The key to thought leadership is high-quality, original content in all areas of communication. And that can be a challenge in a world full of content creators and influencers. So the big challenge is: how can you use Social Media to TRULY grow Thought Leadership? Learn in this episode.
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Additional Voice: Charles The Voice
Music: Have a Smoke by Crowander (CC BY 4.0)
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Welcome to Jon Michail’s Personal Branding Masterclass. Jon is the founder and CEO of Image Group International and an award-winning image consulting and personal branding pioneer established in 1989. This podcast will bring you old-school wisdom, inspiring ideas, strategies, and hacks for the new tech world. Here you will learn everything about personal branding: the system, the techniques, and the right mindset to have a successful personal brand, image, and reputation.
Hi, everybody, and thank you for being here with me today. Our Chapter A is about how to use social media to truly grow your authentic thought leadership. However, before we start, I must warn you that social media posting is not necessarily thought leadership. Every day, millions of people create content on the internet and claim to be industry experts in selling the products or services, using bombarded with content, spam and sales pitches from every direction possible. The only way to distinguish the best professionals? Well, I should say the ones that have the rungs on the board are actually through thought leadership. And I want to give you a bit of an explanation of all that means you're not going to build a sustainable value brand online by posting for the sake of posting, in my opinion, that's just creating more noise, more white noise. And what that means is we're living in times now where you're getting the most content in the history of the world. And that's written content and visual content, audio content, etc. And of course, even if you know, what you're listening to right now, the podcast is content. So there is so much content that basically people are sort of looking now for the expertise for the authority as opposed to just jumped and I'm not talking about fun videos here or tick-tock, you know, from the point of view of humour and entertainment, I'm talking about something that potentially has as seriousness to it gravitas and is designed specifically for business and results. As I explained in the last episode, How does thought leadership benefit your business? I mentioned that the key to thought leadership is high quality, original content in all areas of communication. And that can be a challenge in a world full of content creators and influencers. So the big challenge is how can you use social media to truly grow your thought leadership today. And the thing we know is thought leaders don't try to convince others that they are capable of doing the unthinkable. Thought Leaders just drive their ideas, comfortable in the knowledge that they don't know. You know, it's okay to admit, I don't know, a thought leader would say potentially I don't know. But if you want to help with it, I can go and find out specifically more about that subject. Even if I have to speak to another colleague, that's also a thought leader. So you might be thinking but John, with so much noise online? Is it still worth using social media? And of course, I want to say too, of course, it is why. Because social media is your opportunity to express your ideas, and concept creation, as opposed to keeping an all to yourself. I think it's the ultimate selfishness to have great concepts, ideas, and creations, in this lifetime, and not to share them. I think it's that's a shame. So of course, it's a valuable tool. But the important thing is, as I've noted numerous times prior as well, it's you got to do this properly, you know, and you just need to do it in a way that's smart to achieve your outcomes. So don't worry, though, I'm going to help you with some brief intros and how to do that tonight. First, let's start off first you need to know and reflect on who your audiences are. Now, this is really interesting. So for instance, if you're going for a Rolls Royce audience, and your whole messaging is to the Reject Shop, yet, what you're doing is basically being incongruent in your messaging. And it's very common online, especially with marketers, you know, claiming that they talk about high ticket and high net worth, et cetera. And basically, you know, what they do is a lot of content creators are living in their grandmother's basements. The concept here is it's a different language communicating different markets, you know, so if you're going for an ultra-high net worth or even high net worth, specifically, that's a different type of market to somebody that's more, what I would say is working class, lower class, or certainly middle and middle-upper class, this is essential. And even in a so-called egalitarian society, like so-called Australia, at the same time, every target market has got a different language than they would expect and being enrolled with this is very, very important. There's whole neuroscience, regarding what I've just said, then you need to discover what your audience expects from you online. And I'm sure they are not interested in your morning selfies. So what that means is, also if you're gonna post something online, again, we're talking about thought leadership here, makes sure something that's going to add value. Now, if it's, you know, and I'm not saying that has to be 100%, the same all the time, of course, you know, some personal storytelling, even family, you know, that's what you're choosing, you know, you're obviously you happen to share some of the members of your family that could also be affected, you know, could also be your, your pets, your, you know, your Tara, your dog, if that's part of your authenticity game, but the reality is, right, the content has to be quality. And, you know, the old grainy stuff, used to shit on on the mobile and used to go viral, those days are over quality. You know, in my opinion, quality should have been like that from the start anyway. But of course, tech companies don't really care. I mean, you know, they would take all the content you want, because they're in the business of content doesn't mean your content is going to get much airplay. But of course, they're not going to be critical of your content, other than, of course, the algorithms that will actually put it to the bottom of the list. So remember, quote, content quality is essential. And it's more important than just content consistency. And what I mean by that is posting for the sake of posting, you definitely have to be consistent in your posting. But what is the point of ticking boxes just to be consistent, when basically, the content is not up to scratch, so I can't stress enough. And by the way, I've made some mistakes, and this along the way, as well, from the perspective of posting something for the sake of posting it and really taking the eye off the ball from the point of your thought leadership, and expertise. So