Why Leverage Matters for Outreach
Are You Creating a Movement?
A movement, by definition, is a series of actions intended to further a particular body of principals, but what is your movement promising your audience? Boy Scouts promise to do their best, Obama built a campaign on the promise of “Hope,” and Burger King has built a fast food empire promising we can have it our way. Regardless of fulfillment, you know what to expect when you pull up to a drive- thru, does your audience know what to expect from you?
What does your vision promise your audience?
If you can understand how potential clients can gain from your platform and identify who would benefit from your efforts. Then, you can use those relationships to build a community, further your brand, and maximize your thought leadership outreach.
Strategic vs. Tactical
You are a content machine. Constantly going, engaging, and creating. Everyone’s busy, but our activities rarely line up with our strategy, and, just like a car, when your machine isn’t aligned properly your process quickly breaks down.
We tend to think of strategy as a bookend instead of a shelf, a starting and ending point pressing things together rather than a firm base that supports the library. The key to weaving your strategic vision into your everyday grind is asking if these tactics are truly helping achieve your objectives. Ask why you’re doing something, and is that activity:
moving you closer to your goal
is it neutral?
is it a total distraction?
We feel accomplishment in completing tasks, but not everything on our calendar fuels our machine.
That’s the first question you have to ask yourself as you build your brand. Who cares about your models, methods, and processes? When you get a clear vision of who that is, then you can prioritize those groups against your existing business model and resources and focus on those potential clients that present you with the greatest value.
Once you identify those groups you can then shift your tactics and content to meet their interests:
what media they consume
how they consume it
what podcasts they listen to
what events they attend
The goal here is to get your content out with pinpoint accuracy, rather than a shotgun spread that hopes to hit your mark.
Focused brand execution does more than just hone your content, it raises brand awareness in circles where you will be noticed, which drives book sales, which in turn, drives speaking opportunities, which go on to drive book sales, and so on. Learn more about our Thought Leadership Marketing campaign and how we can maximize your impact.
Most skill building content is fairly easy to sell. Your client wants to improve their staff’s negotiation skills, you have a negotiation workshop, they take your workshop, they improve. There are quantifiable future results. The trouble with skill building content is that your main point of contact within a company is typically in the HR or training department, departments that are rarely strategic and often considered to be expendable. So, when that company’s budget gets cut, guess whose retainer gets the axe?
The key to embedding yourself into a company is to sell yourself into a situation. Situations like a change in leadership, merger, or a change in market conditions create windows for you to take your content directly to the decision-making leadership. Show how your content can help in the here and now, instead of how it might help in the future.
What's in Your Pipeline?
Anticipating future needs ensures a constant and healthy working relationship. By asking what your current relationship with the client looks like, how their vision aligns with your content, and what enterprise initiatives they are currently engaged in, you can predict future opportunities for your brand to step in and fill a need.
Anticipation is equally introspective. What current content do you have that could be sold at a different price point to different populations and situations? Are there different methods you could pursue?
Are You Selling Keynotes or Scalable Products?
As a thought leader, there’s a tradeoff in return and physical involvement that must be anticipated. Keynotes and consulting opportunities offer a high return, but in return demand a regular face-to-face interaction between you and your client and limit the scale of your impact. Likewise, scalable products like books and training materials demand far less personal interaction, and offer you a greater audience. They may have a lower financial return, but can have much greater volume than you can achieve on your own time.
How Do You Position Yourself?
As a thought leader, your audience can be divided into three primary markets:
Consumers (the individual)
Small to Mid-Sized Businesses (the entrepreneur)
Fortune 1000 Companies (the corporate)
Of those three, you can access two adjacent markets at any given time. The Consumer and Small to Mid-sized Businesses markets are frequently driven by emotion and personality and require less face to face interaction while Fortune 1000 Companies and entrepreneurs look for more quantifiable results and demand more personal attention.
In the search for your target market, deciding which of the three primary markets would most benefit from your content can be as important, if not more, than the content itself. Aren’t sure where to focus your efforts? Let’s set up a call to find the answer.
What Kind of 'Guy' Are You to Clients?
What do you do better than absolutely everyone else on the planet? What corner of the market can you lock down as yours? Marcus Buckingham is the “Strengths Guy,” Keith Ferrazzi is the “Business Relationships Guy,” we’re the “Thought Leadership Marketing Guys.” Whether you’re the “Peanut Butter and Jelly Guy (or Gal)” or the “CEO in Transition Pronoun” your expertise gives you a unique angle into the market and allows you to leverage your reputation and productize your content across different means.
If you don’t know your strengths, we can help you find them.
Why You? Why Now?
Very few thought leaders actually set out to be thought leaders; you found a thread and kept pulling, kept studying, kept researching, eventually wrote a book and suddenly you’re an expert. That’s wonderful, but it’s a difficult platform to market.
Like a good essay, your platform needs to be clear, concise, and consistent. Your clients should have a sound understanding of how they will benefit from your product and how your expertise can change how someone thinks, acts, believes, or behaves.
Ultimately, you want to ask how is your service different from your competitors, how is it powerful, and how will it resonate with your audience?