Episode 208: Jake Jorgovan turns consultants into thought leaders

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October 29, 2019

Jake Jorgovan turns consultants into thought leaders through content marketing.

Jake’s firm, Content Allies, works with consultants who have deep industry or functional knowledge, but who simply don’t have the time to sit down and get that knowledge onto paper.

A writer from his team interviews the client to get a brain dump on a particular topic, and then they write the blog post or the white paper for the client.

Let’s say you’ve got a lot of industry knowledge and experience, but you

You can learn more about Content Allies on their website, contentallies.com

And you can learn more about Jake on his own website, https://jake-jorgovan.com

HIGHLIGHTS

Will: Hello Jake, welcome to the show.

Jake: Thanks for having me on here, Will.

Will: So Content Allies, you turn consultants into thought leaders. Do I got that right?

Jake: That is correct. Yes. So that is the primary business I’m working on these days. It came out of some of my own experience in thought leadership and I finally decided to put together a firm that helps others do the same.

Will: All right. So I’m imagining a consultant, a little bit like a caterpillar in a cocoon, and then they’re coming out, the butterfly as a thought leader. So tell me, how do you turn a consultant into a thought leader? Walk me through your process.

Jake: Yeah, so one of the biggest things that I guess we find when working with consultants is really… Most people are experts in their field, like they are already an expert, they have deep expertise in some subject matter area. But the problem is that they’re so busy implementing and executing and doing work with clients that they never take the time to actually share that knowledge outside of when they’re being paid directly by a client. And so you’ll often have consultants doing, they’re insanely intelligent people but the outside world, they may not even have a website or it just looks like a one page thing and they’ve never actually put their ideas out there into the world. And so the way we look at content for consultants is the first piece of that is really to start by just creating a cornerstone content of, you don’t have to go in and immediately start blogging every single week or doing all this stuff on social media, like you don’t have to get into this whole crazy game.

Jake: But one of the first pieces that we really look out for most consultants is what is the core thing that you are focused on, and how can you just create one phenomenal piece of content? One or two or three maybe, just phenomenal really long-form pieces of content that’s going to be something that you can use to build trust with people and that’s really going to demonstrate your expertise and show what you are uniquely talented at and what you think about. And so that’s really one of the first steps that we have most consultants look at whenever they’d get into content.

Will: Okay, cool. So give me a high level overview of the whole process and then we can dive in a bit. So it sounds like the first step would be looking at some core content. What is something that’s fundamental to what you do and creating some anchor-piece around that? And then is there a phase two, phase three where you work to creating some regular, periodic, weekly blog post or podcast or video or, what’s the overall arc look like?

Jake: Yeah, so starting with that core content and once you move from there and you’ve got that created, one of the next things I look at is creating content that fills specific gaps within your business. So if you can think of, say you’re needing, you’ve got customers where maybe they’ve got certain objections. Or they have certain questions that are problems that come up over and over again. That may not be the whole core piece but it might be something that you just consistently hear your customers talking about and starting to create content around that of where your customers or your clients are having these challenges. And that’s again, another very trust-building thing that you can use to send over these specific small pieces whenever you’re in a conversation with everyone. So, the next piece I look at is ongoing educational content. It doesn’t have to be as big as your cornerstone, but really focusing on answering the questions or the constant pain points or maybe the misconceptions that your customers have in the market.

Jake: Another way we’ll often look at this is, when consultants are wanting to expand within an existing account, we’ll often look at land and expand content. So, maybe you get hired for one thing, but there’s actually a lot more stuff that you see that you could help this company with. Well, creating content about those different offers or those different problems and how you think about solving them is a good way to build trust and get your existing customers to start to look at you in a different light because sometimes they’ll put you in a box for what they originally hire you for. And content is a great way to expand that so you can really ultimately do more engagements for the existing customers you have. So those are some of the educational and continuing ongoing content pieces.

