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Input vs Output

What is the value of good thought leadership?

Other people can point to how many units they made or how many hours they’ve worked. Thought leaders have a much higher standard – but one that’s harder to quantify. A thought leader’s value has a direct impact on their client’s performance. A good thought leader brings growth, organization, strategy and alignment. Once they’re on board, the client company does better! So, simply put, a thought leader’s measurement of accomplishment is their client’s success. Your input is their output!

Working in the knowledge economy means we aren’t always tied to a cut-and-dried price model. When we work with clients, we formulate a clear value proposition for all advisory and consulting services. One that leads to tangible results.

Let me put it another way.

When you look at the product lineup for your content, ask yourself this old question: Are you giving your client a fish, so they can eat today? Or are you teaching your clients to fish, so they can eat for a lifetime?

Keynote speaking can provide a massive short-term boost to a company’s morale. A great speech is a powerful experience that leaves everyone in the room feeling electrified. But when you’re finished, your audience will likely go home… and forget most of the things you said. They may remember that charged-up feeling, but they will forget the solid, actionable details. You’ve given them about a day’s worth of motivation.

But if you want to offer your clients long-term growth, you need solutions that can be deployed for continual, on-demand learning. Something that endures. Your clients need regular coaching and development in order for their training to have real impact. Teaching your customers to fish takes longer. It’s a bigger investment than a keynote speech. You’re not teaching them for a day, you’re educating them for a lifetime.

When you build a product that supports long-term investment, you must qualify your customer’s needs. What output are they hoping to achieve? Do they have a measurable goal in mind? Get a list of KPIs, define standards and set a schedule for checking-in with your client about ongoing results.

Your input is their output.

The more thoughtfully you create solutions, the more you take your client’s needs to heart and address them, the better the client’s overall education will be – and the greater their success with your content. Your hard work – brings them greater success.

And that’s good for you, too.

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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