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Why Your Solution-Focused Content Doesn’t Motivate

October 30, 2023
The Recognized Authority Podcast Cover

The podcast that helps experts & consultants on the journey to becoming a recognized authority in your field, so you can increase your impact, command premium fees, work less hours, and never have to suffer a bad-fit client again!.

We all want more recognition for our expertise. But the path to becoming a recognized authority is not always clear.

In this episode, I reflect openly on an oversight in my own authority-building journey: not focusing enough on the pain points and problems that my audience and ideal clients are experiencing.

This is a topic we addressed in my conversation with Steven Lewis in the previous episode, and it’s something I’m exploring a bit further in today’s episode. My takeaway from last week is that I often jump too quickly to solutions before fully exploring the frustrations and challenges of the problem or situation.

This is coming from a good place with intentions of helping, but it may be doing my audience a huge disservice, limiting my ability to motivate and compel them to take important-not-urgent actions that can profoundly impact your career and life.

Walking through my experience, I share how consistently creating and publishing content opened opportunities, expanded my business, and freed up more of my time. But starting this content engine isn’t always easy or an obvious priority.

That’s why I want to explore this further and paint a fuller picture, examining the consequences you face when not building authority through content.

My goal isn’t to exaggerate or exacerbate the pain, but explore the limitations and trade-offs you encounter without this critical but never urgent step.

My hope is a peek behind the scenes of my thinking motivates and encourages you to start your authority-building journey. I believe the effort is so worth it, but also want to validate that it takes real commitment and perseverance from you.

If you need accountability and support, join my intensive Authority Building Bootcamp this November running from Monday 6th for 4 weeks.

Let’s make progress together before the end of the year and holiday season kicks in, so that we’re starting the new year on a strong footing. If you’re interested, please enter your email on this form and I’ll send you some details about the bootcamp in the next 24 hours.

The path to authority takes time, but your impact makes it all worthwhile. I look forward to exploring this with you.

