Vickie Sullivan

Market Strategy for Thought Leaders

Tips, Trends & Tirades. ®

Vickie Sullivan's Color Commentary for High-Fee Experts

Are Referrals Your Best Market Strategy?

March 26, 2015 | Vickie Sullivan | Leave a Comment

Generating referrals has become a top priority for a lot of mid-market business owners. What’s not to like? A good referral can collapse the sales cycle. Access to a few qualified buyers are worth a lot of outreach, right? Not necessarily. Two big blind spots here: Many referrals can be just as unprofitable as those […]

The Best Branding Stories Do This One Thing Differently

March 24, 2015 | Vickie Sullivan | Leave a Comment

Whew!  Just catching my breath after TED last week.  My top ten list will be posted on the blog later next week. The best lesson comes from watching over 90 speakers.  The line between good presentations and the great ones was very thin.  All were very well prepared so no major bombs there.  The deciding […]

Build More Value For Your Speaker Sponsorship

March 19, 2015 | Vickie Sullivan | Leave a Comment

Many speakers get paid via sponsors, those third-party event marketers who partner with the host organization for brand awareness and other benefits. According to this study from FreemanXP and the Event Marketing Institute, many folks use social media to leverage their event marketing (duh). But here’s the big a-ha:  while 70% say social marketing is […]

Branding Gone Wrong

March 17, 2015 | Vickie Sullivan | Leave a Comment

I’ve given four presentations now to C-suiters in mid-sized companies. All are interested in distinguishing themselves in a competitive marketplace. The problem: they create branding and marketing plans from an operational perspective. Here are the mistakes I find when operational folks take on branding: Overestimate the customer impact of current efforts. I find that while […]

Why You Don’t Get Business From Referrals

March 12, 2015 | Vickie Sullivan | Leave a Comment

Referrals.  What’s not to like?  You talk to a buyer who is ready to buy.  They are qualified (at first, anyway).  They are just as interested in talking to you.  Hey, they even return your calls.  Those conversations are a lot more fun than talking to strangers, aren’t they? The problem: referrals are not a […]

Big Changes for Social Media Ahead

March 10, 2015 | Vickie Sullivan | Leave a Comment

A lot of us use social media to market our business so changes there can really have a big impact. This Business Journal article set off alarm bells, but also mentions a great new opportunity, too. Yes, video is the bright shiny object right now. We all knew that. What concerns me is predictions about […]

What Leadership Development Looks Like Now

March 05, 2015 | Vickie Sullivan | Leave a Comment

Many of us thought leaders want to work with leaders. It’s fulfilling as well as lucrative. This white paper from industry leader Creative Center for Leadership (CCL) is a respectable glimpse into that future. My favorite findings: Individuals own their development. The responsibility for learning / development moves away from outside sources (HR, our bosses, […]

What’s Next For Stories That Brand

March 03, 2015 | Vickie Sullivan | Leave a Comment

Many speakers and thought leaders use stories to market, teach, and sell. So what’s next? Immersion into fictional worlds according to this provoking article from Strategy + Business. Don’t roll your eyes just yet. This is engagement on steroids. We can learn something from the big dawgs in fashion, entertainment, and retail. Why we need […]

Chaos Brings Opportunity

February 26, 2015 | Vickie Sullivan | Leave a Comment

Many of us thought leaders want the lucrative contracts larger organizations can provide. This Bersin article on HR trends can not only show the disruptions ahead, but also the opportunities. The good news: Engagement and leadership development are front burner issues. Data suggests that the market for top talent is polarized: many companies have highly […]

Strategy Drives Growth

February 24, 2015 | Vickie Sullivan | Leave a Comment

In a previous post, I drilled down on how self-made billionaires approach risk. Let’s go to a real-life example of that dynamic in action. Enter one Steve Bedwell. Started out as a popular doctor in a UK teaching hospital. Left that and became a magician, good enough to teach others. Branched out into the speaking […]