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How to Create Effective Thought Leadership Content with Florian Heinrichs

July 17, 2023
EPISODE 125
The Recognized Authority Podcast Cover

The podcast that helps experts & consultants on the journey to becoming a recognized authority in your field, so you can increase your impact, command premium fees, work less hours, and never have to suffer a bad-fit client again!.

Are you struggling to make an impact with your content? Do you feel like you’re stuck at the starting blocks?

There is an intricate blend of art and science behind effective content creation. In this episode of The Recognized Authority, host Alastair McDermott speaks with Florian Heinrichs about the significance of content generation for consultants and thought leaders.

They discuss the fundamental process of aligning your content with the buyer journey – a straightforward adjustment that can massively impact how effective your content is.

They also discuss:

💡 an innovative approach to generating content ideas and repurposing content,
🌟 how to showcase your expertise,
đŸŒ± cultivate a following, and
🌐 broaden connections via content.

Listen today to gain valuable insights into your content creation strategy.

Show Notes

Learn more about Florian here:

Guest Bio

Flo’s a former big-firm professional services marketer and founder of consultancy marketing advisory “client friendly,” where he helps mid-sized consulting businesses systematize and optimize their marketing for higher impact and more predictable growth.

Transcript

SUMMARY KEYWORDS
content, people, client, funnel, create, consultants, business, podcast, insights, marketing, point, firm, consulting, publish, questions, rfps, research, great, write, called

SPEAKERS
Florian Heinrichs, Voiceover, Alastair McDermott

 

Voiceover  00:00

Welcome to The Recognized Authority, a podcast that helps specialized consultants and domain experts on your journey to become known as an authority in your field. Here’s your host, Alastair McDermott.

 

Alastair McDermott  00:10

Hello and welcome to The Recognized Authority. I’m your host, Alastair McDermott and I’m delighted to be joined today by Florian Heinrichs. Florian Welcome to the show.

 

Florian Heinrichs  00:19

Hi, very good to be here.

 

Alastair McDermott  00:21

Yeah. So so far, I know you primarily through LinkedIn, because you post some really great stuff up there for around content creation for consultants, people like that. Your background, you are coming from that corporate consulting world, Accenture and some of those other big, big names. And in the consulting world, can you can you tell me why creating content is such an important thing for experts and thought leaders and consultants to do?

 

Florian Heinrichs  00:46

Oh, yeah, because well, I’m biased, obviously, because I’ve been in that space for about 10 years. But I think there’s there’s a couple of angles we can take, right? One is the obvious business development reason, right? There’s lots of studies, I don’t know if you are near the UK, I presume. Right? So there’s this agency called risks, they run this value of Thought Leadership Research, for example, regularly, the most recent episode had numbers in them stating that I think nine out of 10 executives say, oh, content and publish content, in particular absolutely influence my business decisions. That even was a line about how, if you as a firm do not produce thought that content in the area of their interest, they might consider switching vendors. That’s a big one, actually, if, if true, right, if you think about it. And then so that’s the official view or heard that version.

 

Florian Heinrichs  01:38

I have another add on perspective, which people tend to not like. But if seen from a certain angle, you could say a few things about consulting services in general. And there are exceptions to this rule. But in general, they’re often nice to have services, they’re not must have services. If I run a business, I need certain liability insurances, I need, I don’t know, an auditor and someone for doing my taxes, and they need payroll and all that, I do not need an digital transformation, necessarily. If my business is doing fine, right, I might not be convinced.

 

Florian Heinrichs  02:11

So consulting, often, not always, but often a nice to have. And then also, it’s a commodity. And consulting executives really hate that one, because they come back at me sooner, it’s not a commodity, they’re hiring my team. It’s a people business. And all of that is true. But it’s only true, once you have the relationship. And until you have the relationship, there’s 100 firms every morning in my inbox offering me I don’t know, the digital transformation, or the salesforce implementation, or the supply chain fix, or whatever it is, right. So buyers have a ton of choice. So you got to stand out from there. And you’ve got to make the case for your own service to get over that nice to have hurdles. So you really have to be clear about why would I need that? Why would I even consider that? And then yeah, you have to make very clear why you are the experts to go with and thought leadership and content are just the best ways to do it. Because I think of them honestly, as the free sample of the consulting world, I know the product managers might have it, I get to see how you think to see how you work. That’s good.

 

Alastair McDermott  03:16

That’s what yeah, for me, it’s about you’re demonstrating your expertise in public. So you’re, you know, you’re sharing your knowledge, and your the free sample is a great way of putting it. But you’re also you’re building an audience, as well, which is something that’s interesting. And I saw a quote from a guy called Alex for Mozi recently, where he was talking about, you know, creating content for social media. And in, you know, how people see it as ephemeral. So they create something on it, they create it in a single use, and it’s gone. But what he’s saying is, it took him a long time to realize that the audience was not the compounding asset. Sorry, the content was not the compounding asset, the audience is the compounding asset, which is a really interesting way of looking at it. Because you’re growing this audience who are consuming the content that you’re putting out there, and they’re interested in it. Not all of them may be potential buyers, potential clients, but a lot of them might be and a lot of people who they know might be potential clients. So you’re kind of a you’re expanding your network in that way. So I think that’s that’s really interesting.

 

Florian Heinrichs  04:21

Yeah, that that is an interesting aspect because i This reminds me of a client conversation I was in two weeks ago where we had this funny situation where it’s a bunch of partners in the room and some of them are convinced of marketing and what’s helpful, others not so much. And then the story came up of a major account, they had one based on some article one of the marketing friendly partners had written three years ago that was his main argument is it Yeah, and they eventually came through because of this article, but once it was three days later, which is probably the same point right? The audience’s there, they will read and listen in and eventually if they’re ready, they come to you. That’s that’s the business development and angle I think of why doing this, I do like to think that there is, and it’s certainly true for my business, probably yours as well. There’s also this aspect of it improves the business, because we do thought leadership regularly, it’ll improve the thinking it has to, it’s a forcing function of your, of your consultants. And I see that lead to greater service delivery. And, and in many cases, certainly in large firms, IP creation, because if you don’t know, you have the big money, and you do the major Spiel where you run a research program, and that survey leads to some terrific insight and you built like a diagnostic tool on the back of it, right self assessment, benchmark your own against our survey sample, you do that for a couple of years, suddenly, you sit on a trove of data, and you can build a software solution. There’s more to this than just marketing. But I think that’s probably not for today. I just wanted to call that…

 

Alastair McDermott  05:54

Yeah, I think particularly for people who are interested in developing their own skills, and who are interested in becoming, if they’re not already at the place where they might consider themselves a thought leader, then I think that it’s a great way to get there particularly writing about it. Because the the process of writing, it just makes it makes those pathways in your brain, it makes those connections, when you have to write something, you have to deeply understand it and think about it. So I think that writing is is a great way to actually develop your own perspective, your own point of view, your own voice about how you you talk, I think it’s such a, it’s such an important skill. And I’m sure, you know, people are worried about things like AI and like AI is never going to replace that. It just It can’t come up. It can’t write in that way it can provide those insights. It’s really great at creating average content. It’s great for creating the shitty first draft. I think that’s that’s what it’s absolutely brilliant up. But, you know, the process of writing I think isn’t really important for people to go through. So. But let’s get on to the

 

Florian Heinrichs  07:00

podcasting for that matter, right, everybody who has a podcast or any similar?