Show Notes

Guest Bio


Alastair McDermott 0:01
Today, I want to follow up on my last podcast episode, which was with Steven Lewis. And I had some positive comments, it was well received as a as an episode. And I want to follow up on some of the thoughts. And the way that I’m thinking after having that conversation. I’ve actually had a couple of interviews, meanwhile, that I haven’t yet published. But I have had some other conversations about content creation, things like that. But I do think that I’ve been guilty of something that Steven talked about. And I think that it’s a major oversight. I think that maybe I’m even doing you a disservice, I’m doing a disservice to those people who follow me on email or social media. And that is by not focusing more on the pain and on the problem. And I think in part, it’s because I’m a very solution focused kind of person. So I’m a problem solver engineer kind of mindset. And I know that I like to jump straight into solutions. I also think that in part, you know, this is something that I know somebody who’s been involved in marketing, I know that exacerbating the pain of focusing on the pain is something that people in marketing have talked about. And I have notes going back, probably 10 years about this topic. But I think that maybe I’m doing people a disservice. And that’s, you know, that really kind of struck struck a kind of a note with me when I talked to Steven. So let’s talk about this, or let’s examine this a little bit. And I’m kind of examining this as I talk to you now. I think that this is particularly true. And this is not from Steven, but this is my own thoughts. I think this is particularly true when we help our clients with important but not urgent issues. So on the kind of the the important urgence matrix, this is something that is super important for people to do, but it’s not actually urgent. And so it’s a bit like going to the gym, it’s never going to be urgent, but it is important. And if you skip that day, after day, after day after day, there is a negative impact. And so it is important to do, but it’s never urgent to go to the gym like it never is. And I kind of feel like it’s the same way with stuff like building authority and content creation. It’s never urgent that day. But it is super important that you do take action on it. And this is something like I find this really fascinating because I think that it ties into ethics. And when we help our clients with something that is really, really important, but not urgent, and the motivation to take action is lessened. And so people in the world of copywriting, they talk about exacerbating the pain, which is like that’s a concept I really don’t want to do. Like I don’t want to make somebody feel more pain. But then if you flip the ethics of that if you if you want to motivate somebody to do something that’s in their best interest, and this was something that they talked about in the book nudge, which is really interesting, where they put healthier foods at the start of a cafeteria, people would make healthier choices. And so are you morally obliged to do that? I think this is really interesting. from an ethical standpoint, like what do you do in that case. And, you know, somebody explained this meantime about talking about pain and problems. And they talked about explaining the pain and examining the scope of the problem. And also considering second order effects of the problem. And that does appeal to me, because you’re talking about helping people to understand the scope, rather than deliberately trying to put them into pain. And, you know, it’s frustrating for me when I’m working with coaching clients, and I see them making progress, but it’s quite slow. And I know that they can achieve results more quickly. I also know that there’s a little bit of selfishness on my part there. Because I know that when people get results faster, I can use their stories as testimonials, which will help me to get more clients. And I understand that’s a bit self serving of me. But you know, I want I want people to get results quicker. And usually that’s by taking more action. And that action is typically not urgent, but it is important. And so I think about this a lot like how do I get people? How do I motivate people to take action? And you know, I was talking to a podcast episode, which I haven’t released yet, but it wasn’t my my my YouTube Live and my LinkedIn Live, which was with a lady called Salma Joffrey, and she’s a YouTube expert. And she talks about the things that are important in packaging up a YouTube episode, in particular talking about the topic at the title of the thumbnail, and she talks about hitting the fears and aspirations. And again, the fears are a big motivator. And if she has a choice between the two, she will always go for fears over aspirations because it goes back to our kind of our reptilian brain. You know goes back to evolution that we are hardwired to see seek safety and move away from fear in a much stronger way than we are to, to go towards a goal to go towards an aspiration of something positive. So I do find this kind of conflict really super interesting. And when I talked to Steven, in the last episode, I, you know, I’m thinking about the need to motivate people. And I’m thinking about the offerings and selling things that are in this important but not urgent category. And those often result in transformations that are in the client’s best interest. And we talk a lot about examining the problem and the scope. And you know, what might even be second or third order effects of this. So yeah, I find it really super interesting. Let’s talk about this, in terms of not building authority, because I want to take it away from the matter and talk about the specifics. And this is something that I think about in terms of my marketing materials, because I think that if you’re not building authority, you’re staying in the same place. And in fact, maybe even you’re stagnating. And I know that a lot of people tell me, they don’t have time to create content. But create Creating content is a major part, it is the major part of building authority. And so you know, I’ve talked about the journey to authority before, where, after becoming an expert, and getting all of that experience, you need to choose your field, you need to choose your niche. And then you need to consistently create and publish content that demonstrates your expertise, in order to establish your credibility, build an audience, which is all about the recognized part of becoming a recognized authority. The way I see this, if you don’t prioritize this, you risk being trapped in early read projects, and being, you know, tied into networking and referrals, which are not scalable in the same way. Now, I know that it is possible to be very successful with those, but they are there are cops. And maybe you can do like Douglas squirrel did, which is one of the first episodes of this podcast, he was able to scale a business, a solo business based on networking and referrals up to a million. So seven figures. I think that’s incredible. But I think that that is probably an outlier. And I think that in order to get there, most people will probably need to do some sort of authority building and inbound. And also, I think he’s probably doing a bit more of that now than people who were purely based on referrals, networking. But I think that, if you if you think about this problem, there are ways to solve for the things that we talked about, you know, creating content and publishing. And there’s a lot of ways to improve efficiency in particular. And this is one of the reasons why I talk a bit about AI. Because I was talking to Al McBride who is a very good friend of mine and and has been on this podcast many times as a guest and as a host, a co host. And our is Al asked me to try and quantify the kind of savings that I’ve seen from using AI in content creation. And I don’t know if this if there’s something that you you do, but I certainly track my hours a lot in terms of what I do. And I run a little app on my computer, which is called Rescue Time. What it does, it tracks all of the time that I do. And so I looked at August and September of this year, and there were a potential 194 working hours in August. And there were a potential 160 working hours in September, that’s just due to the number of working days in those months. And so in August, I worked 75 of the potential 184 hours. So less than 50% of the available time. And in September, I worked 128 hours, which is significant more than August, because obviously August was kind of like a holiday month. But I’m still not working at the 40 hours a week that a lot of people might be working at. So my point in talking to you about this is I know that there are some people who say to me, oh, you know, I see all your stuff on LinkedIn all the time I see you like you must be creating content, like every hour of the day. And in fact, in in August and September I actually published I think it was three separate booklets, which were all between maybe seven and 10,000 words each up onto Kindle. And that was in creating the Kindle version and even a print version for some of those as well. I did those in those months that I just talked to you about where I was working less than the average person as well as doing my regular client work.

