Developing Frameworks for Your Thought Leadership with Regina Anaejionu

A woman with curly hair sits on outdoor steps, resting her chin on her hand, and smiling at the camera. She is wearing a striped sleeveless top and ripped jeans.

Ever wonder how top thought leaders consistently share their genius in a way that sticks? It all comes down to one thing: frameworks.

Think of frameworks as a sort of secret sauce—they organize your thoughts and create a clear path for your audience. They turn complex ideas into bite-sized, actionable nuggets, making it super easy for your audience to connect and resonate with you.

(If you asking yourself if I’m hungry as I mention secret sauce an nuggets in the same paragraph — Congrats! You are correct!)

In this final episode of our thought leadership series, Regina Anaejionu joins me to talk about the art of building frameworks that not only showcase your expertise but also make your insights unforgettable.

Join us as we explore practical strategies and real-world examples to help you construct powerful frameworks. Whether you’re looking to organize your ideas, create compelling content, or position yourself as a go-to expert, this episode has you covered.

Copy says: Listen in to this episode of the Talk Copy to Me podcast

Here is what Regina and Erin want you to know about developing thought leadership frameworks

  • How your core beliefs or tenets influence your thought leadership and the frameworks you’ll create around that thought leadership
  • Questions to ask yourself about your industry, your clients, and yourself to help you develop your thought leadership
  • What to do with all the answers you come up with to those aforementioned questions
  • What to do if you have too many things you’d like to share thought leadership on
  • The 5 different types of frameworks you can use for your thought leadership
  • How a person’s approach to thought leadership frameworks can be different based on how they think they can get their audience success
  • Why it’s so important to recognize that all of your experience or beliefs or stories are not precious and how to choose what gets shared in your thought leadership
  • How to develop a sales piece that sells into your larger offers, and also how to develop content that directs people to those sales people.

Other podcast episodes and resources mentioned in this episodes:

quotes from this episode of the Talk Copy to Me copywriting podcast

Quotes about developing frameworks for your thought leadership from Regina and Erin

  • “This society is not set up for the success of certain people, of of women, of black indigenous people of color, LGBTQIA plus. Like, there are certain people in society who it’s it’s it’s not designed for. It’s not designed for our success.” – Regina Anaejionu

  •  “I usually find when I ask these sets of questions and have people go through this exercise, they arrive at something that is a valuable framework.” – Regina Anaejionu

  • “I like to think of the technical definition of stress of too much demand being placed on a system, and then I go, “Okay. What demands are being placed on [my audience] that they don’t have enough resources to cover and account for?” – Regina Anaejionu

  • “Thought leadership is not a lonely practice.” – Erin Ollila

  • “When I think about frameworks and…putting them into products, it is a two part thing. It is both ‘How do I give that person the best chance of success to get this information and be able to use it as they will’, but also when I’m teaching it, how do I get the business uses out of it?” – Regina Anaejionu

  • “You have to learn how to not be precious about your material or your thought leadership.” – Erin Ollila
Meet this episodes guest expert on Talk Coy to Me

Regina Anaejionu is a full-time author and strategist who helps thought leaders plan, publish, and share their life’s work. She loves to partner with those who have been “othered” or underrecognized in society, as she believes their ideas should be the gold standard in their industries.

Regina has been interviewed about “infopreneurship” and intellectual property creation for publications such as Fast Company, after building online schools with over 20,000 students and generating more than $100,000 in profit coming from a single book.

Regina offers programs and resources on her site for thought leaders who want to publish fewer things that depreciate (like social media) and more assets that grow in value over time (like books, essays, etc.).

To learn more about Regina, visit her website. While you’re there, make sure to sign up for her 8-Day Enter Your IP Era Challenge.

Get to Know the Host of the Talk Copy to Me Podcast Erin Ollila

Learn more about your host, Erin Ollila

Erin Ollila believes in the power of words and how a message can inform – and even transform – its intended audience. She graduated from Fairfield University with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing, and went on to co-found Spry, an award-winning online literary journal.

When Erin’s not helping her clients understand their website data or improve their website copy, you can catch her hosting the Talk Copy to Me podcast and guesting on shows such as Profit is a Choice, The Driven Woman Entrepreneur, Go Pitch Yourself, and Counsel Cast.

Stay in touch with Erin Ollila, SEO website copywriter:

Here’s the transcript for episode 126 about developing frameworks with guest expert Regina Anaejionu