a valuable tip is also to connect to other thought leaders. So online, obviously, that's important, because you're creating a network effect, the network effect is part of your leverage. It's part of your opportunities to build new relationships, potentially new deals, and, of course, a lot of new possibilities for the future. And thought leaders connecting with other thought leaders, you know, the network effect is basically you're also piggyback in on their brand power. And of course, from a marketing perspective, that is fantastic. So it's very important that you do that. And of course, the more you do that, and the more powerful the authentic authorities that you join with, the better for you. More importantly, in a lot of all of this, though, and I keep on sharing it virtually in every podcast is to be authentic. Why? Well, I'm going to remind you, that we live in fake news, disinformation, and misinformation will. So people do not trust the trust, again, is at the lowest level in history. So what that means is your authenticity, and this is where you can afford, you know, to have some rough spots from the perspective because that's what authentic is right? Authentic is not a scripted politician on a 32nd spiel, you know, for tonight's News that's not authentic. That's just basically scripted. That's all just playing a political game. What we're talking about is just being yourself. And sometimes yes, you will make some mistakes, no big deal, I promise you, as long as coming from your heart, people can get into that. And also appreciate the rawness, the honesty of that. And at the same time, it builds trust, and this is essential. And the example I've just given you regarding the politicians in the scripted messages. You know, it's one of the few products in the market that you don't trust, but you buy in other words, you vote for an election. So so you don't want to compare the two, the two are totally different we're talking about you building your thought leadership. And the example I gave you before with politicians and it sort of fits in because we're, we're just through image month. Of course, that's got nothing to do with an authenticity that's got to do with a political game plan. So my objective with this episode is not to discourage you to grow your thought leadership online, it's actually to do the opposite to encourage you to use this powerful tool in your favour, but in a smart way, as there is already too much of the same, same online. And remember, in all of this, you are not an instant influencer, you're a leader, okay, and we're talking about a thought leader here. So also, please remember that numbers don't say much about you, you might have only 20 views in a video, I get that. But if these 20 views are from people that really admire your work, and they enrolled with you, that's what really counts for you. Okay, the rest can be vanity metrics, that might look okay, psychologically, but really, you know, you're trying to bank those getting a bank manager next week and say, I've got 20 views. Sorry, I've got 200,000 views of my video, and he's gonna say, Well, what am I gonna do with that? Right? Are you actually enrolling people? Are you converting people? Are they actually doing business with you? Are they basically passing over their cash? And this is essential, because for the people that do that they must have, obviously, trust, lightness, and respect for you. So this is what thought leadership is all about. It's about building that and getting better at doing that constantly. Remember, math, you know, numbers are important, but they are just metrics and metrics don't say anything about your reputation, you know, and this is the key here. So do you know what really evaluates your reputation online? externally? The quality of your content? Okay, yes, people will judge you no question about that. That's why we say quality content equals thought leadership. But more importantly, it's also internally the quality of the person that you are. And that's also part of thought leadership. Okay. And I can't stress that enough, you can sound very intelligent, right? But it means nothing from the point of view of authenticity. So you know, a good example, of course, I always give on that is you just have a look at the conditions online, I mean, the biggest, virtually social brand in the world. And you remember them for a reason, remember them for famous for being famous, I don't know what else you can remember him for. Right. And that's an interesting concept. That's not what we're talking about. Today, we're talking about quality, from the point of view of thought leadership, that it's all about respect, likeness, and at the same time, trust. So you can have millions and millions of followers. But that doesn't necessarily mean that person that has millions and millions of followers is actually a thought leader. What it means is actually its good marketing. And obviously a good following. I get that and I give that tick, tick tick by from thought leadership, no means nothing about thought leadership. So we'll leave this answer for you. Okay, something for you to ponder. And it's specifically something for you to think about. Because some of the people you respect are out there, you might want to have a look at some of the things I've just already shared with you. And you know, and really get a sense, if there is somebody that you follow, and he's an authority and an expert, you know, just see also what good they publish from a content perspective. That is also thought leadership said thought leadership has to leave you, you know, from the perspective of ah, ha, you know, those aha moments, okay. Not motherhood statements that are so so common, because think about it, thinking per se, takes a lot of energy. Okay. So if you're a thought leader, what that means is, you're going to be many, many, many steps ahead. Why? Because most people don't think.
I hope you've enjoyed today's presentation, I'd love to hear from you. Please send me an email and I'll be happy to have a chat with you and possibly see if we can work together. So I really appreciate your listening today. As always, I want to thank you, I really appreciate your time and of course, the email is on the description of the episode you need to get in touch if you also liked this episode, please rate the show on Apple Podcasts. Once you've done that, please send us email confirmation and we will resend a free ebook of the real world to authentic personal branding also remember that you can find me on social media you can follow me on Twitter at Jon_Michail on LinkedIn as Jon Michail and on Facebook as Image Group International. I want to thank you all again and touch next week.
Jon Michail’s Personal Branding Masterclass" Podcast is sponsored by Image Group International, a global team of practical, digitally savvy personal brand and image strategists, based in Australia, committed to maximizing your impact, influence and authority in the business world. To learn more and apply for your personal coaching, seminars and group workshops please visit imagegroup.com.au or call 1800 631 311.