11 Ways for Thought Leaders to Stand Out

11 Ways for Thought Leaders to Stand Out

Time for some real talk. Here’s the question. On a scale of one to 10…er…11…

How are you doing at getting attention and engagement with your marketing and content right now? Whatever number you’re at right now is fine.

But you know what to do: commit to doing it.

Most online marketers and content creators show up at 4 or 5, perhaps a 7 at best. That’s why they are stuck in a cycle of sameness.

That’s not you.

You didn’t start your business just to fizzle out and fade away.

It doesn’t matter if there are marketers and content creators who are smarter, more qualified, better at writing, funnier, or even better looking.

There are people in this world who want to listen to, learn from, and buy from you because of who you are. But for that to happen, you have to unabashedly show them who you are. Do not hold back. Out of 7.5 billion people on Earth, you only need a few thousand of them to resonate with you to have a big impact and a successful business. Read more

How Thought Leaders Turn it Up to 11

How Thought Leaders Turn it Up to 11

Britney Spears’ vocal coach taught me one of the most valuable marketing lessons ever. In 2003, my wife and I were sitting in a hotel ballroom with a couple hundred other pop and rock hopefuls ready to mix, mingle and learn from titans of the music industry.

You see, at that time we were in an alternative rock band named Desmo. (Imagine Incubus-style guitar rock but with Gwen Stefani on vocals and Flea on bass to get an idea of our style.) We were listening intently to speakers on the stage and rapidly scratching out notes as they shared wisdom about how to “make it in the music biz.”

Then Lis Lewis — vocal coach to singers like Rihanna, Jack Black, and Demi Lovato — got on stage and said something I still remember all these years later: “There are hundreds of thousands of amazing singers and songwriters in the world. Some of you are in this room today. But talent alone does not get attention. Here’s what I have noticed about every one of my clients who has become a big star. They’ve all taken parts of who they are — their personality, their look, or their story — and they’ve turned it up to eleven.”

The movie reference “turn it up to eleven” got immediate nods from a room full of musicians. It was from the 1984 mockumentary film, This is Spinal Tap, a satire about the heavy metal bands of the 80s. In one of the most infamous scenes of the film, the band’s guitarist is showing off his one-of-a-kind guitar amplifier with knobs that all go up to 11 while, “most blokes will be playing at 10.”

So what does all of this have to do with you creating a business and brand that stands and attracts a loyal audience online? While you may or may not aspire to rock stardom or celebrity status, there’s no ignoring the fact to generate income and impact you have to first get attention…something that is getting exponentially harder every day. Read more

The Thought Leader's Secret Source for Compelling Content

The Thought Leader’s Secret Source for Compelling Content

My back was against the wall.

I’d paid $5000 to work with a world-class consultant, but I was totally unprepared for our phone call. That’s when necessity (more like desperation) became the mother of innovation. Little did I realize it, but I was about to stumble on the secret to creating consistent, compelling content that deeply resonates, engages in a way most content fails to do, and earns trust faster than I can devour a bag of Sour Patch Kids…all of that:

  • Without staring at the dreaded blinking cursor on the blank page
  • Without wrestling with the demon of perfectionism
  • Without desperately coming up with a half-baked boring idea.

“What have you got for me?,” my sales coach asked as we connected over Zoom.

You see, I was supposed to have written several emails to review with her, but with everything going on (and let’s be honest, due to a healthy dose of perfectionism mixed with a bit of impostorism), I’d put it off until it was too late. I started half making something up, half stalling for time when a light bulb went off and I decided to go for a Hail Mary pass. Read more

The #1 Tool for Thought Leaders to Gain Attention & Earn Trust

The #1 Tool for Thought Leaders to Gain Attention & Earn Trust

What’s the #1 foolproof technique you can use in your marketing and sales content in order to dependably:

  • Get attention
  • KEEP attention
  • Evoke emotion
  • Offer empathy
  • Earn trust
  • Build influence
  • Inform AND entertain
  • And teach in a way that people will remember what you said?

Any guesses? The simplicity of the answer may surprise you: it’s storytelling.

But here’s the thing. While many understand the power of storytelling, most people aren’t doing it enough or they’re doing a half-baked job. Read more

How to Read Your Audience's Mind

How to Read Your Audience’s Mind

Relevance is a measure of how well your brand, messaging, and content connect with and speak to the top-of-mind pains and problems of your intended audience. This is vital if you are to gain their attention, earn their trust, and motivate them to take action and support your show.

Your content is operating in an attention economy where attention is the most valuable resource because it is the most difficult one to attain. Your intended audience only has so much attention to lend at any given time. Only a small fraction of what they are exposed to will even make it past the “spam filter” of their mind.

Primary Motivating Needs (Why People Will Really Pay Attention to and Support Your Work)

Because their time and attention are so limited, people won’t be interested in hearing your message until it clearly appeals to their self-interest. But what does that mean? How can we identify and describe your customer’s self-interest in a way that is more specific and meaningful when it comes to making strategic decisions for your business? Read more