Nov. 15, 2021

TMTL: Clever Content for Building Thought Leadership

TMTL: Clever Content for Building Thought Leadership

Content is the foundational tool of building one's thought leadership. Sharing his expertise on content creation for B2B organisations, Trevor Merriden joins me on a conversation that takes us through a path of what makes content clever, how can organisations switch on thought leadership with clever content, what are the 5 essential steps of building thought leadership when you start from scratch and much more.

Trevor is the managing director of Merriborn media in the UK and over the past few years he has been working with organisations big and small on helping the create clever content as well as training them.

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Trevor's interview

[00:00:00] Surbhi Dedhia: Hello, Trevor. Welcome to the making of thought leader podcast. It is absolutely my pleasure to have you on board.

[00:00:09] Trevor Merriden: Thank you so much for inviting me. It's it's just great to great to be here. And I'm happy to take your questions.

[00:00:14] Surbhi Dedhia: Yes, absolutely, we are going to have a lot more questions, but before we get to the questions part I would love to have you introduce yourself to the audience.

[00:00:23] Trevor Merriden: Okay. Well, I'm on Trevor, Trevor Merriden and I'm the founder. And the managing director for a business called Merriborn media. And the whole point of that business is about developing what I call clever content.

[00:00:35] Trevor Merriden: And what we do is we put our clients on the fast track to content confidence so that they feel, you know, they feel good about the content they're producing and that actually has a value in the marketplace, so it helps them sort of win more business. Now, the reason I do this is that I was a journalist for 20 years.

[00:00:50] Trevor Merriden: I had a spell as a deputy out of Toronto magazine in UK here called the management today. And then I was editor and then editor in chief for human resources magazine in the UK. [00:01:00] I've also written three business books. And I've sort of. Appearances on radio TV present show here in the UK which is listening for the SMEs in Hartfordshire here in England.

[00:01:11] Trevor Merriden: And I'm a regular speaker in chair, seminars and conferences. And a long time ago, I was also an economist at the bank of England. So, I started my career in, in finance and then moved across to writing about finance and numbers.

[00:01:25] Surbhi Dedhia: Wow. This has been such a wonderful journey if you look at it. And I just wanted to pick up like, from an economist to a journalist, to, hosting radio to now creating content. I'm trying to plot it back to the point of, how your love for words as well as for numbers, how are you balancing?

[00:01:48] Trevor Merriden: Well, I was a numbers nerd before I was ever a words nerd. So, I had this sort of deep love of the numbers. And then I realized that there weren't many people around who could write about the numbers and, and [00:02:00] so.

[00:02:01] Trevor Merriden: When I moved into journalism, I realized that that was kind of my sort of trade, if you like. That's how I sort of carved my, my niche when I was in the newspaper office. When I was working on places like So, the economist group, and then also at Haymarket you know, publishing whenever a survey came into the office, all the journalists who perhaps didn't like numbers, they, a lot of the art space graduates will run away from the surveys and didn't want to write the math.

[00:02:25] Trevor Merriden: And I ran to them. And so, my kind of fusion of words and numbers kind of started at that point. And I think it's how I kind of crept my way up the journalistic ladder.

[00:02:35] Surbhi Dedhia: Yeah, it's fantastic. I believe that numbers have so much to say, only if we put our minds together to unravel them. So., I want to talk to you a little bit more about clever content.

[00:02:48] Surbhi Dedhia: It sounds really interesting. A good alliteration of clever content. What is it all about?

[00:02:55] Trevor Merriden: Well, what we're saying, it's not, it's not trying to be too clever, you [00:03:00] know, sort of in the sense. Using complicated words or difficult concepts is quite the opposite.

[00:03:06] Trevor Merriden: In fact, clever content is all about placing what you have to say. Expertly, yes, intelligently, but more importantly directly in terms of the challenges that face your buyers, you're showing your buyers that you understand their world. And there are two aspects to this. One is the area that I get very involved in, which is all around sort of content creation, which is the writing and creative skills where you produce this kind of high quality.

[00:03:32] Trevor Merriden: What I call clever content. But there's also a kind of education process where, where we encourage our clients to look at the world outside and look at disparate sources of thinking into their, into their business to help them kind of combined all this stuff that they're creating with. Also, a kind of worldview which has a sort of compelling and clear narrative to benefit the businesses.

