Martin: Hello, everyone! I’m excited, because I have Dorie Clark here, and we’ve got her, I’ll tell you what we’ll do, it’s going to be super cool. We’ve got her book here, and I’m going to come say hello, Dorie, in a second. And what we’re going to do, is we’re going to run through this, and this is going to be about you finding how you can best stand out, and we’re going to go through the chapters, because there’s so much to it.
But Dorie, let me just welcome you, who’s in Seattle, she’s on a book tour. Hello.
Dorie: Hey, Martin. I’m glad to be talking with you.
Martin: That’s just great.
So go ahead and give a quick bit on your background. You’re on the main screen, I’m going to have me hidden, by the way, so they’ll see more of you than me, because they see me all the time. So what is your background?
Dorie: Sure, well so, my new book that just came out is called ‘Stand Out.’ Prior to that, in 2013 I wrote a book with Harvard Business Review Press called ‘Reinventing You’ and that was, in a lot of ways, the result of my background up to that point, where I had to reinvent myself a lot. I had done a lot of different careers, and that included being a Presidential Campaign Spokesperson in the US.
I was a newspaper reporter, I made a documentary film, I ran a non-profit. I did all those things prior, 9 years ago, to starting my consulting business, where I now write and speak, and teach, primarily for the Fuqua School of Business at Duke, although for some other business schools as well.
Martin: Great. Okay. So, so you’ve done it. You repositioned yourself, and in this book, where should we start? What’s it about? Let’s get the overview.
Dorie: So the basic idea of ‘Stand Out’ is that, in a lot of ways I think of it as a sequel to ‘Reinventing You,’ because it is a book about what to do once you find the place that you want to be, once you know where you want to make your mark. You say, “Okay, this is it. I love this job, I love this field.” How do you then become recognized as being one of the best in that field? Because more and more, that’s really essential.
If you want to compete in a very globalized economy, where everybody’s coming at you, there’s competition everywhere, you need to develop a reputation as being an expert in your area. You have to give people a reason to want to do business with you.
And so, for ‘Stand Out,’ I interviewed about 50 top professionals in a variety of different fields, everything from business, to science, to urban planning, and tried to reverse engineer the process by which they became known, they became successful, to try to impart some of those best practices to regular professionals.
Martin: Awesome. Love it. So let’s start.
Chapter 1: The Big Idea
You got remembered the book now, don’t you?
Dorie: Ha-ha! That was the question. Chapter 1.
Martin: Why do people need a big idea? Do they need a big idea?
Dorie: Yeah. So Chapter 1. Basically what I lay out in the first half of the book is that, in order, the full title is called: ‘Stand Out: How to Find Your Breakthrough Idea and Build a Following Around It.’ And so the book is divided into two sections.
This first part is about, how do you find your breakthrough idea? If you are someone who knows you want to make a difference, you want to make an impact, some people already have the perfect idea. Okay, here it is, here’s what I want to do, now I just need to execute.
But for a lot of us, you don’t start out with a really perfectly, clearly, articulated vision of what your idea is. You maybe have it in more of a sense. And so, this is a book, where in these first chapters, I write about, how do you even begin to come up with the idea? And so the first place that you look, in Chapter 1, is essentially another way of phrasing it, besides the big idea, is what I wall call aiming at a worthy target.
It turns out that one of the best ways that you can really get recognized for your ideas, and have eyes trained on you, and get noticed, is if you are from the outset attacking something that is an issue that people really care about. We hear a lot of criticism these days in Silicon Valley about how venture cabalists are bemoaning the fact that, for so many people, they just get pitched on ‘Oh, well you know, it’s the uber window washing, it’s the uber of whatever.’ And it’s just these little tiny niches that no one really cares about.
But the truth is, if you pick something that is a big idea, that people really care about, whether it’s eradicating world hunger, or let’s say, Elon Musk, who a lot of people think of as kind of an archetypal big thinker. Maybe it’s about how do you create an electric car? Or, how do you get to the moon?
