I recently watched a presentation from Brian Carroll, author of Lead Generation for the Complex Sale and author of a blog called the B2B Lead Generation Blog. His presentation was quite interesting and he had these 5 suggestions for tactics to use for lead generation for a company that is trying to build thought leadership or become an authority.

1) Blog.  Brian has been blogging for a year and thinks it is one of the most effective ways to get his ideas out there.  He posts 1 to 3 times per week spending an average of 2 hours per week in his blog.  I agree that this is a great technique to get your message out into the market - that's why we at HubSpot started this blog!

2) Speak.  Speaking opportunities are often overlooked as a marketing tactic, especially speaking at smaller events.  Brian likes the personal connection and says that he gets a lot more leads from in person events than web-based events.  Brian likes to speak 2 to 4 times per month.  the great news is that while preparing for one speaking opportunity can take a lot of time, if you can re-use the same presentation, you can get a lot of leverage out of your time.

3) Book. Writing a book is a lot of work, and does very little to generate leads now.  But, a book is a great way to show people that you are a thought leader.  Seth Godin says that "a book is a souvenir of the ideas."  So, don't think about the book as a way to promote your ideas, but it is a great way to validate them and make them credible.  Finally, some interesting facts: according to some book researchers, 90% of nonfiction books sell less than 5000 copies, and it takes at least 5000 copies to make a thought leadership impact in the market.  Brian sees the book as a useful sales tool because it provides a lot of credibility and is a great leave behind for your salespeople.

4) Podcast.  Brian does a Podcast once a month.  He does not think it is a great lead generation tool, he only has a couple hundred subscribers.  But, it is great for branding, because his data shows that when people do listen to podcasts, they really pay attention to them and tend to do it while driving or working out, and focus a fair amount on the content.

5) eBook.  Brian defines an eBook as a "hipper version of whitepapers" (David Meerman Scott agrees).  eBooks are similar to whitepapers, but are typically more graphical and usually do not require registration.

Does your company do any thought leadership?  Do you want to serve as an authority in your market?  What techniques do you use for marketing and lead generation below?  Leave a comment below.

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Originally published Oct 19, 2007 12:11:00 PM, updated March 21 2013

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