[00:03:56] Trevor Merriden: And, and the whole point about it is that that creation and I guess [00:04:00] the sort of curation of content helps shape your, your content marketing too. And then what that does is it makes the strongest, possible impact on lead generation, and, and this is not to say that. You know, every product I have is fantastic.

[00:04:15] Trevor Merriden: Please buy it because that's not what quite what I mean. I mean, you're talking about the issues in terms that face your buyers so that they think, well, if I need this service, you know, from this, supplier, then I'm going to go to these people cause they seem to know what they're talking about.

[00:04:31] Trevor Merriden: And so that's what it's all about. It's clever. In the sense that it creates a sort of compelling narrative, but it doesn't have to be complicated in order to be effective.

[00:04:41] Surbhi Dedhia: Right. So, when you work with your clients to design and develop this clever content, you have to like start off with the process of interviewing them, knowing their buyers, understanding what the industry's about, how does it work?

[00:04:57] Trevor Merriden: Yes. I mean, it very often does. I [00:05:00] spent a lot of time sort of kind of on pre-work if you like, where I'm actually sort of getting to understand the business, because if I'm, if I'm asking my clients to understand the businesses that they're selling to, it's important that I do the same thing.

[00:05:13] Trevor Merriden: And I sort of work very hard to understand what the business issues first are that they're facing before I even start writing it's almost writing as the last thing I do. You know, in the process because I made sure that I really understand what are those issues that are nagging away at their buyers.

[00:05:28] Trevor Merriden: And then on the back of that, then I make suggestions around content that we could produce. One thing I have found is that the, the writing and creative skills to produce high quality content are often in quite short supply within marketing teams. So that's often why I get the call.

[00:05:44] Trevor Merriden: If you like, it doesn't have to be that way. Because part of what I do is also to you're where it's asked for, it's just to sort of transfer those skills in house because, because I have a sort of view that a lot of marketing and also business teams always [00:06:00] underestimate the level of knowledge and expertise that they already have.

[00:06:02] Trevor Merriden: So I think that's quite an important point to make is that those skills are often dormant, within organizations, but it doesn't mean that they aren't there. And so sometimes I'm helping to produce the content directly and sometimes I'm helping them bring it out themselves.

[00:06:17] Surbhi Dedhia: So does that involve the training aspect as well? Like do you train them with your style of curating?

[00:06:27] Trevor Merriden: Yes. And so, there were certain sort of ground things that I put in from my kind of locker of tools. One is to, is to do this kind of audit, to start with also to see if whether they have their own sort of content calendar or template producing content, but yes, on top of that, depending on what I'm finding in terms of the in-house skills.

[00:06:45] Surbhi Dedhia: That was really interesting. Another question I have is do you do all types of content, which means the long form, the short form for social media, how does that work?

[00:06:55] Trevor Merriden: Well, in all honesty, I'm probably at my best sort of doing the, the long [00:07:00] form content where I'm writing reports and so on.

[00:07:02] Trevor Merriden: But, but very often one of the interesting things about content of course, is that you develop it. And it's not just there in a particular vehicle and stuck in that vehicle, it can be used in lots of different ways. So another thing that. Always talking to clients about, is that the way that they then repurpose and repackage that content?

[00:07:21] Trevor Merriden: So I might end up writing something which is a long piece of thought leadership, but then ends up being a series of blogs that come out of that. Or maybe out of feedback from the report, or it could turn into a video. If you are, if you are writing something, then you could pretty easily speak it. Or if people are speaking to start with, then you can turn that into a blog, you know and, and I've a lot of times I'm helping businesses write their speeches around what they go out and say to other people.

[00:07:47] Trevor Merriden: So yes, I produce in lots of forms more often than not, I suppose my kind of core offer if you'd like is around the thought leadership. But so many things now come out of that, you know, in terms of the repurposing repackaging, which is, which is, as it should be, each position would be [00:08:00] making the most of.

[00:08:02] Surbhi Dedhia: Yes. I also think it is very important as content creators that we don't forget to repurpose because there's so much of thought process that has gone inside of building a piece. Like, and especially when you say a long form content, it involves so many factors around, what is the introduction?