NOTE: This podcast was transcribed by an AI tool. Please forgive any typos or errors. Erin Ollila: [00:00:00] All right, Regina. I’m so excited to have you on the show to kind of sum up our conversation on thought leadership you’ve really honed your own business in talking with, , individuals who want to hone their thought leadership and want to stand for something and be known for something. Erin Ollila: and I love that you teach people, , how to develop, like, frameworks around creating their own thought leadership. Erin Ollila: And I’ll be honest, the word framework actually kind of makes me nervous. So how do you help people create a framework when they may have stories that are true to them? They may have,, Great thought leadership, but they don’t know how to distill it into something that is a framework. Regina Anaejionu: Yeah. It’s such a good question and I, it does. It sounds like this big word that we need to do the most for. I like to, I guess, first think of it as like a framework is literally giving the work [00:01:00] someone needs to do a frame. It’s giving it a structure, a starting point, parameters, rules, whatever. Regina Anaejionu: Such that that person can go about that work. They need to do so much. It is so much in a, in a much more simple way or in a much more empowered way. Right. And so because you are the one as the thought leader, as the expert, as the, this, whatever, you’re the one who spent years in this industry or, you know, decades, maybe you’re the one who has done all of the like. Regina Anaejionu: Pattern recognition and like, Oh, okay. When people say that actually, it usually means this. And then, so I should like redirect them like that and, or, or whatever it is. Right. Like, or every time a client does these things, it usually leads here. So you, you, you do all this pattern recognition. You have this big set of data. Regina Anaejionu: That’s just like sitting in your head. And you want to make the job, the work easier for the next person, the next client who’s going to come along and do it. And it’s [00:02:00] like, is there any structure that you can give the work that would make it easier? I guess I think of a framework like that. So it doesn’t need to be this like, ah, you know, no one has ever put words together in this exact way before in entire humanity, whatever. Regina Anaejionu: But it’s like, can it make the work easier? And so that was a lot of talking to say. I like to kind of. Work with people to understand the difference between what are their core tenants that make their work different? Your tenants or your core beliefs are what drive why you work and how you do the work and maybe who you do the work for, like you as the thought leader, your core tenants drive that. Regina Anaejionu: But. You within those tenants, you figure out almost kind of like the pillars of your work that you’re going to build out frameworks and books and [00:03:00] courses and all of that. So for example, like one of, one of the core tenants for me, or one of the things that I believe that doesn’t necessarily inform exactly what the work is, is like, I’m going to I believe this society is not set up for the success of certain people, of, of women, of, , Black, Indigenous, people of color, LGBTQIA like there are certain people in society who it’s, it’s, it’s not designed for, it’s not designed for our success. Regina Anaejionu: And as one of my core tenants, that makes me feel like I want to, and, and need to seek. And create safe spaces wherever I can. And we, as these certain communities and populations need to proceed in life accordingly, knowing society is not necessarily set up for our success. So how can we proceed to have success and have health and have wellness and all of that . Regina Anaejionu: So that’s a core tenant, but that doesn’t say, okay, let me go create this [00:04:00] exact product, just because that’s. a core belief that I have. So then on top of that, it’s like, okay, what are some of the like pillars of thought of work that you want to put on top of that, if you will, almost like that core tenant becomes our base foundation of a building. Regina Anaejionu: And now we need some pillars or something like that. Right. And so, For me personally, like those, those, those pillars become around like intellectual property, owning our own IP, developing resources that can grow in value over time, you know, not necessarily using social media, the way that we. or the way that some people use it because it’s really not set up to our benefit. Regina Anaejionu: It benefits the companies that own it and we become the entertainment and the value on the platform and the product and this, right? So then I start to kind of build these pillars on top of it. And then within that, it’s like, well, what are some frameworks that we can actually put [00:05:00] inside of a book or a course? Regina Anaejionu: To help teach a concept that allows a person to do work that relates back to that core tenet of society is not set up for you, how do we proceed accordingly to still have success? Did that make sense so far? Erin Ollila (3): Yeah, that made perfect sense. And you know, one thing that actually really made me think is like, for the people who are listening, I think one thing we did touch on for almost every episode is that like, People may be nervous about approaching their own thought leadership because they have to develop their own, like, trust in self and trust in experience, but a lot of what I heard you say from, you know, the beginning of when you talked, and you kind of just built on it by sharing your example, was that It seems like for the thought leadership is actually within right like it’s there, you know So whether someone is nervous or you know that they’re new to being someone who can really stand in their experience and education and things like that, right? , it’s more kind of like pulling out [00:06:00] those puzzle pieces to say like, But why? Or like, why is this important? Or why do I care about this? But who will it serve? Erin Ollila (3): Like, how will it benefit them? So, slightly veering to the side of what you’re saying, I do think that like, It’s really kind of hopeful, the way that you described it, right? It’s like, you don’t, no one has to develop this brand new topic that’s never been thought about before because everything is regurgitated. Erin Ollila (3): Like stories from the beginning of time to now are just retold in different ways. But, The lived experience, these tenets that we have, these beliefs we have, , when you start to put these things together, that’s how you’ll start to, like, differentiate yourself from other people who