0:00:01 - Betsy Jordyn
So welcome everybody to this week's episode of the Enough Already podcast. I'm your host, Betsy Jordyn, and today we have an extremely special guest on the show. We have Carol Cox here of Speaking Your Brand, who is a treasured colleague, a professional mentor of mine, who has helped me so much with my thought leadership, and actually this whole podcast is here because I was under her tutelage And so I wanted her to come on the show. I've been saving Carol for a long time because I wanted to start off a new series on thought leadership, and there's no one else that I would want to feature about thought leadership than Carol, because she is the expert in this area And you're going to learn so much from her. I cannot wait to get into the conversation. So, without further ado, welcome Carol.
0:00:44 - Carol Cox
Thank you so much, betsy. I am thrilled to be here And I listened to your podcast. You are a natural podcaster, so I'm so glad that the podcast came out of the Thought Leader.
0:00:54 - Betsy Jordyn
Academy. Oh my gosh. Well, i would not be here if it wasn't for you. I want to get into a whole conversation with you about thought leadership and what are the steps that somebody has to go through from sort of like being that newbie's, you know world's best kept secret, to thought leader. But before we get into it, i want to back up and talk a little bit about your background and how you started speaking, your brand and why thought leadership is so important to you.
0:01:20 - Carol Cox
Yeah Well, thank you. So I started speaking your brand back in 2015, really went full time within in 2017. About six years ago, and I've had my podcast while speaking your brand for over six years now as well. And I have always been a public speaker ever since high school, always on the speech and debate team, and then did speaking in college And then in my early part of my career, i did a master's degree in history, with the focus on women's history, and then made a 90 degree, turn into technology and became a logical path.
0:01:52 - Betsy Jordyn
That's how it's related.
0:01:53 - Carol Cox
Yeah, yeah. So I became a software developer, worked with large companies as a consultant This was about 20 years ago And then did that for about 10 years, got burnt out on the coding and decided that I wanted to do something else. So I asked when I started speaking your brand? but during the time, in the tech industry, i always spoke at conferences, whether it was about technology or marketing or business models, and so when I was thinking about starting a new business because I love being an entrepreneur I thought, well, where can I provide the most service? And people always said they enjoyed my presentation. So I thought, well, let me focus on public speaking for women entrepreneurs. And then that's where speaking your brand was born.
And this idea of thought leadership came out in 2020, during that summer of 2020, when we had so much time to ourselves, taking lots of long walks, and I started to ask our clients how did they see speaking your brand? Like, where did they see that we provided to them? And in those surveys and conversations, the idea of thought leadership came up to the top of the list, even though I never messaged or marketed thought leadership explicitly. And I thought, oh, this is actually what we're doing, even though we didn't realize it, and I know, bessie, you're such a big proponent of talking to clients and doing the markets can, so that's exactly what we did, and that's why now we have really focused on thought leadership, with public speaking as the main channel for thought leadership.
0:03:14 - Betsy Jordyn
That's so interesting. You know we're going to talk more about you know some of your other emerging passions and how all of these things all come together, but I want to talk a little bit about just the whole idea of coaching women, and then we'll get into the thought leadership concept. What was it about women of all the audiences? How did you know this was your passion area? Why women executives? Why women entrepreneurs? Why are they your people, your tribe?
0:03:42 - Carol Cox
Well, i find this thread going back all the way to when I was younger, and I feel like so many of us have these threads, and sometimes the threads maybe get a little frayed but then they get stronger in different aspects of our careers and our lives.
And so, again, i studied women's history and undergraduate and graduate school.
So I always was always looking for the women in the story, so literally looking for the women in history, and they were not prominent, because that's not how history has been written up until more recently.
And then I also was involved in politics in my early 30s And so, again, like having this, being a woman with a very public voice and a very public presence, getting a lot of opportunities but also facing the criticism backlash that comes with that I started to recognize that, even though I never, like I knew I was a woman, but I never considered, i never really thought much about it in the early part of my career or in that much less in college. And then I realized, well, there are things that are different, like how we are treated or how we are looked at is different, regardless of whether or not we would like it to be that way. And so I then started gravitating towards women, entrepreneurship groups and associations, and so then, when I decided to start speaking in your brand, i knew that that's what I wanted to focus on, because I got so much value out of being around other women and having that support system.
0:05:02 - Betsy Jordyn
Yeah. So there seems like it's not just about like okay, people liked your presentations and they liked your ability, but there was this longer term passion around seeing the women in the story and seeing yourself as that woman who struggles with how you are perceived if you use your voice came together And that's what birth speaking your brand.
0:05:23 - Carol Cox
Yes, but it was completely subconscious that it is. I did not put those pieces together until really maybe about a couple of years ago, so maybe five years into the journey of speaking your brand. And then I realized, oh, this is why I started it, because I do want to encourage more women to use their voice, and I have seen that again, not only the opportunities but also the struggles that we go through.
0:05:44 - Betsy Jordyn
So did you have, like it was just that you were following your intuition and then all the threads started coming together, or how did you wind up, like accidentally, on the perfect path for you? I don't know.
0:05:56 - Carol Cox
That's a good question. I think it was just again. I was around a lot of women entrepreneurs And so I recognized the value of being in those types of communities And so I thought, well, that's, those are the type, that's the type of community I want to create for the women that we work with as well.
0:06:13 - Betsy Jordyn
Yeah, So okay. So let's talk about the Thought Leader Academy a little bit. So I remember I say I knew Diane before. Actually before I knew you, i wound up meeting Diane when I was giving a speech somewhere. So it's kind of ironic that it's like, oh, i'm not sure if I'm ready to be a speaker, which is interesting because Diane was telling me whenever what was your Thought Leader Academy? before it became Thought Leader Academy, what was it called?
0:06:35 - Carol Cox
It was called Master Your Speaking.