[00:08:20] Surbhi Dedhia: What is the middle and what is the conclusion of what action you want to drive? So in that sense, I feel it is very important for marketeers to take that long form content and reuse, repurpose it to get the best buck out of it.

[00:08:36] Trevor Merriden: And exactly the way it often works, unfortunately, is in reverse where, where people could use lots of short pieces of content, which is understandable in terms of, I mean, that certainly might feel like it's easier to do, but actually the quality of the content that comes through it's like lots of pieces of the jigsaw, but it's not the jigsaw put together.

[00:08:56] Trevor Merriden: And and, and so people often then get a bit distracted as to [00:09:00] that being what that business is about. Whereas I'd say the longer form thought leadership actually helps give you clarity within the business about what you're all about.

[00:09:08] Surbhi Dedhia: Right?

[00:09:09] Surbhi Dedhia: Yes. I, I feel clarity is such an important topic that you have spoken about,. It brings me to the point of, you know, sometimes people are running like headless chickens, like, especially in marketing team to really campaign after campaign product, after product service, after service. So where is the clarity and in business environment on a day-to-day world, it becomes very important to have this clearly written somewhere.

[00:09:37] Surbhi Dedhia: So people can go back to. And keep revisiting it and understanding, are we still there? Are we still there? Does this need a revision? Yeah.

[00:09:46] Trevor Merriden: Yeah. I totally

[00:09:49] Surbhi Dedhia: agree. Yeah. Super you know, content is one of the drivers. I think what we are talking all this long is the fact that content is one of the key drivers of building thought leadership.

[00:09:59] Surbhi Dedhia: The [00:10:00] listeners of this podcast are the business owners. Executives who want to build either organization-wide thought leadership or individual thought leadership on, in a particular area. What I want to have you talk to them is about building thought leadership with the content first strategy.

[00:10:17] Trevor Merriden: Yeah. Yeah. And that's very much what I'm talking to them, quite a lot of apps at the moment, because you know, you have read many articles and reports that refer to. So the ways that work in life has changed because of say, for example, the COVID-19 pandemic. So you think what is driving this what was changed about thought leadership?

[00:10:35] Trevor Merriden: Well, we know a lot has changed in a lots of areas and in, in my space, which is largely the business to business space. What we've seen is this fundamental change which is clearly seen in the migration of buying and selling online. There's stats that I came across in the writing of my most recent report around the thought leadership revolution is, is that whether we like it or not the business-to-business world has changed fundamentally and most business to business buyers want to stick with these new [00:11:00] models of buying. So of course, increasing the online world and say, one stat is the only one in five business to business buyers want to go back to the old ways of buying.

[00:11:08] Trevor Merriden: Now that's maybe not quite so surprising, but what was more surprising in my research was that business-to-business sellers are also embracing, new ways of selling. Many sellers say they prefer face to face selling. But now three and four, these are stats from McKinsey. By the way. Now admit that selling online is at least as effective as the old ways.

[00:11:28] Trevor Merriden: Nine out of 10 of buyers and sellers think that these new models are here to stay. So what this means. 'cause that that may be true. We may find it effective. And I think we all find in our daily lives that, you know, there's certain time savings and efficiency gains from working online.

[00:11:45] Trevor Merriden: Even if we don't get the face-to-face, but what you need to have in its place in order to sell in this new environment is the organizations have to change the way they talk about themselves. And that's where thought leadership in my conversations with clients has come back into focus as a really highly effective form of business content that you're having to your calling card now is the quality of your thinking and how you translate that thinking into integrate content.

[00:12:12] Surbhi Dedhia: It is one way to say that, oh, for branding purposes, you need to build your thought leadership. But I think today the way online business has accelerated the conversation piece has come into focus where a lot more people are talking to their clients or the, or, and a lot more customers are having access to the companies and different people within the companies..

[00:12:36] Surbhi Dedhia: So that's where I feel the thought leadership piece will come into place where it's not one individual within a company who is growing to be the thought leader, but it's actually several individuals who can address the clients or the customers in different.

[00:12:54] Trevor Merriden: This is really, this is really crucial and you're absolutely right.