Jake: Another avenue we’ll often look at is networking content, which could be very similar to what we’re doing now with podcasting. So whether that’s podcasting or doing article interviews or something of that sort, but some sort of networking content that is going to really help you have a lot more conversations with influencers, customers, other people that could be strategic partners for your business. And how do we create content that is going to help you just really network there. And you don’t have to necessarily hit both of those. Most of the time people pick one or the other at the start, whether they go into a lot more ongoing content or if they go toward networking but they’re both super-viable channels. That’s just almost a preference on what someone’s stronger at.

Jake: And after those the other high level piece is in then getting into promotion. And so that’s your core that we’ve just talked about, everything, which is sharing your ideas and creating the core content and then it’s just simply getting that out into LinkedIn. Putting those into posts and updates there, which shouldn’t always be a ton of original stuff, but it’s more often best. LinkedIn is best used to repurpose and promote what you have, as well as email newsletters to share that out to, even if it’s a small group of customers or contacts you have. And then also leveraging that content for speaking engagements or to get interviews or appearances elsewhere to ultimately help go through that full cycle so that eventually you become this industry thought leader and this person that is just known and has become a name in the industry.

Will: Yeah. Now let’s talk a little bit about some of the actual format and how you go about helping consultants do this. So, I think that you help the consultants do it. But what, you interview the folks and then then you have writers who create it? How does that work? How does that process work?

Jake: Yeah so our two core services is, we do the basically article writing and then we’ll actually do podcast creation for our customers as well depending on which route they go. But one of the biggest things we find is that some of the consultants, they may even be good writers or enjoy writing at time, but they struggle to stay consistent when they’re just traveling around, whenever they’re working with clients. So what we do is we basically, we’ll interview our customers for 45 to 60 minutes at a time, pull ideas, expertise out of their head, and basically turn that into a long-form written post. And if they want to go really big on a cornerstone piece we might pair up multiple interviews to tackle something really deep. But we onboard our customers, help them strategize, come up with their plan of what they’re going to say, what their priority, where they’re going to get the best value from content.

Jake: And then we really, we pair everything around interviews and really, our belief is that the content that a consultant creates is most often not something that you couldn’t just send someone off to go create these articles because it is really sharing your unique ideas and perspective. And so the only way to really pull that out is through an interview or writing it yourself. And so that’s the framework for how we’d like to pull and help our customers get that out of their head.

Will: All right. So give me a sanitized, real-life example of, you’ve just interviewed one of your clients for an hour, maybe this is something that your firm did two months ago. Pick some example that you can share. What would a sample topic be that you interviewed the person about? And then we’ll walk through the process and what the final result looks like.

Jake: Yeah definitely. So there’s one customer I’ll share that is a really great example I think of a lot of, we’ve done a bunch of different types of content for him. And so this individual has a firm called The Negotiator Guru and they basically do IT contract negotiations. So they negotiate with Salesforce, Oracle, Microsoft, all of those kind of deals. And they’ll go to these big companies and help them renegotiate those contracts, make sure they’re getting fair rates and that they are protected on their terms and everything. And one of the first articles we did for Dan, basically the founder over there, is an article on how to negotiate with Salesforce. And this first in the short-term became this powerful thing that helped him really build trust and show people how deep the expertise goes. Because most people were just like, “Wait. Why would I hire…?” In his realm and with a lot of consultants, and it’s not often that you’re hired against competition, it’s that they don’t see value or they don’t believe that it’s worth paying you for your services, they don’t see the problem enough.

Jake: And so through this article he was able to show just how deep he thinks about this negotiation process, and actually start to win deals from there. So there’s this short-term value of using this article to basically win people’s mindset over. And then that eventually also ends up ranking on Google, which is not even, it’s not, like if you actually do the Google search traffic for negotiating with Salesforce, it was less than 20 hits. It doesn’t even show up on Google’s data. But the people that search for that and came across it were extremely high value and ended up generating over half a million dollars basically over the next year or so in new business for his firm off of just that article. So that’s one example. And we’ve done other stuff on that with him as well as, okay, so he gets in the door on a Salesforce contract, how do we create content that’s going to expand how the customer views him to get, to support all of their IT purchasing, to support in all of their contract negotiations?