Those are things that are worthy enough, that inherently, people are going to be paying attention to what you’re doing, and watching with great interest. Even if you don’t get all the way there, whatever progress you make, people are going to say, ‘Wow, that’s interesting.’ And that’s one of the ways that you can begin to establish yourself as a thought leader.
Martin: Okay. Develop Your Expert Niche.
Dorie: So, the next section is offering another way that you can begin to come up with this breakthrough idea. And in some ways, these may seem like opposites, right? Go big and go small But I will actually suggest that they are very complimentary. And the reason for that is, you want to attack a meaningful problem, but sometimes the best way to do that, is not to just do this scatter shot approach, where you’re trying to do a little bit of everything with it.
Instead, you want to find a niche, find an angle, and really burrow down deeply into it, so you can establish a reputation as an expert with that. And then you branch out incrementally.
So, as one of the examples that I cite in the book, if you try to say, “You know what, I want to be the expert in technology.” That’s great. That’s a worthy goal. But if you’re just starting out, it’s almost an impossible goal, because there’s so much competition, and you’re not giving people a really good reason to want to talk to you.
Instead, if you decide to pick a niche, if you say, “I’m going to become the world’s expert in Periscope,” you know, which is the hot new app that Twitter owns. Well guess what, there’s a lot less competition there. It’s a new thing, it’s an emerging thing, there’s not a lot written about it. So I’m willing to bet, that if you say, “I want to be an expert in Periscope,” and literally, you write one blog post a day on Periscope for the next two months, all of a sudden you have 60 blog posts out there.
Anytime a reporter wants to write about it, they’re going to Google it first, they’re going to see your name come up, because you’ve created so much content, and they’re going to say, “Oh my gosh, this person really knows what he’s talking about.” So they go to you about it, you develop a reputation, and then, once they realize, “Oh you’re smart. You’re interesting. You have good things to say.”
You can go then, from being a Periscope expert, to being a general Twitter expert, to being an expert on other forms of technology. So sometimes going narrow is a really good way to insert yourself initially into the discourse.
Martin: I love that. I love it, because I relate, and everybody who knows me, knows that that’s kind of what I did, and now I’m broadening out.
Martin: Life and business. It’s like where all the singularity stuff, everybody there, and the business connecting the dots. Back to you Dorie.
Okay, moving on, Dorie.
Provide New Research, is Chapter 3.
Dorie: Yeah. So Chapter 3, is basically about the fact that, your listeners, your viewers, probably know this better than most, that if you are someone who is a regular consumer of information on the internet, you know that opinion is in great supply.
Everybody has an opinion about things on the internet. Everybody wants to weigh in, “Oh I think this about this TV show.” “I think this about what’s happening on the news.” But something that is a lot less common, is actual fact, actual information. And so if you were the person, instead of just bloviating, like everybody else, “Oh I think this.” But you go out and you gather real facts to contribute to the discourse, people are going to say, “Oh, that’s really interesting.” And they are going to tee off you, because you’ve done the hard work for them.
So you can get research in a variety of different ways. It could be quantitative research, you could be a researcher who’s literally taking all the stream of Tweets, and trying to create statistical analyses about sentiments and what people are talking about.
You could do qualitative analysis. You could be like a journalist, and interview 20 experts about something.
You could become a reviewer, if you say, “I want to understand. What is really the best smart phone? So I’m going to do reviews of the top 20 models of smart phones. And I’m going to do it in absolute depth, so that anyone who reads this will know this is the definitive review, and they can really trust what I’m saying.
If you do any of those things, creating whitepapers, creating case studies, you are able to show that you are an expert, because you’re willing to put in the work to inject fact into the discussion.
Martin: And that’s the bit, you’ve actually got to do the work that other people are not willing to do in order to stand out.
Martin: And that’s the tough thing for people, and I tell people a lot, “Look, you’ve got to go into the detail. And I have a whole thing, Dorie, which is everything I learn, I teach. Every detail, every pain in the neck little thing, and then show people the process behind it. And because you do that, then people go, well there’s nothing left out. You know? But I find that really interesting. I think research, I think there’s a huge missing gap in social media type stuff, and in web type stuff, show the stats, show the facts. Anyway…
Dorie: Absolutely. Agreed.
