One of the strongest ways to stand out from the competition is to establish yourself as a thought leader in your practice area by creating content that speaks to the issues and challenges your clients are facing.
Writing, recording, or presenting information that can help your clients and potential clients, or that they might find interesting, is the great equalizer because every professional from every size firm can send the message they know what they are talking about and that they are the go-to person in their practice area.
Intellectually, you know how important it is, yet something still holds you back.
Are These Thoughts Causing You To Play Small?
Have you ever held back from creating new content because in the back of your mind, you’ve thought,
“Well, I’m just somebody else publishing content. Everyone else is already publishing really, really good content in my practice area. What could I possibly have to say that would attract people to yet another blog post or a podcast (or whatever it might be)?”
You’re Not Alone.
I have either read or had conversations with many lawyers, or the people who serve them, where lawyers have held back from putting themselves out there.
They say things like:
“Other lawyers have already published content on this topic.”
“You know, what? A lot of really smart lawyers are publishing content on this topic.”
“Why should I do that? Why should I just be another? Mine isn’t going to get noticed.”
“What can I do that’s better than what is already out there?”
It’s All About Mindset
Let’s talk about readjusting your mindset a little bit because it doesn’t matter that somebody else is already posting.
Let me back up for just a second. The reason it does matter is that if others are already creating content, even if that is just a social media post about topics within your practice area that you think you should be creating, that is an indication that there is a market for your information. That would be the most important reason why you should care that others are already posting about your topic.
Back To Not Caring
Other than that, you shouldn’t care that others are already “out there” covering these important topics.
Allow me to use myself as an example for a moment. If you listened to my podcast above, you heard me say that:
“I am a marketing and business development advisor, specializing in content, social and digital media for lawyers.”
It’s true. I have been for as long as I can remember. What would happen if I said to myself,
“You know what? There are a lot of really smart people that are already breaking this news (or producing podcasts, or creating video, or going live on LinkedIn) and talking about this. I would just be one more. Nothing that I post, nothing that I create, is going to get any attention. It’s not going to be special because it’s already being done.”
“Oh, my gosh, everybody already knows everything that I know.”
I cannot tell you how many times I’ve said that one in my head, which is just so very silly. I am brought back to reality every time I conduct training or have a consulting or coaching engagement. I realize that what I am telling myself is not true at all.
Let’s Get Back To You
If you are thinking you shouldn’t be stepping out and stepping up and creating content, thinking you are too late to the game, or there is nothing you can add to the conversation, I urge you to rethink that and to do what you can to push through those thoughts.
Insecurity and Fear Of Failure
Much of this is based on a bit of insecurity and a fear of failure that people might think that your news is stale, or that it has already been covered. This causes you to wonder how your information could possibly be interesting.
We do this to ourselves, don’t we?
Here’s What I Recommend
I want you to do the best you can to push those thoughts away, and to know this:
- No one is the same as you are.
- No one is the same as I am.
- No one has your personality.
- No one has your set of experiences.
- No one has the exact same jobs and positions and everything around you, the people you know, the content you read, the classes you’ve taken, the CLE you’ve taken, and so many other factors.
There is no way that any one person is truly your competitor because they do not have your exact same set of circumstances.
So, let’s work on this.
I want you to be strategic.
- Figure out what the topics are that you want to talk or write about.
- Decide who you are talking to when creating this content.
- Make sure your words speak to their needs and challenges.
- Pick your medium or media.
- Then do it.
Clarity, Consistency, Character, and Confidence
Once you get clear on the simple strategy above and create this piece of content, then I’d like you to be consistent.
Go ahead and put your personality into it. Show your character. Don’t worry as it gets easier the more you do it.
These practices then help you develop enough confidence to say (go ahead and read this out loud…whisper if you are worried about others hearing you):
“There is somebody out there just waiting for me to help them today. I am going to share this because I think it’s important, and I think my clients and my potential clients would benefit from knowing about this, too.”
Take Others Out Of The Equation
Let’s work on taking you and your worry about other content creators out of the equation and putting your skills, your expertise, and your knowledge back into the picture.
Be strategic about what you are doing. Put a plan together so that you will help you create content regularly.
Don’t put so much pressure on yourself to think everything you publish must be the definitive work on that topic. The content we create on social and digital media should be high quality and valuable but, as I always tell my clients, it doesn’t have to be New York Times bestseller list kind of content.
It could be that you’re thinking about something that’s going on in your practice area that you want to make sure others have on their minds or on their radar because it has an impact on them.
Get Out Of Your Own Way
If you’ve known me for a while, you will know that I say this as caringly and lovingly as I can because I want you to get out there and create. I want you to go ahead and share what you know, because as I’ve said so many times before, if you don’t share what you know, who will?
Don’t Leave Your Promotion To Others
Others who you assume know what you do for a living won’t always share your name and your experience with others because they are busy. They also don’t know as much about you as you think they should. They, too, have a lot on their minds, and could even be thinking of other colleagues and acquaintances in your practice area.
So, you have to take the bull by the horns, and you have to do it yourself.
- Be strategic.
- Put a plan together.
- Create content.
- Publish it.
- Share it.
Don’t be insecure about promoting it on social and digital media. You need to let people know what you’ve created once you’ve created it.