Credibility seems to be missing in a world defined by marketing hacks and easy business solutions. You can fill the gap and develop a strong personal and business brand by practicing thought leadership.
What Is Thought Leadership?
Thought leadership is a marketing methodology and branding strategy that
- Positions you as a respected subject matter expert in your field.
- Establishes your company as the authority in your industry, niche, or location that you operate in.
- Focuses on and demonstrates competence and proficiency instead of touting the features and superiority of your product or service.
- Answers the most relevant questions that your customers, target audience, and other players in the industry are asking.
Who Is A Thought Leader?
Effective thought leaders provide content on social media and in niche communities that informs, educates, inspires, and entertains their target audience. You can easily identify a thought leader by the subjects they address. The content they produce focuses on 3 areas.
- Intellectual property. Thought leaders go beyond how to acquire their products and services and focus on sharing their creative processes. They share the backstory and the continuing journey that invites customers to grow with them. Providing usefulness is their primary goal.
- Industry standards and best practices. Thought leaders are not afraid to address competitors and speak to concerns that improve quality throughout the industry, and not just inside of their company. This is effective for new products and expanding industries. Becoming a champion of your industry and the collective product that you, and all your competitors, supply can quickly position at the head of the market.
- Issues and trends. They exercise thought leadership by lending their voice to laws and regulations that govern their industries, as well as taking a stand on issues that relate to customer experience and good corporate citizenship. As a thought leader, government and media will look to you for advice and expertise in their content as well.
Why Is Thought Leadership Important?
First, it improves your engagement rates across all your marketing campaigns. Next, it supports a differentiation strategy and enhances the message you send through your content. Finally, thought leadership increases your visibility, reaching a wider audience of both consumers and influencers.
How to Position Yourself as A Thought Leader in Your Field
- Rather than focusing on the superiority of your product or service, establish yourself as an authority and expert in your community and industry or field.
- Make sure your audience includes more than potential and existing customers. Use content that speaks to colleagues, competitors, and a broad range of stakeholders in the community.
- Ask the hard questions that nobody else will, and then answer them yourself.
Use these tips as a starting point to create a branding strategy and to help you become a thought leader in your market.