Here we are with another chapter of The Thought Leader Diaries: What Am I Doing?
Here’s the deal:
I’m not clueless about how to be a thought leader; just like I’m not clueless on how to gain 15 pounds of Hercules-esc muscle.
If anything, the problem is there’s too much information out there. How do I get started? How do I focus in on this giant field?
Basically, before I can deadlift with the other Olympic thought leader heavyweights, there needs to be some warmup involved.
Which leads us to our next exercise.
Last time we learned a few important things about myself:
- I love writing—among other creative and adventurous things
- I have a lot of experience in content creation
- My primary expertise is in *wait for it* writing
So, we know my experience, expertise, and passions that will drive the subject of my thought leadership content.
Now, I Need to Determine Who My Audience Will Be
All thought leaders have two things in common: 1) They talk about what they know and 2) they write for specific audiences. Good content needs focus.
It all starts with a question:
Who do I want to help—and who can I build a trusting relationship with?
There are several groups to consider first. Do I want to connect with:
- My current clients?
- Prospective clients?
- My coworkers?
- Other content creators?
- Small businesses who are trying to create content for themselves?
From here, we can probably get even more specific—keeping in mind that the focus doesn’t need to be limited to one group.
This Feels Familiar…
This is all urgently familiar to the avatar profiles I create for my clients.
You see, in digital marketing, one of the very first steps we take to create a marketing strategy is to build a detailed profile that describes the target market—sort of like the “seeking” ads in the paper.
Who will benefit from the product or service we’re promoting the most?
Is it a single mom getting her master’s degree? Is it a young entrepreneur with little to no experience?
If you want to read about building avatars and how incredibly important it is for digital marketing and content creation, you can read this article I wrote.
And this is no different from determining who your audience will be as a thought leader.
Who Will Really Benefit from My Ideas and Expertise?
Personally, the first beneficiary who comes to mind are businesses, or even other marketers who understand digital marketing—but are not writers.
I see this a lot: businesses who understand content is an important part of digital marketing, so they reactively write short, uninteresting blogs with poor tone and engagement.
This audience is a great place for me to start because, generally speaking, these avatars have experience in digital marketing but consider writing an afterthought; whereas I am 100% writing-nerd and proud.
I’m sure this audience description will shift and grow as I continue along, but:
Here’s What We Know So Far
Good thought leaders create super-engaging content that relates to their experience, passion, and expertise, responding to and anticipating the needs of their audience.
Therefore, I will 1) create super-engaging content 2) that relates to writing and content creation, 3) responding to and anticipating the needs of businesses that understand the need for digital marketing, but perhaps not the need for good content—or struggle to write website-worthy content.
Until next time. Stay tuned.