Thought-leadership is the art of igniting conversations and leveraging your expertise to create meaningful change in an industry. Innovators and entrepreneurs who have mastered thought-leadership often do so by releasing great content, which presents an opportunity to demonstrate their expertise and make it actionable. But, how do you go about writing strong thought-leadership content?
Writing Strong Thought-Leadership Content
If you’re eager to prove your personal brand’s authority and motivate your audience, you too can become a thought-leader. Building your reputation begins with exceptional content. Here’s what to keep in mind as you start crafting your thought-leadership content.
Find the Value
Your area of expertise is certainly valuable to you, but let’s be honest: some people will be more intrigued by your thought-leadership content than others. As with any sort of marketing, it’s crucial to know your audience. And sometimes, your niche may be quite small.
Let’s say you’re an expert in medieval falconry. There’s not a lot of competition in the digital marketplace of ideas — but also not a lot of interest. When crafting your content, avoid creating a redux of your expertise. No one wants to read a self-indulgent description of your work.
Instead, find the value you can share with others. Do you have practical advice for getting into falconry as a hobby? Could you assist students who are studying medieval history? What lessons can our modern society learn from the medieval falconers?
Think outside the box — but keep the focus on your audience. Try to put yourself in their shoes the entire time you are writing a piece. This will allow you to actually provide real value and answer their questions.
Keep It Accessible
Many experts make a dreadful mistake when writing about their chosen topic: they embrace all their field’s jargon to prove their expertise. Remember, this isn’t an academic paper or vocabulary quiz. Your goal is to motivate your audience, and the best leaders ensure that everyone understands their message.
Write or speak in a relatable manner, using language that suits a general audience. Don’t assume your audience has even a basic understanding of your subject matter. While they may, chances are that most don’t. If you talk over someone’s head, they will quickly lose interest.
On the flip side, don’t talk down to them, either. Lead with confident, clear language that anyone can understand. Remember, your ideas are what count — not the complexity of your language or the esteem of your education.
Revisit Core Ideas
If you peruse the blog of notable thought-leaders such as Neil Patel, you’ll notice that he touches on the same topics again and again. That’s by design: thought-leadership is ultimately about creating change and provoking conversation, and that requires some repetition!
Don’t be afraid to talk about your core topic(s) again and again. Indeed, you should be exploring all aspects of the topic. Try hitting it from different angles. Play with the format. You’ll likely find that you reflect on it differently over time.
Also, people aren’t going to be captivated by your idea if they only read about it one time. There’s also a good chance they will miss several key points of information. Give them the opportunity to truly chew on your message.
Tip: If you’re stuck for ideas, try a tool such as Answer the Public to find new ways to phrase questions about your topic. It may inspire a new perspective for you to take.
Incorporate Data and Third-Party Insights
While a thought-leadership article may not use academic language, it should still meet the basic standards for persuasion and integrity. As you’re likely making a core argument, be sure to back it up with research. The typical format is:
- Supporting Argument A
- Supporting Argument B
Even if you’re expressing novel ideas, it’s important to find data to back up your claims. Your readers are much more likely to take you seriously if you include high-quality, verifiable sources. Apply these to the facts in your supporting argument, but avoid cherry-picking data or reverse-engineering your claims (e.g. crafting the entire argument first and only choosing sources that support it).
As a thought-leader, your role is to forge connections among current facts and experiences, so that you can uniquely share your expert perspective. Therefore, everything should follow the data. If you’re an authority on your topic, you likely already have some great sources to pull from!
Bonus: Search engines love statistics and number-based facts as well!
Wrapping Up on Writing Strong Thought-Leadership Content
Great thought-leadership content is valuable, accessible, versatile, and verifiable. Once you have a full understanding of a topic, you should have no issue exploring it to its fullest potential. Leverage existing data and arguments to help your audience digest your ideas. Keep the content relatable and motivational, as that boosts engagement and helps inspire change in your industry — and unequivocally demonstrates your expertise.
Do you want to begin creating thought leadership content, but don’t know where to begin? We get it! That’s why we’re here to help. When you work with us at Breezy you get an entire content marketing team right out of the gate to make creating thought leadership content easy and effective! Get started right here!