The B2B Revenue Executive Experience
Michael Greenberg talks about how to effectively establish yourself in your field as an authority with Chad Sanderson on The B2B Revenue Executive Experience.
Chad Sanderson 0:07
Welcome, everyone, to the B2B Revenue Executive Experience. I’m your host, Chad Sanderson. Today we’re tackling a complex subject many salespeople struggle with, and this is the concept of Authority Marketing or how to effectively establish oneself in your field as an authority, right? Everybody’s hearing about and talking about personal branding. What does it mean? How do you do it? How do you get it done? It’s critical for success today. There are just too many outlets, and it did in the digital landscape for us not to be taking advantage of that as sales practitioners. For those marketing. The question is often, how do I get it done? How do I tackle this topic to help us with it? We have with us Michael Greenberg, Chief Strategist for Call For Content and author of the Authority Marketing Playbook. Michael, thank you for taking the time. Welcome to the show.
Michael Greenberg 1:12
Thanks for having me on Chad.
Chad Sanderson 1:14
So for our listeners, let’s give them a little bit more context around Call For Content and your role there.
Michael Greenberg 1:20
Yeah, so Call For Content is a B2B content marketing agency that specializes in Authority Marketing and specializes as well in customer-focused content creation.
Chad Sanderson 1:35
So you guys actually will do the less so if somebody came to you and said, let’s say Mike just, for example, illustrate a person. If VP, Valley Prime Solutions came to you and said, Hey, we need to do an Authority Marketing campaign. You would help us craft it, create the content, do the distribution, track the return in the metrics, soup to nuts kind of approach?
Michael Greenberg 1:53
Exactly. We call it done for your content marketing because too many people involved otherwise. And it really, it’s easiest when you bring it all to one source end to end.
Chad Sanderson 2:06
Excellent. Alright, so for our audience. There may be some out there who are not as familiar with the term Authority Marketing. So I always like to set kind of a contextual landscape and would love to hear kind of your definition of reality, what is contained in that phrase.
Michael Greenberg 2:24
So I think Authority Marketing is the act of positioning yourself as an expert or authority in a niche. In order to bring more business to you. And it’s accomplished using some sort of social proof to prove your authority or expertise. But the forms that can take it could be online, could be offline. It really can take a lot of forms from that starting point.
Chad Sanderson 2:52
It’s a complex digital landscape that we live in. A lot of ways to get out there a lot of ways to get in front of people. So it can be a bit overwhelming, and I speak from experience. Way back when I had to figure out how we were going to do that. For our company, for ourselves. It’s not easy to really understand where the people are that you want to get in front of, and how best to capture their attention and establish yourself as an authority. As someone to be trusted in terms of the information, you can provide. So I’m excited to have this conversation today. I really appreciate the time. So I noticed in the first chapter of your book, you outlined some fundamental rules for Authority Marketing. Can you break those down for our audience?
Michael Greenberg 3:37
Yeah. So authority really comes down to two things in marketing. One is specializing. Because if you try to be the authority in too many things at once, you end up at never really becoming recognized as an authority in any one of them. Because you have to be that top number one person in their mind, in order to really be the authority. Maybe number two or three. But when you contact them they have to have one single thing that comes to mind. And so the narrower the field that you work with, and the narrower the niche you target. The faster you can reach the status as an authority there. And then you can branch out into others. Just like saturating one market, and then branching out into others as you go. The same works for authority.
Chad Sanderson 4:32
And so it’s not just about to say, picking that niche and staying there, it becomes kind of the foundation for expansion. I know we’re going a little off-script here, but I’m curious to help me understand. So if we picked a niche, how would you then expand out into other niches. Is it the same tool? The same approach? The same thing, just a different target? I’m curious if it kind of cannibalizes the sense of authority that one may have in the niche if you start to add others too. Or what your experience has been there.
Michael Greenberg 5:02
So it’s a delicate process. Because you can’t really leave one behind when you open up the other. And so what you end up doing is you start blending, maybe you go from social media marketing, to start blending in some content marketing. And then, over time, you start blending in a little more just broad digital marketing, and you sort of step your way up the ladder to a broader group. But you have to build that authority in each one, and then continue to create content, and continue to prove yourself in the fields as you go. Because you can’t leave one behind.
Chad Sanderson 5:46
Does it essentially increase the amount of content that one would have to produce? Am I tracking here, or am I missing something? So let’s say if we picked, sales enablement, and you become an authority in that, and then you branch out into marketing enablement, or some other type. In order to kind of groom the garden. You’ve got, so to speak, doesn’t that increase the level of content in total that you’re attempting to produce?
