How To Build A Thoughtleader Brand

I’ve gotten quite a few questions about the different brand types, and so I thought it was time for a mini-series. Today I'm taking about Thoughtleaders! 

What is a Thoughtleader

A thoughtleader is anyone who uses their ideas and unique point-of-view as their main selling point. If you’ve developed an approach or way to help people process/deal with things, you are a thoughtleader. There are lots of people who tend to be both thought leaders and lifestyle brands, a type we will talk more about later. 

Some famous thought leaders include Tony Robbins, Mama Gena, Simon Sinek, Seth Godin, Brene Brown and the list goes on and on. Thought leaders are usually the “guru-stars” that you encounter and have bought from in the past. 

You don’t HAVE to be a guru star to be a thoughtleader so if the super slick guru model doesn’t apply to you, that doesn’t mean you aren’t one. 

The Thoughtleader Struggle:

Thoughtleaders tend to struggle with a LOT of things, but their biggest problems would be comparing themselves to others and not ever getting things out there.

Thoughtleaders are too emotionally connected to their work and struggle to get it out there when the vision doesn’t match reality. They also LOVE the idea of being SEEN and will lose a whole day to comparing themselves to someone they feel has figured it out, but they haven’t. Thoughtleaders also tend to be the least motivated to take action and love the fantasy part of starting a business and struggle with the hardcore work part. 

Thoughtleaders are also IMPATIENT and prone to changing their mind and reinventing the wheel over and over again when they don’t need to! 

If you are starting a thoughtleader brand, these are the things you absolutely MUST have at the very beginning of your journey. 

•   A highly-readable and digestible piece of content that expresses all of your ideas and points-of-view
The possibilities are endless. Ted Talk, a book, a viral video...you just need something that makes people go “omg, I want that!” 

This content must be CLEAR and hits on the pain points while also being super inspiring. I've encountered a lot of aspiring thoughtleaders who HAVE fresh content, but because it's not engineered to make people WANT TO READ IT, nobody ever does. 

Remember when everyone was reading "You Are A Bad-Ass?" Everyone kept suggesting it to me, and when I read it, I thought it was good but most of the advice I'd heard many times before. The positioning of the book is what made it so famous. That part is essential. 

•   A statement (or sentence) that wraps up the purpose of your work in a bow that's easy to tell someone else
This is good for ALL of the brand types, but for thought leaders, it’s essential. You must have a clear vision statement for your brand if you want people to follow you. People only get excited for what they can feel and understand

•   Simple offers that don't have a lot of bells and whistles
Most thought-leaders just want to get paid to be who they are and add on all the other stuff to make people happy. To build momentum and make sure you don't jump from offer to offer, make sure the offers you create give you ample space to be yourself and don't require you to deliver a ton of logistical deliverables. 

•   A marketing strategy that doesn't feel like work
Thought leaders hate logistics, process, and everything that feels unnatural and as a result, struggle to stick with their marketing schedules. (Not to mention social media is super triggering for them, so they don't love to be there). 
Make sure your marketing strategy is built on your strengths and doesn't feel like work. 

Those are 3 essentials for building a Thoughtleader Brand. Are you a thoughtleader based off of what I've described here?  I am a thoughtleader brand for sure and I'm just now listening to a lot of these rules. The logistics thing is HUGE. That's why I've hired someone to think about that stuff for me. 

I work with brands to design these elements with my signature offering, Brand Fix. I've created books (down to the table of contents), built marketing plans and delivered lists of one-liners for my clients. It's my thing. 

If you want my brain on your business, you can sign up for Brand Fix. It will be your last opportunity to work with me at this price point. My designer and I realized that we could no longer offer this service at the current price (It's a lot of work, y'all)  and so we are talking three more clients as an end-of-the-summer special before the price goes up in the fall. 

At that point, I'll be hiring a Brand Fix assistant to help me and I won't be as hands-on as I've previously been either. If you are interested in investing in growing your business, If you'd love to chat with me. You can do it here

-- Shenee