You aren’t their Google.

No sentence can be effective if it contains facts alone. It must also contain emotion, image, logic, and promise.

—Eugene Schwartz

The most common mistake a would-be Authority or Thought Leader can make is to operate under the assumption that the most important thing they provide their audience, if not the only thing, is the information they have to teach.

This is totally wrong.

When someone decides they want to be an Authority or Thought Leader, what they really want is the status that comes with that role. There are three tiers of Authority/Thought Leader status.

The first tier is “Authority,” and that is when you are simply recognized as a source of information. You can get attention for what you have to say, and people get answers from you. It’s nice, but nobody gets all excited and respectful about a dictionary or a set of encyclopedias.

The second tier is “Beliefs,” and this is when you can actually affect the beliefs of your audience. This is when you can start to have impact, because you can manifest some real change and improvement in their lives.

The third, and highest, tier is “Compliance,” and this is when an audience member complies with your instructions. So when you tell them to do something, they do it. When you tell them to buy something, they buy it. This tier is what every Thought Leader should aim for with every audience member. Not only does this allow you to have the impact and compensation you desire, but you also have the best chance of helping people — even in spite of their own obstacles and hangups.

The prerequisite for growing your status past the level of a simply Authority is to be able to establish an emotional connection with your audience. You don’t make that happen with pure information.

The way you establish emotional connection with your audience is to let them know you care, represent inspirational values to your audience, and bring them into stories that they can connect with.

Don’t just be their Google. The value of knowledge is declining everyday, while the value of wisdom is increasing.