 

Alastair McDermott  07:00

Yeah.

 

Florian Heinrichs  07:04

Well, you force yourself to your point with the expertise to to create expertise, which you then publish and very decent, short sort of feedback cycle.

 

Alastair McDermott  07:15

When you you can’t, you have to write your stuff. Sorry, yeah, when you have to demonstrate your expertise in public, it’s very different than just knowing something for yourself and maybe working with clients one on one, when you actually have to put it out there and be able to defend it in the public arena, you are going to be more careful about your thinking and your logic. And so I think that that really does make a difference.

 

Alastair McDermott  07:39

But yeah, let’s talk about connecting the actual content. So I think that we both have pretty strong opinions about, you know, content strategy, because this isn’t just about, you know, Oh, I feel like you know, I feel like doing a video on such and such. And we’re gonna rant about something and put that video up. It’s about taking a more strategic approach to the actual content that you’re creating, and the type of content and the topics that you’re addressing. So let’s talk about creating content that is actually in alignment with your customer journey or your buyer journey. Can you tell me a little bit about how you think about that?

 

Florian Heinrichs  08:14

Oh, where should I start? So the client journey, obviously, is the key thing here. So you’ve got to have a very clear understanding of who should be reading this. That’s the first part. And what we are trying to help them with or sell at the end of it. So that is all these things about segmentation, defining your ideal client profile, all these good things, which we won’t dive into too much. But I have to say them here, because again, that’s that’s where it starts. And from there, you have to build like you said, client journey. And you and I discussed a little bit, is it a funnel? Is it a spaghetti blob? Whatever it is. So different models, the point is you have to be deliberate, and you have to design something. And then you can test whether or not it works to get people from and see something you created to a get interested, I may be engaged with it. But you know, the client journey, and we have to build this. And we can sit here and do it on a whiteboard and have some educated guesses. That’s better than not doing it. But it’s more risky than actually doing a bit of client research and figuring stuff out. Because unless you do that part, you run two risks. The first one is you create, you randomly create stuff that does not quite hit the needs of your intended target audience. So you keep blogging for six months, and there’s nothing from it. And I’ve met consulting firms, where people have been blogging for years, there was no tangible business outcome. So why do it then? Right? You might as well scratch the blog, save some time. That’s the first part. The second part is that maybe do create stuff that’s relevant enough at the front end part or somewhere in the spaghetti blob of client journeys, but you lose them in the in betweens ready to drop off because you missed a step. That’s why we talked about the journey right that I think describes how I would talk about it. And the closing thought there is, the more specific and correct you can get in the way you envision the client journey, the better the stuff works. And I’m saying this because everybody can pull the client journey from the internet, right? There’s a template, there’s the awareness stage, there is the search phase, where the however many steps you have. And these things are correct, but they’re way too generic, way too generic. So you got to do the work and research your actual ideal clients to figure out what if they are unaware or aware, what does that mean? And then you can start thinking about the content. I don’t know what’s your take…

 

Alastair McDermott  10:43

Yeah, so. So I think that, so we have said, the typical, so there’s top of funnel, middle of funnel about bottom of funnel is usually some some combination of awareness, consideration, decision, something like that. So your awareness is people who know they have a problem of some kind, but don’t really know what the solutions are consideration is when they know what the solutions are. And they’re kind of looking through them. And then this bottom of the funnel is when they’re actually comparing solutions against each other and making a decision. So it’s, and the funnel metaphor is not perfect. We talked about this a bit, because people kind of jump back and forth as they learn new things. People may already have gone through the funnel as a client. And one thing you might be interested in coming back to you again, and there’s, you know, there’s a lot of people above the funnel. And so when I diagram this, I have an above the funnel stage, which is like completely unaware of the fact that there’s a problem or there’s a solution. They they have no idea about any of this. And so what we’re doing is we’re trying to target our content to each different stage. And so what I’m what I’m really interested in talking about today, is how you see the content that you create, like where does it fit in that in that funnel? Because I think that a lot of people are creating bottom of the funnel content, which is like comparison of solutions. And so I’m interested in talking to you about that, because I think that maybe I think that we probably agree about this, I don’t know, but

 

Florian Heinrichs  12:09

100%. And I think it’s interesting, you pointed out in this context, where we talk a little bit more about professional services firms, because they they are guilty as hell of a mistake. In fact, I have been guilty of this in the past. Because if you are an expert, it’s so easy for you to because you already understand the premises of the problem, you’ve seen everything and you are very close to the solution, it’s very easy to produce a lot of content around the solution as well, which we could make discuss as well as it’s been over simplified, which is close to the bottom of the funnel content. What we rarely do is explain why do X or what is why in the first place, even though that is why we might have to start people in preparing for this episode, I actually had to laugh I came across an article on McKinsey’s website, which literally read what is digital transformation.

 

Florian Heinrichs  12:09

Now McKinsey, having a Mickey Mouse explainer piece of the phrase, right? Should give you pause, because yes, they might be doing it for SEO reasons. But they also know it helps to clarify phrases and discussions. I don’t know. So, yeah, I 100% agree with you, people spend too much focused on the bottom of the funnel, which then makes yourself susceptible to talking to the very, very small part of the market, right? The Five Percenters it’s often called that are searching for a solution right now while ignoring all the other 95%. And yeah, there’s reasons why you might do that. To say it, I can understand why you do it is very high immediately, right? If I need business next quarter, and I talk to these 5%, I might be like, the other stuff takes much longer time and effort, but it’s overall a much more effective strategy. That’s nice. Yeah, I don’t know.

 

Alastair McDermott  13:51

Yeah. So what we’re, I think it’s interesting is part of the job of this content that we’re creating, is to build trust and respect. And so if, if we are, so we can do that by creating content that doesn’t necessarily address the that that isn’t that close to the bottom of the funnel, we can create trust and respect generating content, further up the funnel, even if it’s something that people know about already, particularly if it provides some kind of insight. And I think that’s, that’s where it gets interesting, because you’re creating, in our in our case, like content is usually either entertainment content, or educational content, or some combination of both. That’s when you boil 99% of content on the internet down to it. And in the b2b world, we’re typically have to be educational rather than entertaining. And it’s great if we can bring entertainment into our educational content. But I think that that’s difficult to do and some people do it really well. But that’s hard. But if we’re creating this entertaining, sorry, educational content, it doesn’t necessarily have to be, you know, it doesn’t have to be PhD level all the time. You know, it can be sort of like Mackenzie’s example that you just gave. It can be some really basic level stuff. It can be basic level, but hit them with your point of view, which might be slightly different than what they’re used to seeing what everybody else is saying kind of the, the bland, mediocre average that that is, you know, that every consulting firm is saying, but, you know, having your perspective and maybe being slightly polarizing sometimes, Alan Weiss does that. Deliberately, he does that very well. But I think that the content of the funnel, I think that people are maybe overthinking it, you know, maybe they’re, they’re going too deep on it. And yeah, sometimes it’s good just to have you know, something that’s interesting.

