Be Bold & Other Focused: Why Adding Self-Reflection is Key to Make Your Thought Leadership Stand Out
Hey rebels, last week we talked about going bold with your message, and now we are moving on to O– other focused.
When thinking about the BOLD framework (check out last week's episode if you haven't, it lays the ground work for today's show), I realized it was rooted in thought leadership. As you may know, I really believe that thought leadership means that you have an idea or a group of ideas in your head that are worthy of your leadership, that you believe can transform the world.
This perfectly pairs with other focused, because when your messaging is focused on others, on your audience, you are most likely out to change something in their business or in their life.
Before we dive in though, I think it's really important to remind you of the way my business is other focused.
When you are other focused, you know who your business is for and who it is not for.
For example, my business (and myself as a person) strives to be anti-racist. This means I know my business is not for the all lives matter people. I'm not afraid to announce this in my social content, my website copy, or my newsletters. I'm about making room and making space for the people that this administration, and this country for hundreds of years prior, who have been oppressed, as well as those fighting for them.
ANYWAY, let's dive in. You'll hear the ways in which you can shift your business to be other focused.
Tune in or read through the transcript below
Resources mentioned in this episode
Hey rebel, last week on the podcast, we talked about being bold with your message.I had an epiphany about the bold framework. I realized that the bold framework is not about messaging, it's about your thought leadership.
Now hear me out on this because I have a different take on thought leadership than most people do. If you heard the episode where I talked about how I believe that everyone is a thought leader, then this perspective is nothing new for you. But I don't believe that thought leadership is something that is bestowed upon a person because they have a huge following because they are an influencer because they got to the marketplace at the right time and wrote enough how-to blog posts.
I really believe that thought leadership means that you have an idea or a group of ideas in your head that are worthy of your leadership, that you believe can transform people that you believe that can transform your industry.
You also believe you can change the world, that you want to lead with these thoughts and ideas that you want to create a business around these thoughts and ideas and get up every single day and advocate for your ideas. And to me, that's what thought leadership is. And maybe it's more about being a thought advocate, but no one really knows what that is. So, thought leadership is not bestowed upon you. It is something that we as business owners can actively choose to create. We can create thought leadership businesses.
When I was thinking about the bold messaging framework, I realized that the 3 Word Rebellion is my messaging framework. And what BOLD wants to be is a thought leadership framework. So what we're going to do today is dive back in to the bold framework and just to remind you, on the last episode of the pod, we talked about the B in the bold framework, which is be the only in your industry and to be the only you need to claim what your, the best in the world at.
Today we're going to focus on the O which is being other focused, being in the service of others, which is really what essentially thought leadership is for changing other people.
And in the next two episodes, we'll talk about the L, which is leadership and the D which is direction. So last week we talked about being the only, and now let's talk about the O-- other focused, and that means knowing who your business is for and creating a space of belonging for those people. And when I say, we want to know who our business is for, that also means knowing who your business is not for.
Before I dive in to the meat of this discussion, I did want to take a moment and reflect on who my business is for in light of everything that has been going on in the world, because the be the only claim what you're best at in the world episode happened before the murder of George Floyd, before all of the protests that happened in the United States and around the world. It happened before any of that.
If you've read the 3 Word Rebellion book, you know that I don't really hide my politics, you know that the 3 Word Rebellion was inspired yes from the entrepreneurs that I greatly admire, but it was also inspired from social movements, social movements, like Black Lives Matter. If you read the book, you also know that I give a critique of Donald Trump's Make America Great Again slogan the harm that that slogan does, because essentially what Make America Great Again does is call back to a time where many Americans were, and honestly most Americans, are still excluded. By most Americans I mean Black Americans and other people of color and that slogan continues to do harm.
I want to be absolutely clear that Communication Rebel, my business, and me as a person strive to be anti racist. That means looking at how I am racist. I believe that White people are racist and I think Ibram X. Kendi describes this best on an episode of Brené Brown’s podcast. He talks about how racism rains down on us in this culture. And we don't even know we're getting wet until somebody points it out to us and hands us an umbrella. So I've been doing, anti-racist work for on myself for about two to three years. And it's tough work to look at yourself and see how you've been indoctrinated into a racist culture and the harm you've done, the apologies you have to give to people that you've harmed and unknowingly harmed. That is the work. I believe that George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, they were all murdered because of systemic racism in this country.
