“It can’t possibly be two weeks already!” she said out loud. The framed pictures in her office of treasured vacations and the kids in their sports garb are accustomed to hearing the tone of voice she uses when she’s exasperated.
And those pictures were hearing that more and more lately. Only this time, she sounded different.
“I was so excited. At least I was when I started,” she explained. “Now, it’s simply a drag.”
And there it was, the raw reality of her situation; she had grown to despise the ball and chain of being a thought leader. “And what happened to all those great ideas I had?” she wondered. Have you wondered that, too? So how do you survive the long-tail of being a thought leader?
The Long Tail of Thought Leadership
The “long tail of the thought leader process” begins with a large infusion of excitement marking the start of a thought leadership effort. You decide to dive in and build your authority with an overabundance of ideas and enthusiasm. However, the reality of the work and commitment required soon kicks in.
Entrepreneurs tend to be big thinkers, visionaries, idea machines, and action-takers. Many are on the spectrum of ADD/ADHD. So it is no surprise that the finer points of getting content ready to publish is where you lose interest. It is at this point the slide down toward the long-tail of being a thought leader begins.
Time-tested Tips to Help You Settle into the Long Tail
- Expect this process to be at times, both arduous and unexciting. When you anticipate the process to have a long-tail where you settle into a routine, you will be better prepared mentally.
- Expect this process to take time. Long-tail is exactly what it implies; over a long period.
- Set a realistic weekly time commitment: Business has a way of taking over, and there will always be something that seems more important.
- Stay the course: Use that time block you committed to this effort for something else even once, and it knocks this priority down several notches in your mind. Then this slide becomes harder to stop.
- Be realistic: timing is everything, so be sure that this is the right time for you to commit to a thought leader effort.
Develop new habits
- Become an avid note-taker: The sheer volume of ideas you generate is hard to measure and even harder to capture. Whether you prefer an unplugged tool like a small notebook or a digital tool like an app on your smartphone log your ideas every day.
- Become a storyteller: Shift your mindset to that of a storyteller to keep the process challenging for you and interesting for your audience.
- Know yourself: if you tend to toward distractability or perfectionism, then you know they both get in the way of progress. Build a habit of accountability into your thought leader process to keep you on track.
And finally, use resources that will shoulder the bulk of the work and keep you on track. The long tail of being a thought leader can be rather enjoyable. It may seem like all the power was upfront, but the real power of your thought leadership is in the long tail.