may be speaking about the same topic. Erin Ollila (3): Because you’ll see you care about different things,, and the way that you approach the work or the way, the way that you approach, , Your message on what’s important to you is different from other people. So you’re, yes, I’m going to kind of the side right now, but your example was perfect because I think it [00:07:00] showcases, you know, using you as an example, like what is important to you and then how you build on those things to actually start to develop that, the larger framework. Erin Ollila (3): Sure. Regina Anaejionu: and for anyone who’s Maybe just kind of getting started and like, okay, exactly what are my frameworks are going to be? what I do inside some of the work that I do or courses I teach or whatever, is start with this set of questions that might be helpful if it’s okay, if I share those. So there are questions related to just like your field, your niche, your industry, your topic. Regina Anaejionu: And there are questions related to the actual, Best fit clients or community that you’re trying to serve. And then there are questions related to you. And so I usually find when I ask these sets of questions, , and have people go through this exercise, they arrive at something that is a valuable [00:08:00] framework, and I just want to say, like you develop so many frameworks over time, like a framework could be as simple as something that you put inside of a social media post, like a carousel or a reel or a this or a that. Regina Anaejionu: To kind of make a point or teach a mini lesson. So it could be something you almost like use once on social media. Maybe you kinda upcycle it to a, a blog post or something, or a podcast episode and you leave it at that because it just helps explain this one concept all the way to your frameworks might be the core thing inside your book or your, you know, certification. Regina Anaejionu: But anyway, so questions in your field or your industry or your topic that I like to ask are. What are the most pressing problems in your field? And then on top of that, it’s like what’s most important? So it may not be right now, oh my gosh, we’re feeling the pain or feeling the unique opportunity in this moment, but it is one of the most important problems in the field. Regina Anaejionu: And then, , kind of along with that [00:09:00] is like which Which of those problems are you personally most resourced to solve, right? Because of your background , or where you are right now, or what are you most excited to solve? So then you can kind of ask yourself those questions and then thinking about your clients or your community, I like to think of the, the technical definition of stress of like too much demand being placed on a system and then I go, okay, what demands are being placed on them that they don’t have enough resources Regina Anaejionu: to cover and account for? And, and then you start, of course, thinking about like, how can I fill the gaps? And then I also think what demands are being placed on the systems that affect them or the systems that are supposed to support this community that I care about. Regina Anaejionu: So basically the system is not supporting them. , and then I also like to think through, okay, how does my ideal person word their issues and goals? And based on the way [00:10:00] they word it, do I have some level of understanding or context around how I can best go about solving it? This is so many questions. Regina Anaejionu: And then the questions related to you as a person are kind of like, what’s something Maybe others say in your field that riles you up or gets like an extreme emotional reaction out of you because that kind of hints that you think people are solving a problem in an unhealthy way and you may have a healthier approach. Regina Anaejionu: Another question is kind of what’s something you say or think in your field that others do not because it’s kind of getting at the same thing. And then a last question I like to ask is like, what are the most common questions you get when, when, when somebody. Learns that you do X or you work in Y field, what do they most commonly ask you? Regina Anaejionu: Because it’s a, it’s a good clue of this is something people are still confused about. Like, how does that happen? What does that mean? You know? So once I ask [00:11:00] myself those questions or encourage clients to ask themselves those questions, Then I like to filter the answers through kind of like a what, why, how, who, when, where, as many questions you can. Regina Anaejionu: Like, why does this bother me? Who is affected by this? You know, who does this serve? Who does this not serve? What, what are the other ways you could approach this? You know, et cetera. I would just like to ask this just barrage of who, what, when, where, why questions. To get at why is this a really unique thing that’s bothering me or sticking with me, , Erin Ollila (3): one thing that I always ask my clients when I’m writing, like, a website for them, is, like, what, is most frustrating with you about your industry, which you kind of had mentioned that in your last group of questions, just phrased differently. And I think what happens is a lot of the times my clients feel anxious that like, to take up that space, to admit of like what’s frustrating them, or They feel like they don’t want to, it’s not so much like ruffling feathers, [00:12:00] but it’s more like they’re worried that they’ll come across negative on their site. Erin Ollila (3): And this is a, you know, website’s very different from like truth or leadership, but like they want to make sure that they still seem positive to their clients or they don’t , focus too much on the negative. But what I always remind them is there’s always a flip side to a question that makes you feel uncomfortable. Erin Ollila (3): Using the coaching industry, for example, because I worked with a lot of coaches a long time ago and they all had the same complaints and they all, like, what I couldn’t kind of wrap my head around is if you’re all complaining about the same thing, well, where’s the change coming in? Erin Ollila (3): You know, like, you’re all frustrated that they’re people just call themselves a coach, but they’re not really living up to it. You’re all worried about, like, not getting clients results in, like, practical ways or influencing people, right? But you can change all of those to showcase why you’re the right person for that job, right? Erin Ollila (3): Like, if you’re worried that other people are, , maybe, you know, are like, guiding more than they should, , then talk about why, like, you have [00:13:00] this specific practice of, like, actually