So for me, I just want to be clear about that because being other focused and being bold in your business, in your message, in your thought leadership means that you take a stand for who you are for and who you are not for. This brand is not for people who believe that all lives matter. This is not for them. Okay. I did want to be clear who I'm for, who this business is for, and who this podcast is for. And we're going to be talking about this more in future episodes of the podcast. I am not an expert in DEI. I am not an expert in anti-racism. If you're on my list, you did get an email about anti-racism resources, but this is the work. So we will be talking more about this. We'll be talking more about this in the leadership episode next week as well, because this has to do with the values that we lead with.
So this is the worst segue in the world, but I want to tell you being other focused is more than just being clear on who your ideal client avatar is. It really is about creating that space where people can see themselves belonging in your brand. How else can we do that? Outside of being explicit on who we are for and who we are not for?
One way we can do that in a very practical sense is an I versus you ratio.
One of the things people ask me all the time on social media, they'll say, Michelle, I take all this time. I spend like 36 minutes writing a great social media post, and I don't get any engagement. I'll take a look at their social media posts and I can tell them exactly why the post is all about them. It's all I language, there’s no room for the other person. Of course, they don't get any engagement and it's the same when I go to somebody's website copy when I hear all about I, me, and my business, and this is what we believe. There's no room for the other person who is reading.
I think it's very important to have a 20/80 ratio with your content. 20% of your content can be focused on you and the other 80% should be focused on your people. So you can do this simply by just looking at the pronouns. 20% of your pronouns can be like I and me, the other 80% should be you pronouns. Talk to your people, ask them questions, engage them. Your action step here is to go look at your copy. Look at your last five social media posts. What's your ratio? Is it 20% focused on you and your business? And is it 80% focused on the people you're talking to? Or is it 50/50? Is it 80/20 the other way? Once you start focusing on other people, you'll see them want to engage with you more.
The second way to be more other focused is to create room for self reflection in your business.
By self reflection I mean having space when people engage with your content, with your social media, for them to think about themselves. One of the most powerful things about the 3 Word Rebellion is that when you come up with a great one, it makes people curious about what it means, but it also makes people ask, what does this mean for me? Because people are thinking about themselves, right? And this is why quizzes make such wonderful opt-ins and lead magnets, or as I like to think of them, as community builders, if you've listened to that episode on building your email list, because we see a quiz and we want to know more about ourselves.
I really believe Seth Godin is a master at writing for self-reflection. He sends daily emails that make us think about ourselves because he's always answering questions. So here's your action step. How can you create more room for people to reflect on your work, in your content, in your copy, in what you're posting on social media? How can you create that room for self reflection, where they're thinking about themselves, where they're answering questions about themselves, how can you do that more or do it better? So you're not always asking them questions necessarily, but you're like Seth Godin and implying questions.
If you're not on Seth Godin's email list, if you want to masterclass in this every single day, I highly recommend your action could be signing up for his email list and reading it, not for the content, but for how he writes. If you haven't noticed, do you see what I'm doing with these action steps? I'm making you self-reflect haha. Interesting. Right?
Finally, the reason this other focus is so important and why it should be a part of your thought leadership is because people love thinking about themselves.
It may sound so counterintuitive, but if you want your business to be memorable, if you want it to stand out, the thing that you must do is create a place for people to think about themselves, because that is what's truly going to make you stand out in their minds. You're going to be the person who helped them have a realization about themselves that brought them to an aha moment. That is what's going to create that stickiness, that memorable-ness that you're looking for.
So what's one thing you can do to be more bold and more other focused in your business and your thought leadership? Do you need to go look at your copy and see how other focused you are? Maybe you need a new opt-in or community builder that's asking more questions and having people take more actions.
I'd love to know the one action that you're going to take from this podcast episode. So come find me on Instagram and send me a DM and let me know what action you took.
Until next time, create a bold message by being other focused.