Five rules for creating killer thought leadership content
Becoming an acknowledged thought leader will remain one of the key leadership and business aspirations into 2019 and beyond.
Intrinsic to achieving this goal is creating content that is
useful, informative and dare I say, memorable.
Here are my top thought leadership content rules which can be
applied regardless of whether you’re blogging, engaged in public speaking,
podcasting, developing a business book or video or chasing publicity.
Rule 1 – Provide compelling value
As a thought leader you should know what your audiences are talking about, what their pain points are and what mistakes they are making … then look at addressing those pain points and filling in the critical knowledge gaps.
To do this, the content you provide
them should include:
proven steps to the solution they’re looking for
Useful tips but also the traps that should be avoided at all costs
Case studies. By sharing real-life
examples of companies or individuals who have benefited from your products or
services, will enable key audiences to more readily visualize how they can
Answers to the many
unanswered questions in their industry, field or area of research.
Bottom line, as a thought leader you
should be looking to offer your audiences real solutions to very real problems!
Rule 2 –
Respond to key issues in the external environment
thought leader it is essential that you are across the emerging trends, issues,
threats and disruption facing your industry and that you not only alert your
audiences to these but more importantly that you advise them on how to successfully
navigate or respond to these.
So if there
is somethingof majorconsequence impacting on your industry,
your client base or your community (i.e. key legislative changes, economic
downturn, drought, fires) be sure to weigh in with your guidance, ideas and inspiration.
Rule 3 – Be
authentic and inject ‘you’ into your stories
audiences the best possible advice you are able but please, please remember to
inject yourself and your experiences into these stories.
People want to know who the expert is behind the content.
So climb off your pedestal and talk about your personal stories and what
you have learned along the way. This will not only drive home important lessons
but will allow readers to remember you as well as the valuable content you
Talk about what has worked and more importantly …what hasn’t.People want to hear about the difficult stuff and how this has helped shape you and make you who you are! This makes you more relatable, likeable and dare I say … less of know-all!
Richard Branson uses this technique to great effect so why can’t you?
Rule 4 – Say what others are afraid to say
Don’t go running scared. You are a thought leader and people value your
ideas and opinions so call out the BS in your industry or eco-system when you
come across it.
Don’t vent or complain, but do it in a way that shines a light on what
is going on, explains why it is a problem and puts forward suggestions on what
can be done.
Let’s face it; we live in a world where people no longer believe the hype.
They question everything.
So those who are willing to stand up and share the(ir) truth will
undoubtedly stand out from the crowd … and for all the right reasons!
Rule 5 –Back up your ideas with hard data
One of the best ways of building
great thought leadership content is to produce deep research on your niche
topic or area of expertise. This will give you a depth of knowledge no one else
However this research does not need
to involve hundreds of different projects each year but can simply be one truly
worthwhile project that provides invaluable insights.
By including data and research in your articles will ensure that what you say is evidence-based and will elevate your standing as a thought leader, vastly increasing the likelihood of the media and bloggers seeking you out.
If nothing else, having some actual
data makes your ideas more persuasive than mere opinions.
So, in summary, as a thought leader you
information that goes beyond current thinking
the conversation and challenge your target audience
something new and different.
‘you’ into the conversation
controversial, buck the trend … even throw stones at giants
opinionated and unafraid to express your opinions on issues you care about.
Parker Public Relations specialises
in done-for-you thought leadership and personal
branding for businesses and individuals. We also teach individuals how to
manage the process themselves.