coaching people, like, getting them to come to the answer on their own. You don’t even have to talk about the other people in your industry, right? Erin Ollila (3): Again, Erin’s side story to kind of amplify what you’re saying is that, like, all of those questions you ask, you can really kind of go down many paths to ask yourself, like, well, why does this bother me, right? Or why am I so excited about it and the opposite, , side of that. And that, that’s kind of like, I think, , Like a symbol that this is probably something that you really care more about and that you want to go deeper into. Erin Ollila (3): , but then I was going to ask you, you already answered it, I was going to ask you, what the hell do you do with all of the answers to these questions? And then you talked about like, you know, going deeper in the who, , why, how, and where and all those things. But here’s the problem. It brings you even more questions or more things to think about. Erin Ollila (3): So what does someone do when they have a lot of thoughts and a lot of [00:14:00] answers? Like, how do they tidy that up with a bow? Because it’s a little nerve wracking to think like, well, now I have more things I could talk about than I even know that I have the time to say or the opportunities to share. Regina Anaejionu: yeah, I love that. well, there’s two things. I think there’s a little further you can take those questions and, or questions and answers, you can start to put them into structures, which we can talk about in a second. But then I think Let’s just say you have this whole, I imagine a whole like wall full of sticky notes or whatever it is that is your thing. Regina Anaejionu: You have this whole wall full of sticky notes of questions and answers. And, you know, I feel so deeply about this and, ah, you know, this gets me riled up and this gets me excited. Okay, cool. That’s a great sign. And I would think that if you have had years of experience in something, you have done enough pattern recognition that at the point you sit down to answer Questions and then elaborate with more questions. Regina Anaejionu: You’re just like, excuse me, I have this whole [00:15:00] network web of stuff. And like, now I just want to get going with some of it. , The first thing I would do is just kind of eliminate the things that don’t relate back to one of your core tenets. Like you probably have one, two, three very core beliefs that again dictate why you even care, why you’re doing this work, how you choose the projects you want to work on, how you serve people, what you want to do, etc, etc. Regina Anaejionu: And so I would just make sure that I haven’t gone off on a tangent where. Well, this doesn’t really help support my premise so I’m going to, I’m going to eliminate it. So I would do that first, but then I would start to try to put everything that I came up with into structures. Like, for example, I think through the types of frameworks you can create at this point, right? So I think of a hierarchical framework first. Regina Anaejionu: And people may be familiar, for example, with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, which says there’s a bottom level that needs to be filled before this next level, before this next level. So then [00:16:00] I’m thinking to myself,, is one of my answers. Regina Anaejionu: Kind of hinting at there are levels you can reach. These don’t all hold the same value. There’s a place that you might want to get to, but you have to build on these things first. And or there are many options for how you can do something, but there’s this pinnacle option that you probably want to get to. Regina Anaejionu: So then I’m like, okay, is it a hierarchical framework? If not, it’s like, okay, is it just a procedural framework where that’s more of the message of you need to go through all of these steps in this order. It could be a cycle that repeats, but in general, these, these things need to happen in this order. Regina Anaejionu: There’s this author called,, Tiffany Aliche and, and she has 10 steps for financial wholeness, right? And so, You don’t do part eight right before you have covered one through seven, right? So is it a procedural framework where my years of experience have taught me my customers or clients need to go in this order?[00:17:00] Regina Anaejionu: Another type of framework I think of is just a literal structural framework of like, what Almost like a house or something like this is the foundation. On the foundation, you’re going to build these three pillars of things and then there’s a roof and, and, and you really need all these parts of the structure. Regina Anaejionu: Maybe you don’t have to build them in the exact specific order, but in order to have a blink, you’re going to need these five parts. So I’m going to, you know, give you this structural framework or something like that. I think about, for example, the right brain business plan. , say that. The right brain business plan is like, it’s this part and it’s this part and it’s this part. Regina Anaejionu: And then if you put all these parts together, you’ll have a right brain business plan, but not, you can’t leave these three parts off. It’s not complete. And then there are Elemental frameworks like, , Clifton Strengths 34. That’s like there are these 34 strengths. You might, Aaron might have these 10 as your top 10, and you over here [00:18:00] have these 10 and, and to some degree you can use all of these or have all of these, but what are the ones that apply to you? Regina Anaejionu: What are the ones that you’re gonna focus on? What are the ones that you’re gonna try to build strength? So then I think through that, like do I have an elemental framework where. All of these elements exist, but my clients might need to pick and choose some at some times to focus on so on and so forth. Regina Anaejionu: So it’s almost kind of thinking through what are the, what are these structures that my ideas can fit into that now we can have a much easier conversation around it. If I just try to tell you just blurt everything I know about financial wholeness, That’s difficult, but if I’m Tiffany and I put it into these 10 steps, now we can have a much better conversation, and I’m not forgetting little points I wanted to tell you, and I can put it in a book, I can put it in a course, so on and so forth. Regina Anaejionu: So I think through structural, hierarchical, procedural, elemental frameworks, and then sometimes like A [00:19:00] hybrid, you know, of those things might be your answer. So hopefully that kind of answered maybe where you would go with the stuff. Now that you have 5 million questions and answers, Erin Ollila (3): Yeah, no, and I think what you said actually, like, earlier was the key answer. You really have to know what those individual tenets are from the beginning to be able to get to this point of the structure and the framework. Because, you know, I’m definitely more, one of my Clifton’s strengths are ideas, like ideation. Erin Ollila (3): And, um, That could be a problem. You know, you got a lot of ideas. It’s tough to rein them in. , but then, to hear you work, like, walk through the frameworks is, I found it really fascinating because, uh, prior to working for myself, two of my, like, major life careers were in teaching and in, like, So, I have my MFA in writing, and I heard a lot of what you said in this, like, , multiple set of frameworks as, like, how [00:20:00] I would design a book or a memoir, , and it’s specifically that because what I studied in my master’s program was, , like, a memoir through essays. Erin Ollila (3): So, you have to ask yourself a lot, like, one, what stories need to be told? Two, how do they relate to each other? And then, three, what order do we use? Regina Anaejionu: Mm-Hmm. . Mm-Hmm. Erin Ollila (3): So, put that to the side. The other history I have is in teaching, and I think anyone who’s ever been in a classroom, whether that’s an online, you know, atmosphere when you’re doing a presentation, or building a course, or like an actual class with students, it’s the same thing, but differently, like how do I develop the curriculum to, , teach students? Erin Ollila (3): First, get their attention. Then, most importantly, keep their attention, and then present the facts, again, in the order that they can, , and remember it, and then build upon each other. So, what I found fascinating is that, in my brain, those are two very different things. So, , when [00:21:00] I first, we started this conversation, I hear the word framework, I think from that teaching framework. Erin Ollila (3): Like, I think, well, I have to develop a curriculum. But when I think of framework from the storytelling aspect, it seems so much easier. , and I don’t know, I mean, I, you know, I, there’s really no point to, to sharing this, other than I don’t know if it will help anyone who’s also hearing these things. I think the reason, Storytelling feels easier to me is because we all grow up on stories, right? Erin Ollila (3): Like, there’s that beginning, middle, and an end, and I think anyone who’s ever read a story that’s past, like, a toddler age understands while there may be a beginning, middle, and end, they’re not necessarily chronological order, right? Like, they might jump around, or they may build upon each other, kind of like that structural, element. Erin Ollila (3): So, Again, there’s no real point to my sharing these two examples other than hopefully that thinking through them in that same way can kind of get you to ideate more on the, like, different ways that my brain [00:22:00] works and am interpreting the frameworks that you’re suggesting. Regina Anaejionu: Yeah, I’m really glad you brought that up because I think, especially what you’re saying with thinking out how to create a narrative, a memoir style collection of essays, I think is the perfect, these are both perfect, but it’s the perfect Regina Anaejionu: way to like break down the project of presenting a framework, because of exactly what you said, that it’s almost like what, What order gives the reader the best chance of success to get through these, to get through this information in essence, right? The story is information. What gives the reader the best chance of success to get through these, these pieces of information and have the understanding [00:23:00] that I want them to have and or Develop their own understanding and relationship with these things. Erin Ollila (3): Yeah. Regina Anaejionu: And then I liked that you chose like this, this thought, because the other thing with like a book of, of essays is you as the writer also have some personal reason that you’re writing this. Writing it. And so I think when I think about frameworks and sharing those frameworks and putting them into products, it is a two part thing. Regina Anaejionu: It is both, how do I give that person the best chance of success to like, get this information and be able to use it as they will, but also when I’m teaching it, how do I get the business uses out of it, right? The, the, the, I’ve, I’m creating it into a book, right? Or I’m, I’m fashioning it into a book. I’m fashioning it into a course. Regina Anaejionu: How do I make sure I get. The business use out of it. And so therefore I am also going to put things in a certain order and choose to put certain stories in and leave other stories out because [00:24:00] for business purposes, I need this product to do this for me. And I’m not saying redesign your framework for some sneaky purposes. Regina Anaejionu: It’s more now that I’m going to employ it in a product. What does that mean for, for my business purposes as well? So I think your, your analogies were like perfect because that’s kind of the range of frameworks and why you’d create them. Erin Ollila (3): Well, and I think to continue upon what you’re saying, like, one thing it really reminded me of, of the idea of memoir and essays is, , and I had to learn this as a writer myself, which I think is still difficult, even though it’s been over a decade since I got my MFA, is, , All of the stories are important, but they’re not all important for the mission that you’re sharing, you know, so you have to learn how to not be precious about your material or your thought leadership, if I were writing, , like, a memoir of, let’s just say the teenage years as an example, which is not what my memoir was about. Erin Ollila (3): I would have to pick and choose the stories I [00:25:00] told. To me, all of those memories and moments were pivotal because they all made up who is Erin, but they absolutely do not all go into the book. And I think that practice of not, like, stepping into that, and one, getting used to, like, Making yourself understand that not everything is precious, and not everything is as important as it feels to you, when you look at the whole of what you’re trying to accomplish, is a very good practice that people have to work through. Erin Ollila (3): It’s not like a lesson you can learn once, it’s something you have to like, develop in practice over time. But it brings me to my next point, which you started to actually say, is that It’s an opportunity to figure out what goes where, right? So those stories that might get left out of that, like, memoir and essays that I’m writing about my teenage years may develop into marketing