[00:12:58] Trevor Merriden: I mean, I mean, the way I put it in my voice is around settled the amount going from me to we and developing thought leadership. That actually the idea of a sort of guru figure, is becoming increasingly rare. Now, now you do get your gurus. Of course, some very good ones. But, but more and more none of us have all of the answers to the questions that are being asked and within organizations and across organizations, increasingly this collaborative nature of thought leadership is, is coming to the fore. And you see it, for example, in, in the pandemic recently, when people searching for a vaccine or best practice in dealing with, with COVID.

[00:13:34] Trevor Merriden: No, nobody had the answers themselves. So they all had to sort of cooperate in the medical community in order to get to a solution pretty fast. That's a good example of it in practice.

[00:13:43] Trevor Merriden: I don't think anybody really is on a pedestal and has all the answers and, everything, in terms of great solutions and lasting solutions within businesses and more widely in life is, is best done collaboratively.

[00:13:55] Surbhi Dedhia: Yes, absolutely. Can you share some examples here with [00:14:00] what you have seen in your experience of thought leadership, where content strategy is the first?

[00:14:07] Trevor Merriden: I was working with one client where, they wanted to extend greater reach in the retail community. And so they teamed up, they had a partnership with the the big world global retail body.

[00:14:20] Trevor Merriden: And so we helped them produce a report whereby we interviewed a lot of the world's top retail chief executives about what does it take to be a retail CEO at the moment this was pre pandemic. And so we kind of looked at it now, which was then about a couple of years ago and about five years time.

[00:14:38] Trevor Merriden: And and what, what little did we know? Of course, that the world of retail was going to change quite as much as it, as it did, but we produced a sort of blueprint if you like, of, of what the CEO. So you have now and what they would have to have in five years time. And as you look back at this report, now that has actually come true.

[00:14:57] Trevor Merriden: Just came true in about two years, rather than about five. [00:15:00] What that's done is generated lots and lots of sales conversations for the client, because suddenly they were saying, they really knew what was going to happen. And the dynamics of it, the fact that it happened more quickly, it doesn't matter so much because everything accelerated or changed as a result of the pandemic.

[00:15:17] Trevor Merriden: So that's one example, another one that's where you're trying to generate sales conversation. When you are trying to again, show your level of expertise in an organization in an industry, I work with one employers Institute where you know, We were talking during the pandemic about, you know, the trends affecting all the, all the businesses that were members of this Institute.

[00:15:41] Trevor Merriden: And so we got them all together in webinars and other sort of online virtual events and produced a report out of it, got them to talk to each other, which created some value within their business. Also created great. value for the client organization as well, because they were able to produce a report and give more value to their members.

[00:15:59] Trevor Merriden: And so, so whereas the first example is about directly leveraging thought leadership to generate sales. The second example is more about helping existing members sort of see the value in what, in what their membership sort of gave them. So in both cases, it was a good outcome for the client..

[00:16:18] Surbhi Dedhia: Yeah, that was fantastic. And I think increasingly with digital media, even B2B organizations are having conversations exactly like how B2C conversations were happening before. So you know, be LinkedIn be through live events or even through our webinars, that those are something which has changed.

[00:16:37] Surbhi Dedhia: And I'm sure it's not really going back anytime soon.

[00:16:42] Trevor Merriden: I think that's, I think that's absolutely right. Yeah.

[00:16:45] Surbhi Dedhia: Trevor, I had this question, as you were saying about the sales conversation and about existing member conversations, actually in my mind, a picture of a funnel came up and I'm thinking that, content clever content piece.

[00:16:59] Surbhi Dedhia: I want to just circle back to that earlier discussion that we had about clever content. How do you, and especially for B2B organization, how do you envision this clever content to work through the funnel for an organization?

[00:17:15] Trevor Merriden: If you're thinking about it as sort of like a classic sort of sales funnel, then initially what you, the content in order to engage an audience and you would probably do that through, wherever your buyers are, if your buyers are using LinkedIn or whether your buyers are using Instagram or things like that, if you have the awareness of where your buyers sort of hanging out, if you like, and then obviously you tailor that content.

[00:17:38] Trevor Merriden: To suit that particular medium that's the initial stage, the wide bits of the funnel. And then what you're then doing is your you're telling them a certain amount through your content and all this. Honestly a little bit further down the funnel where they're starting to have an individual conversation with you.