Michael Greenberg 6:14
So you reduce the amount of content for group A when the volume for B. And the overall increase, but it’s not doubling or tripling each time. Just a little bit more. Or it could just be one regular series that pushes out on that topic.
Chad Sanderson 6:38
Okay. And are there multiple ways to establish one’s authority out there? I mean, I’m not just talking about different channels. I mean, the channels are extremely varied, but like methods or approaches that you recommend and guide your clients to employ?
Michael Greenberg 6:55
Yeah, I’m so I like to break down, especially for B2B, and especially for business. Authority really comes in a few forms, stamps of approval, be it various well-known certifications, going to a top tier school, something like that. Having some level of success with leadership or business, entrepreneurial success, selling a company, being part of a fast-growing startup that made some good press. Teaching at a really high level or creating content. And so you can get there through all of them. But some of them you’ve got to have already done. And then it is a matter of proving that you’ve done that thing.
Chad Sanderson 7:50
Especially with the schools, right? I mean, I haven’t done my graduate degree. And maybe someday in the future, maybe real thin, but maybe there’s a chance I go back. That for me that would already be done. So it would be the other three options. And so do you have? Or have you seen the kind of ways to create like that perfect Venn diagram of the overlaps of those three years? Is there one that works better than others? Or one that is increased in effectiveness if you start to do a second one?
Michael Greenberg 8:22
Yeah, so having the previous success or having stamps of approval behind you, and then moving on to creating content, and creating educational content, in particular, is probably the fastest way. Because you get that initial boost of authority from having a prior stamp of approval, and you can use that to leverage your way up. And it doesn’t have to be a huge thing that you’ve completed in order to get that on. It could be you know, over a million in sales, that’s enough to get you going in most cases.
Chad Sanderson 9:00
So it’s a proof point, a verifiable proof point, not just, being a pundit standing on a soapbox screaming that you’re the best.
Michael Greenberg 9:09
And it’s really relative. So, if you’re trying to target fortune 500 CEOs, you’re going to need a very different level of authority. Then if you’re trying to target a small business owner, and you’re going to need authority and very different things. So the content that you might create or the stamps of approval you might have would really want to match up with the group you’re trying to sell to.
Chad Sanderson 9:39
And so I would have to think that the companies that you work with, and that come to you have to be I mean, just across the board in terms of size of targets that they’re going after some may be going after fortune 500, global 1000 SMBs. Mom and pops, public sector versus private. How are you guys able to dig into those enough for half due? Maybe you have a repository of information that helps you help your clients regardless of, say, a target that they’re focused on.
Michael Greenberg 10:13
Yeah, we’ve got a pretty step by step approach to researching the ideal customers to target. And we’ve got a few size ranges. We look at generally under 10,000 potential targets in a market when we really want to go in and start building out content. So we take a very, very targeted approach both to the content we create with the client as well as the way we reach out to help the client build authority through networking. Or through any other means in that target group. Because at the end of the day, we’re really only trying to get 1000 or 2000 new potential relationships for them, and that should be more than enough for good sales or marketing teams to close out.
Chad Sanderson 11:03
Okay, and so how do people effectively differentiate, because of Authority Marketing. Or personal branding or any of those types of things. It’s a hot topic, has been for a while, and so you constantly or consistently see, I especially see unlike then, other people that are attempting to establish themselves as an authority. So the market starts to get crowded. How do you help them? What’s the biggest challenge that people have when they come to you and say, Hey, I can’t figure this out?
Michael Greenberg 11:33
So I see two challenges in concert. People have difficulty continuing to build up a base of content over time. And the reason for that is because they’re taking the shotgun approach. And if you’re building content into a broad area, or you’re not building content, that’s immediately and directly impactful to your customers. Then you’re going to end up burning out before you can really see the results of creating that content. So, generally, the recommendation I end up having is to specialize further. And the way I sort of like to pitch it out is a spotlight will outshine a floodlight, and a laser will outshine both. Get that laser if everybody’s using the spotlight. And if everybody’s still on floodlights in the space, then all you need is a spotlight.
Chad Sanderson 12:37
Excellence. Do you find it challenging? I think about personal context, right? So sales enablement spaces are pretty flooded. And there’s a lot of people out there. So you have a process, and I’m not asking you to give away the goods, but there’s a step by step process to help people get seriously specialized with the inside of say, that type of market?
Michael Greenberg 13:06
Oh yeah. And that comes down to really positioning even more than just within what you specialize in doing, but who you do it for.