0:06:37 - Betsy Jordyn
Yes, okay. So she had been reaching out to me regularly like, hey, do you want to join this? Do you want to join that? I'm like I'm not sure I'm ready to be a speaker. And then all of a sudden there was a shift of the Thought Leader Academy. It took me a while until I was like halfway into the Thought Leader Academy. That's like, hey, wait a minute. I've been speaking for a long time and I actually met Diane at the speaking event that I was doing. But like so, is that part of that shift, of like that clarity around, like, okay, i'm not here to build women speakers, i'm here to build women thought leaders. Was that when you made that shift, or what was it that? just the survey, or is there anything else that got you to see that shift in your strategy?
0:07:13 - Carol Cox
A lot of it was the survey listening to our clients in the language that they use. But also remember in 2020, when somebody's speaking engagements all the in-person speaking engagements were canceled. Frankly, like selling programs about public speaking, it was just not going to work as well, because all of those I mean yes, we're doing a lot of speaking virtually, but it's different than in-person. You know, it's a different kind of like desire and motivation to improve your public speaking skills. So, just from my business owner's point of view and a marketer's point of view, i knew I needed to shift the language and broaden out what we were doing, even though public speaking is still such a central component. But we have thought you know people who go through the Thought Leader Academy, who launch podcasts, who do LinkedIn live shows, who end up writing a book. They take what they've done and they create a program or a new business offering from it in addition to the public speaking that they're doing.
0:08:06 - Betsy Jordyn
Yeah, but underneath it is a common mission around empowering women to use their voices And it's like when did that mission like really drop like into like? yeah, this is what we're all about, because I definitely saw a shift that there was like this is really clear that no matter what you do, it's got that heart at the core.
0:08:26 - Carol Cox
Really, that heart has been there from the beginning And I look back at some of the very early workshops and presentations that I did in the first year or two and that really, that was always there, this mission to empower women to use their voice, And I feel like the explicit language developed in 2020 and 2021. We also did our Rable Beyond Live Virtual Summits, which were day long online live events where we brought together 10 women speakers and they did TED-style talks And so, like I think it all started coalescing around these different events that we were doing Like for the listeners. The lesson I take from there is take action and put out into the world whatever it is you have an inkling to do, even if it feels messy, even if it feels imperfect. Certainly, what we were doing didn't feel like 100%, like we had all we had it all figured it out, But the clarity came from putting it out into the world and seeing how people responded to it.
0:09:25 - Betsy Jordyn
Yeah. So it's like you were kind of a you went with in some ways of like okay, this is what I think I should do, i should put it out there, and then the clarity in the language came later. And then, once you got the clarity in the language, like, okay, now everything's moving at a different pace, a different trajectory, exactly.
0:09:40 - Carol Cox
0:09:41 - Betsy Jordyn
So some people might be concerned about like okay, that's good for you, carol, but I'm so worried about if I niche down like what if nobody wants? what if I'm excluding people or leaving people out? How would you address that concern that people have? no-transcript.
0:09:57 - Carol Cox
Well, i think you're the best one.
You're so good at this with your marketing and messaging superpowers, and so there are lots of other public speaking coaches out there, lots of public speaking courses and programs out there.
A lot of them are by men, designed by men, facilitated by men, led by men, and I'm sure they do a great job, but they probably don't address a lot of the issues that we here talked about in our Thought Leader Academy calls about the fear, even the fear, of doing posts on social media because of trolls coming through and saying really negative or nasty things, much less at public speaking engagements, and wondering are you going to get a dude in the audience who starts challenging you and makes it all about him instead of about why you're there?
So those are real concerns that women have, and some women have experienced them, and so if you don't niche down, then how is someone going to know that you are the right solution for them, or you are the right coach for them, or you're the right consultant for them to lead them? Because if you can't validate to them that you understand what they're going through, you understand what concerns they have, what desires they have, what they want to accomplish, because you've been in their shoes, then I think it's harder to sell to them.
0:11:14 - Betsy Jordyn
Yeah, i agree with you completely And I use you as an example all the time. It's that I believe that once you really kind of own that empowering women's voices, i experience it It's because I'm a part of your community just the exponential growth And I remember when we were at the intensive, when we were at the live event And we have all of these like-minded women who really want to change the world And there was something that was really significant going on politically in the room And somebody saw it on their phone and we stopped everything to acknowledge what was going on. And nobody was weird about it because there was like a tribe of commonality. And just from a client perspective, it's just being around other people who, if you had a lot of different kind of people with a lot of different reasons why they wanted to speak, if they just wanted to speak to make a million dollars, if they just wanted to speak for whatever reason, it wouldn't have had the same impact.
But you have a tribe of people where it's like I can't feel comfortable. I mean, i remember just being so in awe of all the speaking gifts that the people in your community have and feeling so intimidated, but at the same time I'm like I just could get 1% better because I'm just in the safe community, i don't have to compete with everybody, i just have to get 1% better And I get to be enjoying. I just learned so much from everybody. It totally changes the game versus. If you had a different kind of tribe, would you agree with that, or is that?
0:12:38 - Carol Cox
Yes, and you hit on this idea of safety and trust and feeling like you belong, and I hope that's what we do here with our different programs As speaking your brand.
Because if you think about just public speaking on the surface, sure, there's the skills and the tactics you can learn how to ask questions of your audience, how to make sure that you have a strong opening and a strong closing to your speech, how to reduce your nerves, like all those practical things And, yes, they're very important And we want to make sure that you're learning those skills and strategies.
But there's a deeper part of public speaking, a deeper part of using your voice, a deeper part of thought leadership, which is really tapping into your inner truth, what matters to you, what are the stories and experiences that have shaped who you are in your life, for good and bad. And tapping into those and being willing to share those with your audience is a lot harder than learning how to reduce your nerves when you're standing in front of a group of people or learning how to ask show of hands questions to your audience. And if we don't create that safe, trusted environment for the women we work with, they're not going to get to that deeper truth, which means they're less likely to have the impact on their audiences that they want to have, but really, the less likely they're going to transform as individuals and to understand themselves better.