 

Florian Heinrichs  15:50

Or they think, Oh, well, that’s that’s been explained a million times or everybody knows the switch. That is the, I think the French called the default monsoon professional, right? If you are the expert, it’s easy to forget, other people aren’t. And so you think that it’s obvious, no one will be interested. But yeah, maybe people are interested. I don’t know how many clicks the what is the transformation? I think, okay. So it was just I was just fascinated by it. But I think this goes back to the point I made earlier about how so much consulting stuff is nice to have. I’m not saying it’s bad, I’m just saying clients will be fine. If they never buy it, they will be better off. Right? But they might be fine. So you really have to think about this explain make the case or to go to your point of educating the audience. Help them make the case internally. So McKinsey might as well do another piece called Why did transformation right? What are the what are the outcomes I could get from it? Because it’s probably a bit hasty to presume everybody knows, and knows in the context of their organization, and can explain it well to the CFO, which is probably eventually the job they have. Right. And that’s Yeah, but takes us also back to the client journey discussion, we have to understand how the journey progresses, what the specific jobs are on these stages, right?

 

Alastair McDermott  17:06

Yeah.

 

Florian Heinrichs  17:06

What jobs do buyers try to do when they are as we call it higher up the funnel?

 

Alastair McDermott  17:10

So so the way I think about it, people are, the potential buyer is completely unaware that there’s an issue. And so at that point, the the kind of content that you’re creating, is just around saying, hey, you know, there’s this problem that people have, that you may not realize that you or your company has. And, and it’s actually a pretty big deal. Here’s, here’s some information about this. And, you know, and some people talk about exacerbating the pain and focusing on the pain and at that stage, to kind of to show people what the true scope of the problem is, because a lot of you know, it’s the boiling frog thing. A lot of people in business, you know, they won’t take action until it really hurts. But if you can address it earlier then maybe it’s going to hurt less. But that’s the unaware stage, then you’ve got problem aware, and then you’ve got solution aware. So problem aware is people who know they have a problem, but don’t know how to solve it. And at that point, now maybe they’re they’re hitting Google, they’re asking questions, or they’re, God forbid, they’re hitting chat GPT or something like that, and asking questions, trying to figure it out. And then trying to figure out what you know, the scope of the problem and the scope of the solution. And then solution aware is when they actually know, okay, here are some different ways I can approach solving this. And typically, people are going back and forth. And this where I think that the linear metaphor doesn’t work so well, because people suddenly realize, Oh, hey, this is actually a knock on effect of another deeper problem that we have. And suddenly they go back to the start on that, and, and then they realize, oh, that solution that actually fix this other thing that we’ve been thinking about. And so it’s it’s kind of it’s messy, it’s not as linear as it seems. But I think that thinking about that in terms of the content, and and specifically, like, you know, okay, we’re gonna write a blog article called what is digital transformation? Because we want to have something at that stage. And that’s how that’s how that post ends up on McKinsey website. I think. So. Yeah. What do you think about that?

 

Florian Heinrichs  19:14

Yeah, it’s true. And I think I like the, especially the differentiation you give there between the versions of varieties of awareness, right? Because that was contribution I thought about making to this game of everybody has to reinvent stuff that clearly already works. In marketing, I made that people critique the funnel and go back to the formula. I was like, I think I have an idea for the funnel. Did you ever consider that in a consulting context? There’s a difference between awareness of the experience pain and awareness of the underlying root cause issue? Yeah. So I am aware that oh my god, my company wants to hit the capital markets for the first time issue a bond and now there’s all these requirements my finance department has to do and it takes The weeks because we don’t even have the right Excel templates. No one has ever done this before. So I’m very aware of the pain I don’t right have the right axle template, which is different from maybe I should have had a treasury management system or software that does all this stuff for me in the first place. But these are disconnected. So it wouldn’t be married for for me to put out content that helps with the immediate pain. Here’s an Excel spreadsheet template for you if you want to do it manually. But did you know and then we follow up with the with the treasury management system. But I abstained from doing that. It’s just your point of thinking about what have you been mean by awareness is thinking about it from different angles. Also something that I don’t see enough consulting firms do maybe I interact with the wrong ones, I don’t know. It’s not good enough to say to right away, you will need parenthesis exactly what we are selling you. It’s better not have having anything but it’s even better as to to target awareness content to the experience pain they had in the every day. And then from there lead to the root causes. Because now they’re fully problem aware it changes from we don’t have the spreadsheet template to oh, maybe we should consider a treasury management software or whatever that was. And then we can start to talk about things. And because we’ve already taken them through this first step, you thought the problems X, I showed you the problems why that’s already some trust being built. On a very on the top rim off the top of the funnel, if you will, right. They haven’t?

 

Alastair McDermott  21:33

Yeah, again, it’s interesting, because like, I think about trust, but it’s all the way through. And but I think about trust when I think about the consideration stage, which is kind of the next stage after awareness, awareness consideration. And I like actually break down and maybe we can collaborate on on our version of the funnel. Needs more fun. Yeah, yeah, you know, we’ll maybe I’ll come back to that in a second. As a matter of point, but yeah, so I think of consideration and I break that down into three because because I break down awareness into problem awareness, solution, awareness, then consideration is consideration. Interested, they’re interested in you as a potential solution, and then respect so they respect you as a potential solution. And then trust that they actually trust you. Because I think those are kind of different subsets of somebody’s. Well, we can get really nerdy here and call it somebody’s parasocial relationship with you, where you don’t know them, but they they feel like they know you. And that’s where content especially like this, where people build a relationship. This one leg parasocial relationship where they feel like they know you, it’s the same relationship we have with celebrities we see on TV. So we’re like these mini, micro, extremely nerdy celebrities. So, but you’re doing that you’re taking them through these different stages of interest, respect, trust, while they’re considering you. And so you can you can, you can address all of those things in slightly different ways. What I like about those, is, when you’re thinking about the specific content that you’re going to create, you can create content that says, Okay, I’m going to create something that is going to help people to trust me, or I’m going to help create, someone’s going to help people to respect me, and you can think about that, and that can give you an angle, on the content that you’re going to create that that can give you that that kind of perspective on that. So that’s, that’s the way that I use that when I’m talking to my clients about the content that they’re creating. I talked to them about, okay, let’s make let’s make some trust building videos for you, for example, and the way that you do that it’s gonna be slightly different, you know, the interest stuff, you know, trying to grab interest. Interest is is an interesting thing because you’re trying to pique somebody’s interest. And that kind of content can be different some of that can be like the polarizing content. Polarizing content doesn’t necessarily make somebody trust you but it can certainly grab their interest. So that’s that’s that’s how I think about this. I’d be interested Florian in your perspective on that.