Will: Yeah. Now when-

Jake: And so on the back end of that, yeah.

Will: So let me just jump in here. So was this all result of just the one, one hour interview or multiple interviews? What kind of questions would you have asked the person? How did that interview work?

Jake: What we basically do with the… Onboarding is where we start. And that’s to make sure we really understand that we can actually think strategically on what is going to be that best fit, and what’s going to be the most useful or the most powerful. And we basically, we’re working with Dan and brainstorm that. And then really that did come out of essentially what was one, I think that one may have been two interviews to get that full piece out. And really it’s not even something where a lot of the times… It’s interesting, our team, like we can’t really ask all the questions. What we do is we try to do a brainstorm with a customer and say, “Hey, what are the topics? What are some of the sub-bullet points?” And then we often just say, “Hey, come back to us with more bullet points.”

Jake: And it’s really not hard if you are really an expert in your field to comeback and just list out a bunch of the things you would like to talk about on a topic. It may be insanely disorganized when we receive it and we have to organize that but that is a common thing where basically we help them choose the focus of their content. And then it’s really brainstorming. But it really comes from, they bring the expertise. There’s nothing magical. We just capture it and turn it into written words.

Will: Yeah. But that’s something magical because a lot of us have, either we’re super-busy if we like to write, or maybe we just have a little writer’s block, which is so hard to sit down, put pen to paper and actually start writing a piece. But if you say to me, and I was this person who knows about negotiating with SAP, “Hey, talk to me.” I can start talking about it, right? “Oh and then there’s this thing you got to worry about. And then if the volume is above this you have to worry about these break points.”

Will: And then you folks ask me, “Oh, explain to me that breakpoint thing again,” and we start getting into discounts and just talking about it and coming… You’re not worried then about actually trying to make it like good, logical text. And so you’re interviewing people, you’re pulling all the knowledge out of their brain and then your team goes off and creates the writeup.

Will: Now what form would that take? Would you create one piece of content for something like that? Or are you creating this one long blog post but then also a white paper or LinkedIn posts, or tweets or multiple pieces of collateral?

Jake: Yeah, so we always start with the long-form written piece. And again that can take a lot of formats on whether someone wants to make it look like a white paper or an article or a blog. I mean in a lot of, in a sense to us, the output of what that looks like doesn’t matter as long as we just have a reference and we know what they’re trying to achieve. So to some people it may be a case study that looks more like a white paper. Others, it may be an article that goes up on the site. So we again strategize and we make sure we know what the use case is. We’ve had other people hire us to basically ghost write for a publication that they’re submitting to. And so the output doesn’t matter too much to us as long as we know what the medium is.

Jake: But it’s just a, for us, we just think through it from that angle and then we really deliver just a document to them, it’s kind of the typical point. And I’d say our goal is to try to get it really close but often the interesting thing is that almost all of our customers, whenever they see the finished piece, they think, “Oh, I forgot to talk about that,” and they may add some piece in there or make some tweaks or something. So there’s always still a bit of a collaboration with something like this to put out, like an original idea. But it’s something where I think one of the biggest things our customers say is, “I don’t make the time to do it otherwise.” Or they don’t have the time and this gets them 90% of the way there and then they can have that last 10% to get it across the finish line.

Will: Mm-hmm (affirmative). and does your team just do the writing or do you also help with graphic editing, making it look all designed and everything?

Jake: Yep. So we do the social thumbnails, everything like that as well. And we do some LinkedIn posts and everything around that as well. Or we’ll do some other social channels as well but LinkedIn is the primary one for in the B2B consulting world. And so yeah, we definitely support on that. Sometimes we help with people on the websites. A lot of times they have their own web team or someone there who’s managing that we just coordinate with. But our main focus is on the writing and then we just support them whatever other ways we can to make sure that our customers actually are able to get this out there because we don’t want them to have a block because they just don’t have time to get it on their site or something. So we just support however we can around that.

Will: Okay. What, if anything do you do… Before you actually write the piece or decide on what the content topic should be, do you look online for what are the search queries that you should be trying to answer? Like what are the Google search, what’s the volume of different Google searches? What are the keywords that you should be incorporating? Do you write it for SEO?