0:13:59 - Betsy Jordyn
So this is a perfect setup for my next questions really getting into what does it mean to be a thought leader And how is it different than an expert speaker? Because it was interesting that as an expert speaker, i don't feel vulnerable at all, like when I'm standing up and I could get a corral, a group of executives in any sort of strategic facilitation situation, and I don't feel vulnerable at all. I feel like, oh, i'm perfectly fine because I got all these facts and ideas, but being a thought leader, it's a completely different ball of wax there. How would you differentiate between, or what's the stages to get to? But what is the difference between like all right, i can facilitate a meeting, i can do a presentation in my corporate office, i can do a training program versus being a thought leader?
0:14:45 - Carol Cox
Yes. So the facilitations, the presentations there is definitely a time and place for those, of course, because you don't need to tell your entire life story when you're facilitating a meeting at work, right, like there is a room for that skill set for sure. But if you desire to be a thought leader, it's because most likely there's kind of a three different things that are going on, maybe all at the same time, but at least one of these three. The first thing is that you recognize that there's change that needs to happen in your industry or in the community that you're involved in. So you're knowing things are not working. The quote unquote best practices that everyone talks about are not serving everyone. The status quo is tired and old and needs to get changed. So you're seeing that, you're starting to recognize that. So that's number one. The second thing that to recognize be a step into thought leadership is that you're bored giving your presentations because you've mastered the educational tactical elements that you've been presenting on probably for a while. Like you just know, you just don't wanna keep doing the same thing over and over again. And then the third thing as far as stepping into thought leadership is that you wanna have a bigger impact on your audiences. There is always a time and place for educational kind of tactical content, and yet, at the same time, you are then a commodity speaker. A commodity presenter in the sense that you can be interchanged with anyone else who talks on that topic. I can give you five tips on this topic, or someone else can give the same or similar tips on that topic. So then now you are not differentiating yourself, which means you could be replaced or you can't charge as much for what you're doing. So then, if you want to have a bigger impact on your audience and you wanna make a difference, stepping into thought leadership is what's going to be required.
Thought leadership does not mean that you have all the answers. This idea of challenging the status quo, seeking change in your industry, does not mean you're coming down on high right With your list of 10 rules that everyone needs to adopt. Instead, rather, thought leadership is being willing to ask questions of your audience, of your industry, of your community, to ask those bigger questions, to shine the spotlight on areas that have been dark for way too long and say you know what things need to change here. Here are some ideas, here are some possibilities. Let's make sure we're having conversations about this And then you're basically you are stepping in as a that's why the word leader is in there, because you are a leader, you're paving the pathway, but you're not doing it alone.
0:17:19 - Betsy Jordyn
So it sounds like then the difference is with being an expert speaker or an expert presenter versus a thought leader. Is an expert speaker, is I've mastered, you know whatever this topic is, and so I'm considered like, okay, i know a lot about this particular area and I might know a little bit more about this particular area than somebody else that's an expert. Being over here as a thought leader is like hey, wait a minute, i might have some contrarian points of view about these, the way the industry actually is, and so I'm going to poke holes at what either is missing or put a different perspective on it. That's the big difference.
0:17:56 - Carol Cox
Yes, exactly. And then also, without leadership, you're bringing in some of those personal experiences, kind of those hard one life lessons or the things that you've experienced in your life. again, it doesn't have to be big tea traumatic experiences, it doesn't even have to be little tea traumatic experiences, but what has brought you to where you are today, to the work you do and in your mission and why you do the work that you do.
0:18:17 - Betsy Jordyn
Yeah. So the thought leadership is it's a lot more personal, like there's a reason why I think something's got to change. You know, there's a reason why I have like that pop by moment you know where pop by gets all like annoyed at some point is like that's all. I can't stand, i can't stand no more, you know. So thought leader gets to that point it's like yeah, but there's a big reason. Like pop, i always gets annoyed because olive oil. You know, it's like whenever something happens to olive oil, that's when he gets all mad. Similar for us. It's like it's got to be a reason why like hey, that shouldn't be. And now I have and I have personal vested reason why I care about this.
0:18:52 - Carol Cox
Yes, absolutely so. If I can share an example to for you bet say, this may be helpful to the listeners as well, and I know we've been. We were chatting before we had record about chat, gpt and these new AI tools that are rapidly transforming the way that we work and they'll continue to transform the way that we work And, as I mentioned, i have a background in technology. I was a software developer, but many moons ago, and I haven't been in the space for about 10 years. But when chat GPT came out and I got my little hands on it, i was excited again about the possibilities that this technology can bring. Started right away in during the last holiday break, figuring out how we can integrate AI into speaking your brand, into our business model and provide some other apps and opportunities to our clients, and so I'm now in submitting for speaking engagements related to AI Later Now.
I'm not an AI computer scientist, i'm not an AI researcher, i don't work at an AI company, but I'm doing so because I have a unique perspective And that is I want to make sure women's voices are in these AI large language models that are being developed, and that is what they've large language models have done, like open, ai, chat, gpt. They've sucked up all the data on the internet, all the books that have been written, news articles, social media posts, youtube videos, like everything on the internet, and most of it has been written by men And a lot of it is sexist and misogynist and racist. Now, i know they put guard rails and they done. They done a great job and making sure that the responses that come back you know are, are, are appropriate, but still it's it's mainly men's voices, men's experiences, men's perspectives. So I want to make sure women are, are, have, as you know, 50 50 of a role in these large language models, as the men do.
0:20:45 - Betsy Jordyn
But this feels completely congruent to your background.
0:20:48 - Carol Cox
Right, exactly. So I found those different angles and pieces and put them together into this larger thought leadership message.
