What does it really mean to be a thought leader in B2B?

The Notorious Thought Leader is a podcast for B2B marketers who want to generate demand by creating content that builds credibility and thought leadership. In each episode, Erin Balsa helps demystify thought leadership and uncovers how marketing leaders & CEOs are using thought leadership to generate demand.

Check out the latest episodes

Is being a thought leader and a subject matter expert the same? That is the question we ask every guest. Of course, opinions differ, but that makes the discussion even more exciting. Therefore, we’ll continue expanding on the topic. According to our guest today, a thought leader is an expert in their field that shares their experience with their specific community.
Thought leadership is another popular buzzword in the B2B marketing space. But even though it’s a buzzword floating around, it’s still critical for business growth. And very few companies know how to approach it. In this episode, Tracey Wallace, the Director, Content Strategy at Klaviyo, joins Erin to share her perspectives on what thought leadership means. Tracey pinpoints what it takes for an individual to be considered a thought leader. And she also outlines how thought leadership and content marketing can work together.
According to Kari Hanson, the VP of Marketing at Spiro.ai, thought leadership is all about building credibility in your market. This could be achieved in a number of ways, such as being super smart or very controversial. The key is to have credibility behind your opinions and views in a specific market. Kari believes that thought leadership is misunderstood because it is so broad. Within a startup or smaller company, it is important to figure out what thought leadership means to you and what the goal is. You don’t have to be the smartest person in the room to be a thought leader.
Thought leadership has become an essential way for companies to generate demand and create a following. But what exactly is thought leadership and how does it work from an SEO perspective? Evan Bailyn, CEO of First Page Sage and an expert on the subject, defines thought leadership as sharing valuable insights with an audience that makes others want to follow or work with you.
Tara Robertson believes that thought leadership is a misunderstood term, and that it often gets conflated with other marketing strategies like demand gen and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. She argues that thought leadership is a long-term strategy that can pay off in ways that other marketing initiatives may not, even though it can be difficult to measure the results. According to Tara, the most misunderstood part of thought leadership is that you don’t have to be a C-suite executive to be one. Anyone with expertise and credibility can be a thought leader. Tara discusses how thought leadership is about connecting with peers and sharing learnings and insights on what’s changing in your industry.
In this conversation, Erin Balsa and Chris Walker (CEO of Refine Labs) discuss thought leadership and how it can be used to generate demand. Chris shares how he has been able to get employees to share the company’s unique POV on social media, and how this has helped drive business growth. Chris further breaks down how having a unique point of view is essential for thought leadership, and how your specific point of view can evolve over time.

Meet the host

Erin Balsa

Hi, I’m Erin, and I’m a B2B content marketer.

I’ve built and led high-performing content teams at an agency and in-house at a few different Inc. 5000 B2B SaaS companies — in a full-time capacity AND as a Fractional Head of Content.

At Haus of Bold, I now help B2B SaaS companies build revenue-generating content engines in 6-12 months.