How to Create Thought Leadership Content

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What is thought leadership content? How to create thought leadership content?

If you're in business, you know how hard it can be to come up with new ideas. It's easy to feel like every idea has already been tried—and that's especially true if you've been in business for a long time. Being a thought leader might be a game changer for your business.

Thought leadership content is one of the most important pieces of content that you can create for your business. Thought leadership content establishes you as an expert in your field and can help you attract more leads and customers. It is one of the most powerful tools in a marketer's arsenal. But how do you create it?

In this episode, we discuss how to create thought-provoking content that will help you stand out from the competition.

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Read the Full Transcript

Atiba de Souza: Is your content flat? Like, are you producing content and it's not getting attraction online, or maybe you don't even know what content to produce. And you're wondering, where do I start? Where do I go? Or where do I go next with my content? Yeah, those are really, really big questions. And today on thoughts on thought leadership, we're going to dive into those questions. 

Hey everybody. Welcome to thoughts on thought leadership with Atiba. I am your host, Atiba and today, we are going to be talking about content. This is a really, really big thing because quite honestly, if you're trying to build off authority online, if you're looking to become a thought leader in your industry, heck, if you're just looking to drive quality traffic to your website, you need great content. But what the heck is great content? 

What does that mean? What does it look like and how do you create it? How do you create it? Well, let's dive in and look at this in a couple of different ways. Okay. So first off, there's this term called content marketing and content marketing is a term that very broadly means creating content with the express intent of it being a marketing avenue for you. 

In other words, creating content that people are going to want to consume, that Google is going to want to rank so that people can come to your website and learn about your product or service. But now, is content marketing and thought leadership marketing the same thing? Are we creating the same types of content?

Well, in point of fact, Now that all sounds great. That all sounds wonderful, but it still leaves you to a question. 

Okay. So, but what the heck is still is thought leadership content? If I'm creating content where I'm trying to boosts my authority. If I'm creating content where I'm trying to appear like the thought leader of my industry, what does that actually mean? Why is that content any different than any other content marketing? 

And here's the answer? The answer is very, very simple. Ready for this? The answer is simple, thought leadership content answers specific questions. At the crux of it. That's the big deal, thought leadership content is going to answer specific questions. Now, these specific questions are specific questions that your potential customer is asking.

So it isn't just any old question. It is a specific question that your customer is asking. So these aren't general and broad questions. Okay. For example, if you were in the financial industry, then how to balance my checkbook could be a very specific question that you can answer that would be thought leadership content. 

If you are answering it from your expertise, if you also have a unique way of approaching the solution that the customer needs, because that's the next side of thought leadership content and answering specific questions, is that when you're answering these specific questions, you're answering the questions to help the reader to help the listener, to help the viewer, whatever type of content you've created, get value. Now let's define what it means to get value. Let's define that. So when we say we want to give value or, or the reader or listener should get value from us, what it means is that we've considered who is going to be consuming our content.

We've considered what they know, what they believe about the topic that we are talking about before we start producing the content. Right? And so we, we, we, we think about that and we say, okay, where are they before they've consumed this content? Where are they before they read or listen, or watch this content, what do they believe? 

What do they know about this topic before they start? And then we consider where we want to take them. We want to consider what's the goal, what's the win, as I like to call it, after consuming this content, what should they know? What should they believe? So we know where they're starting and we know where we want them to end up.

Okay. We know where they're starting and where we want them to end up. And once we know the start and the end, then the next question that we have to ask my friends is how do we get them from point A to point B? What are the steps that they need to go through? What are the things that they need to consider in order to go from point A to point B? 

Now, this is where, if I'm going to be honest with you, which I always am, this is where most of us struggle because most of us have been doing what we're doing for 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 years and so we are truly experts in the field. We are truly in a place where we know our stuff and because we know our stuff, we take things for granted. 

And that's the thing that you can not do. The thing that kills most thought leadership content is assumption. So even if you define this is where my reader or listener or watcher is before, and this is where I want them to get to, and then you start to think about the steps in between. We make assumptions about what we think those steps need to be in terms of how much information we need to communicate, because we don't realize how little our customers actually know. Because there's so many things about what you do that you take for granted that you assume are common knowledge, right? That when you're talking to someone about budgeting, that you can just talk about budgeting. You wouldn't have to talk about balancing a checkbook. You wouldn't have to talk about debits versus credits. That you wouldn't have to talk about the difference between writing a check and, and, and swiping your credit card. 

You don't consider that those little things are things that your customer are probably misinformed about or have very little information on and very little understanding. And so, as we're thinking about thought leadership content, creating thought leadership content we've defined our start and we've defined the end where we want to take someone to. 

And we're considering the steps in between. The thing that we must do is we must write down in each step that you define. What are your assumptions about this step? What are the things that you take for granted about this step? What do you think? What are the things that you think that everybody knows about taking this next step? 

What do you believe is common knowledge? Because I guarantee you, the things that you believe are that are common knowledge, most people don't know, and true thought leaders that's where they spend their time. They spend their time educating people to take those next little steps to the goal and they take time considering what are the assumptions? 

What are the baseline things that people need to know? And they take you to the baseline and they teach you from there. That's the key, my friends. That's the key. Now, is it easy? No, it isn't. I'm not going to lie to you. It's going to take time and it's going to take practice. And it's going to take time and it's going to take practice because the things that you need to communicate to get someone from A to B, as I've said already are oftentimes things that you take for granted that are common knowledge and they're not, and they're not. 

Okay. So thought leadership content, it's all about answering specific questions that are going to get a specific result for the consumer of your content, whether it's a listener watcher or a reader, however, you're creating your content. Now that's probably going to lead you to a really big question, which it should.

All right. So you've talked all about this answer, specific questions, guy. I get it. I got to answer specific questions, but what the heck is the question? What are the questions that my friends is the next most important thing. See thought leaders understand that their quest, their, excuse me, their customers, their potential clients are asking questions before they ever arrive on their doorstep.

To consume or to buy their product and thought leaders understand that in order to influence those people, those potential clients, they need to answer the specific questions that those potential clients have before they arrive to them. But how do you find those specific questions? Well, That's why you've got people like me. 

That's what we do. So if you're in a place where you're ready to become a thought leader, if you're in a place where you're saying, Hey, I want to start creating thought leadership content. I want to start answering those questions that my customer has before they reached to me so that I can influence them before they get to me. 

If that's where you want to be, we can help you. We can help you. What we do for you actually is we create topical maps and show you the order in which your customers ask questions in order to get to you. Yeah, but not just which questions they are asking, but the order in which they ask those questions. Again, remember what are we talking about? 

They're here and we want to get them to this place. This is the end place. How do we do that? We have all the little steps in between. What's happening at all these steps in between your customers are asking questions. We help you map that out so that you can create content to answer those questions, to help your customer along their journey to you. To you. If that's something that you're interested in and you need that kind of help, we've got a quiz down below. There's a link for it in the description. Go ahead and click that link. Okay. And it's how thought leadership readiness quiz. Take the quiz and one of my team members will reach out to you really, really soon. Alright everybody, talk to you later. Buh-bye.


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