Finding Your Voice as a Thought Leader

Finding Your Voice as a Thought Leader

As an entrepreneur with the goal of becoming an influential thought leader with a lasting legacy, it’s important to consider the body of work that you want to create.

The questions below will help you design your body of work. This is about you gaining mastery, growth, and fulfillment from your work while also creating the greatest possible contribution.

For each of the following questions, write as many answers as you can think of. It’s best at first to capture anything that comes to mind. Don’t edit yourself. This is about uncovering possibilities and innovative ideas.

  1. Recognition: What do you want to be known for?
  2. Opportunities: What kinds of opportunities and experiences do you want to enjoy?
  3. Achievements: What accomplishments, awards, or other milestones do you want to realize?
  4. Collaboration: Who do you want to partner or work with?
  5. Body of Work: What do you want to create? what ideas or value do you want to leave behind?
  6. Change: What change(s) do you want to create in the world (or your community or industry)? Are there behaviors, best practices, or ways of thinking that you want to transform?

Voice: Your Message and Perspective

In order for you to influence how people think and behave, you have to first earn their trust. Before you can earn their trust, you have to get their attention and keep it long enough for them to decide two things: Read more

How to Position Your Content as a Thought Leader

How to Position Your Content as a Thought Leader

Positioning is how your content is perceived in the mind of your ideal audience and the marketplace. Positioning greatly affects how quickly your content, whether it’s a course, a podcast, or an ebook, will gain traction and produce results.

Ideally, you want your unique content to be positioned in the marketplace in a way that will attract your ideal audience, gain the trust of your ideal customers, and drive forward your most important business and thought leadership goals.

While you can’t ultimately control your position in the marketplace (because it’s based on the perceptions of others), you can certainly craft a content production strategy that will increase the chances that you’ll gain a position in the marketplace that you desire.

This requires being clear about what you want to achieve with your content, and how your content will serve your audience. Let’s take a look at the insights you need to uncover to help define a strategy that is in alignment with your desired positioning. Read more

How to Identify Your Strengths as a Thought Leader

I took an assessment today and got some shocking results.

I’m sure at some point you’ve taken at least one of those assessments that promises insights into your personality, behavior, career choice, or Hogwarts house.  While it seems quizzes and assessments are as plentiful as my excuses for not folding the laundry the same day it comes out of the dryer, there are only a small handful that I recommend to my clients and students — assessments that is, not laundry excuses.

The best assessments offer truly useful insights and are backed by sound research. (In case you were wondering, the Meyers-Briggs is not one that I recommend. While it can be interesting and entertaining, it’s usefulness is as limited as the science that backs it up. If you’re curious, I’m an INTJ for what it’s worth.) On the other hand, I’ve used an assessment called Strengthsfinder 2.0 with my clients for almost a decade.

SF2.0 is an assessment based on a 40-year study that cataloged 34 talents and led to a truly powerful quiz that reveals your top five talents. When you focus on leveraging your top five talents you will experience more flow, satisfaction, and efficacy in your work and relationships.

Perhaps you’ve taken SF2.0 before. What many don’t know is that there’s a completely different type of report you can get based on your top five strengths — a leadership report. This second report tells you how you can be most effective as a leader. It offers specific insights about how you can best inspire, influence, and earn trust. The Strengths Based Leadership report tells you exactly the kinds of things you can do to express your most powerful leadership and influence qualities. Read more

How Thought Leaders Cut Through the Noise

How Thought Leaders Cut Through the Noise

What has changed the most since you’ve been marketing online? What’s coming up next in online marketing that entrepreneurs need to know about to stay ahead?

I get asked these two questions a lot in interviews. People are curious to hear my answers because I’ve been creating and marketing brands on the Internet since 2003. I’m going to answer both of those questions for you now.

This brings me back to the idea of The Long Tail of Influence from my last post, How Thought Leaders Rise to the Top of the Market

Let’s dig into that diagram now. Read more

How Thought Leaders Rise to the Top of the Market

Have you ever discounted or tucked away an idea even though it kept showing up in your mind?

You tell yourself that it’s not important, but really the idea fascinates and inspires you, and you’re just worried that others won’t find it as interesting as you? Because of this you may keep hiding it away or telling yourself a story about how you’re “still working on it.”

 

Have you ever done that?

 

There is a particular idea that I had for two years before I decided to share it with anyone. I’d brought it up in a handful of conversations, but I never ventured (or dared) to put it out in public and develop it further with the feedback of an audience. Then one day, I picked up a book on a friend’s recommendation.

 

As I read the jacket copy and flipped through the pages, I was stunned to realize what the premise of the book was very similar to my idea! Not only that, but the author won a Thinkers50 Future Thinker Award for the idea! If you’re not familiar, the Thinkers50 is basically the Oscars or Grammy awards of business thought leadership. Read more