[00:17:54] Trevor Merriden: And at that point you are modifying your content or giving them a bit more [00:18:00] content, sort of peeling back another layer of the onion. If you like. To talk to them a bit more and where it becomes more of a discussion. If you like, rather than us telling you something very wise, you have, it becomes more of a sort of, you know it's sort of tell us a bit more about your situation, dear prospect, you know, and and there, and then.

[00:18:18] Trevor Merriden: Thinking about what are the relevant bits. So what you have to say in order to, or from your content in order to entice the further down the funnel, the narrow a bit where they you're starting to have serious conversations about whether you think you can help them more or, or not. So at each stage, I'd say content is a slightly different role where it goes from, it goes from one, the start sort of, obviously you're engaging them in a debate.

[00:18:43] Trevor Merriden: I think we should chair cheerfully admit particularly around complex issues. I think it's a mistake to say on behalf of, you know, when you are, when you are trying to sort of issues based sell, if you like in this area, just to proclaim that you have all the answers and there's no way anyone can have all the answers.

[00:18:58] Trevor Merriden: So it becomes, I think it has it has, as you're going through that funnel, I would say that you becomes more of a discussion. If you like, or a partnership with the people that you're, you're hoping to hoping to work with, you've really got to understand them and do less of the talking and more of the listening in order to tailor the content to, to something that fits for them.

[00:19:19] Trevor Merriden: And then maybe your business comes from that.

[00:19:23] Surbhi Dedhia: I love that you use this right word about listening because many marketers forget listening. And in fact, not even marketers is I'm thinking just purely from a thought leadership perspective. You know, building somebody thought leadership or building one stock leadership probably will automatically gives us a perception that I am the guru.

[00:19:44] Surbhi Dedhia: Therefore I'm going to talk. Only talk.

[00:19:48] Trevor Merriden: It comes, it comes back to this guru sort of mentality, you know, you're, you're quite right. That, that actually, I think you, as a journalist, I used to think, oh, well I must be a very good listener because I'm a journalist and I write everything down [00:20:00] and then I report it and nobody's complained that I've misquoted them or anything like that, I'd say.

[00:20:06] Trevor Merriden: But actually, you realize that as a journalist, you are listening. You're pre listening. If you like for the, for the angle of the story or the quote you are after. So you've already in your mind got that sort of hole in the jigsaw. That is your story. And you're looking for the quote that fits that that's not listening.

[00:20:22] Trevor Merriden: What's listening is, is it genuinely listening to the whole problem, sort of showing empathy and understanding for that. And then, seeing if there's something that you can say that adds value for them as well. So there's a lot of misconceptions around this thing and you're quite right to point out that the listing is often, that's all that is left in the locker.

[00:20:42] Trevor Merriden: Unfortunately.

[00:20:45] Surbhi Dedhia: True, true. Tell me what you think from your experience of talking to such varied B2B organization? What could be the top five tips for building one's thought leadership?

[00:20:56] Trevor Merriden: I think the first thing is about understanding that it's [00:21:00] essential for you personally as a, as a business leader, but also for your business to achieve clarity, you know, in the way you talk about yourself in everything that you write say or do and in the communities of buyers, prospects, and advocates that you built now to understand this is really important because a lot of us just kind of muddle through life and you know, where we're, where we don't have that kind of clarity.

[00:21:22] Trevor Merriden: And you'd be amazed how many businesses are a bit fuzzy around that, you know, even so first thing is to understand that you have the need, then you move on to that to actually think, well, what am I doing?

[00:21:35] Trevor Merriden: Already. And I suppose this is what you might call it, an audit. If you like, of your content, that the facts are that top performing individuals and businesses have a sort of a thought through content strategy. And that and that's a really important point to make there's some stats around like nearly 70.

[00:21:54] Trevor Merriden: But if somebody did a survey, I can't unfortunately, member the source of it, whereabouts or 70%. That was true. 70% of top performers versus 16% of the worst performance, actually, whether they hadn't thought through content strategy. So there's a big gap. You've got to thought through content strategy.

[00:22:10] Trevor Merriden: You've got a bigger chance of success. Of course. Variables that affect success, but this was a, this was a key driver. So you need to, you need a an assessment of where you are. You may be doing some things in your content strategy that are really good and work well already and fine. Don't worry about those, trust those. But then thinking about what else could we be doing? What else? What other knowledge. And expertise. Are we not showcasing the moment that we could be showcasing it either way or on an individual level? If the CEO has a particular specialism or a passion for something, then , how are they doing enough to, for the world to see that in, I'd say.

