A lot of thought leaders struggle with content insecurity. Often confused with imposter syndrome, content insecurity happens when the thought leader just can’t stop tweaking their content and let it stand on their own.
Let’s look at the origins of content insecurity. If you’re like most thought leaders, this is a second career for you. You didn’t go to school to be a thought leader. And you may have held jobs as an executive, a consultant, an academic or a keynote speaker. Now, through the twists and turns of fate, you’ve become a thought leader running a content business. You’ve identified a niche, you’ve got something to say, and you want to say it – so what’s stopping you?
Content insecurity really feels a lot like parental insecurity.
You have this baby, this “thought child,” an idea that you have created, developed and nurtured. It’s the sum of your greatest ideas and deepest thoughts, and you just can’t help feeling amazingly proud. But when it comes time to nail it down and fix your concepts as constants, you just can’t help wiggling it around. It’s not right! It’s not ready!… and neither are you.
Content insecurity asks, “Is my content good? is it strong enough to stand on its own? Will other people be able to use it? Will audiences find it relevant? Are there flaws I’m not seeing?”
There’s no internationally accepted rubric for thought leadership content. There are no generally accepted content principals, no schools or degrees in thought leadership, and no instruction sheets to tell us what to do or how to do it. Even though the thought leadership business has been around for (arguably) 50 years or more, there isn’t any established way to “do it right.” Nor is there a set bar to tell us when our content is “finished.”
To be a great thought leader, you must be able to assess your content, and know when to say “when.” Don’t give in to content insecurity. Focus on the basics, work toward simplicity as well as depth, and your content will stand the test of time.