For me, creating thought leadership content comes naturally. It is, after all, what I do for a living. And it’s my best marketing tool, so I write for sites like AllBusiness and Forbes to make sure my name is out there, showing what I know about content marketing, as well as what I can do with it.
But if you’re like a lot of business owners or marketing execs, creating your own thought leadership content might be at the very bottom of a very long list of priorities…if it’s there at all. That, my friend, is a mistake.
Let’s Flash Back in Time
Let’s time travel to the year 2009. Social media was gaining a foothold with brands, slowly but surely. Content? Less so. Yes, there were content mills that basically served to get a link on external sites back to a brand’s site. We didn’t know better.
But this blogging thing was starting to happen. This blog started in 2007, and I was ahead of the curve. It took longer for small and large businesses alike to jump on the bandwagon of having a business blog on their websites.
Guest blogging, however, didn’t really make a splash until I’d say the early to mid-2010s. Writing content on other sites seemed like a waste of time to many. Why would we write elsewhere when we want people to read the content on our site? But then we started to understand the value of reaching a wider audience—one that might not necessarily discover our brand’s website on their own.
Even then, and up until now, I saw primarily small business owners like myself start to contribute thought leadership content on other blogs. Now I’m excited to see CEOs and execs at enterprises start to brand themselves through their own content. Yes, they work for a company that does XYZ, but they as professionals have their own knowledge to share, and there’s an audience for that information.
So…hurray for content! We’ve come a long way, baby.
Why You Should Be Prioritizing Thought Leadership Content
Okay, so maybe the whole “everyone else is doing it” argument isn’t convincing you to take time out of your busy life to start writing more. I get it. But realize that the more people see your smiling face on the internets, whether it’s on social media or your author bio on another blog, the more they feel a rapport with you. The more they start to trust you. And that’s when you move to the top of their list when they need the types of products or services you sell.
And hey, you’re not a writer. I get it. But here’s the really awesome thing about having thought leadership content under your name: you don’t have to write it yourself.
SHHH! This is such a secret. But think about it: do you really think the uber-busy-always-flying-rush-rush CEO of a major company has time to write a memoir, let alone a blog post? Uh uh. A lot of the books you’ve read weren’t written by the person on the book jacket. They hired a ghostwriter to do the work, and that’s completely cool to do. Just don’t tell anyone!
No matter how you get that content, the important thing is that you’re reaching a wider audience and branding yourself as a thought leader. Take it from me: that will be your best form of marketing.