Content creation by leaders isn’t noisy or salesy or intrusive. Content creation is leadership. As Jane shows us, “there’s a piece of leadership in that”.
I was speaking to a client, Natalie last week who was struggling to convert leads into clients at her sales meetings. Natalie is an incredible thought leader and excellent at content creation. In fact, she’s written five books on leadership. So, she couldn’t figure out where she was going wrong with her sales meetings.
We sat down together and went through the different possible reasons. On the surface, everything seemed OK, until I asked her, “How many people are you getting on your list each week?” Her answer was maybe two or three. There was the problem – she wasn’t getting enough people on her list.
We dug deeper, and I asked why she wasn’t working on growing her email list through content creation. Her responses reflected some of the biggest issues that leaders have today with content creation.
Content Creation by Leaders
First, they’re afraid of being noisy, especially in today’s COVID environment. Second, they’re worried about appearing to “sell”, again, because of the current situation. And third, they don’t want to be seen as just another person giving away something for “free” in a bid to get more clients.
Why Leaders Avoid Content Creation
FEAR: Too noisy.
SOLUTION: People are consuming unprecedented levels of content.
During this COVID era, people are consuming unprecedented levels of content. The Global Web Index found that 80% of consumers say they consume more content since the outbreak. Statista’s research shows that worldwide we’re consuming 36% more news coverage, using 27% more streaming services, spending 22% longer on messaging services and spending 21% longer on social media platforms.
We’re in the biggest disruption that we’re likely to see in our lifetimes. This is not the time to back down. It’s the time to step up and be a leader. In the case of my client, I reminded her that she’d written five books on leadership. Rather than being “noisy”, there was no better time to share her knowledge with her community. She needed to walk the talk, just as she teaches her own clients.
FEAR: Appearing to sell.
SOLUTION: Stop thinking of yourself as a marketer. Think of yourself as a leader.
People are still engaging. They’re still searching for solutions. In other words, people are still looking for something, and you might be the person that has that something for them. Stop seeing yourself as a “marketer”. Instead, see yourself as a leader. When you change your mindset you stop worrying that your content is “selling”. Instead, you’ll see that your content is “leading”.
In today’s environment content creation by leaders is essential. Leaders have a responsibility to lead their people. You’re not doing anyone any favours by staying quiet.
FEAR: Just another person giving away a free webinar.
SOLUTION: Take away the word “free.”
My client, and many other leaders, are worried about offering “just another free webinar”. It’s a common mantra that I hear today – people are tired of receiving email after email and offer after offer of something free, which has little to no value for the recipient.
But as a leader, you have something valuable to offer. Your ideas, thought leadership and guidance in a time of disruption is of inestimable value to your community. Offering a “free” webinar, workshop or e-book that solves a problem for the reader is an incredible gift, even during this time. And if you’re worried about it being perceived as something negative because of the word “free” simply don’t say it.
Assemble Your Tribe
I had the chance to interview the incredible marketer Seth Godin in a podcast last year. And he’s famous for saying, “A crowd is a tribe without a leader. A crowd is a tribe without communication. Most organisations spend their time marketing to the crowd. Smart organisations assemble the tribe.”
Now is the time to assemble your tribe. You do this through smart content that communicates value. When your fears start to run through your mind, imagine that you’re at war. When your troops come off of the battlefield and into the mess, they’re looking to you to support them, advise them and bolster them before they head back into the fray.
Your tribe is “coming into the mess” when they consume your content, but if you’re not there to support them, they’ll simply leave disheartened.
Content is Leadership
If you’re still afraid of being noisy in this environment, change the word “content” to “leadership” in your mind. When you have an idea to share with your tribe, say to yourself “there’s a piece of leadership in that”. It will help you remember that content is leadership.
Your tribe needs a leader. Especially in this time of unprecedented disruption. Now is not the time to back off – it’s the time to step forward.
Love to hear your thoughts….
Jane Anderson is a strategic communications expert, speaker and the author of seven books including the upcoming Catalyst Content. She has over 20 years of experience helping people to communicate confidently. Jane helps leaders generate authentic influence and human connection to drive business growth in a world of disruption and automation. Jane delivers Content Creation Bootcamps (Virtual and Face to Face), coaching and keynotes. To inquire about working with Jane please contact us here.