Jake: It’s something where again, we always take that in mind and we do look and search on that. But it’s something where again, I think you have to really think. So for a lot of people when they think about content initially, I think the mindset around content has been, “Oh, create content that’s going to rank on SEO and get leads,” and that’s the value of content. But the truth is there’s a lot of things. To give you an example, so for Dan with the IT negotiation, one of the pieces we just recently created for him was how to basically plan your annual IT budgets, or how to optimize your annual IT spend. And the goal of that was again to level him up from a sales force where people were coming, which did rank, and we were intentional in how we structured that to get that search. But most people are not really searching about how to optimize my annual IT spend or really anything around that because it’s something that they’re just not even really aware of or thinking of.

Jake: So in cases where it makes sense and the goal is to try to get something to rank or it is lead gen content, we will try to do that and optimize there. But in some cases if say the goal is the land and expand content, then the purpose really may be to use this in a sales situation. So it’s understanding the purpose of the content and paying attention to the search if it makes sense, but also just making sure you know the actual intent of the piece you’re creating and how you’re going to use that.

Will: What sort of benefits have you seen your clients getting as they raise their visibility through thought leadership? What either qualitative or quantitative results have you seen?

Jake: The quantitative piece, it’s something where Dan is probably one of the best ones where we had the quantitative of, he literally was able to track at least half a million that came from his article. And in terms of the qualitative piece though, that’s where the interesting thing is just the level of trust this builds. And so I practice what I preach on myself. I’ve built up myself as a thought leader for my entire first business that I put out, which where we were kind of a LinkedIn company. And even as I launched into this new one, for doing all my other marketing channels, all of my outreach, anything like that, basically everything improved for my marketing whenever I started actually getting more content. Whenever I actually put together a book about my approach and my theory, it was interesting just to see people who I would reach out to completely cold who would actually then take the time to go through my site and then they would dive through some of the content that was created, and that would build trust.

Jake: And that’s where I look at, I think the biggest value of content is it’s not always the direct, like, “I publish a post and then so many people click through the post and I get money out of that.” It’s often this ephemeral I guess benefit of the trust that it builds to help convert leads that come through every other channel that you have. And so that’s where I look at it as the biggest benefits and it’s harder to measure, but it’s just something that I’ve been investing in content myself for years and I’ve seen that and I just know it’s real. And that’s why I’ve gone toward this.

Will: When people are thinking about what topic to write on, tell me about some cases where someone who was maybe excited about one idea and that you talked him out of it, and you encouraged him to do something slightly different. Does that ever happen?

Jake: Yeah, that’s something where I think again I’ll… A lot of times people they, I think like I said, around this misconception that content is all just about SEO ranking or lead generation. And I think that that’s almost the mindset that everyone has when they come to us, is thinking about content only targeted at people that have never heard of them or never hired them. And I think that that’s where most people always think. And it’s almost always the case that whenever someone comes in, we come up with an idea where it’s like, “Hey, if you had this piece and you took this to your existing customers, do you think this would generate more business?”

Jake: And like, “Yeah, that probably makes a lot of sense.”

Jake: And looking at that and thinking of how, instead of trying to create content for people who don’t know you at all and going very top of the sales funnel, creating content for people who have already paid you money and just trying to open the doors to more opportunities for that. I think that almost always ends up being where we end up focusing first for our customers. And I don’t think most people are thinking that whenever they come to us with that. So that is probably one of the, it’s almost like a high-level trend that we see over and over again.

Will: Hmm. Cool. Could you give me maybe eight or ten different examples of those types of things that would help you, it sounds like land and expand, or expand with one of your current clients through content? Maybe different categories of types of ideas or even specific ones that can be sanitized. But more examples would be helpful to illustrate the point.