assets. Erin Ollila (3): They may develop into the, the speeches that I give, you know, as I [00:26:00] tour, , and, and I , Talk to people around the around The communities that I’m visiting about why I wrote this memoir and essays, one thing I think that’s done very wrong, which is why I wanted to have this larger conversation at the end of this series, is I think people, they think with the goal in mind rather than thinking with what the thought leadership actually is. Erin Ollila (3): Like, they’re willing to develop a thought leadership because they have a goal. They want to write that book. I cannot tell you how many of my, my website clients are like, okay, , now that the website’s done, I’m gonna go write a book. Or now that the website’s done, I’m gonna become a public speaker. Erin Ollila (3): And I’m like, oh, well, yeah, no, there’s not a, there’s not a straight line here, right? Like, so what do you want to speak about? What is the book about? That’s the key element, is really figuring that out. You know, which is like we’re talking about the, the tenets, the frameworks, and all these things, because all of those stories, all of that message, all of these precious things that you develop as you’re exploring [00:27:00] your thought leadership can be reused in different elements if they need to get cut from whatever it is you’re working on in that moment. Regina Anaejionu: Yes. You know, one practice that I think is so, so valuable, I, like, I honestly don’t care if you’re 20 years into this thing, , 30 years in, and are like the expert of all experts of all experts, Regina Anaejionu: one practice I think is so helpful is having an essence. Okay, we always talk about like a bottleneck as a bad thing, right? Like, oh, you’re the bottleneck in this process and da da da. Inside your thought leadership, I think it’s a great thing to have this. You do not pass go, you do not get further, deeper into my work. Regina Anaejionu: I’m not going to have you on as like a year long client, unless you’ve passed through this values alignment check for, for, for both of us. Right. And so I see that being like two pieces that you can add to your thought leadership. One of them [00:28:00] being almost like this prerequisite product that you have in your ecosystem. Regina Anaejionu: Like, I have developed this product and I basically want everyone who’s considering working with me to go through this because then we have a understanding of things. Frameworks, we have a shared understanding of values. If you’re someone who doesn’t have my core tenant as a belief, you’re not going to even want to continue further, et cetera, et cetera. Regina Anaejionu: So you’re doing all this work of pre qualifying the, the, the client and they’re vetting you too, because it’s like, did I get into this prerequisite product and vibe with the frameworks and the way they presented them and, and, and their personality or whatever it may be, and so, , I feel like if you have this prerequisite product and maybe make it something like a workshop that you can teach repeatedly or one on one calls that you can host repeatedly with people, that gives you the time and space to do what you’re talking about. Regina Anaejionu: Figure out, does this story go in here? [00:29:00] Oh, snap. No, two and three need to be switched in order. Cause it didn’t make sense when I tried it that way. And I would literally do that same one on one call based on this framework. That you’re tweaking as you go over and over and over again. , you may know I’ve had a workshop as, as my kind of prerequisite product for the last two and a half years, every single month, , straight, I’m teaching the same workshop, hosting the same workshop and I’m tweaking and this and that we’re on version seven now. Regina Anaejionu: , even though I’ve done it every month, I’ve made maybe those, you know, six or seven key changes. It has been so helpful because you’re in real time with people who are receiving the information, asking questions, Oh, I didn’t understand that. And then you’re able to rework it. And then like, Ooh, let me pull this story from the memoir situation that I didn’t even remember would be useful and put it in here. Regina Anaejionu: And so. Translation is you’re figuring out what to teach [00:30:00] and what not to teach, what actions to ask them to do and what not, what stories to tell and what not to do. And it allows you, I think, then to have that awesome set of things to be the keynote speeches and to go in the book. You know, you make a book and people order it and it will always be there. Regina Anaejionu: Be that version of that, you know, you don’t, you can’t change it, right? This printed out, it’s done or whatever. The same with a keynote, you go talk at conferences, they’re making a recording of it, it was, it would always go down in time as those words in that way, not to put too much pressure on it, but it’s like, to me, that’s an opportunity. Regina Anaejionu: To let me develop the frameworks as much as possible with real people before I launch the speaking version of it or the book version of it. Eventually the book can be crystallized enough, solidified enough that it stands in the place in your mind. Regina Anaejionu: In your ecosystem as that prerequisite product. And then I’ll just mention briefly, not to leave an [00:31:00] open loop, that the other thing that I think would benefit you to have in your ecosystem is some kind of sales piece before that prerequisite product. Like I have an essay that can always sell into that. Regina Anaejionu: That workshop that I, that I host, or I have, you know, an email series that people can sign up for and get education over two weeks that then gives them invitations to my one on one call or whatever it is, right. It’s just like, if every thought leader can build those two pieces into their system, like something that helps to sell into the product and then the product itself, that they can repeat enough to really nail down those frameworks, I think. Regina Anaejionu: You’re just doing yourself such a, a huge service rather than trying to scale the backend of, of, of your business first. Like, oh, I’m gonna do group programs, or I’m gonna just speak on stages, or whatever it may be, Erin Ollila (3): Yeah, yeah, no, I want to jump back to the sales piece in the prerequisite for one one more second But I you know when you were talking it really made [00:32:00] me think like thought leadership is not a lonely practice like and I think that’s where people go very very wrong and I don’t know if it’s because They worry about intellectual property Or they have fears that it’s not good enough, but it cannot be