Thought leadership, one of the most overused marketing jargon that’s gingerly carved itself into the universal corporate lexicon, will continue to unassumingly find a snug spot among the annual playbooks of many communications and marketing professionals.
However, examining the etymological construct and semantic implications of this term would be akin to writing about what it is or what it’s not (ahem). So I’ll spare your eyes from itching and tearing.
Instead, I’d like to quickly segue into a short list of considerations.
Why should folks in our profession need to stop acting like content sycophants, especially when sculpting our respective digital footprint?
Novelty is not just about originality but also, and perhaps more importantly, purpose
If your sole aim is to augment your prospect and client database for the sake of bullhorning your way into a lead, you might wanna rethink your approach.
If a client is asking for help with lead generation, would you quickly pull out a formulaic, one-size-fits-all strategy that looks original but covers a finite stand-alone goal OR would you work harder at researching your way into an intricately story-boarded saga of intrigue, designed to branch out and morph under the weight of its own appealing complexities and idiosyncracies?
Content can be crafted to shine and sparkle on command. But if there is no long-term vision or purpose behind its existence, then all the sweat-induced thoughts poured into its mould will last only for that one instance.
Novelty is an elaborate Venetian mask that will always end up being shelved after the ball. So the face behind that mask had better be able to launch at least a thousand ships.
When you’re using a blatant marketing voice, it’s not just boring; it’s annoying
We see this all the time. And the most obvious and common examples are evident on Twitter, day in and out.
“Check out my latest, 210th variation on disruptive engagement” or “Watch how I mindlessly favourite a series of tweets ’cause anything by @EveybodyLovesThisGuru has GOT to be great” ..
I try to diligently regulate the frequency of my own social sharing. But each time I do take a moment to check in on the larger social stream, I am invariably assailed by the same users tweeting, retweeting and commenting on the same tunnel-visioned theme, with the same tone of voice, and the very same, predictable manner of expression. Granted, they do this since they have no choice: it is their purported area of expertise after all.
I’M THINKING.. you need to get out more. Out of your rut, that is.
Share something totally different, but echoes elements of your core expertise. Make someone smile or laugh, make them believe just how real, how fun and approachable you truly are.
How you create content is even more critical than what content you create
We are so obsessed with producing original content that we easily lose sight of the overall process of creating.
By definition, the act of creating IS in fact the actual gold we are mining. The multiple—often intricately detailed—phases involved in giving form and breathing life into an idea offers rich opportunities for gaining new perspectives and never-before-seen ways to arrive at the next step, the next iteration or variation.
You know I don’t have to spell this out, but you really must ask yourself from time to time: “How attentive am I at filtering the indiscernible nuggets that crystallize what makes my content meaningful, substantive and compelling?”
This post was inspired, ironically, by a long hiatus from Twitter. When I did spend a few moments reviewing my feed today, I noticed how predictable my Twitter stream looked and felt. Yes, felt.
As a creative person, my visceral reactions often urge me to articulate thoughts based on raw observations.
How about you? What inspires you to formulate thoughts enough to want to share them? And in so doing, do you feel like you’re inspiring (dare I say ‘leading’) others to do the same?