Thought leadership is the art of being deeply irrelevant to most people.
99.99% of the world won’t care about your expertise. After all, it’s not what they need. But for that 0.01% who need your insights, who want your ideas — you are deeply relevant.
Thought leadership fails when it tries to be relevant to everyone.
There are 7.8 billion people across the world. One good idea can’t – and shouldn’t! – fit all.
After 20 years of trying to take ideas to scale — this is what I’ve learned.
When launching an idea, I focus on getting early adopters and followers. I work hard to get the attention of the enthusiastic 150 people who need that content, and I don’t worry about the 10,000 “vaguely interested” people who might not.
Targeting the spotlight like that does a lot to increase a thought leadership idea’s success.
It’s a curious paradox: You achieve more impact by narrowing your focus.
That’s the principle of narrowcasting. You focus on a small group – the right group – to produce big impact. Aim your attention toward people who will become passionate about your insight. People who need your idea, will put it into action, and through their passion, will spread the idea to others.
Those people become allies and ambassadors for your idea.