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Dec 19, 2021

Today’s guest is Michelle Mellon, Thought Leadership Director at SalientMG, a strategic marketing firm that creates custom programs for clients seeking to spur new business, create awareness, or get recognition as an industry leader. Michelle is also an accomplished short-fiction author; her work can be found in compilations like The Year’s Best African Speculative Fiction. She's an expert in using creative storytelling to drive insights and make thought leadership accessible and powerful.

When writing a work of fiction, Michelle often starts with the question of “What if?” And, indeed, as she tells us today, that question also forms a powerful intersection between fiction and thought leadership. Michelle explains how her thought leadership goes deeper. She looks at trends, listens to her audience, and crafts stories that will both educate and entertain.

In our conversation, Michelle explains the basics of storytelling, and how the elements of fiction can also empower good thought leadership content. Michelle walks us through the best practices of crafting and telling engaging stories about leadership, brand, and mission, and explains that by following and even sometimes breaking the rules of basic storytelling, one can capture and inspire an audience.

Every author has to find their voice and stay true to it. Michelle explains why an authentic voice is necessary to craft good thought leadership. In addition, we discuss ways to develop the mind’s ear, and how to use voice and language that is specific to every audience.  Having a distinct voice will only carry you so far - if your audience doesn’t understand or isn’t interested in what you are talking about, your thought leadership won't stick!

This is an insightful episode for creative writers entering the world of thought leadership, and for those seeking to breathe life into an idea and share it with others. Listen in!

Three Key Takeaways:

  • Thought leaders should embrace the speculative and look into the future as they craft their content. Your ideas don’t have to be 100% right; they just have to be engaging and enlightening.
  • It's a fallacy to think that long-form content has more prestige. Convey your thought leadership in a variety of formats, and you'll reach a wider audience.
  • Thought leadership needs to tell your personal story, share your experiences and your mission,  but it must also inspire others - and to do that, you must share it in a way that they can understand.