The number one goal of content marketing is to position yourself as an expert in your industry, right? People will be more inclined to buy your goods and services if you’re a leader—or so the theory goes.
But as the internet has exploded over the past three decades, our world is now overflowing with experts. When you Google “how to change a light bulb,” there are over 100 million results. That’s 100 million people who think they’re an expert on changing light bulbs.
So if the expert territory is overpopulated, we’ll need to take a different approach to content marketing. Rather than pumping out expertise-based articles by the armload, we need to instead become visionaries.
While experts answer “how-to,” visionaries challenge us to re-think what we do. Instead of being satisfied with best practices, which just become average practices once everyone is doing them, visionaries form an entirely new approach. Your content can either confirm the expert knowledge that is already accepted, or it can challenge the current way of thinking.
Why not try to move from the crowded space ground where the experts reside and move into the much less populated land of visionaries?
But how do you become a visionary?
Caroline Nuttall boils it down to three steps:
- Ask questions until you find one that hasn’t been answered. As Nuttall says, ask a question that Google doesn’t have the answer for and investigate.
- Frame a hypothesis and get feedback on the answers you find.
- Simplify and amplify by focusing on what works and leaving behind what doesn’t.
Nuttall is the VP of Member of Development at ForbesSpeakers|ForbesBooks and makes her living helping CEOs and entrepreneurs promote their personal brand. Nuttall says the ones that stand out have crossed over to being visionaries.
Nuttall points to Mel Robbins, a former defense attorney and legal expert who transformed herself into the No. 1 female motivational speaker in the world. How? She went from being a legal expert to a relationship `expert’ to being something greater – to being a visionary – during a TEDx Talk in 2011 titled “How to stop screwing yourself over.”
Robbins asks the question – `Is it us? Are we getting in our own way?’ – that Nuttall says she didn’t have the answer for, but made people look at her as someone not telling them `how to’, but as someone who was making them re-think what they do.
Robbins floated out a possible answer: The 5-Second Rule, which challenged people to act upon their thoughts and impulses within five seconds or else their brain will kill it. The talk and the concept went viral and The 5-Second Rule became a cottage industry for Robbins, including a best-selling book.
Life in the land of visionaries is pretty good.