Chad Sanderson 13:17
So think more about, okay, I want to run a campaign over the next say, three, six, 12 months. That’s focused on a very specific problem and people that would have that problem. So inside of, again, I’d not go back to sales NEMA, it’s kind of obvious what’s on my mind. But for our customers, it’s like, we have a lot of people that talk about challenges around prospecting. And then you could go even one step further and say, okay, they have problems around, picking up the phone cold calling, is that kind of stair-step down that we’re talking about here?
Michael Greenberg 13:50
Yep. Exactly. And building that in with say, if your issue is prospecting. And as a SaaS company selling to the automotive sector. Let’s say that it is a unique set of problems that you might not find in SaaS selling to other B2B tech companies. And so you want to go down to the point where the problems are unique to the customers you’re selling to.
Chad Sanderson 14:24
Okay, got it. Excellent. And so how much, I mean everybody has day jobs, we have to make money. How much time and focus should somebody be ideally putting on their Authority Marketing or developing the content or kind of a sweet spot, you found that that enables people but doesn’t hamper them?
Michael Greenberg 14:45
Yeah. First off, whatever you have time for. Getting out there and making the content is step one, but two hours a week is the number I generally throw out to people. That if you want to go at it alone, that’s enough time to record a podcast. Or that’s enough time to write a blog article every week. And that’s just enough to get going. If you’re trying to create monthly content, then maybe you just do two hours a month. Daily, two hours a day. And so the two hours for one piece of content is the rule of thumb I give and try to shoot for weekly. If you can put together a two-hour presentation on a topic each month, you will have enough content to be then split up for several pieces over that month.
Chad Sanderson 15:41
So kind of Turkey legging was the term we always use. If you come up with a big piece of content, so white paper or two-hour presentation, like said. Breaking that into smaller chunks that are more applicable to different channels. So white paper, blog posts, a chunk that out into things on, say Twitter. That is a shorter, more impactful, cleaner hits type of thing. That’s kind of what we’re looking at?
Michael Greenberg 16:08
Yeah. So the reason I say, in particular presentation, is that the presentation is so dense with information. That a two-hour presentation could be eight blog posts. And an Ebook.
Chad Sanderson 16:24
Excellent. Yeah, I was just saying the other direction too.
Michael Greenberg 16:27
And another set of a dozen 12-minute videos, or five-minute video clips. Teasing out facts plus all the social media. And so if you have that, you can really break it down as fine as you need to create a full content schedule every month.
Chad Sanderson 16:48
Okay, and having tried my hand, and I’m one of those guys that tried to go it alone. We’ve since called in the cavalry for help because it can get to be a challenge. Do you see your customers struggle? Or just in general, people in Authority Marketing, attempting authority marketers struggle? My familiarity with sales makes me think that there’s not really much new stuff to say about it. And so I’m wondering if somebody comes to you, do you see this kind of hurdle that they have to overcome? Where do they realize they do have a great deal of valuable knowledge? But there may be even more of it than they are now aware of because their proximity to it makes them value it less. So do you understand where I’m going with this? So if I know the space so well, if somebody were to say, Well, hey, what’s new in sales? It’s the same game it’s always been. But then more questions dig into that. And I realized, okay, well, there’s a lot of experience that to me feels commonplace, but so many others don’t. Is that a hurdle that you run into with your clients? Or you see in the market?
Michael Greenberg 17:58
Oh, yeah. And that’s one of the reasons I call myself the chief interviewer and strategist occasionally. Because much of the work that we do is building out structured interviews to pull the information out of clients. Because we know, they know the answers to the questions we have. But they don’t realize that that’s good content there.
Chad Sanderson 18:25
Excellent. So it’s the perception. Somebody said on a podcast I was talking to the other day. You can’t bring in a housing perspective. And I think that’s an extremely valuable asset that you guys are bringing to the table. I have to ask though, how did you get started in not just building your own brand? But what was it about the Authority Marketing field that kind of drew you in?
Michael Greenberg 18:52
So I actually came in a back way. I worked as a growth strategy consultant specializing in technology kneadable processes. And was working with a client who had a huge backlog of audio content that needed to be turned into new content. I started researching that, realized that much of the content creation processes we’re using now were pretty inefficient. And so started working on those. Then I realized when I started selling those that my clients didn’t have the real positioning that they needed in the marketplace. And so I started to specialize in that direction. Until I stopped just doing the content creation. And I moved to the full done for your content marketing. Now, we’re getting ready to relaunch content creation as sort of a pay as you go service. But that’s just because clients want to be able to use us without the strategy for some of the stuff that they just can’t quite afford to do with us yet? Like books in particular.