 

Florian Heinrichs  24:04

Yeah, so the the interest one is I mean, back to the point of reinvented the font electric all of that, to me, it goes back because I in a different life started as a copywriter, an advertising agency, which by the way, I sucked out if I can save myself, so don’t don’t hit me up recovering. But to me the funnel, demand capture versus demand creation, all that stuff. The lobby chart gardener did with the completely fracture binding us back to the ADA principle, right, essentially interests, desire actions, you have to have content pieces for each of those and the way to pique people’s interest. My perspective is going back to the client research. If you really understand where these people are the various stages. It takes research for me to understand someone who is under pressure to issue a bond and doesn’t have the necessary tools to do While the paperwork and do the reporting, I need to get into their heads in their shoes, right, and that’s if I can nail that, then they will get some interest, right i, you probably know how much uplift people can create if they get the messaging to a point where it really hits the nail on the head. And that requires a new set as at the beginning requires empathy and also some knowledge, obviously, an expertise of the of the sector. Right. But both both of things. And regarding the provocative stuff, yeah, sure. But again, I guess you can, the only way to be provocative in a constructive way that isn’t cringe worthy, or requires you to again, having a good understanding of what the people you’re trying to serve are going through and looking for and all these things. So I think also enough hammering home on the point of client research.

 

Alastair McDermott  25:50

Also, you know, on the provocative stuff, I think it really does depend on you as a content creator creator, a lot of it depends on your personality. And in the context of a larger firm, I think that’s got to be tough to figure that part out. Like where, you know, finding the brand voice for the for the entire firm. But just in terms of client research, and I think that this is where you can get really interesting with content repurposing, because I deeply believe in the value of doing research calls, research conversations on people, for example, on Zoom. And I think that that’s a great way to do research. And it gives you literally the voice and the gives you a deep insight, and it also builds a relationship. But you can also do something like turn that into a podcast, and make that a podcast where you’re interviewing your clients and potential clients about the issues that they’re facing. And that, you know, that’s a great way to create content that you can then repurpose later. And also to do this research that gives you this deep understanding and specific language. And that’s that’s a really crucial thing, the specific language that people use when they’re describing the problems, because that goes back to your copywriting background, that gives you that copywriting gold for your for your sales pages for your information pages.

 

Florian Heinrichs  27:07

And honestly, I can kind of get on my hobby horse of this little often under appreciate the fact that consultants are content creators, by definition, they create content all the time. That’s their job, right, their present analysis, they build decks, they run numbers, they have spreadsheets, so because you said repurposing. When I say client insight for to just to give an example, a lot of that already exists in the firm, or in your various tools. If you’re a solopreneur, single consultant, whatever,

 

Alastair McDermott  27:34

I just want to call it something here. Flowering, you mentioned something and I think it’s the first time I’ve ever seen it mentioned. But the fact that in your RFPs, that you’re receiving requests for proposals, there is a goldmine of information, and that can be repurposed and investigated. And I haven’t heard anybody mentioned that before. And I just think that it’s so clever, because I think that coming from my background in kind of the creative sphere in web design, and places like that, like RFPs are a nightmare and unusually something to run away from. And I know that a lot of firms that that you know, they just don’t bother to respond to RFPs. Because that’s, that’s not how they’re set up.

 

Florian Heinrichs  28:17

Yeah. And if you’re in a major enterprise business, and in areas like it solutioning, and so forth, these things will be Goldmine, because they probably have to go through RFPs. Even if you have to climb relationships, just other projects are being done. And you want to know what a major Solution Architect at insert cloud hyperscale, a company here, what they care about when they commissioned consulting work around, I don’t know, setting up a new data center facility, just pick up an RFP and read it because the questions are in there. And even better, the answers of the expert consultants filling this thing out are also in there. This is what I mean when I say a lot of and this is this is I don’t know if it’s necessarily awareness, stage content, but it’s definitely the stuff these people think about as they search for, for vendors. And there’s no reason to not take this and edit to a point where you can then publish it. Obviously, you know, confidentiality, all that stuff, you have to be careful not to generalize. But I always found these things helpful. And back to my point that consultants create content all the time, they just don’t think about it as marketing content. And marketing sits over here and creates marketing content all the time. And sometimes the two meets and disagree with each other. Joking, but if you can, if you can make these circles overlap and create a bit of a Venn diagram, you can get so much done in ways which are very, very relevant and helpful to all these final stages. And if I may just briefly gone back to the same is true by the way for client research. Yes, you can do surveys, yes, you can host the podcast. Do all of that is brilliant. You can also go to the three partners of your midsize firm and ask them can tell them Can we sit down over coffee? Each one of you gets their phones out and you pull the five Last project escalation emails you gotten from your teams, because the client was playing was unhappy or had a question. Tell me what it was and tell me what the reply was. This is actual insight from, from the trenches, right? Because consultants are in there every day creating content, which has to be relevant, otherwise, the client won’t accept it. So just the project delivery, the content that falls off of the project, delivery wagon can be a tremendous goldmine of stuff. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Yeah,

 

Alastair McDermott  30:28

yeah, absolutely. And like, I find it, I find it amusing, not not for the person experiencing but I find it very amusing when people tell me that they don’t have enough ideas for content, you as soon as you start to dig in, you will never have problems finding content, if you if you’ve been doing what you’ve been doing for, you know, 510 years or longer, you absolutely will have enough ideas for content, there’s, there’s so many things that you can dig into. The other place that I like to go to is looking at emails over a certain size and your sent folders. So when did you write an email that is over four paragraphs long, give, you know, go look for all of the emails he wrote that are over that length. And most of those are many of those are going to create are going to include some really, really great content that can be repurposed into a blog post or into something else, you know, some some great insights in there. And again, these are addressing specific questions that you’ve been asked, either by somebody, you know, somebody in your firm on the team or directly by client, and it just it gives you such great because you know that people are interested in the answer to this question. I think the one thing that we should address was something that you mentioned earlier on was, you know, people have already said that before, why do I Why should I say it again? And I know that some people, some people will have that marketing hat on they say, Well, of course, I want to say it. But there will be some people out there who think well, it’s already been said, so why why would I bother to say it again, when they’ve said just as well? Or even better? What’s your answer to that?

