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the podcast recap episode with aj & rory vaden

Ep 93: The Three Components of Becoming a Highly Booked Speaker and Thought Leader with Josh Linkner | Recap Episode

Josh Linkner is one of the busiest speakers in the world and a foremost thought leader on innovation, and today we recap the biggest takeaways from our recent interview with him. For Josh, being a professional speaker requires mastering three separate crafts: Thought leadership, marketing, and performance.

Today we break down what Josh means by this and also discuss his three-part elevator pitch, the value of finding a fresh perspective on your chosen speaking niche, and the implication of the fact that there are four billion dollars of speaking fees booked each year in North America! Make sure you don’t miss this one!

Listen to the episode below

Key takeaways from this episode:

  • The value of not just being a thought leader but knowing how to market yourself as one.
  • Not just rehashing other people’s content but coming up with your own fresh perspectives.
  • Remembering that one can still make a career teaching other people’s content.
  • The performing artist aspect of being a thought leader: Being good on stage.
  • How much practice it takes to go from being good at talking to being a great speaker.
  • Finding the cross-section of your expertise and what is marketable.
  • Josh’s three-tiered elevator pitch formula: Burning problem, ‘why you’, and transformation.
  • The third pillar of being a great speaker: Marketing and brand distribution.
  • There are four billion dollars of speaking fees booked each year in North America: There is space for you!

Tweetable Moments:

“Marketing yourself as a thought leader versus being a thought leader are two different things.” — @aj_vaden [0:02:22]

“I think a lot of speakers think they are good at speaking and, in reality, they are just good at talking. They are comfortable on stage but there is a big difference between being comfortable on stage and knocking it out of the park.” — @roryvaden [0:06:45]

I think a lot of speakers think they are good at speaking and, in reality, they are just good at talking. They are comfortable on stage but there is a big difference between being comfortable on stage and knocking it out of the park.

“You’ve got to be in the business of speaking, in the business of marketing, and in the business of storytelling.” — @aj_vaden [0:09:55]

About Josh Linkner

Josh Linkner is a Creative Troublemaker. He passionately believes that all human beings have incredible creative capacity, and he’s on a mission to unlock inventive thinking and creative problem solving to help leaders, individuals, and communities soar.

He has been the founder and CEO of five tech companies, which sold for a combined value of over $200 million and is the author of four books including the New York Times Bestsellers, Disciplined Dreaming and The Road to Reinvention. He has invested in and/or mentored over 100 startups and is the Founding Partner of Detroit Venture Partners.

Today, Josh serves as Chairman and co-founder of Platypus Labs, an innovation research, training, and consulting firm. He has twice been named the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year and is the recipient of the United States Presidential Champion of Change Award.

Links Mentioned:

RV: (00:00) Hey, welcome to this special recap edition of the influential personal brand. We’re breaking down the interview today with our longtime friend, Dan Miller, who I absolutely just love. I just love his energy, him and Joanne are awesome. And we met them on a cruise a few years ago and I’ve just been, been friends. So we got your top three takeaways from AJ and from me. So, get us going. AJV: (00:32) Yeah, I think the first thing he said this like really close to the beginning of the interview and I loved it. And he said if somebody or three different people ask me the same question more than three times, I’ll just make a product for it. I think the whole concept of what should I make a product about or where do I find content is really simply answered when you just figure out what do people already come to you for? And so instead of repeating the exact same thing over and over and over again, why not turn it into a product, a course or a video series or a book or a coaching program or certification or all the things that he has done and is doing really, he said most of that comes from just, you know, if I get asked the same question more than three times, then I really consider turning that into a product. RV: (01:24) Yep. I love that. I was one of my takeaways too, is just, you know, the power of listening to your audience. And I think one of the, one of the techniques or strategies that you can use is to ask your audience. So in his case, he’s just listening. But the other thing you can do, like if you need content ideas or you need product ideas, or if you need copy for like your sales page, send a survey to your audience, ask them some questions about what they want and what they’re struggling with, and then take their words that they write back to you and use some of their language in CRE in actually marketing what you’re doing and create a product for them. So that was one of my takeaways too. I just love that. It’s such a simple, a simple, practical, actionable thing that any of us can do, you know, right away. So that was good. So what was your second one AJV: (02:17) Second one was this concept of not doing the new and trendy thing that everyone is doing. And he said, I’ll try to recap it here. He said, but I, I resist the temptation to do every single new and trendy thing that is out there. And he talked about, he said, could I be missing out on lots of money? Maybe do I care? Not really. And I think that’s really just really powerful. It’s like, if what you’re doing is working, why would you derail? What’s working to do just what everyone else is doing. That’s new and trendy. And one of the things that I thought was really insightful and something that you don’t hear a lot about, he said, now I’m not saying anything is wrong with funnels or webinars or with anything he said, but you hear all these people all over social media promoting, I made six figures, seven figures in this launch. AJV: (03:10) He said, what you don’t hear about is how much money they had to give back and refunds. And I thought that was really interesting because you hear a ton of people. You see a ton of ads. It’s like how I made six figures in this funnel, or there’s this one out. And I don’t, I won’t say what it’s called, but it’s how do you have a seven figure funnel? And then he talks about how he came up with this whole thing. And yeah, probably you could do that. I’m sure people are doing that all the time every day. And Dan said, but what you don’t hear about is how much of that they’re actually giving back in refunds because a buyer’s remorse or they didn’t get what they thought it was, or it was a little bit misleading or a little bit of a bait and switch. And I’m not saying everyone is but I do think there’s some accuracy in the fact that you hear a lot of the revenue promoted and that a lot of the backend of what was it even profitable and how much did you actually give back and refunds? And I thought that was just very insightful. RV: (04:09) Yeah. I mean, you got the refunds, you also have affiliate fees and, you know, Facebook ads and paying your graphic designer. And, you know, at the end of the day, it’s like, how, how much do you really keep in? Which is but I think his thing into your point is more about the reputation and like the, AJV: (04:26) Oh yeah, no, I love when he said, he said it, he said, I’m way more about building a consistent audience than having huge infusions of cash said, I’m way more about the consistency time, over time, over time, that will last me 20 years than I am about this one time, big infusion of of cash. And everyone is different. Perhaps you are someone who’s looking for that big infusion of cash and like go for it, do it. But I loved what he said. It’s about playing the long game and making this a, a true, a true business versus this one time push. RV: (05:00) Yeah. So for me, the other thing that I thought was fascinating you know, we teach something to our brand new members that we call the fast cash formula, which is how do you, if you need to make money quickly. And we talk about how coaching a lot of times is the fastest way. If you need to replace an income is to offer coaching. And when he was telling his story, that was how he started. And still to this day, he does one day a month of one-on-one coaching work. And I love that because he was a real life example of what we talk about that, you know, coaching is the fastest path to cash in terms of replacing a large you know, income need, but it’s the least scalable longterm. And, and yet, so he sort of toward the story about how he started with that. RV: (05:51) And then after he had done enough coaching, he created a course for the people who couldn’t afford coaching. And, and so he was teaching this course and then people invited him to come speak because there were people seeing him teach the course. And that, you know, basically out of that coaching work came his content which became also his business model. And I just think that’s a really great way to do it is to do the work, to kind of get your hands in there. And obviously we love coaching. We, we believe in coaching in the power of one-on-one and I just, I just thought that was really encouraging. And, and, you know, he, he does have multiple streams of income, but it’s been developed over years and it’s, it really started from one great body of work, you know, that he flushed out with coaching and real life scenarios then applied it to a course, you know, then applied it to live events and speaking. So I thought that was just a great, a great example. AJV: (06:51) Yeah. There’s a great evolution of evolution. That’s a great one. And I think that’s somewhat similar to my third and final point, which is which I thought is very indicative of what you hear a lot. But yet there’s this mystery around it. He said, but I don’t count on any income from my books. And, you know, in his book is super successful and has been out there, just did a 20 year edition, right? 20Th year, RV: (07:18) 20Th or 25th. AJV: (07:20) Yeah. But a long time, right on. He said, but here’s what I have found. He said, it’s not the book itself that makes all the income, it’s the actual content within the book. So the book is the calling card. It’s the credibility source. Then not to say that you won’t make income. He just doesn’t count on that in his forecast or his budget. But it’s the content of that book that he then takes that and turns it into all these different curriculums. It’s a coaching curriculum. It’s a certification curriculum. It’s a course, it’s a video series, it’s a live event. It’s all these different things that are all circulated around the content of the book. And the book is at the center, but probably isn’t, what’s bringing in the most income for him. However, from that, there is just this entire huge circle of all these things that are moving to make this very successful, a very healthy business, even though most of the income is not from the center of it, which is the book it’s from all these other ancillary income streams that have become his primary revenue. RV: (08:27) Yeah. That’s good, good perspective on the book. For me, my third takeaway, which he talked a little bit about, but it’s more of, of what we know about him and Joanne behind the scenes. And I don’t know that he said this directly, but every time I’m with Dan and Joanne, it always occurs to me how they build their life or, or they build work around their life. They don’t build their life around their work. And so it’s, it’s one of the great possibilities of a personal brand is to be able to like fit work in and around your life. And it’s hard to do cause when you’re an entrepreneur, especially early on, it’s like a lot of times, you know, we’re kind of his life, but you, you want to get out of that and you can get out of that. And AJV: (09:14) I think that goes to a lot of what he talked about, where he resists the temptation to do all of the new and trendy things. Because, well, for what reason, it’s like, are you living to work? Are you working to live? And he talked a lot about his time and his schedule, but I think that is a part of it is resisting the temptation to do. RV: (09:34) Yeah. And I, and I hope for you, like, w w I wonder, I would bet if we could take all the podcast listeners and ask if you’ve heard of Dan Miller, I bet less than half of you have actually heard of him. You’ve probably heard of some of our other guests yet. He has one of the biggest businesses of everyone we’ve ever had on the podcast. And, and his example speaks to the power of steady consistency and just trust and playing the long game and plodding along. He’s the tortoise man. That’s a, that’s such a great that’s a great metaphor. And, and, and we mean that AJV: (10:14) It was his, he said, he said, I’m the tortoise. RV: (10:18) Yeah. That’s. And, and that is, you know, and we say that in the most honoring way, AJV: (10:23) He said it so we can say it. RV: (10:26) But even to that extent, it doesn’t mean you have to be slow. It’s just, it’s the idea of consistency. You don’t have to be the person with a million followers. And, and you know, this, these huge extravagant launches and given away cars, and like, you can do those things like, but, but you don’t have to be that person in order to be successful. Like you can just do the right thing for a really long time, and it will work out like you can’t fail if you just pour back into people’s lives. So I’m as encouraged by that. AJV: (11:01) Yeah. Well, I think it just, in general, there are a million different ways to build your personal brand. And Dan gives a one, one really great perspective of how to do it. And there are many other different perspectives that you will hear from other guests, but to what Roy is saying, it’s like, it’s, it’s all about. And what we talk about a lot, it’s playing the long game and Dan is a great example of the long game. RV: (11:26) Yeah. So there you have it. So hopefully you’re playing the long game and you’ll keep coming back here. We’re going to keep working to provide amazing guests for you and hopefully useful insights. We’re so glad that you’re here. We’ll catch you next time on the influential personal brand.

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25 of the World's Most Recognizable Influencers Share Their Tips on How to Build and Monetize a Personal Brand

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