Have you ever been about to write an article, give a speech, or start a presentation and caught yourself thinking, “I’m really not qualified to do this”? Perhaps panic set in as you realized you felt more like a fraud than a seasoned expert. This is impostor syndrome — and it is a lot more common than you may think.
Even among highly successful people, that fear of being exposed as a “fraud” is a genuine concern. It is surprisingly simple to forget that yes, you really know what you’re talking about. Calling yourself a thought leader is not synonymous with claiming you are the world’s leading expert on a particular subject. It means you have experience, you have had success, and you have specific, informed opinions on how to do something right.
I know. I’ve been there, myself. In my late twenties, I was disillusioned with my place in the marketing world and set off to open a wine business. I was lucky enough to have one connection to a very esteemed, old-guard winemaker from Napa Valley. He walked me out into his vineyards and said, “Someone is always going to walk through that front door who knows more about wine than you do. If you guess at an answer or make something up, that person will know it. And now you’ve now lost their trust. If you can’t answer, tell them you need to look it up. If they walk away, they’re not worth having as a customer, anyway.”
This advice sheds light on something very important and often misunderstood. Contrary to popular belief, being an expert is a journey, not a destination. It is a constant evolution towards a deeper understanding of a specific discipline or skill set that has no endpoint.
Here’s the hard truth: There will always be someone in that room, in that venue, or walking through your front door who knows more than you do about a particular industry or strategy. That should not be discouraging — it should be freeing. It’s an opportunity.
How to Own Your Expertise and Make it Work for You and Your Firm
While there will always be colleagues, clients, and competitors who know more than you about certain subjects, no one has your particular experience. No one. And you owe it to your firm and your potential prospects to push past these hesitations and educate your market.
Be bold. Your marketing can only be as successful as you are confident. Of course, you’ll need more than just confidence to make an impact. You’ll also need a relevant topic and clear delivery. But confidence must come first.
Let’s assume you’re now convinced to wear the badge of ‘thought leader’ for your firm. You have invaluable experience under your belt and a lot to say. But getting those bits of wisdom out of your head and in front of prospects is a whole other hill to conquer.
Many executives I have worked with over the years know they’re good in a room and can speak ad infinitum about their service offering. But when it’s time to put that expertise to paper, the confidence train comes to a screeching halt. The act of typing out a thought leadership piece and making an actual record of their opinions gives them great pause.
That lack of confidence is often veiled by common excuses like, “I’m not a good writer,” or “I’m busy servicing clients.” The truth is, there will always be a rational reason not to prioritize your own marketing. But you’re doing your employees, your prospects, and yourself a disservice by keeping all that wisdom in your head.
An outside perspective is often the perfect solution for this all-too-common scenario.
A Content Marketing Coach Can Help Discover and Mold Your Bottled-Up Insights
Put simply, a content marketing coach helps you craft your content marketing strategy. They guide your messaging by listening, learning, editing, advising, encouraging, and — when appropriate — cutting you off. They’re the bartenders of digital marketing. They’ve seen it all, day in and day out, and they know what will make your expert opinion stand out to prospects in the fog of organic search.
Maybe you understand all of this, but you’re still hesitant. Because you have experience with content marketing. You have a blog or insights page. You know you need to publish frequently, share on social media, and promote with emails. You know you need to spread the word about your latest insights anywhere you can. You know how to write. Why do you need a coach? You know your prospects better than any consultant would.
Why Do I Need a Content Marketing Coach?
As Google has gotten smarter about human communication and language, online content has shifted. Now, SEO relies on telling great stories that resonate and educate your prospects as much as it does on word count and keywords. If your voice and story aren’t targeted, specific, differentiated, and relevant, you’re pushing water uphill with a rake.
If you’re like most CEOs, you’re exceptional at servicing your clients. You know the industry you serve and can rattle off statistics and trends at a moment’s notice if asked. But, do you often make it to 5pm on Friday only to realize that you forgot to focus on your own marketing? Did you forget to pick up that dusty megaphone and exclaim, “Hey, we’re really, really good at this stuff that we do! You should give us a call to see if we can help you!” This is where your content marketing coach comes in.
Your coach will work with you during ideation meetings to identify specific topics that speak to the pain points of your prospects. Not just that, they know which topics your competitors have written about time and time again and can steer you towards fresher subjects.
Ask the Following Questions When Considering a Content Coaching Service:
- Would I be drawn to the insight articles I’m currently writing?
- Have I consistently made time to write, publish, and promote my thought leadership content?
- Are the articles I’m writing differentiated, novel, and specific?
- Am I writing both educational content geared towards researchers as well as content that speaks to the prospect who is evaluating the possibility of hiring my firm?
- Are traffic and conversions increasing? Are they right-fit conversions?
If you answered “no” to any of these questions, you should consider a content coaching service. And mostly likely, this is why you’re reading these words right now.
Okay, I May Need a Content Marketing Coach
Identifying that you may have a need for an outside advisor to help corral and guide your content team is a solid first step. Next, establish buy-in from the rest of your team. Remember, “coach” is the operative word here. The end goal is to allow your team to bring that second-nature knowledge about your firm’s expertise to the forefront and turn it into insights that engage prospects and convince them to invest in your firm.
If you think you’re ready to discuss a content coaching service, contact us. We can’t wait to learn about your firm and help get your expertise out into the world.