Martin: Great. Next one, Combine Ideas.
Dorie: Yes. So, it is well known in the study of creativity, that one of the most fruitful ways to get new ideas, to come up with something that’s actually innovative, is to essentially do a mash-up, to take a couple of different ideas, and bring them together.
And the reason for that, is that if you are trying to innovate, but you’re only looking at one thing, whether it’s one field, or experience with one company, or something like that, it’s very hard, because you almost, you don’t have enough fuel for innovation, because you’ve probably just done things one way.
And you may not even be fully aware that there’s other, that you’re making a choice in doing that, that there are other choices you could make. Whereas, if you were coming from a different mindset, and you say, “Wait a minute, what could this teach me about that?” It presents you with new possibilities.
And so one of the case studies that I share in ‘Stand Out’ is that of Eric Shot, who is today, a very well-known biologist. He’s been profiled in numerable media articles, he’s done over 200 peer review studies, very famous, very influential. And his training originally was in math and computer science.
The reason that is so useful, is that quantitate training enabled him to become one of the first biologists to fully embrace the power of big data. And while everybody else was sort of hemming and hawing, and deciding whether it was a good thing or a bad thing, he was just going for it. And as a result, he was able to get a lot of very influential early findings that he shared to great acclaim using a methodology that he was comfortable with based on his previous experiences.
Martin: So that’s another thing, is doing the things that other people are not doing.
Martin: I think about that Periscope blogging, if you go to depths on that subject, and somebody else doesn’t, of course you’re going to ‘Stand Out.’
I put the name of the book in accents. Okay. So I love that.
But combine ideas. Let’s go further. How do you know what ideas to combine, though? How do you know, do you have faith, do people have faith in themselves, their own judgement? What do they need?
Dorie: Well, you know, when you’re thinking about what ideas to combine, in a lot of ways it’s not necessarily the sort of reasoned thing. “Hmm, if I combine this with this, maybe I’ll get the magic combination.”
In a lot of ways, it’s actually much more organic than that. It’s literally the case of, “Oh well, I used to be a tennis pro, and now I sell real estate. So, what can I learn from how I did tennis and apply that to how I did real estate?”
It’s really, in a lot of ways, coming from your own native organic experience and bringing those pieces together. But because every person is different, every person is individual, the mash-ups that they’re able to make will be distinct.
Martin: Yeah. So there’s a degree of authenticity as well that’s just coming through.
Dorie: Yeah, absolutely.
Martin: It isn’t just, find an idea and mash it with another. It’s you. It’s you, you’re doing it, you’re the one that’s going to stand by it.
Create a Framework.
Dorie: So, creating a framework. This is the final of these strategies that I suggest, of the five, four, creating interesting ideas. Basically what this is talking about is the fact that if you want to get noticed for your ideas, a very effective way that a lot of thought leaders have gotten recognized, is by doing what I call “Creating a Framework.”
And essentially what this means is taking a 30,000 foot view of the field of discipline and issue, and trying to create a sort of explanatory device for it. Because, the truth is, a lot of us spend a lot of our time in the weeds.
Dorie: We’re just experiencing whatever issue it is, and it’s just like, “Boom, boom, boom.” It’s just hitting us. But if you can help people understand it better, by saying, “Wait a minute. There are patterns here. There are systems here. Let me begin to explain this.” Then all of a sudden, everybody steps back and they can see it too, the things that maybe they couldn’t see before. They say, “Oh that makes so much sense.”
And so for instance, one of the examples that I cite in ‘Stand Out’ is Robert Cialdini, a psychologist, who very famously described the 6 principles of influence and persuasion. Now I mean, clearly, influence and persuasion are things that people have been talking about for millennia. This is very important and interesting when it comes to human interpersonal relations. But it was only when Robert Cialdini, in the 1970s and 80s, began articulating this, that people actually realized, “Oh, there’s actually only 6 ways that people do this.”
Literally, every single example, if you break them down, they are one of these 6 ways. As soon as he said that, everybody’s like, “Oh, that makes so much sense.” And now when people talk about influence and persuasion, it is literally almost impossible to do it without talking about Cialdini. Because his framework is so helpful.