0:20:56 - Betsy Jordyn
Yeah, and I think what I like about it is it's still it's still another expression of the core mission. The core mission is to empower women's voices. What your best at and your abilities are is there's like a storytelling element and your ability to give presentations. But what I experienced from you is still that engineering kind of mind is like you still have that step by step, like you still are that that type of person who can guide people in this way. So the chat GPT makes perfect sense because you're all about the productivity and all of that and which, by the way, is interesting sidebar.
I did a, i did a podcast interview with Sarah, who's the Enneagram person, and she said you're an Enneagram five. Like really that makes sense. Like it's a five with the four wing, which goes back to like this is your core personality of like figuring out how to optimize the. You know the business behind the business. This makes perfect sense that you would do that. So I hope you do. Okay, but going back to the original thing that we were talking about, so for you, as a thought leader, is that you're putting your own spin on it. So for you, you see that there's an area of opportunity within chat GPT around how to make sure that women's voices are captured in that. So that is your thought. Leadership is like everybody might be thinking yeah, yeah, this is a great tool, but you're like, there's this one perspective.
0:22:14 - Carol Cox
Exactly Yes. So again, i want, as a thought leader, i want to make sure these conversations are happening. I don't have the answers. I don't develop large language models. I'm not going to be, i'm not a data scientist, but I want to make sure these conversations are happening.
0:22:27 - Betsy Jordyn
That is so interesting. Okay, so I love what you're doing around that part and I love the differentiation. Is it just something like where are you know if you've always been a contrarian thinker, you know that you're kind of like well primed to be a thought leader. or is there a progressive kind of like you know? it's the evolution of how somebody who winds up in the idea content creation space Are they going to wind up there at some point anyway.
0:22:53 - Carol Cox
That's a good question. I think it's both. I think, if someone naturally is the type of thinker who is looking for what else is possible, okay, like you know, just not satisfied with the status quo, for sure I think they gravitate towards thought leadership, naturally. for those maybe, who that's not their default personality. So if you come back to that some point, you're, you have mastered your area of expertise, you've mastered your topic, you've mastered the work that you do, and maybe some people they're fine, just disdain there. but I feel like for some, at least for some of the women that we work with, they enjoy learning, they enjoy developing themselves, they enjoy understanding, like, what more can they do with with, with the impact that they want to have?
0:23:36 - Betsy Jordyn
Something like that happens might be a like midlife of saying, alright, i've moved from success to significance and as part of my significance is I want to make a difference in an area that might have, might not be, might be overlooked or maybe not, you know, overdone in a particular way. is it like I'm in my significance time period of my career?
0:23:56 - Carol Cox
I think that that holds true because for your 20s and 30s, you are still mastering your career, your area of expertise, whatever it happens to be that when you finally, when you get into your 40s and you realize, okay, yes, i've done all this, i understand this really well, and then you can start seeing those areas that can be improved, because you have enough wisdom and life experience to look back and realize, oh, like that happened to me, i see now why I would like to change this for other people who maybe end up in that place to.
0:24:26 - Betsy Jordyn
Yeah, i see that with a lot of my clients where they're like alright, i've been. I've been in corporate for a while. I want to leave corporate because there's some things that aren't there, but I want to go back and help corporate and people who are there. Is it more of like that kind of heroic journey of you know, i'm going to go and I'm going to have these lessons and I want to go back with my elixir and go help the tribe? is that part of that whole mix?
0:24:48 - Carol Cox
Okay, yes, and I have an update to the heroes journey. I did an episode on this on my podcast. Back in April. We did a series on called marketing is changing. I said why were ditching the heroes journey?
0:25:00 - Betsy Jordyn
Is it the hero journey that I've been begging you to do?
0:25:03 - Speaker 2
So it is. So what now? I didn't get into specifics on the hero wins journey in that episode, but really what I said in there was that the heroes journey the issues with that is from a marketing perspective at least is that it's very individualistic. So it's like you as a potential client you know you have these problems, you need to fix it, where the company will provide you with a solution or what have you, but still, like it's on you, it's so isolating.
I don't want to be the hero anymore in my life. Like it's, it's too tiring. Instead, we really need to see is more of the collective. Not only you know we have been having a collective solutions, not only in our businesses and the work that we're doing and I don't mean that you have to run a group program or run a community but more like this idea of partnering with your clients, rather than giving that giving them a whole bunch of stuff and be like here you're the hero, you can figure it out on your own, but instead partnering with them. And then also the reason to ditch the heroes journey is that we have collective problems that we need to solve together. Where it's climate change, income inequality, the rise of AI tools and the impact that's going to have on work. Individual solutions are not going to cut it And I feel like the heroes journey has we have so over indexed on individualism that we need to swing back towards collectivism.
0:26:22 - Betsy Jordyn
Actually we'll kind of push back a little on that.
Yeah, go ahead.
Because in my experience with the heroes journey what I love about it and I know that there's a difference with the hero, the heroine's journey that it's being written right now But one of the things that you notice in all of the movies with the heroes is they always have friends, like they all go out alone and then they always meet people, like Luke meets, you know, leia and Han, and they all solve the problems together.
I wonder if it's not like the heroic journey and how it actually is in myths and stories, but it's like how we are portraying the idea, the hero, that they're alone. Because I don't know, as humans we were ever meant to be figuring it out on our own, like we were always supposed to have companions. I think that's why, you know, group programs are really powerful, is why I started a group community, is because that group support is so different than just the mentor telling you like, do this, do this to this. So I wonder if it's not that the hero, the hero, journeys off the how we've interpreted the heroes journey, that we think we should be doing it on our own, or maybe it's like our American rugged individualism.
0:27:26 - Carol Cox
It is definitely a merit related to our American culture of, you know, individualism, capitalism, right, all that I definitely. That's why I feel like we've over indexed on that and I would have to go back to Joseph Campbell's work to read about the heroes journey that he found in all of those different cultures. You know across time and how much the collective was actually a part of the heroes journey, but so that would be interesting to go back to. But I just feel like in our minds, you know, as a marketer using the heroes journey framework, i feel like we have focused so much on client. So here's your problem, here's the fix. Like, why are you having this problem? go fix it on your own. Almost like we're blaming them for having a problem in the first place, versus the empathy and the validation of like you, you are done so much like you want something else. We're here to help you with that.
