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How Digital Writing Elevates Thought Leadership In The Digital Age
The evolution of the digital landscape has enabled more entrepreneurs to establish their presence.
Many entrepreneurs, such as Seth Godin, Gary Vaynerchuk, Pat Flynn, and Tim Ferris, use the online platform to build businesses and demonstrate credibility. Other business leaders, who had already been successful, such as Ray Dalio, Richard Branson, and Arianna Huffington, have jumped onto the digital landscape to expand their influence.
Digital writing has been helping many people build their thought leadership competence. By producing clear, insightful, and engaging content, they can showcase their knowledge, share unique perspectives, and connect with more people.
Embracing digital writing helps business leaders and entrepreneurs pave the way for growth and continued success.
Digital writing is a powerful leverage
Leverage refers to the act of utilizing tools to maximize results.
Many leaders understand the power of leverage and use it to their advantage. Leverage can be in the form of people, money, technology, or media. In the digital age, digital writing is an excellent tool for leaders to use as leverage to maximize their influence.
When a leader wants to capitalize on an idea, they need an audience.
In the past, this was done through direct conversations, phone calls, emails, or boardroom meetings. Nowadays, leaders can use the social medium to convey their thoughts and influence their audience instantly.
Here are 5 social mediums that leaders can use to convey their message:
Twitter: for sharing insights, inspiration, wisdom, and brief thoughts
Instagram: for demonstrating ideas through graphics and video messages
LinkedIn: for sharing newsletters, articles, and blog posts
Substack: for sharing newsletters
Facebook: for sharing articles, blog posts, pictures, and infographics.
Social media make it possible for leaders to talk to many people at once.
There will be more social media competing with one another in the future. However, a thought leader understands that the foundation of their message depends on how thoughtful their writing is, and how well they can strategically distribute it through those platforms.
When you hear or read a golden nugget from a leader, it's likely they've worked on their pitch a thousand times.
There is hardly any idea that is welcomed by people the first time it is spoken.
Martin Luther King worked on his "I have a dream" pitch many times before delivering his famous speech at the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963. The phrase "I have a dream" evolved over time as Dr. King continued to speak about his vision, first known at Rocky Mount, North Carolina on November 27, 1962.
By using digital platforms, leaders can practice and improve their pitches over and over again.
Let's use Seth Godin as an example to see how this works. Seth is an online marketing expert who has built a multimillion-dollar business online. He shares his message with the world through his blog, seths.blog, where he publishes his thoughts in small bits every day.
The essence of one's ideas can now become the multiplier servicing the world.
People don’t get results in writing not because of their skills and abilities, but because they don’t utilize the right data.
Data is not just about how many times an idea has been written in the past, how great you think it is, or how well-organized your data collection is.
In digital writing, the right data are views, comments, shares, likes, and saves. Imagine writing a message to your loved one that they shared with their friends and saved in a journal. Now imagine doing that to thousands of people.
Data helps leaders create content that people are truly interested in hearing about.
Data-driven in writing is similar to data-driven in doing business. A business can only survive if there are customers, ratings, reviews, and comments. These are called engagements.
In writing, the customer is the reader. They spend time, instead of money, to read the product - the writing. Writers who start with no skills but get lots of data, ratings, and comments will improve immediately. But writers who never receive a comment from others will hardly get their work seen.
Over and over again, digital writers become masters of the craft not because they’re lucky, but because they’re engaging with people.
Famous leaders who write online
There are plenty of leaders who are digital writers that have been very successful in writing online. They spread across different industries, and their writings spread across different platforms.
These people know their audience, understand how to add value to their audience, and use the tools available to leverage their thought leadership.
Here are some examples of famous leaders who are also digital writers and share their knowledge in what they do:
Seth Godin: Seth is a renowned marketing expert, entrepreneur, and author. He is known for his innovative ideas on marketing, leadership, and change. Seth primarily writes on his blog, Seth's Blog, and has authored numerous bestselling books. His most famous work is "Purple Cow," which discusses the importance of remarkable products in marketing.
Satya Nadella: As the CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella has embraced digital platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter to share insights, discuss industry trends, and engage with the technology community. He has also written a book, "Hit Refresh," which chronicles his journey at Microsoft and shares his vision for the future of technology.
Tim Ferriss: Tim Ferriss is an entrepreneur, author, and public speaker best known for his book "The 4-Hour Workweek," which promotes the idea of lifestyle design and optimizing work efficiency. He writes on his blog, The Tim Ferriss Experiment, and hosts a popular podcast called "The Tim Ferriss Show," where he interviews successful individuals from various industries.
James Clear: James Clear is an author and productivity expert known for his work on habits, decision-making, and continuous improvement. His writing primarily focuses on providing practical strategies for mastering habits and improving performance. James writes on his blog, jamesclear.com, and has authored the bestselling book "Atomic Habits."
Ray Dalio: Ray Dalio is the founder of Bridgewater Associates, one of the world's largest hedge funds. He is a prominent investor and philanthropist, and he shares his insights on economics, investing, and leadership. Ray has written a best-selling book, "Principles," which outlines his life and work principles, offering guidance for both personal and professional success. He regularly writes on LinkedIn, sharing his thoughts on the economy, market trends, and broader issues.
Arianna Huffington: Arianna Huffington is the founder of The Huffington Post and Thrive Global. She is an influential voice in media, politics, and well-being. Arianna has written several books, including "Thrive" and "The Sleep Revolution," which focus on well-being, productivity, and success in the modern world. In addition to her writing, she actively participates in conversations on social media platforms, like Twitter, and contributes articles to various publications.
The digital landscape has been creating unusual opportunities for business leaders to share their expertise and establish thought leadership through online writing. Business leaders who embrace online writing will stay relevant, maintain a competitive edge, and pave the way for growth and continued success.