Chad Sanderson 20:04
Michael Greenberg 20:06
Chad Sanderson 20:09
Not to give away this stuff, but I’m just dying to know. Will you guys ghostwrite books for people?
Michael Greenberg 20:15
I don’t like to call it ghostwriting. It’s more sort of a dictation service with a bit of help on top in outlining.
Chad Sanderson 20:24
Gotcha. Okay, excellent. That’s good to know. Actually, let me make a note for myself on that one. The sorry audience, it’s not always all about you. I want to make a note for myself there. Excellent. And so is there a particular aspect of Authority Marketing that you find you’re more passionate about than others? For example, doing the dictation service with the books? Or do you enjoy helping them create blog content? What’s the part that you really find yourself getting the most excited about?
Michael Greenberg 20:55
I’m really a strategy guy. So my favorite part of the job is when we start executing a campaign, and then the client can see it work. Because a lot of times somebody will come to me, and maybe have had a bad experience in the past with content, or gone after SEO or something vaguely in the same area, and had a bad experience there. And so being able to show that we can create relationships with this, that it might not have to be a six-month wait, is it my favorite part. Because I feel like we use pretty unique strategies, both for content creation and for our actual content marketing. And it’s nice to see that in action because that’s really where I started with this. Is building out those processes and the strategies built on top of them.
Chad Sanderson 22:04
Perfect. So if there are three takeaways that you would want our audience to have that helps them expand their understanding of Authority Marketing. Just three things right off the top of your head that you believe would help them in the long run. What are those three takeaways?
Michael Greenberg 22:20
Authority is relative. So know who you are, and know who your customer is. And prove yourself to your customers based on the questions they have. Create content regularly. And if your content isn’t working, then you need to turn up the brightness and focus down to a laser.
Chad Sanderson 22:50
Increase focus to increase the brightness. I like this. We’re going to use that in the promos. Excellent. Alright, so let’s change the direction a little bit. And I kind of skipped ahead. So we’ll consider that kind of the acceleration insight that we usually ask. But as you know, as an expert in the field of Authority Marketing. There’s got to be a lot of people that want to capture your attention. And get in front of you. And so I like to ask all of our guests, considering how hard it is to get people’s attention, especially cold oftentimes. If somebody wants to capture your attention if they want to get you to have a conversation, and provide some of your time to them. What do you find to be the most effective way of them doing that? To build credibility, to pique your interest, and get that meeting set up if they don’t know you, don’t have an existing relationship? It’s completely just out of the blue.
Michael Greenberg 23:47
So if you’re trying to get some insight on how I market. Then I am always happy to talk about that just shoot me an email. If you can’t find my email, then you’re probably not a strong enough marketing or sales professional. That’s 101 these days. And if you’re going for sales, then show me the numbers. And show me how you got them. Because I don’t want to hear your pitch. I want to see what value it provides me with.
Chad Sanderson 24:30
Excellent, Michael, this has been great. So I was gonna say if a listener is interested in talking to you more, but we basically just told them. Hey, to respond to the email if you can find his email address. So I’m not going to make it that simple for our guests and say, Hey, here’s Michaels email address. So don’t do that. But other than that, if somebody wanted to reach out and talk more about Authority Marketing, or they wanted to find out more about the book, or get the book autograph. Aside from email, what would the next best way to you know, reach out and ask questions about the show.
Michael Greenberg 25:04
Go to callforcontent.com, and we’ve got Drift on the site. If you just use that little live chat, you’ll eventually get connected with me. If the chatbot can answer the question itself.
Chad Sanderson 25:19
Excellent. So I have to ask you, Drift, in the chat element on websites? Have you found that to be extremely effective for your business?
Michael Greenberg 25:27
So I’m just getting into it now. I’m actually revamping my entire website and sales and marketing funnel to center around using a chatbot. It’s going to become a little mini AI librarian on the website. So any topic, you’ll be able to break down into the various questions we have answered on the topic. And if it isn’t answered, then it will get bumped up to a person.
Chad Sanderson 25:54
Wow, that’s a heck of an endeavor and great use of the technology. I see a lot of people just kind of stick it on their side. Really? Hey, we’re here if you want to talk, I can understand how the strategy side is what excites you. All right, well perfect. So I can’t thank you enough for being on the show today. It’s been great having you having the conversation have truly enjoyed it.
Michael Greenberg 26:16
So have I. It’s been a lot of fun.