Martin: So that’s huge, isn’t it? Huge. Okay, how do people, how do you get out of the weeds?
Dorie: Yeah, so it is a challenge for all of us, right? How do you begin to do that? How do you get that perspective? I think that one of the ways that you could do it—
The first thing is everybody, everybody pretty much starts in the weeds, right? Sometimes people imagine that they can maybe parachute in, and just see everything from above, but the truth is, unless you really go into the nitty-gritty, to understand something, you’re not ever going to have the capability of rising above it.
So for instance, the way that Robert Cialdini was able to discover this about influence and persuasion, he literally went undercover. This is a fascinating story, I wasn’t aware of it until I interviewed him. But as a psychology professor, he literally went undercover and applied to Sales Training programs. And he would go through them for a week or two weeks and he would learn how to sell encyclopedias door to door. He would learn how to sell photos and vacuum cleaners. And as a result of that, that was how he was able to do it.
So it all starts with being in the trenches. But then, in terms of how to rise above it, one of the things that I think is really getting lost, in a lot of ways, in our society, and toward the end of the book I talk about this, is the power of reflection. Because we are in this very go-go society.
And it turns out, interestingly enough, Teresa Amabile, who is a Harvard Business School professor, has done a lot of research on this. And there’s a bit of a paradox, because she has shown that number one, when people are multi-tasking, they actually feel, often times, sharper and more productive. So there’s this very gratifying feeling, like “Oh yeah, I’m doing it. I’m on it.”
The problem is that they are wrong. They are actually incorrect in how they are perceiving things. And when you actually measure their skills in what they’re doing, they’re actually perhaps, not surprisingly, a lot less productive.
So we have to train ourselves out of it, and to, in some ways, go against our instincts and say, “No, actually I need to step back. I need some time for reflection. I need some time to turn off the telephone and to just think.” And if you can will yourself to do it, that actually ultimately forms a bit of a competitive advantage.
Martin: Okay, I’ve got, there’s going to be a series of more personal questions before we get to part 2. Okay.
First of all, do you switch your phone off at night, and what time do you switch it on again in the morning if you do? Because you mentioned that, and I’m just curious.
Dorie: Yeah, yeah. I do, I do. I didn’t always switch my phone off at night, but once I got Facebook Messenger, which I find completely annoying, in case you’re watching this, Facebook. It’s completely annoying. But anyway, people don’t, they would hesitate to send you a text message at 2:00 in the morning, but—
Dorie: But no one’s going to hesitate to message you on Facebook at 2:00 in the morning, because they assume, “Oh she’ll get it whenever she gets it.” But of course, it now comes directly through to your phone, and it shakes and rattles, and whatever.
So I’ve learned that I do need to shut off my phone. Otherwise, I will in fact be awakened in the middle of the night by my lovely friends in India, who want to chit-chat.
So, whenever I go to bed, basically, at the end of the night when I’m going to sleep, I will turn off my phone, just so I don’t get disturbed and I can sleep through the night.
Martin: As it should be, right. That’s the first one. Then, the next one, flow states. Because I’ve been, since Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. I’ve had to learn how to say that name.
Dorie: Well, that was good, that’s how you say it. Yeah.
Martin: I know. Isn’t that good? That’s quite impressive.
Early 90s, finding flow, all of that. I’m guessing you were around all of that stuff as well. Where are you are at with the emotional state people need to be in? Because you mentioned about multi-tasking, but for me, if I had a flow state I’m in, I’m like a little crazy demon getting work done. Do you know what I mean?
Martin: And that is when I am at my best. And it feels good, and I’m super productive. So as a Cancer, where you at with flow?
Dorie: Yeah, so that’s an important one. I think that I’ll throw an extra research finding on top of it, which I think is an interesting one, which is that Dan Ariely, at Duke, my Fuqua colleague, he has done research, and has indicated that when it comes to people’s optimal productivity, it usually occurs between 2 hours and 5 hours after rising, so in the morning.