0:28:20 - Betsy Jordyn
Yeah, and we're in this together. Like I think one of the things that consultants and coaches worry about is, like we think we're supposed to be like 100 steps in front of our clients, but it's like we just need to be one step, just one step, not much more than one step. It could even be a half step and you can still help. Yes, so it's like we're doing this together. Okay, so we're talking about stories, and so I want to go back to what you saw also said about like the story. Part of that. That is what makes a hero, not hero. A thought leader, that's different. Like why is it so important that, as a thought leader, that you are connected to story and that you have arsenals of story and you're connected to your own story? Why is that important as a thought leader?
0:29:03 - Carol Cox
Because if you get on a stage or get in front of a group of people and again, you're just sharing educational or expertise type of content, I remember when I just feel like you don't really truly connect with your audience, It's not very memorable, It's not very engaging to them And really the AIs are the experts now. They've got to speak. They know everything in an instant, more so than we. So I think we need to double down on what makes us human, And it's our human experience and stories that make us human and connect us with each other and help us to normalize what we're going through.
And so I think I use this example a lot, but on my podcast and the work that I do so, I have a client, Tammy Lally, who did her TEDx talk in 2017 on money and shame, And she could have stood on that TEDx stage and talked about if you're having shame around money or you're in a bad financial place, make sure you have a budget and cut out the extras and double down on your savings all the things that someone practical and an expert a financial expert would share, And she knew that that was not what was going to connect her with her audience and have the impact that she wanted to have.
So instead, she shared a very vulnerable and sadly tragic story about her family And that's what she opened with And it immediately connected her with her audience because of that personal story And then she connected it to the universal of this idea of money, shame and how it could show up in your life. And because she did that, she now has over 2 million views on that TEDx talk, which is extraordinary and really transformed her life professionally but also personally.
She hadn't done that personal story. It just would have been like every other talk out there with financial advice And it wouldn't have had that effect on the audience. but I really feel like it wouldn't have transformed her as a person to help her understand herself better and what happened?
0:30:59 - Betsy Jordyn
Do you think Brene Brown would be Brene Brown if she didn't talk about her personal experience with her research?
0:31:05 - Carol Cox
No, not at all. I think that's what really catapulted her. You go back and listen to her very first TEDx talk. She talks about going to a therapist. Like she's funny too. She talks about going to her therapist and be like, oh me, like I'm the one who has issues with shame and vulnerability too, and it was instantly relatable to her audience.
0:31:23 - Betsy Jordyn
So do you know any thought leader that doesn't connect with her story? Because I can't really think of any that don't have a personal connection with their topic area.
0:31:31 - Carol Cox
I think there, well, there are probably people out there who are well known and who are, you know, successful in what they do, whether or not they share their stories or whether or not we would consider them thought leaders. I don't know, it's up to them. Like you can put thought leader on yourself or on someone else or not, you know, it's obviously up to you to do that. So I think there are successful people who don't do that, who run businesses, and yet I find, even if I look at them, at some point in their business trajectory, they too get bored with the surface level and they will start talking about their stories.
0:32:07 - Betsy Jordyn
How do you get somebody past that vulnerability You know of? like nobody wants to hear my story, nobody wants to hear my dirty laundry, nobody wants to see my pain or even my thought process. Like they just want to hear the facts. Like, how would you address that?
0:32:23 - Carol Cox
Well, so we do it in our thought leader Academy group calls. So you know we have it where they're sharing what they're working on. We have them, you know, kind of ID through whatever their story is or whatever their message is. So we make them do it on the calls because we know that the power of literally saying it out loud, and they get a lot of validation and feedback from us when they do that. So that's the first thing, and then the second thing is we encourage them to go up there and do podcast interviews, do LinkedIn live shows, do smaller scale speaking engagements where they are putting this content out, their personal stories out, and see what happens, and always something like if you don't like it, if it, you know, if you feel like it wasn't, it wasn't the right fit or wasn't the right fit for you, then you don't have to continue to do it by all means, but at least try it.
0:33:09 - Betsy Jordyn
One of the things that I loved at the thought leader Academy is like the first day that we went around and we introduced ourselves and it's like everybody really shared that some sort of story. You know some sort of like difficulty that got them to that place And it was like oh okay, i'm not really alone. You know, and I think that a lot of us, especially those of us who are public and what we do with our content is we think we need to have all of our crap together in an order to make a difference. It's like I can't tell my story because then people are going to know I don't have all my crap together. You know what would? what words would you use to explain that to somebody if they're thinking that? How would you encourage somebody who might have that that limiting belief?
0:33:48 - Carol Cox
I would say take my example as as instructive. So, as I mentioned, i've had my podcast for six years, so since early 2017, and it wasn't until 2020, so over three years into the podcast where I finally started sharing more personal stories. Why hasn't been done? maybe one or two before that? And then I finally did, and then I had potential clients, who ended up becoming actual clients, who said to me Carol, thank you so much for sharing that, because I thought you were perfect or you seem like you had everything together And therefore I didn't think you could relate to me.
So, it was hesitant about working with you, wow, and I'm like oh, by all means not perfect, do not have everything together. Have made plenty of mistakes, have had plenty of heartache and disappointment and lessons learned, but if we never share those and again, like our potential clients, wonderwall, how how much could she understand me?
0:34:49 - Betsy Jordyn
I think that there's something about like walking up to the line of dealing with content and having the meltdowns and then pushing past them And then it's almost like the story that that was in your way, you know, starts becoming like the I think we talked about it in your podcast. It's like what was in your way became the way. I mean, i remember the first time I was doing videos like the, the idea of being on camera and doing the teleprompter and all of that. It's like I had a total meltdown like no, no, no, no, i'm not going to do that. And then I did, and then, you know, that kicked me into my initial content creation journey.
