Call to Actions Must Serve Your Thought Leadership Audience First

“Next steps” in thought leadership seem easy – but they take a lot of work to get right.

Let’s say you and your team have crafted a brilliant piece of thought leadership.

And now it’s time to place the cherry on top: the call-to-action.

  • What do you want your audience to do?
  • Is it easy for them to do?
  • Why is this in your audience’s interest?

So, let’s break all three of these down, one by one.

The first question is one of specificity. Your thought leadership’s call-to-action should be clear. Don’t leave your audience guessing on what they should do next. And don’t be afraid to ask.

The second question is proportionality. Your call-to-action needs to match their level of investment (time, attention, and interest). There’s an art to calibrating a next step of the right size. Just like Goldilocks, we’re looking for the next step that’s “just right.” Too big or too small, and it won’t happen.

But the third question is where many organizations get tripped up. There’s a lovely term in Latin (now used in law) which asks “cui bono” – that is, “who benefits from this action?”

  • You and your organization?
  • Your audience member?

In most organizations, there’s a lot of pressure to craft next steps that benefit your organization.

That next step is tied to outcomes, KPIs, bonuses. Those next steps make us look good in our next performance review.

However, whatever next step you suggest must serve your audience first. Make sure there’s clear (and immediate) benefit to them.

  • What next step do you want your audience to take?
  • Is it easy for them to do?
  • Why is this in your audience’s interest?

Make sure you have the answers to those questions before you put your next thought leadership asset out into the world.

And now – here’s this month’s call to action.

I host a monthly Org TL thought leadership for practitioners. It’s a chance to meet your peers, explore ideas together, and ask questions of your peers.

If you’re interested – please reach out to me – and tell me you’re interested in joining.