Nikki Nash and Margy on Thought Leadership
Jess and Margy are the co owners of Interview Connections, the first and leading podcast booking agency. This is the podcast where you will learn all about podcast guesting and how to leverage podcast interviews to grow your brand awareness.
On today’s episode of Rock the Podcast, Margy talks to Interview Connections client and great friend, Nikki Nash! Nikki is a marketing expert, Hay House author, and the creator of the Market Your Genius Brand. After a decade-long career marketing Fortune 100 brands and tech start ups, Nikki set out to help women build profitable online businesses.
Margy and Nikki discuss the buzzword “thought leadership” and what it really means.
Nikki talks about how she decided to leave behind her career of working for other people, to start her own business. Nikki’s genius is building a personal brand, and helping people turn their experiences and expertise into a business where they are making money and feeling fulfilled. Through Nikki’s business, podcast, and book, she helps people share what they know so they can make an impact in the world.
One thing Margy sees frequently, is entrepreneurs and business owners using reused ideas with no substance. However, Nikki is a true thought leader. She has great, original content, and she is consistently committed to her content.
Margy asked Nikki, “What really makes someone a thought leader?”
Nikki feels that thought leadership gets collapsed with influencers, or someone with a large following. But thought leadership is really about how can someone take people to a new level? A thought leader has to have a new way of thinking to bring their clients or followers into a new idea.
According to Nikki, thought leadership is living in the inquiry of “What could this be like? Let’s explore. Let’s learn and become experts.”
A thought leader is also someone who is a leader, and to be a great leader you have to do some self work and personal development. Understanding yourself allows you to understand others and be present with others.
What makes someone a thought leader?
Nikki recommends that you start with the questions: “Who am I? What are my gifts and talents? Why am I here? What do I believe that I can contribute?” How can you challenge a way of being or a way of thinking? You also have to be okay standing out into the spotlight and doing it in such a way that people will follow, listen, grow and develop for the better because of what you’re putting out there.
It’s not about reinventing the wheel, and it’s not about discovering something that no one has ever heard of. It’s going deeper within yourself that actually gets you to thought leadership. If you’re always looking externally, asking “what are other people doing?” — that’s when content gets stale.
Margy and Nikki recommend that you go deeper within yourself by telling your story. Ask yourself, “What makes me unique? What have I learned on the journey that I’ve been on that no one else has been on? How do I apply that to help others?”
Nikki’s experiences and journeys led her to the realization that all the stages of her dating life can be applied to marketing! In marketing, you need to build relationships with people. To do that, it’s just like dating. You meet the person, capture their attention, get their phone number, and spark a conversation.
By going out into the world and “dating” their potential clients or customers, changes the way Nikki’s clients think about marketing. By asking your potential clients if you can date them, you’re asking how you can show up for them. You may not be teaching a drastically new concept, but you’re teaching it in a way that changes the way people take action or move forward.
To anyone who wants to build their thought leadership, Margy explains that you have to get out on the court and you have to make content. She warns against giving into impostor syndrome. It’s crucial to get out there, make the content, and to have a goal to serve and put out quality content.
The best thought leaders are the ones who aren’t trying to be thought leaders because they’re not focused on being one — they’re focused on other people and what can be of value to them.
The road to thought leadership starts with creating content and by asking “What do people need, what does my audience need, what do my listeners need?” Being present and listening to what is a great way to spark a conversation and to teach something. You don’t need to feel like you’re a thought leader or tell people that you’re a thought leader, it’s about how you can show up consistently and lead.
When you genuinely are curious and enjoying that process, you become a thought leader without trying to become one.
People’s perceptions of your brand and company are going to shape your brand and company. If you have someone who is really mean answering the phone, people aren’t going to think that you’re a nice and friendly brand. So, how can you become the person who deserves that title of thought leader?
Margy, of course, recommends podcast guesting. One of the reasons Margy loves podcast guesting is the ideas and conversions that come out from sharing your story long-form on this platform is powerful content, especially compared to what you get from a social media post.
An unexpected benefit that Margy has experienced with her own podcast guesting was the way that Margy’s content has evolved. By going all-in on connection, curiosity, conversations with all these different hosts who have their own different perspectives, Margy’s own content was shifting and evolving with every new perspective she heard.
Podcast guesting is one of the easiest ways to get started building your thought leadership because you don’t have to create infrastructure yourself. You don’t have to create a podcast, a blog post, or a youtube channel – it already exists.
You are showing up on someone else’s platform where they have already built a relationship with their audience. By default, people are trusting you more because the host is putting you in the spotlight. The audience then feels that you must be worth listening to.
When you have these conversations with people, you start discovering and refining your own thoughts and ideas and values. When you want to be a guest on a show, it really broadens your ability to have conversations on related topics that then give you a holistic perspective and viewpoint because you’re curious. You’re having conversations with different people with different points of view, changing and shaping the way you think.
You will then start to see fans and a following, just by being out there and being visible.
Nikki herself, is going all in on podcasting in 2021. Podcasting gives you someone’s undivided attention and places you right in their ear. Not only that, but podcasting allows you to have a long-form channel to share your story in a meaningful way to your potential leads.