But also just even walking up to it and speaking, and the fact that I have a podcast now and it's like I taught my story relatively freely, you know it's because it kind of walked up to that line. You know, is there anything that you would suggest? when somebody's like walking up to the line of like okay, how do you just keep going just two steps further, and you, you could do it? Like what would you say? Just like two steps, you could do it.
0:35:46 - Carol Cox
Yeah Well, find a support system you know to help you, whether it's one person or you know it's a community, whether you know, whether it's your program, betsy, or mine or someone else's out there. So find that support system to help encourage you and to help, you know, keep you in momentum, like, keep you moving forward. The other thing is to know that vulnerability, hangovers, are a thing. You may experience them. I know I have experienced them, many of us do And so what I tell myself is that it is normal just like when you drink alcohol, it's probably normal to have a hangover. Just like when you share something that feels really vulnerable, you're going to have a hangover. You're going to wonder oh, i shared too much. Should I have done that? What are people going to think about me? Are they going to think less of me? So, like, put a little sticky note on your laptop or monitor says it is normal, this will pass in a day or two, and then you'll be really glad that you did.
0:36:37 - Betsy Jordyn
I think one of the things, too, i would add to that is like it's like anticipate that.
They anticipate that the vulnerability hangover is real And but plan in advance that it's going to happen. Like, so normalize it and say, okay, that's cool, because I'm probably on the right track, because I'm stepping outside my comfort zone. And I think the other things that you and I both do, and our approaches that I think might help, is that you and I are step by step kind of people with templates and tools, and I think that there's something about like, okay, there's this huge thing and I got all this vulnerability and I was like, oh my gosh, i'm going to go out there. But if somebody has like a step by step, like no, just do this, you know, just do this one thing, figure this one thing out, and then okay, here's a template and a script that you could try out until you get comfortable, you know, and I think that that also could help, because I think it reduces the fear of the unknown but also gives you little wins along the way. Oh yeah, that's very true.
0:37:31 - Carol Cox
Yes, very true, Betsy, And I know you're really good at the scripts and the templates for your clients.
0:37:35 - Betsy Jordyn
No, you are. You're really good at the scripts and the templates. This is where you and I are like we have so much in common. It's like there's all these little weird things, like I was a history major too, and it's like our brains are kind of worked, but I don't have the technology thing, like you know, to the same extent that you do. So let's talk about technology for a second. And so is that. What would you say is the biggest trend that's affecting content creation and thought leadership is the AI tools and the chat, gpt's and all that.
0:38:03 - Carol Cox
Oh, for sure. Yes, I mean, if you know, I know you've been working with chat GPT. We have I'm sure many of your listeners have as well And you can just see not only the productivity gains, so how much faster you can write, you know, a first draft of a blog post or an email or video transcript or whatever it happens to be, but then also, like doing things that maybe you haven't thought of before. It can write facilitator guides. It can write course outlines. It can write, like you know well, the podcast.
The transcripts for the podcast are not that great Like they're. It's still a little bit hokey, right, Like it doesn't quite have that down yet. It can do speaking proposals. It can do. I mean, like I've had to try to have it write speeches, like executive keynote speeches, and it is as corny and as predictable and as obvious as you can imagine. So I would not say it has a little room for improvement there At least. It needs our framework and needs our speaking, your brand framework, to make it better. But there are so many things to do with it.
So you have the productivity gains but also, I believe, will help us to be more creative, because now I'm seeing how it puts together content and I'm like, Oh, I hadn't thought about that before. You know, let me kind of like see now, if I kind of go down here, what else can it do in this area? How did now does this give me some more ideas? Like it helps me brainstorm ideas for podcast episodes that I haven't necessarily thought of. So I feel like it's a, it's a productivity enhancement. It's also a creativity assistant. The other thing that I see with it is that it's really going to change kind of workflow workflows in our work.
So in a long so chat, GPT right now is very much like you ask a question, it gives an answer. You ask a question, it gives like a ping pong back and forth. Well, now they're doing these things called agents, where you can task the GPT and say imagine that you're a marketing assistant and that you are being tasked with creating a new offer called XYZ. Please create a complete marketing plan for it and execute it, And it can go off and it's not here yet, it will be here this year, but it can go through and tell you all the tasks it would do Market research course, outline landing page, Facebook ads like it will do the whole thing and it will tell you all the copy to put. And the next step again, which is coming this year, is it will actually go and do those things. Go create the webpage, go write the emails, go write the course content, go put everything together literally in a matter of minutes. Wow.
0:40:32 - Betsy Jordyn
So how do like what's going to happen to the individual, who's going to use that whole tool, you know, and their own creativity, and like the human to human connection in the middle of that whole thing?
0:40:43 - Carol Cox
I don't know It is. I don't know. I honestly do not know what we're going to be looking at in six months from year from now, or 12 months from now, much less three to five years from now.
0:40:55 - Betsy Jordyn
I think that I think I love chat GPT.
That's like my little copywriter you know, my little junior copywriter and it's like, on the plus side, like I can get, i can get three pages of website done in two and a half hours.
You know if somebody's really gone through the brand building process with me and I get all that information. But the downside that I worry about is like the synapse connections that are in my brain that helped me create content relatively quickly and know in my own creativity and that whole consultation with my own inner wisdom that I might be more tempted to go to AI instead of like even like, because I played around with them, like Hey, my daughter's doing X, y and Z any tips on dealing with an adult child, you know, and instead of tapping into my own inner wisdom, it's like, oh, chat GPT told me to do that. I'm like, oh, it's pretty good. You know it's like, it's like Oh, but I'm a little scared because I'm going to get lazy, you know. Do you have any concerns about the creative? you know, being a person who's creative for a living, you know, is it going to have a negative impact on our creativity?
