Becoming a Thought Leader – Would You Listen to You?

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    Becoming a Thought Leader – Would You Listen to You?

    We rarely a great deal for business owners and marketers to embrace content marketing and social media marketing primarily for the effect it has on bringing a business and its audience close together.  It’s that content, right down to the posts in social media, that drive engagement.  It’s so important in fact that even veterans and major PR handlers for big business have asked themselves the question of whether or not they were “me too” marketing.
    Matthew Setter of Malt Blue recently did a guest spot over at ProBlogger that talked about finding your unique voice and it made me stop and consider the implication of trying too hard to be a thought leader;  It’s good to have goals for your marketing but what if your goal is sabotaging itself?
    Pushing Too Hard
    Becoming a thought leader through content marketing brings about a lot of benefits for your business and it’s certainly a goal to have.  Ultimately, you want potential customers to rely on you and see the value of what you share so they continue to return.  If they come back, you’re far more likely get that sale or that conversion.
    But should you be focusing on finding the perfect voice or becoming that awesome thought leader to dominate your market?  If that is your final goal and destination, you could wind up in a grand central station completely void of potential customers.
    The problem comes when you take your sights off of value and start focusing on yourself.  “I want to become a thought leader”, “I want to have a better voice to be unique in my market”, “I want to be different”.
    It’s important not to be a “me too” content publisher but in trying not to be a “me too” publisher you wind up being just that.
    Keeping Value in Sight
    If you turn off your nav system that you’ve programmed to guide you to “thought leader” or “unique” then you can focus on what’s more important – imparting value and sharing something valuable with your audience.
    The average Joe cares less about whether or not you sound like the other deli on 9th st.  They don’t necessarily care you claim to be the best source for sausage recipes east of Ohio.  Was is important is that the content provides them with information that is useful.  When you give them something useful, it’s the audience that will then decide if you’re worthy of being seen as a leader in your market.  It’s the audience that decides if you stand out beyond your competitors.
    Matthew Setter noted a series of questions you can ask yourself to get the maximum effect.  His applied to blogging but you can use this same check system on any type of content marketing:

    • Would I take this on board?
    • Would I listen to me?
    • Am I communicating worthwhile knowledge with passion and conviction?
    • Would I learn and grow from what I’m sharing?
    • Would I be left with questions or confusion after seeing/reading the content?

    Focus on the information and in providing value; worry less about your voice or pushing to become a leader.  If you strive to share quality information in a human way, things will begin to fall into place naturally.

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