At Mercer-MacKay, we do a lot of writing for technology companies. For the most part, these companies come to us for help in crafting content that will rise above the noise – content that will tell their story and help them stand out in a crowded digital world.

This means writing compelling pieces that make the reader remember, take pause, and possibly share what they have read.

It means building a platform to attract like-minded individuals who might become clients.

Thought Leadership and the Imposter Syndrome

Thought leadership is the content buzz-word clients ask for. Over the years I have discovered that many companies are unclear as to what their thought leadership position is. It’s not that they don’t have something to say, it is just that they often don’t know how to articulate their thought leadership stance. Sometimes they are even surprised that anyone would consider them to be a thought leader.

We often have to drag their thought leadership out of them.

I call that the Imposter Syndrome. I get it. I sometimes suffer from it myself; but I have learned, over time, that I really do have unique knowledge gained from experience that others can benefit from.

For the most part, we are working with some amazing people who know a lot of cool stuff. And yet the Imposter Syndrome will still hold them hostage, and they doubt whether their own expertise is worthy enough to go into print.

I believe that is because when you are immersed in your own specialty area, you often take for granted what comes easily for you.

Taking a Stand

So what happens? What we have learned is that when clients doubt that they have something interesting to say, they fall back on simply regurgitating what they think other people want them to say.

For example, I was just editing a blog post that one of our writers had created for one of the smartest and forward-thinking systems integrators we have as a client today. This company is working with top brands around the world, helping deliver digital transformation initiatives that are changing the face of how these brands are able to go to market.

But their blog post read like a brochure.

In this case, a promotional sales piece for Microsoft.

Ugh.

After lecturing my writer (not really, he is a terrific writer, but even he fell prey to this client’s own “imposter syndrome”), we went back to the client and dug a little deeper. We discovered some really great ideas that will differentiate this blog posting and position them as knowledgeable and experienced.

Three Ways to Supercharge Your Blog Posts

If you think you need to inject a little more chutzpah into your blog posts, here are three ways to supercharge your writing to attract the readers who just might become clients one day.

1. Establish a theme or domain expertise and take positions on that theme. We know you have an opinion. We have heard it at the coffee pot or when a client calls you to rescue them when things are going south. Don’t worry about offending anyone. Establish a particular theme or domain expertise and then establish your position in that domain. Create a wide variety of material that speaks to that position. For example, I have very strong opinions on the value of content marketing. I believe in it. I talk about it, write about it, deliver workshops about it. I give away free information and I create streamlined methods for people to make content work better for them. Not everyone agrees with me. That’s okay, but I know that we attract like-minded people who come to us as clients because of our position in the domain of content marketing.

2. “Thou shalt not bore.” Barbara Kyle, who is a historical fiction writer and a New York Times best-selling author, gave me that piece of advice when I took a creative writing class from her. Her comment was in response to a question from one of the students who complained about the bad writing in a New York Times best-selling book. “You are correct about the writing,” Barbara agreed, “but it is not boring.” When people read your writing, they want to be entertained, educated, provoked or inspired. This is writing that causes people to feel emotion – laugh, cry or simply think. You can craft an amazing piece of literature, but if it is boring, no one will read it. Try always to tell a story in your blog post. Get the neurons firing in your reader’s brain.

3. Educate. What most of my clients have in common is that they are smart. They know a lot of stuff. But they are so immersed in their own knowledge and culture that they often don’t realize what comes easy for them is rocket-science for someone else. Spend time educating your reader with real information, not simply marketing fluff. One of my favourite lines is, “Give away your best and sell the rest.” Always be open to sharing free information. It is how the world operates these days. There will always be people who don’t want to do it themselves. Even if you give them a guided step-by-step map on how to do something, they will still want to pay you to do it for them. I know. It happens to me all the time.

Use your blog posts to develop your digital self. Build a strong, vibrant and opinionated online persona. You might be surprised by the response.

And let me know how it works for you – I love to hear stories of content success.

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