Jake: Yeah. So again, for example of like Dan’s was the first one of just like, “Hey, how do we look at your full IT spend instead of just this one piece?” We have another company that they do basically software automations for manufacturing plants. And so one of the pieces we’re looking at creating for them is they often get brought in on singular projects that they get hired, someone has a project, they find them. And we’re basically creating, how do you audit your whole entire factory? Or how do you think about process automation or where to look for high ROI software projects? And then within that we’re even starting to take a look at what are the common use cases that people do hire them for? And how do we create almost I guess like a case study around this and how to think about this or the different options to solve, like these problems that you’re often solving for.

Jake: And so it’s often thinking through what are the different problems that you’re solving or that you have solved in the past for customers? And really educating people, first of all that these problems exist and can be solved because a lot of consultants are, again, they’re implementing solutions that the customers may or may not even have known is a possibility. So [inaudible 00:21:30], Dan, another one we’re going into is creating an entire piece around mergers and acquisitions and how to think about IT negotiations on a merger and acquisition so that when his clients have an M&A activity, you can go into them with this piece and say, “Hey, this is all the value I can bring into these pieces here.”

Jake: And so thinking through these different solutions or these different areas that you could apply your services within a business, and then really I guess looking probably historically at where you have applied it or even theoretically where you could apply it in the future. And those become great verticals and areas of focus for new types of content.

Will: Okay. What are your tips for consultants on once they have this piece of content, of how to make use of it? What do you like in terms of putting it on your website obviously, but then do you encourage folks to proactively send it to a subset of their clients, to have a newsletter or post it as an article on LinkedIn? What do you see is working for people in terms of once they have the content, of where to post it?

Jake: Yeah, so again, if you’re smart about the strategy at the start it becomes something that you can immediately start using when you’re talking to existing customers or prospects and just sending on a one-on-one basis. And that’s the starting point and really the basic aspect of that.

Jake: Another thing that is very relevant, especially if you have a network of people and/or past customers or even prospects to just create an email list in something like a tool, like even Mailchimp, which is totally free and you can put together an email list. And even if it’s only a couple hundred people, if it’s people that you’ve had conversations with, you’ve worked with in the past, collaborated with, if you put together something very smart there and you actually provide good value and relevant value to them, then that’s another angle you can go to just again to start to keep yourself aware.

Jake: Because another really quick value of content is the ability to generate more word-of-mouth referrals from existing customers. And so putting that out through an email newsletter or sharing this with people in your audience, even with a one-on-one, “Hey, I thought you would find this interesting, I just put this together,” those are great places to start. And then also re-purposing snippets of that for LinkedIn. So, you can use, there’s tons of tools out there like Buffer or anything like that where you can just take a handful of quotes from that article and re-promote that and schedule that out for months to come and in one sitting. And just kind of again-

Will: Could you explain how that, I’ve never heard of that tool. How does that work?

Jake: Yeah. So there’s Buffer, Hootsuite, there’s a handful of tools like this. But what they are is, they’re basically social media publishing tools. So you would connect this to LinkedIn and you could sit down in an hour and take an article and recreate say 20 LinkedIn posts for the next three months to go up and repurposed out of one article. And so what they do is basically it lets you create all your social posts at once and then just schedule them out for the future so that you’re not actually having to go in there and write something new every day or put something in there or paste it yourself live. You can create them in batch upfront and then just schedule those out for the future.

Will: So you can even have it say what time of day you want it to post it on LinkedIn for you?

Jake: Yep, exactly. And again, and with that, I wouldn’t say, I would say don’t post just your article over and over and over again, but mix in some curation. Find someone like yourself, again, I put together the one that was featuring your podcast and stuff. We also like featuring other people, influencers in the field, other people that you like their stuff and you want to share that or other articles you found interesting. So, keeping your feed mixed with some of your own content that you promote but also curating and sharing others as well.

Will: Hmm. Okay. So with Buffer or Hootsuite, I know that LinkedIn is cracking down on some of these automation tools that spam people with a thousand connection requests. But things like Hootsuite, those are pretty safe?