0:41:50 - Carol Cox
I could. I think it will change what we decide to be creative about and where we decide to use our own brainpower, if we think about it. You know, 20, 30 years ago or at least, or more than that, when I was growing up, i knew by heart lots of people's phone numbers. Now I know my own phone number, i know my husband's phone number. I don't even think I know my mom's phone number by heart, and that's it. Because we've decided that's not a good use of our brainpower, so we've outsourced that to our devices. Same thing with looking up lots of information. We can ask Google, we can ask you know, alexa, siri, what have you? And so I feel like we did that And probably our memories are worse off in some ways that they used to be. But we gained something else, because then we, now we have room to do other things with our memory and our creativity.
0:42:40 - Betsy Jordyn
That's true, that's just a good point. I forgot about all of those synapse connections we let go follow. You know, like I think you're right. I don't only know like three phone numbers and that's it. And I don't even think my husband knows my phone number and it makes me worried, like what if he was your phone?
0:42:54 - Carol Cox
0:42:56 - Betsy Jordyn
We just get that one tattooed somewhere like Yeah, that's a little scary, So, um, so what would you say to someone who you know really wants to go like? like, would you say that chat tbt relates to helping you with your content creation? or does chat tbt help you with your thought leadership, or is that one of the same?
0:43:19 - Carol Cox
I think it could help with a lot of different things. So we can, you can ask it, like if you can tell it a story like maybe you have a life experience, a life story like you know, maybe you put like a paragraph in about this experience you had one day in your life that was meaningful to you, and then you want to, you can ask it like what lessons could I draw from the story from my audience? and it will come up like three or four different kind of lessons or themes you could draw from it. So you could use it for that. You can ask it I've asked it before like what you know, what are some speaking topics that I can do around AI and gender or AI women's voices? and it comes up similar to what I have thought about already, but it comes up with with things like that. So you can definitely use it for that.
But in addition to work, I was reading an article recently about how chat tbt is transforming housework So in the home, and a lot of people are using it to plan summer camps for their kids. You know, trying to figure out, like, if this is our summer schedule, how can we find three or four summer camps that have the right dates that don't overlap but that, like, are consecutive to each other, and then basically put it in there and it goes and finds and creates the whole schedule, like. So there are a lot of things that it can do that we. So what I do now, my practice, is every time I want to do something, i have a thought on my head like I want to go do this or I want to think about this. I go see if I can find a way to ask chat tbt, not so that I don't have to do it anymore, but I want to see what it comes back with.
0:44:42 - Betsy Jordyn
So I think that the the rule of thumb, then, is you still need to get expert frameworks on how to think about different things. Like I could write website copy in two and a half hours because I already have the frameworks. Like I know what websites are supposed to do, i know what the templates are supposed to be And I know what I want my chat tbt rather than if I outsource the whole thing to chat tbt, you're not going to get good results and I think that Google will punish you if it, if it knows that you are writing your website copy strictly from AI. So you have to be careful on that. But it's like you still can't give up being you know, sort of like you're. It's still you're the executive, you know you're the CEO. You might still have it as one of your direct reports, but it's not going to. You can't let it lead you.
0:45:24 - Carol Cox
You have to lead it. Yes, and you made an excellent point about frameworks, betsy, and so you have a framework and how you think about writing, marketing messaging and website copy. We have a framework to. So the reason why we can do a three hour VIP day with a client and map out their talk from beginning to end is not because I'm making it up on the fly. It's because we have a very structured framework that obviously provides a lot of flexibility, but that takes takes us through the beginning of the talk to the end, and so someone who just asked chat tbt to write them a speech or write them a presentation again, it's going to be a little hokey, it's going to be a little bit generic, it's not going to have the same depth that it will be. We are using it through our framework, with our guidance, and the same thing, like as you've been describing, betsy, with the copywriting work that you do.
0:46:12 - Betsy Jordyn
Yeah, okay, so that makes a lot of sense. So, alright, so let's just talk like real quick, because I know we're kind of getting close to the end of our time If somebody's wanting to move, so if you're a brand new consultant, coach, and you want to either start your business with thought leadership in mind, or if you have been doing it for a while and it's like it is time to take that next step, so what would you say is the two to three things that somebody can do to start moving towards this thought leadership journey?
0:46:41 - Carol Cox
Start creating content and putting it out into the world. If you love to write, write, write articles, post them on LinkedIn. Post them on your website, maybe you know. Pitch them to publications to get them published there. If you like to talk, maybe launch a podcast or a LinkedIn live show. Obviously, do speaking engagements. The reason is because if you keep it all in your head, it's never going to make sense. Number one, because you're going to keep swirling around. Number two, like you need to put the ideas out into the world to see what audiences are interested in and what resonate with them. So pick that channel that is most meaningful to you, that you like, that your communication style, and start there.
0:47:20 - Betsy Jordyn
So just like start producing. So it's like, in some ways, like one of the things that I'm launching is a content marketing accelerator where it's like, all right, let's just get comfortable, maybe not in the vulnerable stuff, like you help people do with the TED talks and the signature talks, but just start writing something. Figure out some keywords, what are people searching for? write some blogs that's what we're going to do in the content marketing accelerator kind of thing like just get found online, start getting used to that whole process, basics, and then, when you're ready to take those bigger stages, do those signature talks, be the next Tammy Lally, you know, and have that kind of thing. Then they should join the Thought Leader Academy. Surround yourself with other people And I think that's why the Thought Leader Academy I'm sure your one-on-ones are really powerful. I imagine the one-on-ones plus the Thought Leader Academy it's like one plus one equals a 50 billion because of the container. Is that? if that's accurate, would you say that that is the difference maker with the Thought Leader Academy versus just working one-on-one?