So let’s say you get up at 7:00 in the morning, you’ll probably be at your peak productivity between say 9 and noon, thereabouts. And so, it’s important to try to schedule your most important or creative work during that time. Clearly, you’re productive for more than just 3 hours a day, but if you’re trying to do something like, let’s say, write a book, or do some creative act, that’s the time that you want to spend on that.
The other things that require just a little less of your brainpower, like “Oh I need to pay my bills,” or “Oh I need to return those emails,” can be done later on in the day. So I think that aligning your circadian rhythms with your overall peak effectiveness is an important strategy.
Martin: Cool. Okay. Thank you. Let’s come to part 2.
Building a Following Around Your Ideas
Dorie: Oh yeah, that’s right. So in terms of building a following around your ideas, we were talking earlier about this question. If you come up with the idea, you have to have something valuable to contribute.
But clearly that’s not enough, right? It’s necessary but not sufficient because if you have a great idea, but just no one hears about it, it’s not going to do anybody any good. So we have to somehow disseminate it, and get it out to the masses.
So, let’s see, Martin, I think you have it in front of you. What’s my first chapter here, is it about leveraging affiliations?
Martin: Building Your Network.
Dorie: Building my network, there we go, exactly. So sometimes when you write a book, you read it so many times you have no idea how the order fits together anymore. So yeah, so building your network.
So the first step, basically it’s a 3 part process when it comes to sharing your ideas with the world, to building that following. Number 1 is building your network, number 2 is building your audience, and number 3 is building your community.
And so where this fits in, your network is the people that, as you might imagine, they are the tightest in around you, they’re the people that you actually know, that you have a relationship with. Oftentimes it’s a one on one relationship, right?
So it’s your friends, it’s your colleagues, it’s your mastermind group. And the reason that this is important, is that prior to sharing your ideas with a broader audience, prior to sort of putting them out into the world, you need to vet them with an internal audience, to make sure that they’re actually good ideas.
Dorie: Also to try to get some support. Because your mastermind group, your trusted colleagues, may have ideas about how to refine them. But they also may have connections. They may say, “Oh Martin, this is brilliant. If you’re going to launch this, I have a friend who writes for the Times of London. You should really talk to her, because maybe she could interview you about it.” Or, “Oh there’s this podcast. You should really be on it. Let me connect you.” And so they can just provide those extra boosts that, when you are sharing it with the world, becomes valuable.
Martin: And they buy in, don’t they? That’s the thing, they’ve become part of it as well.
Dorie: Exactly, yeah. So where it’s important, also an equally important duty is for them to say, “Martin, I love your ideas, but I’m not sure that this is the one.”
Dorie: So it can be very important. And so I talk about, I give a couple of case studies about people who have formed mastermind groups that have been very powerful for them.
Also I profile a guy named John Corcoran, who has really done a good job with his podcasts, of using that as a networking tool, so that he can meet new people.
Because, for almost none of us, we don’t currently know every single person that we already need to know in order to make our idea successful. Presumably there’s plenty of people that we could meet that would be helpful in spreading it. So we can be strategic in how we do our networking.
So that’s really the first step, is building that internal network.
Martin: So what you spring off straightaway, I’ve got an ideas virus, back in the early 2000s, but meeting people is a lovely, molten, structure, really, and I use the word framework. You’re giving people a framework of how ideas can spread. Do you love me?
Dorie: Yeah, thank you. I did, I tried to go a little Mehta there.
Martin: I get it. Great. Okay. Next one, Build Your Audience.
Dorie: Yes. So the audience. This is the part that is perhaps the more traditional part, you know?
Dorie: When people think about how do you do marketing? How do you share your ideas? And so, building your audience is essentially just sharing your ideas with the world. It is finding ways to, the way that I like to think of it is, making yourself findable by likeminded other people. So again, your idea is not going to go very far if other people don’t know how to find you or where to go for it. But if you are blogging a lot, if you’re giving speeches—
Dorie: If you’re doing Google+ hangouts like this, if you’re writing books, or articles, or Tweeting, or whatever, then it enables people to discover you, so they can say, “Oh I really like that idea. I really like the way that she thinks about that.” And it enables them to get a taste and want to dive in more.
