Thought leadership content is what really sets you apart from your peers, and your competitors. Whether you are an entrepreneur building your business, or an employee looking for the next promotion, thought leadership is a key ingredient to being known as a leader in your industry.
It’s a somewhat awkward term, but thought leadership is simply your opinion on the things that matter to your industry.
For example, if you’re an accountant, you probably already give financial advice to your clients based on the state of the economy and their market. Thought leadership is about taking this expertise and creating content that is of value to your wider audience of clients and prospective clients.
The biggest barrier to doing this effective is fear. Many do not feel confident to give their opinion or think the world will see them as a wannabe Kardashian if they ‘put themselves out there’. The truth is the lack of confidence and concern over the judgement of others are thoughts that you can stop in an instant.
Confidence comes from taking action. Your first attempt may not be great, but if you do it 100 times, you’ll master it. If you fail to take action, you’re missing the opportunity that the internet has given us to reach hundreds/thousands/millions of people with our expertise.
The judgement of others is something most people struggle with in all walks of life. Judgement is often seen as a negative, but it is simply what us humans do. We judge everything, all the time. You’re being judged by everyone who has ever set eyes on you, so stop letting it hold you back, and be comfortable with it.
The thing that makes you unique, that got you this far, is YOU. Being yourself, unapologetically is without doubt the greatest show of confidence. So do it, do it without confidence if you have to, and as you continue consistently, you’ll be able to reap the benefits that come with being a thought leader in your industry.
Many don’t get started with thought leadership, or start then stop after a few days or weeks because of a lack of ideas. There is an easy way to overcome this, but it requires dedication to inspiration.
We should all do this anyway, but particularly for thought leaders, you really want to build inspiration into your daily routine. This means being strategic with the media you consume. Follow the right social media accounts that provide you with industry insights, mindset shifting content or high-value email newsletters that support your knowledge of your industry and – this is important – your mindset for the days that you just don’t feel like it.
If you’re consuming the right inspiration, then you’ll never be without ideas for your own content.
OK, you don’t have to do this on video. If you haven’t got your head around being on camera, that’s fine. Does audio work better for you? Consider starting a podcast, or hosting a regular Twitter Space conversation. You can do all of these things with your phone.
You can write blogs, shoot video, record audio, take photos and create graphics all with that little device in your pocket. People don’t hire agencies, freelancers and production companies to create content for them because they don’t have the ability. They don’t have the time, or the desire to do it, but we all have the tools.
Make the decision that you’re going to go on this journey of content creation and you’ll find your way. Start off creating with your phone, and as you build traction you might consider outsourcing it and see just how much value you can really bring.
Time is without doubt one of the biggest barriers we all face. It’s 20 times harder to do something for your own business, than it is to do it for your client. It’s so true, and a lot of that comes from setting aside time that won’t be eaten up by paid work. Particularly if you’re providing professional services, your time is billable hours and you’re spending it making content instead.
The important thing here is to be consistent and start small. Set aside a ‘content day’ in your calendar once a month to create for the next few weeks. That’s a great start, and while you could be doing so much more, if you bite off more than you can chew, you’ll quit soon after. Batch it all together and you’ll be in the right headspace to create multiple pieces of content on that single day.
When you’re consistent, start refining your process. Maybe write a blog in 30 mins, spend another 30 mins repurposing this content, and another scheduling it across your social media. Stick with it, refine it, and you’ll see the benefits.
What is the biggest barrier you face when creating content for your business? Are you successfully creating content that attracts new clients? Let me hear your comments.
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