Avoid This Machiavellian Mistake When Creating Thought Leadership Content

Creating a big piece of thought leadership content like a white paper is a great opportunity for a business to connect with customers, develop leads and build authority.

It makes me reflect that there are many examples of books or texts throughout history that carried the same purpose as a white paper.

Niccolo Machiavelli’s The Prince is a strong example. Machiavelli wrote about what an effective ruler or prince should do in the ends justify the means approach.

Today, it’s widely read by business leaders and continues to cause controversy. In Machiavelli’s own time, The Prince received a much different reaction to what he wanted.

When writing The Prince, Machiavelli wanted to put himself in the good books of the ruling Medici. They were the audience he wanted to connect and build a rapport with.

He tried to present it to the Medici twice and both times it was a disaster.

The first time he tried to offer it to Giuliano Medici, Machiavelli was fobbed off with a letter.

The second time he tried to gift the book to Giuliano’s relative Lorenzo. But he was ignored because someone else had gifted Lorenzo a pair of dogs.

Machiavelli was one of the most intelligent people of his day. But his campaign to get his lead magnet in the hands of his prospects had failed for a couple of reasons.

❌ He ultimately failed to understand the desires of his audience.

❌ His relationship with the Medici was rocky at best and they perceived him as someone who couldn’t deliver the political results they wanted.

Even the most well-written white papers need to be planned out, targeted to the right audience and launched under the proper circumstances.

Create a lead magnet that resonates with your audience

When businesses get white papers right, the medium is fantastic and I provide a white paper and lead magnet writing service that helps businesses to:

✅ Create thought-provoking thought leadership content.

✅ Repurpose content into blogs, emails and social media posts.

✅ Target the right buyer personas and solve challenges.

I call them vademecum, literally ‘go-with-me’ guides. These go with me guides were how people of the ancient world carried portable knowledge with them wherever they went and white papers fulfil the same purpose.

Start your journey to creating a brand building lead magnet here. 

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