Thought leadership is the state of being identified by an audience or readers as a source of useful information about a particular field or industry. This is mainly attained through educating prospects, customers, community, connections, etc. Thought leadership establish credibility which, in turn, builds trust and loyalty.
Becoming a thought leader in the field/industry you’re engaged in gives your marketing efforts and overall business an edge. In what way? Well, thought leaders aren’t necessarily people who hold the highest position in a company, but they are always the people who can make their ideas work. That is why decision-makers will consider them as a source of answers and pay attention to the solution that they offer.
Want to take your first steps to become a thought leader? Check out these reminders and practices:
Select a specific field or industry
Select a specific field or industry where you want to be a thought leader. Most likely the one you are passionate in working and have an expertise in. With this, you certainly know your industry facts inside out and can offer relevant content to audiences or readers. However, don’t stop reading, researching, and absorbing trends in that field.
Being a thought leader takes time. You can’t expect a gazillion follower overnight. So aim at being a big fish in a small pond first instead of being a small fish in a big pond. In other words, work on becoming a thought leader in a smaller, targeted niche. It eventually branches out from there.
Choose a medium
What better way to get your messages and ideas across than to choose a medium where you can confidently express it? If you’re a great talker, then you can probably capitalize on being a resource speaker in forums, conventions or seminars. If you’re an incredible writer, you can leverage it to create amazing blogs, newsletters or even books. If you can do well with both, then go ahead. Sky is the limit.
Create and promote quality content consistently
As you are aiming to be a thought leader, you need to have a presence in anywhere possible (i.e. multiple communication channels, social media platforms and media outlets). To do this, you need to promote. Correspondingly, to have a successful promotion, you need to come up with a quality content consistently. Remember that this can help with your branding too.
Sell nothing but ideas
Let’s get this straight. You can’t equal thought leader to instant conversion. At least, not right away. Just have your target audience best interests at heart and be genuinely helpful. You don’t need to present how your company is the answer. The content you pitch or write for them should be solely aimed at giving your best thoughts about the solutions to the problems they’re experiencing in their business. If these ideas are proven to have worked, gaining recognition will be so much easier. Clients will be the one to come to you or your company for professional advice. Even better, they could conceivably turn into advocates for your products or services.