Content marketing is not just about saying something. It’s about saying what matters, both to you and those you want to serve. One goal that serves, both ends is “Thought Leadership“.

Thought Leadership, an admirable and attractive content marketing goal to set.

I mean, it sounds good, right? And you’re brilliant enough, no question.

But, thought leadership takes a certain commitment. A commitment to consistently say something important, sometimes controversial and the courage to be heard.

And to be honest, it carries a certain weight and power that frankly is scary and intimidating to a lot of business owners.

There’s a lot of talk about “King Content” these days and how you need a lot of it to attract and retain clients. However, it’s not until we can get over our fear of creating content for our online business in the first place, that we can achieve our goal to lead in thought.

 Do You Fit the Profile of a Thought Leader?

@MarlaTabaka asks readers to examine this question in her Thought Leadership 2.0 article publishes on Inc.com.

“A thought-leader is someone who is willing to step into the spotlight and voice their points of view, innovative ideas, and potentially controversial opinions. He drives conversation and peppers the Internet and other outlets with his insights, ideas, and expertise. She inspires others to follow their dreams and teaches them to think big, solve problems, and face their fears.”

When it Comes to Thought Leadership,
Are You More Like Scrappy or Scooby?

This may seem a silly question, but I have three small boys at home and I think in cartoons, so allow me to humor you for a moment.

Now, in my experience, people respond one of two ways when it comes to stepping out in this way:

1. Scrappy Doo: Let me at em’ – Enthusiastically, Yes, I really want to do this, I just don’t have time or know where to start.

2. Scooby Doo: Fearfully & insecurely, I don’t really have anything important to say, who am I?

The first response is pretty easy to resolve. These people are ready to burst through the gate. Give them a little direction and the right tools and they’ll be influencing all over the place. If this is you, stop reading this and contact me right away so we can get you on the map.

But, their are a lot of people who respond out of fear. The irony is, they are leading in thought everyday in a quiet and safe way.

When I have conversations with people about their business, something magical happens. They are passionate, opinionated and unafraid to be heard. Their goal in the moment is to be helpful and informative. They tell stories to help me understand complex ideas and I leave the conversation feeling smarter and grateful for the opportunity to have met them. They “fit the profile”.

It’s content at it’s best. These are the stories the advice and conversations that need to be shared on real and virtual stages.

But all too often, these conversations are never had and the stories never told to the people who need to hear it the most. Your target audience.

 Do I Have to Be a Thought Leader to be Successful?

Well, no. You can be successful without being a thought leader. But, your journey will be long and hard fought. Because, the truth is, there’s so much noise out there. There are so many people saying the same thing that prospects and customers can’t tell the difference.

So, I guess the question I’d ask you is, do you want to be THE CHOICE or just one of the best? If you answered the choice, then YES…It’s time to step into the spotlight!

Here are three questions to answer if you want to establish yourself as a leading voice and choice in your area of expertise:

  1.  What do competitors in your market do, that makes your prospects problem worse or more complicated?

  2. What questions “should” your prospects be asking?For example: If you are a health coach or practitioner, are they asking “How can I loose weight fast?”  when they should be asking “How can I loose weight quickly and healthily”?
  3. What types of content are you comfortable producing that you can commit to producing and promoting on a regular basis?Are you better at speaking than writing? Then maybe knocking out a weekly podcast may be the way to go. Do words pour out of you like a faucet? If so, write til your hearts’ content and post a weekly blog article or apply to be a guest author. The point is, don’t get caught up in what all the “gurus” tell you you should be doing. Start with what works best for you and create your own blueprint!

Are You Struggling with Stepping Out in a Bigger Way? Are you a Thought Leader Who Has Some Additional Tips or Insights That Can Help? Please join the FB conversation , I’d love to hear from you!

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