Ideas don’t become thought leadership until they’re written down and codified.
You might have brilliant ideas or know how to help people in very tangible ways, but that expertise is trapped if it’s locked in your head.
What thought leaders do differently is codify their expertise.
A thought leader is an authority in a specific topic who is able to monetize their expertise. The key phrase in that definition is “monetize their expertise.”
If you want to get paid for your expertise, you’ve got to codify it. This means systematically documenting your ideas so they can spread beyond you.
Capture Your Expertise
If you were to share your best advice, what would it be?
Everyone has 5 to 7 things that they know to be true. These are the core ideas of your expertise, and where you naturally gravitate when solving problems or giving advice.
The 3% Rule, for instance, is one of my core ideas. The rule argues that at any given time 3% of your market is buying, the rest is not. I use the Rule extensively in my work. It’s a principle in my book, Sticky Branding, and a tool that I use in my consulting and speaking.
The 3% Rule comes across as a simple idea, but it took me a while to codify the model. It’s gone through several iterations to make it a shareable tool that anyone can use.
You too have core ideas that ground your expertise. Take the time to document each of your core ideas. These are the building blocks of your thought leadership.
Make Your Ideas Tangible
Thought leadership is also an act of branding. Capturing and documenting your ideas is the first step to codify your thought leadership. The next step is to package your ideas so they are easy to share.
Treat your core ideas like products. Give them a label or a name, and provide each with a short statement that explains it. For instance, the “3% Rule” is the name, and the statement is “At any given time 3% of your market is buying, the rest is not.”
Packaging your core ideas has two benefits:
- Make ideas concrete: Documenting your ideas makes them concrete. By giving the idea a name and explanation makes it a tangible concept that you can share with others.
- Give ideas gravitas: A clear explanation gives your ideas credibility. The packaging exercise separates the creator from the idea, and allows the idea to stand on its own.
Monetize Your Thought Leadership
Documenting your ideas makes them tangible. It takes skills that you deliver in your job or when you trade time for money, and converts them into saleable units.
Each of your core ideas has value. They can be converted into keynotes, courses, books, training materials, or a host of other services. The challenge is pulling them out of your head so that you have the building blocks to work with.
Take the first step, and codify your 5 to 7 core ideas.