[00:22:47] Trevor Merriden: Alongside that. So, I mean kind of part two B now, I guess it's the, you need to sort of a blueprint or a calendar for your content. Now, a lot of people say, oh yeah, we've going to talk about this, but they [00:23:00] don't actually set it down in a sort of a grid or a calendar. And it's important.

[00:23:05] Trevor Merriden: I would say to do that because I mean, there was no general call general Eisenhower and the U S forces. You said that plans are useless, but planning is essential. And that, and what's really important too, is. It's to sit down how you're going to organize this content because in the act of doing that, it gives you lots more ideas, right?

[00:23:23] Trevor Merriden: The feedback from your content, or is it about things that you could be doing? Sometimes you just need to get it out of your head onto a piece of paper or, or online spreadsheet or whatever your choice of vehicle is. And that will have to have a blueprint and having done an audit.

[00:23:39] Trevor Merriden: It just really helps. So that's the kind of technical thing. There's some other things. The that's sort of three, four, and five. If you, if you like, the first of those is about the external drivers feel business, that a lot of people need a lot of individuals. This is if you were a business leader or whether you're working in a business that I think you need to think, well, what's happening.

[00:23:58] Trevor Merriden: What are the external [00:24:00] forces that are shaping? The world at the moment or the world that I might be selling into or trying to influence in some way. And to, and just as we were talking about earlier that it's not all down, somebody's an all-knowing guru. If you like thinking in isolation, it's very much, you're in a partnership then with seeing what other people are saying in the world and where your view fits into that world.

[00:24:22] Trevor Merriden: So think outside, you know, and then look inside, you know, that. As a leader this is number four. Now, if you're still, if you haven't all lost track out there the, the number four is, is, is about the internal drivers. That the thought leadership, if you produce it well, it actually has a power to bring alignment within your business.

[00:24:45] Trevor Merriden: And, you know, we were talking about the fact that this, this clarity. You know, it's a bit like a play on charity begins at home. Clarity begins a higher in a way because what you, what you do is by, by understanding within your team. Exactly what you're [00:25:00] trying to do has a huge impact in terms of what you do in your sales performance and the value of the content that you produce.

[00:25:08] Trevor Merriden: So think about number three was thinking about it externally. Number two is, think about it internally, how that can benefit your business. And then, and then getting back to the, one of the things we touched on earlier, you think about the commercial drivers mostly. Organizations realize that they have consistently underestimated the commercial value of their knowledge and their expertise as a leader or as a business.

[00:25:30] Trevor Merriden: Yeah. A lot of people lack that confidence in creating valuable content from the knowledge that they already have. And the amount of times you probably sat around in meetings and found somebody talking with knowledge and authority and thought, why didn't they? I didn't know. They knew all that stuff. And they had all that.

[00:25:49] Trevor Merriden: Discovering it's like a hidden talent. And so, and it should never be hidden. And we should, we should be much more you don't have to be an extrovert to, to get this talent out of you. I mean, many [00:26:00] introverts are some of the best thought leaders, but you just have to find a way to coax it out of them. And so I would say those are the, the five.

[00:26:08] Trevor Merriden: If you'd like one, one number one is understanding the importance of clarity. Second is to look at it like through an audit set out to template. Number three is about consider the world outside. Number four is understanding how best to use it to in benefit alignment within your business. Number five is about those commercial drivers about thinking about knowledge and expertise in the throughout commercial lens about how you can use that to actually get, get more for your business.

[00:26:36] Surbhi Dedhia: Absolutely fantastic. Thank you for summarizing also. And I often feel that our clarity doesn't come on day one, but at least start somewhere. So then as you go ahead, because in your top 5, I think you've given us another way of looping it back, to , internal drivers, commercial drivers? Does it come back to you as a revenue or as a brand equity or, you know, how does it circle back?

[00:26:59] Surbhi Dedhia: And I feel a [00:27:00] lot of digital, or as I call it modern marketing is about measuring as you go. So even if you have this clarity of okay , for example, if you even take that retail associations who had this long form report used for sales conversation, if they had the clarity that yeah.

