I Never Set Out To Be A Content Marketing Expert…

I’ve spent my career following the things that worked. What worked as a salesperson, marketer, and entrepreneur was creating content that engages people.

And it’s not the content that shills and sells, or gets in the way of what customers are doing that worked.

It’s the content that makes it more about your audience than about promoting yourself. I’ve seen a ton of interest from the market recently in thought leadership from within and outside of organizations.

We’re living in a world where people don’t trust establishment authorities as much, like politicians or traditional media outlets, but we trust people who feel real to us.
 
That’s what we all can do with our content now.

We have the opportunity to stand naked in front of our audience in a way that makes them more interested in our company or products.

Thought leadership is a consistent approach to answering the questions in the minds of your audience. It’s not about gaining awards or accolades, although that can be a result of thought leadership.

This is where a lot of folks get it wrong. Thought leadership is something you earn by doing. I would never call myself a thought leader.
 
That’s like choosing your own nickname! It’s just not how it works. The same goes for calling yourself an expert. That’s how I’d love for others to see me because of the work that I’m doing but it’s up to the market to decide.

Ultimately for me, I get the most value out of knowing I’m helping my audience navigate through tough times in their professional lives.


 
If you want to get started in producing thought leadership style content of your own I’d advise first getting clear about what you have expertise in and what it is that you love.

That’s just a starting point however. It’s really about where you find your passion.

Sometimes I write about things I hate, things that annoy me. So it doesn’t have to be all sunshine and rainbows, but it has to come from an honest place.

One example is when people talk about content quality versus quantity. It’s so annoying, why do people think you have to choose! See here I go again…

The next step is to commit to sharing these views on a regular basis. This can include the things you love, the things you hate, your pet peeves, challenges you see clients facing, etc.

One of the big excuses I get from people who are avoiding thought leadership content is the fear they’re giving away their “secret sauce.”
 
I get this especially from consultants who are worried they’ll be giving away their services for free. This is a baseless fear! No one is paying you for the level of insights you’re giving away in a short article, they’re paying you for the deep attention and results you can produce in their business.

I often recommend that my clients write one post a week. Whether that’s on LinkedIn or a personal blog. LinkedIn is great in lieu of, or in addition to a blog because you can gain followers and create connections from there.

It usually takes me about an hour a week to write an article, so it’s not a huge time commitment but the results speak for themselves.

 

Action Steps

  1. Define your area of expertise. What do you have unique knowledge about and a point of view?
  2. Write a least one article a week about what you’re most passionate about.
  3. Share your content on your blog and LinkedIn.

 

Result You Will Achieve

Thought leadership content created and delivered on a consistent basis.

Mentor: Michael Brenner

CEO of Marketing Insider Group. Michael helps businesses just like yours to create content that converts and transform their culture to achieve results.

 
This article is based on an EHQ interview with the mentor.