The Design Business Show 118: Inclusive Thought Leadership with Eva Jannotta

Director : Melissa Burkheimer | November 2, 2020
Check out episode 118 of The Design Business Show with Eva Jannotta to learn all about thought leadership!

Eva Jannotta is a communications consultant providing marketing and thought leadership support to North America’s most recognized entrepreneurs and leaders in the women helping women economy. She offers thought leadership, marketing and social media strategy to women who serve women. Prior to starting her business Eva worked in Corporate Communications for an organic grocery store chain. She grew up in Silver Spring, Maryland and got her degrees in Gender and Women’s Studies and English literature. Today she lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her partner Steve.

Here’s what we covered on the episode:

  • How Eva reached out to me after hearing about the podcast and wanting to come on which sparked a conversation
  • Eva shares a story from her childhood that had a huge impact on her growing up but shares how she didn’t realize the impact it had until she was graduating with her degree in Gender Women’s Studies
  • When Eva realized a couple years into her business that she wanted to eradicate sexism and racism and realized she could through her business by helping women’s voices be heard
  • How Eva started her career in communications for an organic grocery store where she did a lot of social media and marketing strategy but ended up leaving to start her own business at 25 years old
  • Eva shares that when she started her business she didn’t have a plan and felt embarrassed about not having an aspirational start-up story but at the time she didn’t know what else to do and wanted to give her own business a try
  • Why Eva started out with a professional organizing business because she loves making order out of chaos and shares how she learned how to be organized and strategic at a young age
  • How Eva embraced minimalism after college, not to an extreme degree but she realized she had way too much stuff for a person in their early 20s and thought with this personal experience she’d be a great personal organizer
  • Eva found out that being a professional organizer wasn’t a great fit for her and accidentally pivoted into communications because she knew someone who needed marketing and communications support
  • When Eva started offering social media execution, she also started building her clientele one person at a time by networking and getting word of mouth referrals which made her communications business blossom
  • How Eva realized that social media marketing on its own is typically not enough to make an impact on being seen and heard online and how you need to have more strategy behind your social media than just posting
  • Eva tells us that she started adding thought leadership ghostwriting and thought leadership ideation where her and her clients will sit down together and develop their ideas together
  • A look at the services Eva offers, including strategy consulting, thought leadership ideation, and social media execution
  • Eva shares that networking and word of mouth is how she currently gets most of her clients and shares that one of her skill sets is making new friends, which is transferable to networking
  • How if your goal as a creative or someone who offers services that have a lot to do with intellectual property is to be known for that, you have to communicate that for yourself and why you should resist the temptation to outsource that work
  • Eva shares an example of how earlier in the year her system was to write a new thought leadership article every other week and how that system worked for four months but then fell apart so now she’s shifted to a new system
  • If you’re looking to produce your own thought leadership, Eva shares that you need to be committed to it and you need to create a system for doing it and be willing to tweak the system if needed
  • Eva shares the difference between regular content and thought leadership, and shares that Edelman and LinkedIn have a partnered thought leadership study that comes out each year which shows the influence of good thought leadership
  • How good thought leadership makes prospective clients want to pay a premium for your services, make them respect you, and award you business and how poor content can hurt your reputation and cause them to not want to do business with you
  • What Eva would consider to be content that is not thought leadership includes, listicles, basic practices and curating other people’s ideas
  • Eva shares that what makes thought leadership unique and challenging to produce is that it requires you to take risks with what you’re saying and shares an example of thought leadership she produced earlier in the year
  • How thought leadership can position you as an expert in your field but how as women, and women of color, it can feel vulnerable and scary to risk being wrong and how you should view people’s disagreements as a good thing
  • Eva discusses how to include social justice within your content and hopes to create a communication consultancy with anti-racism at the forefront
  • Eva expresses the importance of following leaders of color in your industry, making sure your imagery is inclusive, and trying to imagine how the advice you’re giving could be received by different identities
  • How we need to recognize that we are going to make mistakes when trying to be more inclusive and integrate social justice
  • How we can take responsibility for those mistakes and listen without defensiveness when people give us feedback
  • Eva talks about a #ShareTheMicNow video on Instagram featuring a woman who talked about how it is important to start small with your activism instead of changing it overnight
  • Practices Eva is doing within her business that you could do as well to stay inclusive include, curating content produced by people of color, making sure imagery is inclusive, Eva shares a great organization called, CreateHER Stock where you can go to get inclusive images of women
  • Eva invites you to go to to find Eva’s free 5-day email course where she walks you through the five pillars of magnetic thought leadership


Links mentioned

Edelman and LinkedIn Thought Leadership Study 2020

#ShareTheMicNow on Instagram

CreateHER Stock


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