 

Florian Heinrichs  32:02

So never underestimate like, I always say, this is the experts perspective, because this stuff, I don’t know, doing data maturity, assessment and large enterprise before they implement AI, whatever I’m making these examples, like this is 100% of your day. So use the consultant to do this. Tell me that’s super boring. Everybody’s doing this all the time, because that’s the bubble of the world, you see, I guarantee you, I guarantee you, the prospects you’re trying to attract, they do this, I don’t know 2% of the week, Max. So even if there’s tons of voices who had already said that stuff, chances are they haven’t heard them, you have because you read all this, if you will read all the blogs, you read all the trade, but because it’s your job, they don’t. So maybe you could also repeat that. And you could do it through your in your voice and your perspective, maybe you can add a little bit of a provocation on top, if you can. And this is often the case I find often companies just just ask the consultants, you’re doing this data maturity assessment stuff. What’s the one thing the competition keeps telling everybody that annoys you? And then boom, usually to have an answer, and say, Oh, my God, these other guys that big from consulting, I hate how they say, blah, blah. And then you know, that’s how you can find stuff. And then last but not least, and I’ve made this argument, and it’s a cheap one. But depending on how the firm is positioned, and where it sees itself, and I’ll use my former employer Accenture as an example, there might just be the plain argument of you can’t afford to not say anything about this. The Kip sticking with data maturity, or data analytics is an example. It’s been set up a zillion times. Do you think Accenture ever came to the idea of deciding to not have content around that? They have to because they understand themselves and our position as a global ad tech consultancy that’s in that space or so. So these are some of the points you could bring and events, the last trick you can pull off causes to say, Well, you tell me it’s been explained 1000 times what has not been said. And that’s a more difficult one. But sometimes you find something

 

Alastair McDermott  34:09

like that. That’s the that’s, that’s a really great, great, really great question to ask about that. I think that you know, the so it’s like, it’s like a river. Our attention, it’s, it’s so ephemeral, it’s passing, there’s so many different. There’s so many different things that are drawing on our attention on people’s concentration. It’s like in web design, you know, I’m talking to web designers about about looking at the design of their website or talking to business owners, but the design of the website, and so they’re looking at it in their air conditions, properly lit office on their 29 inch iMac screen, your client might be looking at it on in bright sunlight on a on a screen with a cracked screen while there’s a screaming baby in the background and their boss’s eyes asking them for for something and they’re trying to desperately get it before they get on a zoom call. And you know, so we do need to simplify, there are so many things going on in the world in life, we do need to simplify, and we do need to repeat. And so I think that’s why creating content that, you know, creating a lot of content, because there is there is going to be more and more content out there. Now, as people use AI generation tools, a lot of crap content is going to be out there as well, which, which is kind of good in some ways, because it means that when you put something good out, it’s kind of really stand out. Because

 

Florian Heinrichs  35:34

it’s maximizing, it’s maximizing the value of, of fresh ideas and original thinking, yeah, publishing something regularly, even if it’s crap at first is the only way at least I know, to get to the better ideas, you have to have a bunch of bad ones to get to a good one. And it’s much easier to get to a good one. If you put bad ones out and take the feedback into consideration if I just list bad ideas in my office, and no one ever sees them. How do I even know they’re bad? Right? Yeah. That’s that’s maybe another argument which Yeah, you’re right to bring up the content, explosion chat GPT is going to take us all to

 

Alastair McDermott  36:13

so will the

 

Florian Heinrichs  36:14

internet will the end of it even be usable in 10 years?

 

Alastair McDermott  36:17

Just kidding. So one thing that, that you mentioned, there is kind of like the learning journey with content. And and this goes back to, you know, writing helping us to learn. And, you know, like, as, for example, I have this podcast, which has, you know, 125 Odd episodes. And, and I have another couple of podcasts that I’ve interviewed more people, but those are conversations that I’ve had with experts. And I have learned and change my thinking and change my position on things and learn different aspects, apart from, you know, the 100 Odd new relationships that I have with people, which is an amazing aspect of podcasting in particular, but just the learnings that you can get from doing that. So you can learn from the content that you’re creating. But I do think that it’s important to not avoid starting because you feel like you’re not ready. I think it’s really crucial, particularly at an individual level. I see people all the time, they say I’m not, you know, it’s I want I want to do this thing, I want to put this out in the world, but it’s not ready yet. It’s not perfect. The problem is the only way to make something ready is to go and get experience. And the only way to get experience is to start before you’re ready. And that’s the catch 22. And so I think it’s really important that people actually start before they’re ready.

 

Florian Heinrichs  37:36

I love how you phrase this, because it’s the correct way of putting it is to not be hindered by your feeling of not being being imperfect. That’s different from the advisor. Also, sometimes they will just, oh, just start. I have a problem with that. Because if you’re a management consultant who wins their business based on their expertise and reputation, don’t just put out any old stuff, right? Do put some work into it. And this is also the reason why a lot of this content stuff is so difficult, it does require investment and effort. And so

 

Alastair McDermott  38:05

there’s there’s a fine line there. Because you don’t you don’t want to put it out, because it’s not absolutely perfect.

 

Florian Heinrichs  38:11

Perfectionism is bad, just hitting publish on any old crap, excuse me, it’s also bad. So

 

Alastair McDermott  38:17

you’ve got to use a bit of you’ve got to use a bit of judgment here. You know, and if your content could be mistaken for something that chap GPT spat out when it was asked, you know, something, then maybe maybe you need to rethink, you know, it’s like, it’s got to be insightful, it’s got to be interesting. But there has to be a place for the learning curve. And, and this is like, this is my, like, I do take issue with people who say, you know, that, you know, the, the content that you create has to be has to be top quality. I agree that that’s what we should be aiming for. But you also have to publish stuff at the start, even when you know, okay, you know, this isn’t as good as Alan Weiss would have written or this isn’t as good as Floridians would have written. But this is it’s still good enough to be useful to somebody I learned while I while I created this or I wrote this,

 

Florian Heinrichs  39:09

you know, and that’s the magic part, right? Is the quality requirement comes in at the Do you understand the audience? And can you offer something to them? That’s helpful. Yeah, and it could be the shittiest finance excellent template ever. But it rescues my Thursday because I have to hand the thing in on Friday. You’re golden. Yeah, it doesn’t have to be fancy format. It doesn’t have to be perfect macros, the file name can be crummy, but it helped me that’s I think that’s the threshold you are at the end of the day, you are not you are not the last instance of controlling quality the recipient is if it’s good enough for them. You did well. So

 

Alastair McDermott  39:44

yeah, yeah, that’s that’s the thing does it does it actually help somebody and I think that’s where when people are doing stuff like doing particularly with things like video where it’s quite technical, you know, you’ve got lighting, you’ve got the video, you’ve got the audio and all that kind of stuff. You’ve got your background to think about it You’ve got the fact that you’ve got the wrong pair of glasses on. So your glasses are really reflected on the screen, you know, all of these kinds of things that, that go into thinking about this. But the, you know, ultimately, it’s what you’re actually saying. It’s the words that you’re saying and the meaning of those words, that’s truly important. Now, obviously, you need people to be able to hear them, and you’d like them to be able to see you, it’s much more important, by the way that they can hear you clearly than that you look good. But, but you know that the actual insights and points that you were making are far more important. And I think that’s where people are, are kind of optimizing for the wrong thing. They’re worrying too much about the lighting and the video quality. And, yeah, it’s nice to have all of that. And, you know, I’ve like, I’ve got a free guide on how to do that, if people want to get really good at that stuff. But you know, ultimately, it’s more important that you’ve got something important to say, that’s interesting. And that’s insightful. And it’s helpful for your potential client, because that’s what it’s really about at the end of the day,