Alastair McDermott 9:58
So what I So my point here is the not having a time issue. Honestly, it’s not just about the time. And I know it’s like I’m not saying it’s priority, you know, and this, this is just something I think, is, it’s something where you just have to make a priority if you think that you want to build authority. And you don’t want to be limited to networking, and referrals or outbound methods like cold calling, or DMS, or cold emails, stuff like that, the key to doing that is making some time to create content. And I think that in my marketing, I need to talk to people more about the pain, or the scope of the pain, explaining the pain of if you choose not to do that, because I think that there are certain things that will happen. If you choose not to that, for example, the type of business that you have, typically, you are going to be more likely to be locked in to hourly rate type projects, you’re probably not going to be able to change your business model to a business model that gives you more free time. So for example, when you do content creation on a regular basis, what that allows you to do is that allows you to develop the skills to create information type products, which you can turn into a different type of scalable product that doesn’t need your time. And all of that is available to you if you make that choice, and it’s not available to you, if you don’t make the choice to go down that route. I think this is absolutely fascinating. And I hope that you’re getting something from this, and I’m not trying to lecture you here, I’m just saying, I think that if you make the choice to prioritize content creation, and building authority, that it opens doors, it gives you back more free time, and allows you to make decisions about the type of marketing that you do about the type of business that you’ll have. So for example, most of my marketing is writing and speaking, and it’s around content creation. For me, that’s very easy. Now, it wasn’t easy when I started. And it took a long time, certainly to get to where I can do that. I can, you know, hit record on a podcast on an audio player, like I’m doing today. And, you know, just record and I’m not doing a whole lot of editing on this. And I’ve gotten to the point where I’m confident about that. And no, that doesn’t come naturally, you do have to put in the reps, you do have to start at some point. But if you do that, and you do that for a fairly significant amount of time, so that might be you know, it might be 12 months, it might be 18 months, it might be three months, it depends on where your starting point is. But if you’ve been doing this for a while, and you’re an expert in your field, it won’t take you that long to learn how to do the kind of the technical content creation stuff. I think the power of this is that you are standing out from the crowd, so you’re not in the same boat as your competition. When you are, you know, when you’ve written the book on a topic, when you’ve got a YouTube channel with 100 videos, or when you’ve got a podcast with 100 episodes, you’re not competing in the same way, as your competitors who don’t have that. And you’re getting access to opportunities that they don’t have. Because people look for the person who wrote the book on it. You know, that’s a phrase that we have, you have pricing power, you don’t have that pricing power, when you are commoditized. And you’re the same as everybody else. You don’t have to compete on price when you’re the person who wrote the book on it. It’s just a different world. And you have this kind of efficiency in marketing because your marketing is grading, you know, a podcast episode or an email or a YouTube video or giving a talk or guesting on somebody else’s podcast. And that type of marketing really fits in well with the kind of the role of somebody who’s an expert in their field. And you have credibility in a way that you don’t have, if you’re an expert in your field, but you haven’t published or you haven’t published significantly, you may be a true expert in your field, but you don’t have the same credibility. And you know, those things all feed into the pricing, they feed into how much demand there is for your service, they feed into your business model. So I think you know, on so I’m doing here, by the way, just to get a bit meta. I’m trying to focus on those things that you are missing out on here. Because I want you to think about those in order to understand what are the the impacts of choosing not to do content creation. And that’s, you know, that’s I think something that I have not done is focused on that in my content, and maybe I should be focusing on that a bit more about talking about the positives of it, and also the negatives of it, the negatives of not doing it. So that’s it, I just wanted to focus on those a little bit, I do want to give you an opportunity to take some action quickly before the end of this year, because I’m going to be doing a boot camp in November. So the way that November runs. This week, I’m going to be releasing this on Monday, at the end of October, which is the bank holiday here. The following Monday is the sixth of November. And from that Monday, for four weeks, I’m going to be running a an intensive authority boot camp, it’s going to be a sprint, I’m going to have a private slack group, I’m going to have some zoom sessions, some Pomodoro kind of focus sessions where people will be working together. And we’re going to be looking at different aspects of building authority and actually taking action and creating some content, working on your social channels. We’re going to use your LinkedIn profile, and some other things like that. So I’m going to be putting some more information up at the recognized About that there is an interest list email there. And if you put in your email address, I won’t spam you. I’ll just send you some information about this. Let me know if you’re interested in doing something like that. And taking some action before the end of the year to kind of move forward in building authority. Thanks for listening. See you next week.