So building that audience is really critical. Because, ultimately when it comes to the impact of your ideas, this is about scale, right? This is about leverage. Your idea is going to matter more to the world if 30,000 people know about it as compared to 3. And so we want to try to get those numbers up so that people can really become excited about it.
Martin: Love it. Okay, where are you at with social network stuff? We’ve talked before about Google+, or Google Hangouts in particular. Where are you at with Twitter and Facebook for building this audience?
Dorie: Yeah. I do think they’re very important. I’m an advocate of using social media. That being said, the asterisk that I would put on it is that they’re useful, they’re important. I would even, to a certain extent, depending on your profession, or your business, say that they’re essential. But, they are not the be all end all.
The most important thing to remember is that, when you’re using Facebook to communicate with people, Mark Zuckerberg owns that relationship, not you. And with any just little tweak of their algorithm, they could throw your business into absolute disarray. If they change the number of people who are seeing your posts, or they say, “Oh they actually need to give us more money.”
So that your fans, people who have liked you, will actually be able to connect with you after all. And that’s a very dangerous position to be in. I wouldn’t say don’t play, but I would say be cognizant of that, it’s very precarious. It is a house built on sand, not on rock. The only house that is built on rock is when you have a direct connection with your audience, and you do that through building your own channels, especially your email list.
Martin: Right. Hold that thought. Quick connection for everybody. So we’re in the academy, and Brian Holligman, who’s fantastic. First page result for marketing consultant, I get excited about such things, and the guy is a super nice guy. I did a video the other day, the reason myself and Dorie are here, and the reason we have this event, is because of Brian.
How did that happen? He did the intro via email. So even though I think myself and Brian may have hung out once by this point, it’s still about close relationships. Email is still a private place. I think adding the Hangouts, you can jump in and have a quick conversation and connect with people there, but realize that unless you’re into somebody’s inbox, it’s very hard to be in control of people seeing the communication.
Because you have the news feed algorithm on YouTube. You have Twitter, which is a lot of bots, until people get back and direct message. And Google+ stream has a lot of other noise, a lot of other competition. So, the email introduction group for your personal networking connections, is so so important. So thanks for bringing that up, Dorie, it’s a useful reminder.
Dorie: Absolutely. Thanks for bringing up Brian, who I like talking about, because he makes me smile.
Martin: Yeah. He’s great. Super professional, but you talk about do the work, 600 blog posts he’s done. Do you know what I mean? And I was talking at home to everyone the other day, because I’ve done probably about 400-500. It’s like, its 50-60 you can start to get a really heavy perceived authority in search and therefore, in the market.
Dorie: That’s right.
Martin: A lot of work. Great. Okay. Next one. Chapter 8- Build a Community.
Dorie: Yes. So, there’s this magic tipping point that happens, once you have started to be—
Martin: You smiled because of Malcolm Gladwell then, didn’t you? I know, I can sense it.
Dorie: That’s right. You got me. [Laughter] So. You’ve built this audience, right? You have presumably a lot of people, hopefully, that are into your idea, excited. But that has so far been a one to many form of conversation, right? You have been talking to these people.
The amazing thing that happens once you build up a certain head of steam behind your efforts is that that audience, those many people, begin talking to each other. And when that happens, you’re able not just to be the one person with a megaphone, you are able to be the spark that lights a community, where people are having the conversations yourself.
And that’s where the place where your message can really begin to move in a powerful way. Because you go exponential when other people are talking about it, you are going to be, you’re going to find yourself in rooms, that you never could have gotten into. You’re going to find yourself in multiple places at one time. Your ideas are out there.
Dorie: One example that I talk about in the book, is Eric Ries, who is the author of the well-known book ‘The Lean Startup.’ At present, and I mean this is growing every day. At present, there are 750,000 people who are participating in the Lean Startup meetup groups in 81 different countries. And Eric Ries could not possibly visit 81 countries in a year. But instead, every single month, in 81 countries, there are conversations about him, his book, and his ideas, because his audience has taken it on as their own.