 

Florian Heinrichs  40:59

which is where we get back to the client journey, right? And really understanding it. So I would worry about that a lot more than I would worry about the actual outputs, because once you have that figured out, who are they? How are they progressing through the thing? In the process of figuring it out, you will already bring knowledge together that you essentially, the more you do the research, the less you worry, you have to worry about having good content at the end, because you will have you will have that yeah, comes from the conversations comes from the insights and all of that, can I know we’ve run a good time, right, I just have one more pointer I wanted to give because there’s two, I see two mistakes, which I made all the time. And we mentioned the first one at the beginning. small and midsize firms too often do not have the top of the funnel content. So they don’t make the player case for why I should buy, they’re nice to have service. If you’re in the situation, try and fix that. Very large firms have tons of top of the funnel content, they sometimes overshoot it, because it gets so far out ahead and lofty, that has little connection back to the business. When I had rolls off a Content Manager nature in those firms, that’s what I tried to call cut back on, like this should the through line to the business at the end always has to be there. The client journey design, that’s where you have to, that’s the conflict line, what does the client want, but does the firm one, it’s not always 100% aligned. But you’ve got to stitch together as close as you can on that stage, and then create the content that sort of fits that

 

Alastair McDermott  42:22

exercise. Yeah, and so my background is in software engineering. So I always look at these things from a kind of tree that end engineering viewpoint. And so the bottom of the funnel contents is really clear and obvious to me as to what you know, here’s here’s how to fix your problem. That stuff is really it’s that that lofty stuff that I personally miss out on uncrating sometimes, and I can see that as well in the small firms, as well, they have solar consultants and people like that, who I’m talking to, because it’s it’s that, you know, that’s where you can take a page from Accenture or McKinsey or people like that, and say, Okay, we’re going to, we’re going to kind of address some of the, you know, the 40,000 foot view stuff, which, which should, if you’ve done your buyers journey correctly, and you’ve done some research that should align,

 

Florian Heinrichs  43:12

and bring directly tangible for the business, but let me I’m not gonna say the name of the firm and the name of the sport. But I did work a little bit, many years ago, rolling out a insert sport money leak research study, and I guess you can find it that basically ranked certain sports clubs, by their financials. And it was a huge success nationally, like the press would like we would have coverage and all national outlets. Very unfortunate that we did not have a national sports practice. So it was business was completely irrelevant exercise in that country. But and but and it was a pricey translation. But anyways, so these these things happen as well. And it’s not the place here.

 

Alastair McDermott  43:55

Let’s wrap this back to the title here. Because Because we said we’re going to talk about creating effective thought leadership content. So so one thing I just want to talk about quickly is thought leadership. It’s one of those terms. It’s a bit wishy washy. Some people really don’t like it, some people like it. I did consider using thought leadership in the title of this podcast, I decided to go with The Recognized Authority, because I was more interested in the building authority side of things. But I think the thought leadership is really important. Can you just tell me a little bit about how you think about thought leadership and what thought leadership means then in terms of content?

 

Florian Heinrichs  44:26

Yeah. So I think that there’s plenty of definitions out there. And I’m not trying to give you one because I don’t think I have one specific one ready for me it is this question of, which always comes back to this, this entire marketing, content publishing, all that stuff should just be an extension of consulting, you ought to be helpful to people. That’s what it’s about, help them achieve business objectives. That’s the industry we’re in. And there’s a paid part, which is the consulting engagement and there’s the unpaid part, which is the marketing department. But coming back to the so thought leadership to me in that sense means having helpful thoughts having helpful thinking, that leads the recipient of the information to the next step, next step accept accept closer to the good outcome. And that’s how I tend to think about it. I know there’s other notions of oh, I’m a thought leader in the sense that I’m a leading thinker, like I’m two years ahead and 15 books ahead and all of that the client. Also true, also helpful. But it doesn’t have to be that not necessarily, if you have helpful, fresh, original insights, that helped me with step 12345 of my adult leadership, you don’t have to be 20 years ahead, you just have to give me the next thing to hold on to so I can make progress. And I think that is I don’t know if that’s very, that’s too practical for you. But I think it’s a very workable definition of the of the phrase.

 

Alastair McDermott  45:52

Yeah, I didn’t want to get the definition. Sorry. But ya know, what, I think that the key thing there is, is having those insights. And I think that those insights, if you are not already having them, I guess I’m talking to people who are kind of back in early stages. But if you are not having a lot of insights around your around your area of expertise, then I think that there’s two things that you need to do. One is you need to talk to more clients about the problem directly. And two is you need to write more, much more about it. And I think that doing those two things, will lead you to those insights. I think, I think like I I strongly, strongly believing that that you will get to the stage where you will if you if you talk to enough clients, and think about what they’ve said, you will get to the stage where after you’ve had some of those conversations, if you record them on Zoom, I’ve done this for a book about building authority. I had, I think I had 40 conversations with people and and by the way, people are really responsive. You say, Hey, I’m doing some research for a book, I’d love to interview you. And just get your thoughts on this. And I’ll record it, I just want to use it. Now you could also pitch that as a podcast, which then gives you this ultimate repurposing, and I think I’d really love doing that as a concept. But doing doing those calls will give you a massive amount of insights into the problem and potential solutions and what people have tried. And you will definitely have the have enough information to turn that into a book 100%. Because I know that people kind of think about, you know, what am I going to write about where I’m going to get those ideas. So I really believe in that. And then the other thing is actually writing, just formulating your thoughts in writing in a way that other people can read it. I think that that is one of the best ways to come up with insights and collect paths,

 

Florian Heinrichs  47:33

or as a former in house marketing guy, just give it to me, just give it to the marketing team, we can publish it for you. Because if you’re a consultant, you are you a thought leader, in my sense of the word already, you are already believed climber in the projects of guiding the client up the path, because you have the expertise, right, you can make sure they’re safe, you’re already in that position, just share the damn stuff. Sorry.

