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A Tale of Two Thought Leaders…It is the Best of Times, it is the Worst of Times.

As an author, thought leader, or speaker these are both the best of times and the worst of times. There are more ways to leverage and monetize your work today than ever before, but if you’re only relying on what has worked in the past, speaking and books, as a way to both spread your message and generate an income, it’s more like the worst.

A few depressing statistics:

  • The average business book will sell 250 copies in its first year and less than 2000 copies during its lifetime (New York Times, March 31, 2010).
  • You have a 1% chance of getting your book on the shelves of a national bookstore.
  • Advances from traditional publishers have essentially vanished.

And a few uplifting ones:

If the old way of doing thinTimes-Change-and-we-change-with-themgs isn’t thriving, but there are new and different ways to monetize your content, what’s a thought leader to do? Leave the “worst of times” and prepare yourself to participate in the “best of times” for content creators. I’m not suggesting that you abandon speaking or writing books, in fact those outlets are incredibly important—they just don’t yield the returns that they used to.

This is where it gets challenging. You’ve spent years mastering your craft. You love speaking and enjoy writing books. You realize you actually don’t know much about some of these other modalities, like how to effectively bring your content to life in a video based training environment for example. Maybe you know next to nothing about building an assessment tool that measures an individual’s strengths against your model. That’s ok. What you need to do first and foremost is acknowledge that things are changing and changing rapidly and you need to adapt to those changes. You don’t need to become an expert in something you know little about and care even less about. You need to take a step back and develop a strategy that will enable you to win in this new world of content monetization. It’s a big market, it’s global, and it is the best of times to be an author, thought leader, or speaker.

Peter Winick has deep expertise in helping those with deep expertise. He is the CEO of Thought Leadership Leverage. Visit Peter on Twitter!

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