Jake: Yeah. All those automation tools, those are definitely, like black hat and against, these are actually completely illegal. LinkedIn allows the API connection, which basically means that LinkedIn 100% enables you to legitimately connect. So there’s nothing black hat about these tools. You can do this on Facebook or Twitter or anything like that. I think Instagram’s the only one that doesn’t let you do stuff like this. But yeah, it’s 100% legitimate and LinkedIn totally allows them to connect directly into their platform and do this.

Will: Okay, cool. And can you give me a sense of the cost to hire a firm like yours to write these articles for you?

Jake: Yeah, so for a firm like us, we ranged, again based on the depth that someone wants to go with us or how frequent they are, but from the basic level of someone we’re just doing like one article a month or so, we start at a range of around 950 per month. And we have customers that are onboard with us for 3, $4,000 a month that are doing weekly articles and LinkedIn content and newsletters where we’re handling really the whole gamut for them. So that’s our angle. There’s definitely, it’s definitely possible also to hire writers yourself. It’s a little harder to wrangle those sometimes and you have to find quality as well. But there’s, we’re one provider out there but again, regardless of if it’s us or not, I just can’t speak enough to the value that comes from creating content and putting it out there and just the benefits that it has on your business. It’s not always directly measurable, but it’s just super powerful.

Will: For someone who’s thinking about hiring a writer to help do this, what your firm does, and probably consider you as one of the mix, what are some of your tips of how to evaluate a potential writer? Is it just looking at their old stuff? Is it doing a practice interview? How would you recommend if someone’s narrowed it down to three or four candidates? How should you evaluate a writer that is going to be working with you?

Jake: Yeah. So I think the biggest thing to look for is, first of all, just that they have a portfolio of decently complex work because there’s tons of writers out there who have tons of I would say B to C content, very consumer focused for like health blogs or stuff like that. And you look at these and then I can tell very quickly if they’re not going to be able to handle the challenges of a deep consultant whenever they get really deep into industry expertise. But the truth is you’re probably not going to find a writer that knows your industry and your world. It’s just very unlikely, and if you do, that’s amazing and hire them definitely if they’re good.

Jake: But, what we mainly look for is people who basically have a decent caliber of writing what look like complex and challenging topics. So they’ve got that demonstrated challenge even if it’s not specifically the same. You know, if we have someone who’s done science writing or something like that or written other business content, that’s often what I look for is really B2B content. And the other kind of pieces that we… For us we always really look and we test people out a little bit normally on an internal project. And we try that out first because you never really also know until you really test and hire someone and actually see their deliverables if they’re any good. And that’s the hard part about writers, is it just… I mean we, I can’t even tell you, we go through probably 50 applications to find one decent writer.

Jake: So it is difficult because there’s a lot of people, anyone can call themselves a writer. And so it’s just a matter of I would say finding someone who’s handled those complex topics, but just knowing that you’re probably not going to find someone with your exact expertise. But if you can find someone who is curious and willing to learn, and has that… Actually a curiosity I would say is actually one of the core traits that we look for in our writers. If they get bored at the kind of stuff we’re talking about that’s no good. But the people that are like, “This is fascinating, these things I never knew existed,” and those tend to also be really good traits for writers as well.

Will: Yeah. What are your tips, and I don’t know if your firm does this or if you recommend people use another resource. Once you have your content written and it’s in a word doc or Google doc or whatever, what’s your tips on how to find a designer to really make it look visually powerful?

Jake: It’s something where we can, we definitely support on that as our customers need it. A lot of times they have someone who manages their website or they may have a designer or something there. But the core piece with content is, it’s just very much keeping it visually simple and appealing. And one of the biggest things is just not to make it, is actually in almost the formatting of the content even. And we’re intentional in this in terms of how we do our line breaks and our paragraph breaks. Because you don’t want this, even if you’re in, say you’re working in a very corporate environment, you don’t want to be putting out content that looks like an in-depth research paper or something all the time because it’s going to be hard for people to read or consume. And so trying to make your line breaks very simple.

