Expert. Authority. Visionary.
These words are big. Lofty. Grandiose.
That is, unless you can give them context.
To claim your authority, you must first be able to articulate your authority. And that’s where content marketing comes in.
It’s not enough to say that you’re an expert in your field. That you’re a leader in your industry. That you’re a visionary breaking new ground.
You need to be able to clearly and succinctly explain your unique perspective and the benefit you provide to your audience. You have to have the confidence to take ownership of your expertise.
Some people call this your brand positioning. Some call it your brand promise. My favorite people call it your “sweet spot.”
Whatever you call it, it is the essential first step you need to take before you can begin sharing your expertise through content marketing.
Joe Pulizzi defines it in his book Epic Content Marketing:
“Your sweet spot is the intersection between your customers’ pain points and where you have the most authority with your stories. This takes us back to one of the original questions: Where can you be the leading expert in the world?”
It’s not enough to say you’re the leading expert. You have to believe it, and you have to prove it. So it’s important to actually write it down. On paper.
Writing down and owning your unique perspective will not only help you discover where your true differentiation lies, but also give you confidence to become the expert and authority you want to be.
So how do you come up with one compelling statement of worth? Start by answer these questions:
It doesn’t have to be complex; it just has to be specific. Some of my favorite examples…
A nonprofit “sweet spot”:
We’re a non-profit organization on a mission to bring clean and safe drinking water to every person on the planet. Join us. (charity: water)
A B2B “sweet spot”:
VMware is radically transforming IT with technologies that make your business more agile, efficient and profitable. (VMWare)
A B2C “sweet spot”:
To be the premier sports and entertainment brand that brings people together, connecting them socially and emotionally like no other. (NFL)
Taking a stance requires a confident leap of faith. You have to believe you have something important to say – something that your audience needs to know, and something that sets you apart from the millions of other voices out there on this crowded Internet.
Once you have it, print it big and print it bold. Reflect on it often as you develop and execute your branded content plan.
And then write smart, authentic content that proves it’s true.
What do you think are the most important elements of a strong brand positioning? Share in the comments below!