 

Alastair McDermott  47:59

My, my my last, again, help you

 

Florian Heinrichs  48:01

get it published, we do not have mess, we do not have the expertise. I do not know anything about treasure, treasure management system implementation. I know how to publish it when you have it. But you gotta give it

 

Alastair McDermott  48:12

to me. Yeah. And getting that. And this kind of leads me around, I put up a guide recently on LinkedIn, I have it available for download. It’s a PDF guide for how to create a fit how to create content efficiently, like how to create high quality content efficiently. One of my favorite things to do, and I do this now with clients is I will interview them. Now I’ve got experience in interviewing a lot of people as a podcast interviewer, but I think that interviewing experts, and if you are somebody who is very busy, but you are a true expert in your field, getting somebody to interview you for 20 or 30 minutes, if you have the right set of questions, and somebody who knows the questions to ask and can figure those things out. What you can do is you can get a mention of content, you can get a month’s worth of content from a 3040 minute interview. And so I think that that’s a really time efficient way. If you are somebody who’s busy is to get somebody to actually interview you. I think it’s a great way of creating content, because that you know, when you were talking Florian about you know, give me the content. Well, maybe they don’t have the content in any kind of form. But how about get get on the Zoom call with me. And you know, I’m just gonna actually transcribe, we’re going to I’m going to interview you will even turn that into a podcast that’s going to be our new, that’s going to be the new new podcasts for the firm. I’m going to interview all the partners, I’ll just go around, like we’ve got four partners. So we’ll interview each one of them every month for 30 minutes. And suddenly, you know, after 12 months, you’ve got all of this content, that is thought leadership content, you’ve got podcasts, you’ve got all of these web pages, you’ve got video that you can pull up and and you know and video is really important for again, trust engagement, and reach on social media. And those are ways that you can do all that on, you know, a fairly short time coming Like if you’ve got your, your principles like you talked about, like that’s a 30 minute commitment once a month, particularly, it’s something that is hugely, hugely valuable.

 

Florian Heinrichs  50:10

Yeah, sorry. Here’s the point for the marketers on the line, right? What you’re describing there, that process, the marketing team has to have that. And they have to be the thought leaders are the guides through that process. But consults will not sit down and prepare an interview, and then ask you to like, you have to put that up. And this, again, brings us back to the client journey. If you’ve mapped that out, you will be able to ask them a question, because you’ll have to, you’ll have determined what other questions people at that stage have. And you’ll know, look, the finance folks who tried to talk to they’re wondering, why does it take so long to put this frickin reports to get all the paperwork together? What are we missing? Why does it take so long? How could we speed this up? That’s the question for the you know what I mean? Like you have, you have to build the process out, prepare the interview. And then it’s, I, when we run some of the processes, we like to send one or two questions a week or two weeks in advance. And then ever because they have that consultant has it in the back of his or her brain. And every email they read, every client interaction becomes input to that answer. And when they show up for the interview, it’ll be like you say, that will be 20 minutes stuffed with good stuff, and will be easy to convert into content for a month. Yeah,

 

Alastair McDermott  51:22

I’ll even I’ll even give you some questions to start you off. And you can ask these questions. And these will be useful. Who is your ideal client? And what’s the challenge that they’re facing? If you ask that question to your to your principal, they will give you a really detailed and great answer that you can use in marketing. What are the common mistakes that they’re making when they tried to solve the problem? What is something that they can implement? Or what they can do to actually fix the problem? What is a common myth? or misunderstanding in in this field? Or what are our competitors saying, I like your one, what are our competitors saying that drives us nuts when you hear when yours? I don’t think I worded

 

Florian Heinrichs  52:02

Oh, where are they lying? I’ve asked this as well. And you will be laughing.

 

Alastair McDermott  52:06

And then getting to the to unique point of view. What do you believe that most people don’t believe? Or what do you know what what what’s our perspective and trying to figure that out? So you know, what, what do you believe that, that most people are getting wrong, you know, something, something like that. So those questions are a great starting point for. And you’ll notice that like all of those are generic, you can ask those to anybody in any field about about any topic and you will still get like you will get a month’s worth of content for your social media, just by asking a principle an expert in their field, asking them those questions on camera and recording it. Because then you’ve got your podcasts, you’ve got your video, you’ve got your YouTube, you can turn that into, you know, pages for your website, blog posts, you can expand on those, you can turn those into carousels and do all that content repurposing stuff, you know, there’s so much that you can do with it once you’ve got that original content. But you can only get that content if the person and the person might be you. If you’re if you’re the principal, if you’re the expert, you can only get that content, if you are truly an expert in your field, and you know what your client’s issues are? And this comes back to understanding the buyers journey, right?

 

Florian Heinrichs  53:13

Yes. And this comes back to and I really love the questions, but I do anticipate that you’ll have to really push hard as the interviewer, you have to push for specificity in all of these, especially the first one. Because I’m not like saying this to my clients. I’m not thinking of anyone in particular, but I can totally for see people answering that first question. Oh, our ideal client is the entire C suite of the all of the automotive industry, Germany, which is which is not a thing. It’s an amorphous blob. Like you gotta be more specific than that. This is a human we specialize in selling to businesses. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. And we target the C suite, because we don’t even know what CXOs they have. It’s just we imagine a suite full of guys probably because it’s usually guys. We’ve we’re very important. Yeah. No push. That one is a tricky one. All the others. Yes. And even if you have to push that’s already a fruitful conversation for both content. And again, the business because if you push them very hard, they might figure something out.

 

Alastair McDermott  54:14

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I want to address one final word in the title, which is effective. So we talked a lot about creating the content. And I had a really interesting conversation yesterday, actually with a lady called Cheryl Plouffe, who was on on my podcast and on LinkedIn live and everywhere, like this one is. And so we were talking about lead generation through content and how it’s difficult, because, you know, it’s difficult to directly match and I talked with Chris from refine labs, who talks about this a lot. Chris Walker, I think, I hope I’ve got his name, right. But he talks about demand generation and content and the dark But because it’s very difficult to, it’s very difficult to match direct ROI for content. And that can be difficult for a lot of people when they’re trying to convince, convince people that they need revenue that they need need funding to for content creation, because it’s very difficult to track back because there’s this whole kind of he calls, I think he calls it the dark social, where people are sharing your content, and people are sharing it on Slack. And people are talking about people listening to your podcasts, you don’t know who’s listening to it. And so it’s hard to track all of that. But I’m just interested in how you think about the content actually being effective at generating leads, is there is there anything that you do with the content to form in terms of making it more effective for lead generation?

 

Florian Heinrichs  55:52

Things I do with the content goes back to Klein insight and research, right? So you, you got to publish stuff, that’s where you can have, they can be very confident that it will be relevant to them. And then there are ways where you can sort of guesstimate right, whether or not that’s the case, you have been on a time on page, how many downloads that this guy had got it shared, and so forth? I’ll let the measurement experts speak to that. I think at the end of the day, it is incremental revenue across programs. So if we invest 250 grand into marketing function and its programs as a consulting firm, does the line go up? After a reasonable amount of time? And then I’m deliberately keeping this very simplistic, because I will be honest, I have not made up my mind in full about the whole attribution question. My instinct is to say that is a very real question, if you are in a scaled product business with a unified product, like most of the SAS companies are, yes, yes, absolutely. Because they are in a paradigm where measuring the stuff cross all the measurements they have, the volume is so great that the errors which inevitably happen, even in the software space, even with digital marketing, self reported attribution on stuff, so full errors, but if I sell, I don’t know, 1.5 million licenses or seats in the year, you know, it will average out and the sound will become valid. That’s the one thing the second thing is these guys are in an environment where they have the software, that’s the product, the content creation is extra, it’s an extra effort and investment. And yes, they have to be very, very smart at measuring it. Yeah. And making sure there’s return because it’s not core to their business. Now, consultants are in the business of thinking. And giving people that are thinking all the time, adding a marketing capability just means I go from giving it just to you, Aleister, to giving it 500 to 500 people on LinkedIn also. So it’s not as clear cut. distinction between Is this a marketing investment? Or is this a core business investment? And so I’m still struggling with the question. That’s my done with my tangent on on. No, I

