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About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.

Written by: Vickie Sullivan  |  November 07, 2017

Which Thought Leadership Trends You Should Pay Attention To

Which Thought Leadership Trends You Should Pay Attention To

Speaking at events is a great way to get our brilliance out there, so articles about which speakers are hot/popular always catch my attention. I found this Successful Meetings piece about optimistic speakers to be uplifting. But I also saw a cautionary tale.

Yep, upbeat and aspirational topics are nice. But don’t assume anyone with a feel-good subject will get the inside track and get the gig.

Drilling down, I see three kinds of backgrounds that lend themselves to those aspirational messages:

• Maverick who beat the odds: Being successful isn’t enough. You had to have gone down a different path to get there.

• Celebrity: Sports figures, CEOs, etc.

• Research-based author: Writing the book isn’t enough, either. Have your own research, or make your book a bestseller.


Listen: How to determine if a trend is right for you


My concern: It’s tempting to latch on to a trend and think, “Hey, they did it. I could, too!” The reality: Maybe you can. But maybe that trend doesn’t apply to you. Always look one (or two) levels down, and ask yourself: Does this still apply to me? If so, the probability is on your side. If not, keep looking.

Behind every trend you will find why it works and for whom it worked. Figure that out before making assumptions about your market direction. Wild goose chases waste time and money.


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About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.