I got a phone call from FOX, a local affiliate here in Orlando. They wanted to come by and chat with me about Facebook’s online quizzes and all the tomfoolery and shenanigans that are going on with those. I started thinking about thought leadership. I have been blessed, and I don’t say this to brag, but I have been on TV over 350 times. I think back about how that started — it started because I took a huge, balsy step and added the word ‘expert’ after everything I did online. So I’d write a blog post, and at that time I was focusing on SEO, so I’d add “Orlando SEO Expert” or “Social Media Expert” to it. I realized that Fox came to me because of that; the Daily Buzz came to me because of that. These reporters and media folks don’t always want to be pitched, they want to find their own pool of experts. Thank God I started adding that word. I don’t have an ego the size of Texas, I’m a humble person. But I’m not going to lie, I love the thrill of the camera — I get a buzz or adrenaline rush from it. I think it’s mainly because I’m an introvert and it takes that much energy for me to do it. Whether I’m in the studio or they come to me, it’s always a killer buzz.
Get Online and Tell the World That You’re an Expert
I think it’s critical within your brand and within your business, no matter what it is, to set your company up to be the expert. Be the best damn plumber or air conditioner guy; be the best damn electrician, mortgage professional, or real estate agent. You have to name it and claim it. I’m encouraging you to get online and tell the world that you are an expert. It may not be easy to do; it may be a hard thing for you to spit out. But it’s how the world works. It’s how media is finding subject matter experts, and it’s how the world is turning, digitally, today.
Stop Creating Content That’s Not Good for Your Users
I get these LinkedIn messaging requests like, “Tom, come work with us. We’re the best.” It’s unsolicited nonsense. If you’re going to be online and you’re going to be an expert with social media presence, stop spewing bullshit. Stop creating content that is not good for your users. Stop trying to game the system.
A couple of months ago, I was called a purist — and I didn’t know how to take that. So I’ve been thinking about that a lot. What does it mean to be a purist from a marketing standpoint? What it means to me is doing it right and doing it well; doing it to set myself up to be the thought leader that I am in the digital marketing space. If you are not — get the hell out! If you are not an expert in your industry and you want to fake it until you make it, then earn the creds. Put the hard work in. It’s not going to get handed to you, you’ve got to work your butt off.
People Want to Be Led by Leaders
Once you get there and you know your stuff, it’s time to start telling the world about it. Do that on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter — wherever your audience lives. They want to be led by an expert. It’s your turn, your time to be that expert. So, marketing directors and marketing professionals, content is the way to start elevating your brand to be a thought leader. Content is the way to attract media attention. Content is the way to attract more social media followers that want to be led by you. That’s a really important distinction. People want to be led by leaders. You know that not everybody is a leader — there are plenty of people who want to sit back and follow, and that’s okay. But if you’re going to be a leader and you want a strong digital presence, you’ve got to put the work in and you’ve got to be inspired. Pull yourself away from your desk; go sit somewhere else and write some amazing content. You’ve got to put social media out there that speaks to the audience. That means it’s not always about you! You have got to do it. You gotta put in the hard work to claim that expert status. THAT’S how shit’s getting done on the internet.
Be the leader. Be the thought leader that you know you are. If you’re not — get there. Stop trying to game social media channels. Stop buying fake followers: start earning real ones. You do that by creating amazing content that resonates with your target audience.
About the Author:
Tom is the chief coffee brewer, CEO, digital marketing strategist, and kickass content creator for brands across the globe at On Target. He loves nothing more than helping small to medium-sized businesses find their online voice and growing their leads, prospects, and sales.
On Target Digital Marketing is a full-service digital marketing agency located in Orlando, Florida. Through branding, web design, content creation, and social media, we get brands found and talked about online. To learn how we can help your brand grow and thrive, call 407-830-4550 or fill out our contact form. Thanks for reading and sharing!