Today, I was enjoying some South Florida sunshine on a walk with my sweet dog-ter. As always, on our walk I was listening to an upbeat and inspiring podcast. This is a regular ritual for us at lunchtime in the winter, when it’s in the 80’s here… Don’t be jealous. Move to Florida! But I digress.
The podcaster was interviewing a completely phenomenal woman, a coach who teaches coaches to create thriving businesses online. This woman is the real deal, and she has a content library that is absolutely teeming with substantive, practical, and magnetic advice. You may know or follow her.
As she talked about a daily habit that she has intentionally cultivated, something clicked for me.
I realized a simple truth:
Leaders create content.
I’ve noticed a commonality among successful online entrepreneurs, including my clients. (I’m a virtual assistant and I specialize in marketing support for six and seven figure online businesses.)
One of my favorite clients has a “Daily Writing Habit” document, and she spends time each day on it. She often draws from it for her weekly long-form content (articles/blogs/videos). She also gives me access to it for the content development work I do for her.
Similarly, the coach I was listening to today revealed this in the episode: She dedicates a full non-negotiable hour each day to what she calls her “listening time.” She further described that she is listening to her own thoughts during this time. She thinks. She meditates. She journals on topics her clients and fans crave insights on. She credits the originality and sheer success of her content marketing results to this practice.
Trust me, this woman is a powerhouse in her space. I personally devour her content as fast as she creates it (and she creates a lot of it). And, I’m not alone. She has a devoted and fierce following and a multi-six figure business because of her content.
She is a thought leader.
Is this your desire? To be a thought leader:
Be a legit expert. You need to have experience doing this thing you are talking about. It’s that simple. If you don’t have the experience yet, open up an new Asana project and make a list now. Brainstorm all the things you need to do in the next two years to get that experience under your belt. If you read my blog regularly, you know the next step will be to break all of these to-do’s down into manageable tasks, assign them to yourself, and start setting those deadlines. This is how you get what you want, my friends. But that’s another blog post…
Be passionate about your work and the ecosystem that it happens in. You’re going to be dedicating a lot of mental energy to your area of expertise.
Know your brand. Do the work to get clear and confident about how you want to show up in the world. Be rock-solid certain about who your audience is and what they need from you. Align your brand with your values and then live it out loud every day.
Have opinions and disrupt thinking. Don’t be afraid to be opinionated – very opinionated. Thought leaders stand out; they don’t blend in. Say something new and challenge the present state of affairs in your arena. Curating information is of value, but you will need to take it many steps further – process it, analyze it, and construct new concepts.
Create every day. For most people, this means writing – either on your laptop, or pen to paper. If it’s more natural for you, record your thoughts and have them transcribed by a service like Temi.
Get reliable and talented help. Hire a virtual assistant to help you artfully re-purpose and distribute your brilliant messages to #alltheplaces – your Facebook group, your social channels, Pinterest, Youtube, via your email marketing platform, and more. Your job is to create, not to distribute. This is what I do for thought leaders. If you think I might be a good fit for you, drop me a note here and we can set up a 30-minute consultation. If not, I’d be happy to help connect you with the right support person.
“Thought leaders are seen as trustworthy, go-to authorities among industry colleagues and peers.”
– Business News Daily