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Everybody Wants Thought Leadership Content. But How Do You Do It, Exactly?


Sunday, November 8, 2020 | Melbourne, Australia


Greetings friends!

There is a lot of bumf written about thought leadership.

Most articles about the topic I read are full of platitudes, published by people who sell 'become an authority' courses or sales funnel blueprints.

But they do little if anything to further the cause of thought leadership as an aspiration for professional experts.

So when I come across a meaty original article like this oneEverybody Wants Thought Leadership Content. But How Do You Do It, Exactly? - I feel compelled to share it.

Author of the piece Katie Parrott writes:  "A few years ago, Ben Horowitz introduced what, to this day, is one of my favorite business strategy concepts: the earned secret. On the a16z podcast, Horowitz explains it this way: 'You did something in your past to solve a hard problem and learned something about the world that not a lot of other people know.'

Experience is one way to develop an earned secret, but it’s not the only one. Sometimes you just see something that no one else in the market is seeing. That insight is no less earned than experience is, Katie writes.

"However you come by them, your earned secrets are the core of your competitive advantage in business; they’re the core of your competitive advantage in content as well.

"Thought leadership content is all about surfacing those earned secrets—the unique perspectives, experiences, and resources you have that inform your product and the philosophy of your brand—and sharing them with your audience for the purpose of building credibility, trust and, ultimately, loyalty."

Katie asks: What earned secrets do you have that you can pour into thought leadership content?

She then lists five sources of thought leadership content. Well worth checking out just for this list.

Earned secrets. Love it. Terrific food for thought!

Oh, and there's an accompanying podcast interview with Katie, which I recommend also.


Want to write articles but don't want to start a blog?

I come across many business leaders and professional experts who want to write articles, but are not real keen on starting a blog on their personal or company website.

I get it. Starting and maintaining a blog takes a lot of effort. Is there another way?

There sure is. It's a digital publishing platform called Medium, and it's a ripper.

Medium describes itself as “a living network of curious minds ... an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking.” It's part publishing platform, part social network, and this is what makes it such a compelling online offering.

Medium was established in 2012 by Twitter co-founder, Ev Williams, and given content published on the platform tends to be long form in nature, the platform serves as the ideal bookend to Twitter and its 280-character tweets.

Importantly, Medium has a built-in audience, which makes it an attractive proposition for content publishers.

According to Medium, the types of people who publish on Medium include thought-leaders, journalists, experts, and individuals with unique perspectives share their thinking.

A potential drawback you need to be aware of Medium is that you have no control over the platform, unlike your own hosted website and blog. Medium could change the rules, or go out of business, and all of a sudden this could affect your content.

What I see a number of writers do is publish first on their own blog and then syndicate (republish) on a third-party platform such as Medium or LinkedIn.

If nothing else, there are some ripper articles on Medium. Take a look!


Putting the social back into social media

I recently interviewed California trial lawyer Mitch Jackson on the Reputation Revolution podcast.

Mitch - aka 'The Streaming Lawyer' - puts the social into social media; he’s on a multitude of channels, including TikTok, but ‘in-the-moment’ live video is definitely his jam!

Some key take-outs from the interview:

  • The importance of personal relationships in building a presence on social media
  • Creative and efficient ways to create content that resonates when you’re a busy professional
  • How a 63-year-old lawyer uses TikTok, and what’s involved in doing the ‘digital dance’
  • Walking the line between being social while remaining professional
  • Understanding that what you’re doing on social is just the beginning

“Digital platforms will come and go, but good relationships will last forever,” says Mitch.

If you’re a business professional who is keen to embrace social media but haven’t as yet committed fully to the digital world, you’ll get a lot out of this interview!

Listen to the full interview here or subscribe via your podcast app of choice and never miss an episode of Reputation Revolution!


This quote caught my attention

"It’s crazy how 1000 people can compliment you and you’ll spend all day thinking about the one person who criticized you." – James Clear


Hit “reply”

I'm excited to be writing to you in this format. Let’s keep it personal!  I encourage you to hit “reply” and let me know what’s on your mind:

  • Got any thoughts regarding the content I’ve just sent you? Let me hear it!
  • Have a question? Ping it through!
  • Got a recommendation for an article, podcast, video or person-to-follow that you’d like to share, bring it on :)

Thanks for reading! Until next time ...




Go forth and make an impact!

Trevor Young | PR Warrior | Level 22 / 120 Spencer Street, Melbourne
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