Your executive spokesperson said yes to thought leadership. While the decision to commit was a lengthy and difficult process, that was the easy part. Now you face the arduous process of selecting topics, interviewing your executive to capture thoughts, the appropriate voice and extra thoughts to begin forming a content bank. It turns out that the actual content development can take on a life of its own.
Here are five considerations to address when writing for a thought leader:
- Embrace the fact that word count is king and the shorter the better. Even though an executive has a wealth of information and opinions on a particular topic – it’s all about keeping the readers attention. Unless the piece is meant to become long-form content, 400 words is the ideal length.
- Keep your readers coming back for more. By developing several shorter pieces on a key theme, you will have readers interested and returning for the next installment. Whether ending with a question or a teaser promise, you will cultivate loyal fans – as long as you remember to deliver on that promise.
- Use searchable words and phrases to let readers find your content. Searchable key words will bring interested readers to the content. Be cognizant of the right terms – not too generic and not too specific – and terms that are trending will be preferable and most helpful. Use digital tools to verify the words and phrases that your buyer personas respond to most frequently.
- Dare to be different and push the envelope. While you don’t have to be completely contentious to move a topic forward, playing the middle won’t elevate an executive profile. Demonstrating a fresh, authentic perspective and having a specific opinion works well and will have rewards. Although, there will be critics too.
- Don’t ignore high-profile pay-to-play opportunities. Consider outlets which screen applicants for annual memberships. Being part of a club has its perks and often beyond submitting your own pieces for publication there are opportunities to join other executives in conversations providing a wider breath for executives.
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