something that’s just like And I think that you, your example of like, you know, practicing in a workshop, , is, is a great example. Erin Ollila (3): It’s something that you’ve developed over time. It could be that you’re doing these, the calls and you’re talking through it. Great. , my example back in the MFA days is I had to have a mentor every semester. , yeah. I mean, I might’ve thought I was a smarty pants kid who knew my own story. Erin Ollila (3): Like, it’s my story. Like, what the heck are these mentors going to say to me? Like, I lived it. I know the story. Well, let me tell you, they told me quite a bit that I could have never, ever moved past a certain level if it weren’t for their guidance. Things that I actually still have to practice today because I’m not very good at, but I, I can recognize this is something I wouldn’t have known about my own individual writing had it not been [00:33:00] pointed out. Erin Ollila (3): Now that it’s been pointed out, I can, Reflect every time I create something to say I need to work on this. I need to strengthen this piece So there’s many different ways that I think you can bring people into the development of your thought process But I I really think that if anything that you walk away from this conversation It’s that you can’t do it in a silo and it’s not going to be developed without it being practiced and edited. Erin Ollila (3): And that’s okay. You know, I think something you, you might have actually made this point, but I think something you had said was, that I started to think about was like the idea of like, you can write articles, like test, test thought leadership out, you know, like see what hits and see what you’re excited about, see what you get feedback from. Erin Ollila (3): There are many ways instead of just feeling like you have to create something, you know, that could be sold or whatever to practice and develop these thoughts. Podcasting, for example, right? You know, like, get it, get a microphone, create a podcast, [00:34:00] talk things through. Um, I think going back to one of your key tenets is we don’t want to give away all of our intellectual property, especially in the example of like, once we build it, we want to be able to have ownership of our own thought leadership. Erin Ollila (3): So there’s a key element there. Don’t give it all away, everyone, but still be generous and, and practice upon building these, , These thoughts out and this expertise out over time Because I think that you’re kind of setting yourself up for a disservice if you if it’s something that you try to do on your own Regina Anaejionu: hmm. Mm hmm. You know, like if somebody were really kind of truly first getting started and they’re like, I don’t even, who would I even invite to a workshop , one thing I think about Don’t judge me. This is currently my only use of AI. Again, don’t judge me. , I know there are so many great implications and so much to be [00:35:00] afraid of. Regina Anaejionu: We’ve all seen the movie iRobot, or maybe we haven’t, but That put the fear in me. , anyway, my current use of AI is like, if I have just so many like word vomit, as they call it, thoughts around something, and I’m just like, what even am I saying, and, you know, maybe I try to like put it on index cards and look at it or whatever, everyone has their process, one thing I’ve done. Regina Anaejionu: I will create an audio, I’ll record, I’ll just talk about it. Like here’s, put up a sticky note. This is what you’re talking about. Record audio,, transcribe said audio. , And then upload it to your favorite AI assistant. , . And, Then ask it questions like, okay, like the following text is a workshop on this, on X topic for these types of people. , make an outline of what the core things are. Regina Anaejionu: Outline any open questions that weren’t answered. [00:36:00] Create the marketing blurb around why someone should come to this workshop. Or I tell it, like, this is a book. This is a chapter of a book. This is something, right? Put it into a structure for me. What did you think I just said? What did you think I talked about? Regina Anaejionu: What did you think were the most important things? , you could even try to describe a framework to it, like, put this into a, you know, procedural framework et cetera. So you get the point, give it different instructions. And then it’s your own words. Cause you were the one who recorded it for 30, 40 minutes, but then AI acts as your assistant and goes, Oh, you know what, girl, this is what the workshop was about. Regina Anaejionu: I would put it in this order. Here’s the outline. Here’s how I would market it. And then you’re like. And then I would take that content and maybe swap it onto social media and test it out. Do it as an article, a podcast episode like you’re talking about. Test it out, see how it lands. , and then potentially like, Hey, I’m teaching this informal workshop [00:37:00] situation. Regina Anaejionu: You know, I’m hosting one on one calls for this discounted rate where we can work on this framework together. , so that might be where I would start. If somebody’s like What is framework? You know? Erin Ollila (3): Well, it goes right back to what I said about, like, kind of being inside . Like, I think, I cannot, , preach more about how I really appreciate, like, something being reflected back at me. I have one friend, actually from my MFA days, who will, sometimes when I’m getting really stuck with client work, I will call her in as a consultant and I’ll say, This is it, like, this is what the client is like, this is what I already have for my drafts, like, I feel like something’s missing, and, , no joke, our work together is done in, like, five to ten minutes, because she reflects, , what I’m saying that I just can’t verbalize in seconds, because she’s like, well, you know it already, like, you just said X, Y, Z, so why don’t you use that here, and I’m like, Why don’t I use that there? Erin Ollila (3): You know, and it really took me a while ’cause for the longest time, like I always saw her as like [00:38:00] in, in a positive way, but like, how does she always know these? How can she figure this out so quickly? And then she would always reflect back on me like, the only way I can do this so quickly is because you have given me the information. Erin Ollila (3): Because it’s in you. Right? Like you just, I, I’m just regurgitating what you’re saying and I think that’s really helpful for people who. Do have a ton of experience or a ton of thought leadership that just feels very stuck inside of them is Again using an AI tool which can summarize quickly for you Which is why it’s very helpful or a trusted