#690: Is Thought Leadership The FUTURE Of B2B Sales? (YES!) With James Buckley | Salesman Podcast

On this episode of the Salesman Podcast, James Buckley shares his thoughts on the importance of becoming known as a “thought leader” in your industry and how to become one fast. We dig into the difference between thought leadership and influencer marketing as well as 

Defining Thought Leadership 

James starts the episode with three common definitions of thought leadership.

“Thought leaders are a group of informed opinion leaders and the go-to people in their field of expertise. They are trusted resources who move and inspire people with innovative ideas. They turn ideas into reality and they know how to show and replicate their success. Over time, they create a dedicated group of friends, fans, and followers that help them replicate and scale their ideas into sustainable change. Not just in one company, but in an industry or a niche across an entire ecosystem.” – Denise Brousseau, Are You Ready To Be A Thought Leader

“One way to think about your career is to decide whether you want to build your value, which is that that you bring to the enterprise to an enterprise or society on what you know, or what you do.” – Russ Klein, CEO of American Marketing Association

“I define thought leadership as a type of content marketing, where you tap into the talent experience and passion inside your business or from your community to consistently answer the biggest question on the minds of your target audience on a particular topic.” – Michael Brenner

Further, Will and James exchanged their thoughts and opinions on thought leadership as opposed to influencer marketing.

There Are No Shortcuts

James shares that in order to gain a thought leader (or influencer) status, one must start building his or her personal brand. Building a brand that will be meaningful for your target audience is also no easy feat. However, we should focus on the benefits of brand building, which is creating inbound leads overtime. 

“Shortcuts? There are none. It’s like, there’s a formula that has to exist. So there are no shortcuts in sales. We have to do the work, we have to put in the time.” – James Buckley

Consistency + Time = Audience

Through consistent efforts and time, you can garner an audience. James shares it actually took him five to six years to get to where he is now. Aside from gaining an audience, his personal brand became a huge factor in propelling his career forward.

“The keyword to recognise there is audience instead of followers. I think if you’re after some level of fame, you want followers because the more the merrier, right? But if you’re after business and new business, you want engagement, that’s what you want. That’s a totally different goal for your brand.”  – James Buckley


James Buckley is a Director of Sales Execution and Evolution at JB Sales, focusing on delivering training to sales teams to develop and enhance their skillsets and performance.


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