What Thought Leadership Leverage Does for Thought Leaders

So then we’ll talk about real quickly what we do. So I one of the things I saw and heard a lot today and getting ready for today is tactics. Right. So tactics are important and tactics are great. And Brad’s comment on the, you know, the penny to drip out content, the penny before you spend the advertising dollars there’s a great tactics. However most people fail to develop the right strategy for the content business that you’re in. This is a weird business people sort of accidentally fall into it. I’ve yet to meet sort of one person that said, “I deliberately set out to be an author, a speaker, a thought leader and this was the career path I thought.” And if you’re seven, instead of being an associate at a law firm, I would be a ten thousand dollar speaker. And at year ten I would be here and you…That’s not how it works. We all wound up here. And it’s a great way to make a living. And it’s a fun way to make a living.

But I would urge you all to pause and be reflective and say, “Listen. I might not have developed the strategy when I dove in but better late than never.” Because nobody in this room would counsel someone… So if your nephew came to you and said, “Hey, I’m gonna open a gluten free pizza joint in my local community.” There’s a series of logical business questions we would ask that person. What’s the margin? What’s your competitive advantage? Who’s your client base? What’s your location? What’s your cost of goods? Do you know anything about this business? Impose those questions on yourself to develop the strategy to grow and leverage and scale your business. So that’s one piece.

Second piece is your brand and platform. And I don’t mean from a technology standpoint. But I mean the brand and platform of those that succeed well in this business are really good at differentiating who they are. And the problem or the curse of smart people trying to get a lot of content out in the world is there’s so many things they can talk about. The problem is we’re living in this noise and signal problem out there and it’s got to be tight and it’s got to be crisp. Patricia, I heard you talking earlier giving Brad some comments on communication of “don’t use there, or don’t use things?” Right? So you were giving some coaching of here’s two things and you gave them specific examples of how to tighten up the languaging to be laser focused on a specific market. That’s the type of stuff we’re talking about. What is it that you do better than anybody else in a specific market, in a specific content context? And be brave enough to sort of say no to the stuff that sort of, kind of tangential that isn’t core. And I think a lot of people make that mistake.

The other piece, third piece that we focus on, that you should all be thinking about is what are the products offerings and services? So this is to me fairly basic so if I have a book that’s $20 and I have a speech that that’s ten or twenty thousand dollars, there’s a lot of room here for different things at different prices. Right? Higher, lower, middle, et cetera. I’ve created a lot of demand. What is the next thing someone would want? What is the next thing some of your clients might want? Um you know who will tell you what they want?

Your clients will tell you what they want. If you were to go to them and come up and be thoughtful with some hypotheses to say “I’m thinking of taking my content and putting it into an app that measures A, B, C, and D. This is what I do. Would that be of interest to you? I’m thinking of taking my content and based on some of the work that I’ve done with your company and other companies converting it into short form videos that are specifically targeted for new hires to consume within 90 days of being here so we’re aligned on a cultural perspective.” Going out to your clients on a consistent basis with thoughtful potential derivatives of your content. They will tell you what they want and they will buy what they want. They will not stay up late at night trying to figure out how to put more money in your pockets. And I think too many of us in the content space are reactive. Hey client comes to us and says, “You know, I really love that speech. Could you do dot dot dot for us? Oh yeah I could do that. Cool.” And it’s a one and done. So what does the market want that you can produce once and sell over and over and over again.

And then the last thing that we do… And Jason I see your comment on the screen now. I just noticed that. Where’s Jason? Okay. Jason made a comment  about the screen I just noticed down there. The last thing that we do is develop business because developing content is different than developing business particularly in the B2B. And I find a lot of people that are really good at developing content are okay at marketing, and they’re okay at sales, and they’re mediocre at social media and it’s like they’re A+ here. And they’re struggling here were they’re B’s and C’s. They shouldn’t even be there. You should build a moat around them and say, We’re gonna…my organization is gonna build a moat so I can create killer content. But I need the systems, and processes, and people, and methodologies in place that help me scale, and leverage, and monetize that.

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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