friend or an actual mentor or hiring a consultant It’s very important to kind of like pull that out. Erin Ollila (3): I think Regina Anaejionu: Yeah. I mean, cause you’re just, you keep making the point and I think it’s such a good one is like, we’re not talking about like inventing something new. This is not make believe. , you built the experience over time, over blood, sweat, and tears, as they say. Regina Anaejionu: Through [00:39:00] many obstacles, you built the experience to, to quickly recognize patterns and pick up on important data and understanding of the world or the way things work in this specific niche. And so you’re so equipped to create helpful frameworks, Erin Ollila (3): yeah, and I think the reason maybe I keep kind of bringing it up is because I think it’s something I struggle with, like truly no matter how many times people will tell me that I do not need to completely reinvent the wheel or say the most like genius thing that has never been said before and no matter how long I’ve worked for myself or how much education I have like I still sit down and Every client’s website, thinking I’m going to like, this is going to be the genius thing I’ve never said before. Erin Ollila (3): Or like, every time I write an article for a client, or do a podcast episode, I will sit down and be like, wow, like no one’s ever said this about thought leadership before. But that’s so , , unnecessary. And I definitely can recognize how like, One, I didn’t think I was a perfectionist [00:40:00] until like five years ago, and then I realized like that, that is the, that’s the, it’s not doing everything perfect. Erin Ollila (3): It’s expecting perfection from everything that you do. But, so I guess maybe I’m reiterating it as just again that reminded that like, It’s not like what no one is asking the keynote speaker of a huge event to come up with something that’s never been said before. They’re just asking them to tell a story and share a message in a way that’s going to be Excite, motivate, interest people for a short period of time so that they feel moved to do something. Erin Ollila (3): So it’s really, again, it’s just making those decisions on what it is that you have to share, why you’re sharing it, and how you go about sharing it. And I think, like, all of what you’ve said, like, understanding what your tenets are, doing, the process building and the framework and all of that kind of stuff is just, it’s helping you develop, and then it’s kind of just [00:41:00] keeping that trust in self that you, you can, you can share the message and you have everything you need to share that message. Regina Anaejionu: And then I think it’s, you can let it be more organic. I know that it, it’s not what you want to hear sometimes. You have this like childlike energy sometimes of like exactly what needs to happen in exactly what order. Regina Anaejionu: And like, this is so great. I have my perfect plan, but I think it, it, it’s so great when thought leadership just develops organically in that. You started out as something low pressure, you know, , smaller posts, articles, podcasts, episodes, not to say that there aren’t ways to put a lot of pressure on that, but you started out like that, you workshop it literally with, with clients, you do one on ones and you let it grow organically. Regina Anaejionu: And then you’re like, It presents itself to you like, this should definitely be a workshop. This should be a certification. This should be a book. , you know, this should be eight different things and, and, and it can just take that shape [00:42:00] naturally and exist how, how it needs to exist in the world to best serve people and best serve you. Regina Anaejionu: But I think when we start out, like you’re saying, There’s, there’s no problem with this. I think you still do good work and start to work things out. But like, when we start out with like, this is going to absolutely be a book or this or that, it’s maybe not putting the trust in yourself that you will find your way to the best format in the best time. Regina Anaejionu: And, and I, I absolutely want people to, to trust that they can do that because we need, we need the thought leadership as you know it, as you understand it, your way to solve that problem for that person in this time period under this system. And I don’t know, I just think it works best when you kind of like organically work through it. Regina Anaejionu: , and kind of just Edit at each phase, right? And, [00:43:00] and rethink it at each phase. And, and anyway, you get the point, but it, it excites me so much. Erin Ollila (3): well, and you’re right, and I’m honestly, I think that’s a perfect way to kind of end the episode, too, because, you know, again, all the episodes before this were about different ways to showcase thought leadership. And, like I said, I think so many people go into wanting to be a thought leader or want, having something to say with that, , and goal, like as the book or the course in mind, instead of the development. Erin Ollila (3): So I think it’s, if that’s your goal, sure. Like, no, we’re not going to dissuade you from having a book or creating a course, but throughout the process, be open and willing to see how things shift, and see if the story or the element of that framework is where it needs to be, right? You know, because Maybe there’s a story that just from comedic timing or dramatic timing is better served for the stage. Erin Ollila (3): Maybe there is a story that does need some dramatic timing that you think could have [00:44:00] been a podcast episode or an article that you wrote, but it has to be completely developed over the case of an entire book because it is a slow moving story. story that people don’t care about unless they’re like immersed in. Erin Ollila (3): So, regardless of where you think that end goal is, I’m just gonna echo you. I completely agree that the development is where the thought leadership happens, and it’s fine to have the end goal, but regardless of whether you do or don’t at this moment, be willing to edit and adjust and allow things to naturally unfold, and that’s when I think you’ll get the best result. Regina Anaejionu: mm hmm. I love it. Erin Ollila (3): All right. Well, that’s it. We’re gonna stop talking because otherwise, we’re gonna just keep saying the same things. Everyone, go on, create that thought leadership, develop it, and thank you for being here for this series. Regina, thank you for coming here and helping me end the series. I appreciate all of your thought [00:45:00] leadership and your time here today. Regina Anaejionu: Thank you. It was awesome.

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