Jake: And then if you need a designer or something like that there’s definitely platforms out there like Upwork, or companies like Design Pickle where you can get a designer that can support on these kind of things. But a lot of those we help our customers with, but most of the time if the words are really good, the design isn’t too big of a concern as long as it’s just consistent with your brand and represents you well. So really we, I’d say focus on the message and then just make sure that the design is up to par and consistent with everything else you’re putting out there.

Will: Hmm, okay. How do you recommend that consultants measure their progress as well as the results and impact of creating thought leadership? Is it just this intuitive thing or do you have some ways of measuring the impact of all the investment that you’re doing in this?

Jake: It’s definitely something that is longer term, but what I like to do is, about every six months I look at my businesses and I track where all of the revenue came from and start to really look at how that came to be. And this was a powerful thing for me when I realized, I think it was about three years ago, I realized that over 50% of my revenue for my businesses had been coming as a result of my podcasts. And then it was the end of last year, I analyzed it again and found 68% of my company’s revenue was coming from my personal brand. And so that for me I think is how I most measurably look at that when I start [inaudible] and just literally kind of on a decent basis, going back and looking and tracking how that revenue actually was generated, where that came from.

Jake: So that’s I guess how I quantitatively do it. I think there’s also qualitative things that happen in the short term when you start to realize that you’re getting invited to speak at events, or you start to see that you’re getting interviewed, or you’re starting to maybe have opportunities or have customers that respond or engage with your content. I have a conversation with a guy later this week and he was, one of the blocks for him getting started is actually his website and everything like that. And I’ve actually written an article on how to structure and think about through your website and how to actually position that. And so even though that’s not what I’m actually offering him, just to share that expertise, it again is something that builds trust and he’s like, “Oh, this is super helpful.”

Jake: And so seeing that kind of engagement with prospects or people you’re talking with, like I see those as I guess the shorter term things. And then in the longer term we’ll take probably six months to a year to start to see the dollar value attached to it. But that’s something that I still do on a pretty regular basis now of checking and looking historically at where that revenue came from.

Will: Yeah. And when you say it came from your personal brand, say a little bit more about that?

Jake: Yeah. For seven years now I’ve been building up my personal brand at jake-jorgovan.com, and basically for, and it’s just been a huge driver for my various businesses where either that’s people that are on my email list that become customers. Probably the biggest driver of that was using a podcast as a networking tool. And the content from the podcast is super powerful and generates opportunities as well. But also the partnerships that came from the podcast interviews were incredibly powerful and so that led to lots of partners, lots of other opportunities to appear on other people’s podcasts. Or to write articles for them or appear on webinars or whatever that could be. Or just even have relationships where people are referred.

Jake: But I literally was able to look back and I saw all this, whether it came from my content, my email list, the relationships of partners, the guest-stop posting or the speaking or appearances I did elsewhere. And just seeing all of those that basically just funneled opportunities toward my businesses.

Will: Wow, that’s amazing. You’ve clearly been building your own thought leadership and practicing what you preach.

Jake: That’s why I started this is I just can’t, I’ve told people for years, I was just having a personal brand and becoming an influencer is just like cheating at business. It just makes everything else easier. I’ve seen people try to literally replicate and copy what I do in my businesses and they don’t have near the same success. And I know that a large part of it is because I have this platform, this audience, this highly engaged message and that adds credibility and there’s just so many benefits to it that I just can’t even explain.

Will: Yeah, 10 years to overnight success.

Jake: Exactly. Yeah yeah. 15 years for me.

Will: Okay. 15 years.

Will: Jake, where can people go to find out more about you?

Jake: Yeah, so my personal website where I do all of my writing, blogging, podcasting is at jake-jorgovan.com: j-o-r-g-o-v-a-n is how you spell the last name. And then Content Allies, which is the company where we do content and marketing for consultants, turn them into thought leaders. That is at contentallies.com.

Will: Fantastic.

Will: Well, if you are a consultant and you have been saying, “I know I should be doing some thought leadership, but I don’t have time,” maybe this discussion will advance your thinking to say, “Maybe I should get some help on this.” And you can visit Jake’s website.

Will: Jake, thank you so much for joining. This was really cool.

Jake: No problem. Thanks for having me on here, Will.