[00:27:16] Surbhi Dedhia: We need some authority piece, a thought leadership piece that will allow us to think in that direction. And good for them the report results got accelerated to two years. At least they had a direction to go with. It was like a blueprint.

[00:27:31] Trevor Merriden: Yeah. Yeah, yeah, totally. And the other thing is that if you have a purpose that comes out or shines clearly through great thought leadership, I mean, that really resonates not yet within the organization, but externally from the organization and people who are thinking about buying from you, you, they may not necessarily pick up the phone that day or email. But they think, well, if I do have a need in that area, those are [00:28:00] definitely the people I'm going to go to because they seem to know what they're talking about. So in many ways you can never really control the timing exactly. Of, of when people get in touch for you really increase the chances greatly that people actually get.

[00:28:13] Surbhi Dedhia: Definitely. Looping this all back into the report that you were talking about. You mentioned that it's the new thought leadership revolution report. Talk to us a little bit about that. What does this report about?

[00:28:27] Trevor Merriden: The new thought leadership revolution to in a nutshell explains why the way you present your business ideas matters now more than ever. It explains how thought leadership has been transformed and along with it, it's potential for your business. And and so hopefully this paper will help you understand how to put out the right ideas for the right audience at the right time.

[00:28:50] Trevor Merriden: And I suppose what's my motivation in producing it is that I heard a debate going on during the pandemic. Yeah. Particularly when some countries [00:29:00] were starting up again and then stopping again and then starting again in terms of lockdowns, which I thought was flawed. And that argument was that we can't really put out any thought leadership at the moment.

[00:29:12] Trevor Merriden: Because we don't know what's happening in the world. And I thought, well, that's not quite right. Because if you are in that position, that is exactly when thought leadership is needed. People don't have a compass. They don't know what's happening in the world. It's not quite your guess is as good as anybody else's, it's much more, but you probably know a lot more about what's going to happen in your particular area of the economy or your sector.

[00:29:37] Trevor Merriden: And that, as long as you don't say, I'm going to put out something and it's the final word, but put it out in the, kind of, from me to, we kind of context where you are starting a debate and thereby putting yourself at the center of that debate. You may not have all the answers, but don't be afraid. Of giving your best thoughts about the world as, as it is at the moment.

[00:29:58] Trevor Merriden: And people will come home with your journey and maybe you'll improve and modify your thoughts as you're going along. But think of thought leadership as a journey, not the end destination, and you'll take many more people with you. So that's the sort of the thinking behind it.

[00:30:12] Trevor Merriden: Yes. Thank you for sending me the copies so generously. Where can the audience get the report?.

[00:30:19] Trevor Merriden: Well they can go on to my website, which is So I should explain my name's Merridan, but the business is called Merriborn. Cause my, my wife's surname is Osborne, so it was a combination Merribornmedia.

[00:30:34] Trevor Merriden: So, so, so it's M-E-R-R-I-B-O-R-N one And then slash. I think it's the new thought leadership revolution, or if you type in the new thought leadership revolution into, Google, hopefully and if you, if you can't find it that way, then

[00:30:50] Trevor Merriden: people can get in touch with me, you know Trevor Merridan, thats M-e-r-r-i-d-a-n and on LinkedIn or the same or one word on Twitter or they can email me the very predictable email address of Trevor dot

[00:31:04] Trevor Merriden: So either way, I, I respond to any of those and so I'd be, I'd be happy to, to have a conversation with anybody, or if you've got any questions, then I'll do my best to answer.

[00:31:15] Surbhi Dedhia: Fantastic Trevor, this has been such an engaging conversation.

[00:31:19] Surbhi Dedhia: I'm sure the audience would really love to go grab a copy of the report. I think they should, because it is a fantastic report. It gives a, it definitely removes a lot of preconceived notion. It gives us straight matter of fact thinking points for building thought leadership. So thank you again, and I really appreciate you coming on the show.

[00:31:38] Trevor Merriden: Thank you. Thanks for the opportunity. It's been great to sort of share this with you and your, listeners. And I hope it's been of some value..

[00:31:44] Surbhi Dedhia: Definitely a lot more value all the best. Thank you so much.

[00:31:48] Trevor Merriden: Thank you.