it might be launch a podcast, it might be using whatever. But if there's something that you want to do you're not sure how to do it we can be helpful more more often. It's okay I want to do this for these business objectives. How did How is the launch of this bucket of content this this thought leadership is going to benefit my business or launch me into a new business? I've had plenty of people that are incredibly successful in their businesses but they get bored they're you know, whatever. And they want to you know, they've got this new thing they want to do they want to train leaders, they want to develop entrepreneurs, they want to coach they want to consult whatever that's a thought leadership play. So those are folks that we can easily help
Josh Tapp 24:41
awesome and where can people find find you guys get in contact with you? Yes,
Peter Winick 24:46
places the website which is thought leadership leverage calm, you can email me directly at Peter at thought leadership, leverage calm, and then you could you know, you could Google around there's also the podcast, which is leveraging thought leadership YouTube channel, LinkedIn. On Twitter or
not on tik tok yet, because I haven't figured out if that
Unknown Speaker 25:03
makes any sense for us to be if it's worth it yet.
Josh Tapp 25:07
I personally don't think it is for our strategy, but
Peter Winick 25:10
I'm kind of leaning that way as well as I, I've done some cursory look at it and like this is basically vine is
Josh Tapp 25:18
100% fine. I'm pretty sure they use the same code for it.
Unknown Speaker 25:23
I love that. Well,
Josh Tapp 25:24
I'm not gonna I'm not gonna rant about that. But Peter, before we sign off today, can you give us one last parting piece of guidance?
Peter Winick 25:32
What Wow, okay, that's not that's a loaded question. One little
Josh Tapp 25:35
loaded one. Because I mean, if you could only get one thing across our audience before you before you sign off here.
Peter Winick 25:42
Yes, I mean, I think the one thing would be if you haven't thought about how to or why to or when to integrate thought leadership into your business, you should and if you don't do it, you know, it's like the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is today, right? It is really the most sad It's fine, intrinsically and extrinsically and cost effective way to grow your business in a market where there's just so much noise, it's a great way to stand out. And it's also fun.
Josh Tapp 26:13
Yeah, I love that. Well, Peter, thanks so much for coming on the show today. Cool. Thanks for having me, man. The number one needle mover in my business is joint venture partnerships. Growing a following can be time consuming and frustrating. For that reason we created the tribe of Titans the world's first joint venture matching platform. Using this free platform you can find guests for a podcast YouTube channel or Facebook group where you can promote your brand product or service in one simple place. You can create your free accounts at tribe dot the lucky titan.com once again, that's tribe dot the lucky titan.com
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