228: Expert vs thought leader: what’s the difference? A discussion with Ashley Faus, Atlassian artwork
Reputation Revolution | the professional personal branding show

228: Expert vs thought leader: what’s the difference? A discussion with Ashley Faus, Atlassian

  • S6E228
  • 50:19
  • August 3rd 2022

We recently covered on the podcast the vexed question: Personal brand versus business brand - which one should we focus on?

In this episode, we tackle an equally common question: What’s the difference between subject matter experts and thought leaders?

To help me dig deeper into this topic, I am joined by Director of Integrated Product Marketing at Atlassian, Ashley Faus.

This is a subject dear to Ashley’s heart, and she has some strong views on it!

Ashley has developed a framework that she calls the Four Pillars of Thought Leadership - you can check it out here.

She unpacks the framework and its four pillars:

  1. Credibility
  2. Profile
  3. Prolific
  4. Depth of Ideas

Semantics, or not?

While the whole ‘ expert vs thought leader’ debate might sound like semantics, both Ashley and I agree that understanding the key differences between the two really does matter.

Talking points include:

  • Old school thought leader vs the ‘new’ thought leader
  • How some businesses approach thought leadership (badly) - looking at you SaaS companies!
  • Why experts shouldn’t attempt a TED Talk (and why thought leaders shouldn’t be in customer support!)
  • What value do you provide to the audience? It matters! Why thought leaders and experts need to keep updating their knowledge.
  • The concept of 'Expertville vs Visionary Town'

We also have a sidebar conversation about LinkedIn, and why it's important to be intentional with the content we post on the site, plus we wade into the ‘professional content’ vs 'personal content' debate!

Name-checked in this episode:

  • Joanna Penn
  • Andrew Davis
  • Mark Schaefer
  • David Meerman Scott
  • Andy Crestodina

It's a fun and energetic discussion, I hope you enjoy it!


*** Reputation Revolution: Brought to you by the Credible Authority Academy ***

Reputation Revolution | the professional personal branding show

Reputation Revolution is the professional personal branding show for experts, entrepreneurs and emerging thought leaders.

Hosted by the PR Warrior, Trevor Young, the show focuses on helping credible individuals to build visibility, influence and trust in the marketplace, and in doing so, position themselves to take advantage of today's 'reputation economy'.

Reputation Revolution covers the four core pillars of building a successful and respected professional personal brand:

  1. ESTABLISH your voice
  2. ENHANCE the credibility of that voice
  3. EXTEND the reach of your voice
  4. EXTRACT value from the profile and reputation you build in the marketplace

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