 

Alastair McDermott  58:07

love that answer. And I think that that’s a really great insight. That last piece, you said, you know, you are creating this content anyway. So with just a few minor tweaks, you can make it much more, you know, much more applicable to a wider audience and broadcast to a wider audience. And so for me, the issue with marketing and creating content in the b2b Professional Services space, is that the value of contracts is potentially so high. And the number of potential clients that you need is so low, that it’s that it could be it could be written off, as you know, as a rounding error. Like, all you need is three people to see that blog post or that video, if those three people are all CEOs of ideal target clients for you. You know, it, the numbers are so small, in terms of the like, you could have a million people listening to listen to a podcast. But if if all of those million people are not in your ideal demographic, then that many people are irrelevant. But if you’ve got 10 people listening to it, then all of those 10 are within your demographic. You don’t look like you’ve got a very impressive podcast. But you know, if your podcast is listened to by Elon Musk and Bill Gates and somebody else, some of their SEO like it’s a world of difference. So now I know that you’re probably not going to have a small tiny podcast listen to what by those particular people. But But what I mean is that for me that the the issue of the numbers so long as you are for me, I don’t worry about the attribution stuff much at all because I don’t worry about those numbers. So

 

Florian Heinrichs  59:54

yeah, that yes, actually, personally, I would agree right, not to concern that’s my stance. But I would not say don’t measure it. I would still say drive everything by the numbers. Because it’s interesting. It’s it’s better than not doing it because you might learn things that are tactically more

 

Alastair McDermott  1:00:11

work. Yeah, that’s that. Yeah. So so so you’re using you’re using your analytics for learning and improving, which is a different route, rather than attribution. Yeah, yeah. So absolutely, I can get behind that. 100%. Yeah. And

 

Florian Heinrichs  1:00:25

the fallacy people make in consulting is to sit to think that the beneficial outcome of the marketing effort, the return on marketing investment happens in marketing, only you said it yourself. You said, doing the podcast has improved your game so much. You’re almost at the point of not caring if anyone would ever listen to it. You would keep doing it just for the learning. I’m putting some words in your mouth. But yeah,

 

Alastair McDermott  1:00:52

no, but I get your take your point? Yeah, close relationships, which is the other side? Yeah.

 

Florian Heinrichs  1:00:58

And that’s it. Consultants are in the business of knowledge creation, knowledge, application and relationship building. Yeah. Marketing, it’s the same thing. It’s all if you play it right, and you make it you put it together as closely as possible, it becomes so indistinguishable, you might as well say, it’s not actually an extra expense is it? It’s the cost of doing business in the space we’re in. And the return of doing the podcast is not just, I don’t know, 600, listens or whatever, per episode, it’s us getting better. The colleague who ran for interviews, completely remodeled the framework we have for these types of that there’s so much outcome of this, I would be I’m very positive that if you only look at the marketing metrics, and report that as the return, you’re underselling yourself by half, at least, because there’s so much benefit in the stuff that doesn’t get tracked and will never be tracked inside the marketing realm. Right? It’s outside of that accounting logic, but still very, very valuable for the firm. And I could give you examples to no end there. We have a view speak to liking his name right now, someone gave us the story of Couhan. And partners, which is a German pricing consultancy, they’re famous for determining the price of some Porsche cars, completely shifting the industry away from Oh, we take a bunch of this is our costs, we add 10% That’s the price of the vehicle. They sort of turned, talk them into value based pricing all this stuff. They wrote a book once about I think it’s called pricing innovation. And you could measure the success of that book against Oh, how many people read it like how many increase? Did we get yada, yada, yada. What it actually did was reposition the firm as an innovations pricing consultant, which now means they do business in Silicon Valley. They were very boring nerdy pricing consulting, I’m exaggerating a little bit in Germany, with some global clients, I’m exaggerating, but now they are they were suddenly they were it in in California. And their their consulting practices change because of that stuff. They were they are now able to deliver this work that the venture capital firms are after. That’s the outcome of that book. Would you have seen that in your dashboard? I don’t think so.

 

Alastair McDermott  1:03:17

No, I also love the fact that they use the title of booking positioning, because that’s actually something that I’m doing at the moment, personally, and I’ve I’ve seen it done before. And I think we could get into a whole talk about positioning and specialization and messaging and things like that. But yeah, I think that it’s really clever. The title of your your flagship signature book, that becomes a great way to position yourself

 

Florian Heinrichs  1:03:42

comes the new mission, not the business the marathon was still a consulting right but that changed their entire game around the thing maybe I’m maybe I’m must have been other things going on behind the scenes. But

 

Alastair McDermott  1:03:53

that’s that’s that’s fascinating that Florian we are we’re over the hour mark. So I think that we better we better, we better call it call it a day. Florian. Where can people find you if they want to learn more?

 

Florian Heinrichs  1:04:05

So they can either find me on LinkedIn, that’ll probably do it, or the small small consulting firm I’m running is called Client friendly. And you can find us under client friendly.co. Awesome. Oh, I also I also have a podcast but people can find out on the LinkedIn.

 

Alastair McDermott  1:04:25

Yes, you have a podcast called unbillable hours. I recommend you listen to it. And it’s and you cover some of the things that we’ve talked about. And some other things with with your your co host ash,

 

Florian Heinrichs  1:04:36

I guess was slightly geared towards the marketing practitioners in firms which have sizable marketing functions. So if you’re in there and need some emotional support,

 

Alastair McDermott  1:04:46

that would be the podcast for you. Yeah. Cool. And Sharon says very interesting. So thank you, Sharon. And I know we find people

 

Florian Heinrichs  1:04:53

thanks for admitting you. You’ve been guilty of the same thing.

 

Alastair McDermott  1:04:59

Yeah, so So far, it’s been great to chat today. Thank you so much for coming on and chatting to me about this. I think that if you’re up for it, we’ll do this again sometime. It’s been fun.

 

Florian Heinrichs  1:05:08

I enjoyed this time. Thank you very much. Awesome. Thanks, everybody, for listening.

 

Alastair McDermott  1:05:12

Thank you. Thanks for listening, I know that you’ve got a choice of podcasts and shows that you can listen to. So I really do appreciate your time and your attention. If you did find this episode. Interesting. I would truly appreciate if you could take 30 seconds to rate the show, your podcast player or even leave a text review. It won’t take you long but it has a huge impact on the growth of the show. And it also helps to motivate me and continuing to do it. So it’s right where you’re listening to the show. You can also find a link in the show notes which will take you to rate and review. Thank you again. See you in the next one.

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