Authors and thought leaders are generally very good at creating, developing and nurturing their content, but they generally are also very bad at marketing it. Actually, closer to awful in more instances then not.
There are two different types of awful marketing that I see far too often in the thought leader space. I’ve addressed the first in an earlier post. Basically, they believe if they create great stuff, smart stuff, relevant stuff, then the world will beat a path to their door. This isn’t true at all, not even close. You need to have a focused and strategic plan to get your name and your work out into the world. You don’t even have to conquer the entire world, just the part of the world that you care about and that will hopefully care about you as well.
The second mistake I see is thought leaders applying mass marketing techniques to their niche content. Given that most thought leaders either don’t understand marketing, don’t respect marketing, or just don’t enjoy marketing, this is pretty understandable.
They’re doing what they can to get their content and work out to anyone and everyone. More is better than less, right? After all, everyone can benefit from their work so let’s do what we can to get it in front of the housewife from Kansas, the newly minted manager in the tech sector, the leader of a rapidly growing mid cap, the millennial just entering the workforce, the retiring baby boomer, as well as the seasoned MBA and newly minted CPA.
Not so fast—you simply cannot be all things to all people with the same body of work.
People and organizations want and need to see that your content is tailored to their specific issues and needs. The need to see that you understand them. You understand their role, their function, their industry, and the specific challenges they face. Mass marketing content as if it was a consumer packaged good is just bad marketing. What works for Coca Cola or General Motors simply will not work for you.
Tailor your approach to specific market segments. Those could be industries that you have expertise or experience in, a function in an organization (sales, finance, technology) that your work resonates with, or a level of employee (sales managers, individual contributors, etc.). It could even be niched by age (boomer, Gen Y), gender, or even geography. Once you begin to understand and apply the appropriate niche marketing tactics for your content you will realize a much higher rate of return on your marketing investment.