Martin: Great. Now let me just dive on this one. Books. Do you think there’s still value (I’m guessing you’re going to say yes) in a book, going the traditional publishing route?
Dorie: I do, I do. I think that there is and probably always will be the value in books. I have a slightly different take on the traditional publishing route. The reason that it is really powerful to have a book is that if you write something that is, say 50, 60, 70 thousand words, the average length of a book. That is a massive amount of perceived expertise. And people look at that and say, “Whoa. She must really know what she’s talking about if she can write that much about it.” It gives people a hook as well.
Typically for conference organizers, for instance, it’s all tied in very tightly together that if you write a book, that’s an excuse for conference organizers to say, “Oh, well this might be a good speaker.” Whereas a blog doesn’t have that authority. Like almost anyone, if they really put on their thinking cap, can write 700 good words about something. It’s very hard to write 60,000 good words about something.
Dorie: So there’s authority there. That being said, the difference, the distinction, between commercially published and self-published, is disappearing every day. And there is still an edge that comes with having a commercially published book, no question, but I think that’s just going to get smaller and smaller. My prediction is, within about 5 years, it’s not going to make a lick of difference.
Martin: Okay. Last section. Part 3 – Making it Happen, and I can read the chapter title, Putting Thought Leadership into Practice.
Dorie: Yes. So, once you have come up with your idea, and then begun to share your idea, building a following around it, the next thing, it becomes really important to think about, is this question of how do you monetize your idea? How do you actually make it sustainable? How do you create something that is useful and that you, over time, can keep doing?
Because the sad thing, about contemporary thought leadership, is that you could do all these things. You could follow these prescriptions. You could come up with a brilliant idea. You could share them.
But because of the way that a lot of these have become demonetized, notably journalism, for instance, you might not make any money about it. You could be a brilliant thinker. You could be writing 500 blog posts, and you could do it all for free, and then you’d be like, “Oh great, but I have to stop because I need to feed myself.”
And that would be a sad situation. You know, we want the best ideas out there. So, how can we actually do it in a way that works in modern life? So, what I wanted to essentially create this section around, was to help people think this through. There are ways to make money, you just have to be strategic about it.
For instance, I started my career as a journalist, and literally those were the days when you got paid for writing stuff. It was a really direct transaction. Now, I get paid for writing some things, but mostly not, and mostly not very well. The reason you write is, it’s almost a loss leader, to enable you to make money on other things. And you have to be smart enough to do that.
So what other things? Well speaking is one, consulting is another, coaching is another. Some people are going into creating online courses, things like that. This is where creating your own email list is really important. Because if you have a group of followers that are eager to hear from you, then those are essentially your true fans.
Those are the people, to use Kevin Kelly’s formulation, with his famous essay, “A Thousand True Fans.” Those are the people that are willing to buy from you and support you, and you can make a living off of that. But perhaps less, Doc Searls, a well-known internet thinker, he talks about the concept of making money, not from something, but because of something. And I think that’s an important distinction we need to be cognizant of.
Martin: I love this. I put me on the screen just to say that. I love it. I really enjoyed, I know everyone who looked in this room really enjoyed it. Dorie Clark, that was a fantastic run-through of your book. I’m going to bring it up, so everyone knows, and moving on, it’s in the description links, ‘Stand Out: How to Find Your Breakthrough Idea and Build a Following Around It.’
Absolutely superb. I think it’s a really timely book. I wish you all the best, and I know you’re speaking in lots of places today and tomorrow, on your book tour. And thank you. And know, everybody who’s watching this, Dorie, this is an exceptional book. It really is.
And I mentioned the best I’ve got, and I mentioned, this is a very timely process for people to go through. So it’s not an accident that Brian put us together. So I really hope that everybody goes out and not only buys it, but listens and shares like crazy everything that you’re doing, Dorie. And I hope you’ve got some more fans after watching this too, because you’ve been great. Well thank you.
Dorie: Martin, I appreciate that so much. Thank you.
Martin: There you go. I’m going to click End Broadcast. To you all, soon. Bye.
[End of transcript]