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How to Elevate Your Leadership Positioning



Want to get your name out there? Try these few simple tips from Nona Digital CEO, Mike Scott's discussion with Azadeh Williams, founder and managing partner of AZK Media

How to Elevate Your Leadership Positioning

When it comes to elevating your thought leadership status and marketing your brand, some of the simplest things can be the most effective - and they don't have to cost the earth.

Nona Digital CEO, Mike Scott, and host of the How to be Moderately Successful podcast speaks with Azadeh Williams, founder and managing partner of AZK Media talk about how organisations can improve their thought leadership positioning

Mike Scott: There's a lot of skills I know I take for granted. For instance, I've got over 8000 followers and I was one of the early adopters of leveraging LinkedIn, as a business model in this realm. Most of our business comes from LinkedIn, LinkedIn marketing or LinkedIn thought leadership.

Azadeh Williams: Yeah, we do have a LinkedIn training schedule, sessions and workshops for our clients, and they found it valuable. They've gone from 5000 impressions to 35,000 impressions within a month, by adopting some of our strategies and tips, without burning the candle at both ends trying LinkedIn amongst everything else.

MS: That's where we are in our journey. We've had very good results on LinkedIn and continue to, but it's very time-consuming. We're at a point now where my LinkedIn page is quite successful and I get some good engagement from the right kinds of people. But I do everything myself, and that's not scalable and to be completely honest it's not a great use of my time. What are some other things that tech startups should stop doing, and start doing, in regards to marketing?

What are some things people should stop doing, which maybe will make people feel a little bit less stressed? What are some things people should start doing which might add to their workload, but give them some good results?

Azadeh Williams: To put it simply, startups need to understand marketing, and value marketing as a critical component of growing their business and building their brand equity. Because, without it, you're going to be invisible to your prospects and customers. It's an absolutely essential component to get a competitive advantage. 

What they should stop doing is cutting corners in marketing, or thinking marketing is just some marketing automation platform you can plug in and play and it will do the magic for you, and you can step back and focus on the sales funnel. It doesn't work like that, there's a very complex ecosystem startups really need to understand. Those are the nitty-gritty things that startups should start and stop doing, and I can't overstate the importance of brand equity.

Startups should understand the concept of brand equity. How beautiful, valuable, rich and how much potential does your brand equity hold? 

You can’t articulate what you're doing if your website doesn’t capture your lead information or if there are parts of your website which are broken and make you look cheap and clunky. How are people supposed to trust your new tech solution if you can't get your own website right?

Mike Scott: The brand equity thing is important. This podcast right here, what we're doing right now, is part of it and it requires effort, and it works. It reminds me of a guy I follow and respect, David C Baker. He's quite specific to the industry, he wrote a book called The Business of Expertise, and he has a podcast called Two Bobs, which is absolutely brilliant and he focuses mainly on sort of digital creative and tech businesses, which is quite rare. 

He speaks about moving from, in the eyes of the customer, a vendor mindset to an expert mindset. When you're a vendor, you don't have to negotiate power, you do what you're told to do. It's generally a bad experience and you charge less money for it and it's less value. When you're an expert, there's more negotiating power, you’re starting off on a much more even footing, and you deliver more value.

The question then becomes how do we move from a vendor mindset to an expert mindset? The answer he offers is there are only two ways: write and deliver thought leadership through articles, blog posts, white papers; or get on YouTube, or to get on a podcast, and create an environment where you're giving value all the time. 

This stuff requires effort, this is not set and forget, this does not deploy a bot that automatically adds LinkedIn people, and the leads roll in. Talk to me a little bit about creating content, how do you work with your clients to create content that is relevant, valuable objectively not filler content, to get better SEO results, how do you approach the content generation process whether it's audio, video, or written?

Azadeh Williams: Going from the vendor world to the expert world, there's one keyword in all of it, and it is education. If you want to position yourself as an expert, you need to be able to educate. In tech, and tech adoption, there's this chasm where you've got the innovator, you've got the expert in the startup and then you have the adopter, and there's a bit of a gap in between. The gap needs to be filled with expert education.

What we do is deep dive into who those adopters are, what their real pain points are, and what their challenges are. What are the industry pain points? Healthcare is a perfect example. Healthcare has traditionally been a very slow adopter of technology. Now, look at the doctor's pain points, look at the practice managers' pain points. What are the things they want? They are time-poor, they want to save time, they want to build efficiency, they want to grow their medical practices.

Deliver those messages and educate and give them the content information to help solve those pain points, whether it's a webinar, or whether it's a thought leadership piece. Different people learn in different ways. Create a mix of content, verbal, written, visual, audio to tap into all the different ways your customers understand and can learn about what you're doing. Once you get your education right, then you can position yourself as an expert. That's the base philosophy we work from.

Mike Scott: It reminds me of when one of my business partners wrote an article, a very technical article, on one particular process we used for a client. This article has been read over 40,000 times. He wrote one piece of content; it's highly technical and written for developers. This wasn't an article that's going to necessarily help directly with lead generation, but it absolutely is helping with brand equity and exposure, because 40,000 developers have read this article.

It took him 10 hours, maybe 20 hours in total, to write this article three years ago. However, it got 4,000 views just in the last two or three months, three years later. To your point, it's worth investing in these assets, it is the gift that keeps on giving.

If it's done right, it should be evergreen, it should keep on being relevant. This is why companies like yours exist.  You can say “we've got you, you bring the goods, you bring the knowledge, you bring the subject matter expertise, and we'll turn it into scale, we'll turn it into dissemination." 

When we were talking pre-interview, I got the sense you disagree passionately with certain things in the startup ecosystem. Talk to me about some of the things you passionately disagree with.

To find out about how to elevate your thought leadership positioning, contact AZK Media. 

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Genres: Storytelling

AZK Media, Tue, 18 May 2021 01:01:35 GMT