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How to Become a Visionary Thought Leader with Pete Larkin

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Episode Summary

Visionary thought leaders are subject matter experts with original ideas, and they lead powerful change within their industries. But they’re often too busy to create content and build large audiences. 

In this episode of the Notorious Thought Leader podcast, our host Erin Balsa welcomes Pete Larkin, the co-founder of Parlay. They talk about the differences between thought leaders and visionaries, the enormous potential for a mutually effective relationship between visionaries and marketers, and how visionary thought leaders are changing the game.

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Key Insights

Episode Highlights

Category Creation Is a Challenging Yet Rewarding Opportunity

“This is a new category. There are very few players. I’ve been able to count two legitimate players in this space right now outside of ourselves. And so it is just a green pasture. The challenge that comes with that, though, with that opportunity is you’re not only educating about what you do in your solution; you’re educating about an entire category. So we’re talking category creation here, and it is a lot of fun, but it increases the amount of work and the amount of effort that we have to go to when it comes to education and sales.”

Thought Leadership Is a Long-Term Game

“If you think that you’re going to start into a marketing program and employ thought leadership marketing, and it’s just going to crush it in two, three months, that’s not going to happen. It’s going to be a long play.”

Listen to Customer Feedback

“I think a lot of it had to do with us listening, really knowing what our audience wanted to hear, what they wanted to learn. We asked them in webinars; we would ask them with LinkedIn post surveys. We would ask our current customers, and we would just look at what is the industry saying; what are our own experts and analysts, what are they saying? What is the data? What do the analytics tell us?”

Visionary Thought Leaders Can Anticipate Their Audience’s Needs and Create Original Content

“When it comes to thought leadership, you may be perceived as a thought leader, but you’re not a visionary. You’re just going with the flow. And so, you have to be able to create original content that people aren’t talking about yet, and that’s where it comes to your subject matter experts, your visionaries, and going to them and saying, ‘What are people going to be talking about in six months or in a year?’ or ‘What do people want to talk about or, to be honest, not even know they want to talk about, but we’ll absolutely be excited to talk about?'”