In today’s business world, if you can set yourself up as a thought leader in your field, you can potentially gain a huge audience and convert a lot of the members of that audience into paying customers. Steve Jobs did it for Apple, Elon Musk has done it for Tesla, and I could name a lot of others who’ve positioned themselves as thought leaders to create massive success for their businesses.

Not only is thought leadership effective, but it’s also free and easy. You don’t have to pay for advertising that may or may not be effective, and you can promote your articles on your own social media sites, as well as through your website and collaborations with other thought leaders in your industry.

With all this in mind, it’s easy to see how attractive thought leadership content is from a marketing standpoint. It’s potentially some of the most cost-effective marketing that you can do for your business.

However, as this kind of content has become more and more prevalent, a few common mistakes have started to sprout up. As you create your thought leadership content, whether you’re writing it yourself or you’re paying a writer to create it for you, avoid these mistakes and your content will be much more likely to succeed.


Yes, the point of this kind of content is to shed light on your expertise and to increase brand awareness. However, if you place your brand at the center of every article you write, your audience will not take you seriously. They’ll assume that you’re not as much an expert as an advertisement, and they won’t continue to read.

You don’t have to focus on the competition or paint other businesses in your industry in a radiant light, but if you want to be taken seriously, you should do some analytical thinking and present some real-world case studies. Discuss other thought leaders’ ideas. Talk about your industry’s evolution in today’s society. Discuss topics that your audience wants to read about, and they’ll be more likely to follow your links back to your website and social presences. Then you’ll get more organic conversions through quality content.


Think about some of the speeches and articles you’ve heard and read by successful thought leaders. Do they constantly remind the audience of all of the amazing things they’ve done and how successful they are? No, they let their work speak for itself, and they talk about their failures more than their successes.

This makes them more relatable, and it’ll do the same for you. If you only focus on your accomplishments, you’ll come off as pompous and unapproachable. If you talk about the process that got you where you are and the things you’ve learned along the way, you’ll get much farther with your audience.


As you write your thought leadership content, keep your audience in mind. It’s tempting to cast a wide net and see what happens, but this is ineffective. Write specifically for an audience that is interested in your products or services and that is likely to convert to clients or customers. If you have this kind of focus, you may not reach as many readers, but you’ll reach more readers who count, and your thought leadership efforts will be far more effective.

Keep these three major mistakes in mind as you write or commission your thought leadership content, and you’ll have a much better experience.

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