Exclusive Interview with John Hayes – Author of “Becoming THE Expert”

John: “Matt I’ve written a book”
Matt: “You’ve done what?”
John: “Written a book on thought leadership marketing”
Matt: “WTF is that? Can I have a read?”

That’s pretty much how the conversation went as John passed over the draft version of the book he had been writing for the past few months on Skype.

It’s a draft mind Matt, it got spelling mistakes” John quickly added. Like that was going to bother myself, have you seen the appalling spelling and use of grammar (<= joke, honest) on this site?

I was more curious on John had been writing and what on earth is this “Thought Leadership Marketing” jazz.

“I couldn’t put it down and blitzed it that evening”

I think I finished around 2am, I couldn’t put it down and blitzed it that evening, that was about two months ago and I’m super excited that it’s now been published and you can read it too.

Below is a unique interview with John Hayes about his book, “Becoming THE Expert” that is published today.

Oh my god John, I’m so jealous, you book is coming out today and you can wear the label as an bonafide book author. Tell us, what inspired you to write your first book?

Thanks Matt. My main source of inspiration came from meeting so many great entrepreneurs over the years while working for companies like ChannelAdvisor and in my current role at iContact.

Many of these people are building amazing businesses but have complained to me about hitting a glass ceiling in terms of how far their traditional marketing could take them forward.

“I believe the one thing that holds them back is a lack of confidence in their ability to tell a good story about their product or service”

In many cases, I believe the one thing that holds them back is a lack of confidence in their ability to tell a good story about their product or service and position themselves as the go-to person or thought leader in their particular industry.

If they can learn to do this (and it is pretty much an exercise in believing in your own ability and drawing on your industry knowledge) they can enhance their existing marketing efforts, shorten sales cycles and reduce their reliance on old-school business techniques like cold calling and paid advertising to acquire new customers.

“a pipe dream for me to write a book since I was a small child”

It’s also been a bit of a pipe dream for me to write a book since I was a small child. I decided last year that dreaming wouldn’t get me published and set myself a goal of writing and publishing a book before my 40th birthday (September this year).

Originally I was going to self-publish but was fortunate enough to meet a publisher at an email marketing event I was speaking at and I took the opportunity to pitch the book. To my surprise, they liked the idea and contracts were quickly signed.

Working with a publisher has been a steep and at times frustrating learning curve – but I’m glad I went down this path as it gives the book greater credibility and thanks to my editor’s input, I think we have produced a much better book.

Can you tell us what Thought Leadership Marketing is and how we can use it to become The Expert?

Thought Leadership Marketing takes this insight and uses it to build brand, generate leads and ultimately drive sales. I believe any business can benefit from a little Thought Leadership Marketing.

“Thought Leaders position themselves as experts in a particular industry or discipline and share their insight with a wider community.”

When you see a reputed expert on a subject quoted in a news article, or a video on YouTube instructing you how to do a task, or a blog post offering insight into the latest trends or advances in a particular industry, this is very often part of a wider Thought Leadership Marketing strategy. They are positioning themselves as experts and hopefully setting themselves up as a potential business partner for interested parties.

If there is only one thing that you could tell us to do today using Thought Leadership Marketing, what would it be?

If you are only going to do one thing today using Thought Leadership, I would suggest you start blogging.

I believe a blog gives your business a pulse and makes it stand out from the millions of static websites that litter the Internet. Because Google loves fresh, original content, a good blog is SEO gold.

A well-maintained blog will also give you great content to populate your social media activity and email marketing campaigns. Finally, a short blog post can help you test thought leadership concepts which you can then develop into larger pieces of work such as detailed white papers, videos or even your own book.

So where can we purchase a copy John?

Becoming THE ExpertThe book is currently available in eBook format from Amazon (for Kindle) and the Apple iBookstore (for iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch).

You can try before you buy from either of these sites by downloading a sample of the book first.

Direct Links:

Your Feedback

Have you come across “Thought Leadership Marketing” before? Have you, like myself been doing  this all along and not realising it (well at least attempting to anyway)?

Let us know in the comments box below.

3 replies
  1. davef
    davef says:

    Just bought this book yesterday and had it downloaded to my Kindle, cant wait to get started on it. I spoke to John through LinkedIn just before it was due to be published (Unfortunately I was out of the country when it was first published) but can’t wait to get it read.

    There is no doubt that John and yourself Matt are both experts in your own fields of “Thought Leadership”.

    Also reading the interview above, I can totally relate to the part about always wanting to write a book. I too have that same ambition.

    Fantastic post Matt


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