Are You Getting The Job Done Or Just Goofing Off?

“The temptation to entertain instead of selling is contagious.”

—David Ogilvy

Are you a thought leader or just another source of information?

Anyone can look smart when they get to pick what they get to write or talk about. That’s the easy part.

The hard part is answering two questions:

  1. So what?


2. What now?

Don’t fall into the trap of having something to say, but nowhere to go, or — worse — nothing to sell. Or — even worse yet — not enough influence over those people to the extent that they will buy anything you have to sell.

If you are going to be a (thought) leader, the one thing you absolutely, positively need is followers. And a direction.

Everything you do is part of the sales process. Everything. Even when you’re not overtly “selling,” you’re still selling.

You do this by building authority — not by just informing or entertaining. 

Yes, you should inform. Yes, you should be entertaining at times. But you do all of it strategically:

The strategy of representing something to them. Not just anything, but a theme they aspire to: freedom, wealth, independence, health, happiness.

The strategy of emotional connection: they need to feel like you, personally, care about them. And the strategy dictates that they need to come to feel the same way about you.

The strategy of using the right words to say more than what you’re saying. Of building a deeper meaning into your work that will attract and repel people.

In a world of social media, it’s easy to attract attention by being fun, funny, or whatever. It’s much harder, and better, to build status.