0:48:20 - Carol Cox
Yeah, so in the Thought Leader Academy it's group calls plus a one-on-one VIP day, so you do get the best of both worlds. Now, occasionally we'll have women come to us where, in the midst of a Thought Leader Academy, the next one's not starting for a little while, they have a really important speaking engagement coming up in two or three weeks and so they can't wait for the Thought Leader Academy. So then we'll just do the one-on-one VIP day with them, because that's what they need right then and there. And then, if they are interested, they can join our next cohort.
0:48:47 - Betsy Jordyn
If that makes sense for them to do that, Yeah so it seems like if you're just thinking about it or you're, you know you want to move in that direction and you need that catalyst like join the Thought Leader Academy because you're going to get the environment It's a little bit of a longer program. That's going to give me that container to push me into that Thought Leadership. But if I have an emergency opportunity like one of my clients just landed her first big keynote and she's like ah, and I'm like Carol, you know, like that was the conversation It's like ah. So if you're in that moment where it's like this is my first paid one, or even my first free one, and I got something, or I got a TED Talk, i got something really important, that's the time to call you up for a one-on-one kind of thing, exactly, yes, can you talk a little bit about your app and what's coming up with your app and who could benefit from the app that you're creating?
0:49:40 - Carol Cox
Yes, so thank you so much for asking. So, of course, what we talked about, i'm really enjoying getting to kind of work with these different AI apps and chat. Gpt is great And it is getting better about, you know, style and voice and kind of, you know, making the language a little bit less generic, but, as we talked about, it still kind of sucked up everything on the internet. So that's what it's based on, it's it's wording on, and so what we did back in January is that I took all of the speaking your brand content I've created, so podcast transcripts of my solo episodes, all the email newsletters I've sent out over the years, video training transcripts. So I took all of that, did a whole bunch of technical stuff in the back end And then, basically, because you could take the girl on a tech, but Exactly, I can't take the tech out of the girl.
0:50:24 - Betsy Jordyn
0:50:25 - Carol Cox
I just did all this technical stuff behind the scenes and then, basically now I have an app where I can ask it to write a blog post, you know, about whatever topic, but it is doing it against my content, solely using the large language model of that open AI has created all the amazingness that I can do with its word smithing, but it's based on my content. So now when I ask it to write a blog post about the top five tips for public speakers, it's going to do it based on what I've talked about over the years, and the email, newsletters and podcast is not going to pull just five top. You know tips generically from the internet, so it's so much powerful for sales emails. Again, like it's my voice, it's my style, is my content. So now we are now that we've done that and we've kind of tested it and done the prototype for that Now we're going to other content creators and other companies and organizations that have a lot of content and want the same thing where.
Yeah, chat GPT is great for certain things, but if you want to be able to ask it based on your own content, then this is the way to go. It's also really good for some a lot of companies who have proprietary kind of firewall content that's not publicly accessible and they want to keep it that way. But they don't want to be able to use something like chat GPT against it.
0:51:38 - Betsy Jordyn
Beta. I want to be in the beta.
Yeah, yeah, okay. So for some of you who are listening, who are brand new to content creation, you might not be quite ready for this whole thing, but if you have a big book of work, this would be great to be able to have. You know that opportunity, because that will speed things up and you don't have to worry about all of the other AI dings that Google might punish at some point, because it's all in your own voice and you're not plagiarizing anything. It's your own, your own thing. I think there's a lot of safeguards. That's really powerful, yes, especially if you can get emails done very quickly too.
0:52:12 - Carol Cox
Yes, because it knows your offerings. because, like you've talked about your offerings and your emails or whatever content that you have, so it just knows you that much better.
0:52:21 - Betsy Jordyn
Yeah, that's really powerful. Okay, so how do people find you and find out about all of this?
0:52:27 - Carol Cox
So go to speakingyourbrandcom slash quiz to take our speaker archetype quiz, because that's going to let you know which of the four archetypes I've identified, as far as communication styles, you are. And the reason to do that is then you're also on our email list when you do that, because then you're going to get the emails as we start rolling out some of these AI tools, as well as enrollment for the Thauliter Academy. You'll see those in your email. So speakingyourbrand.com slash quiz. If you like listening to podcasts, jump on over to the Speaking Your Brand podcast. Betsy was on an episode 238, which was in August of 2021. So that was a fantastic episode called What's In Your Way Is Your Way to Your Thought Leadership, which we touched on a little bit here. And then I primarily hang out on LinkedIn, so I would love to connect with you there.
0:53:13 - Betsy Jordyn
Awesome. So is there anything else? Oh, by the way, i have to just add in another plug As it released. To a speaking coach in a program I would probably say yours is completely unique than anything else. You know, because of your heart for women, the safe container you created, the step by step approaches. I cannot recommend it enough. I am in the tribe and I will always go If I have a speaking opportunity. You know I will go nowhere else besides Carol, so I have to just give that extra endorsement. Sorry, i know we're running out of almost out of time. Just one last wrap up question Is there anything else you want to tell me about thought leadership or speaking your brand? And I'm just not asking you the right questions.
0:53:58 - Carol Cox
Well, again, you are a natural podcaster and a fantastic interviewer, Betsy, So I loved all the questions and all the different things that we talked about. The only thing I would say in this relates to what we talked about in our mission here to empower more women is that we need more women as thought leaders, so that it is the expectation that women are quoted in the media, are asked to keynote on big stages, that are on panels at conferences that are having important conversations.
0:54:24 - Betsy Jordyn
Awesome. Well, thank you so much, Carol. Thank you for all of you who are listening into this episode. This is a wrap. Definitely reach out to Carol if you want some help in becoming a thought leader, and definitely check out my new content marketing accelerator program. I'm very excited about it. I provide more of the basics and Carol will take you all the way to the thought leadership level. And until next time, thanks for listening. Thank you for tuning in. If today's episode lit a fire on you, please rate and review enough already on Apple podcasts or subscribe wherever you listen. And if you're looking for your next step, visit me on my website at Betsy Jordyn dot com And it's Betsy Jordan with a Y and you'll learn all about our end to end services that are custom designed to accelerate your success. Don't wait. Start today.