The internet is a massive web of noise. Standing out among millions of other people is hard. Plus, our attention spans are shrinking. We want things now. We have limited time to consume information. So becoming a thought leader can be hard. You have to provide incredible value and do it in ways that make it easy for an audience to consume and digest.
From a marketing standpoint, establishing thought leadership makes a lot of sense. If you are seen as a leader in your field, your credibility will be significantly enhanced, and customers will be more comfortable working with you. However, what is the most effective way to implement a thought leadership strategy? Here are a few ways that can get you started:
1) Start Writing Blogs, Consistently
Cost-effective and consistently successful, blogs are the perfect way to get started on your way to thought leadership. Contribute to the conversation; build your credibility by writing about news, strategies, your perspective and trends. This writing will help build conversations around you as a professional.
Write mostly for your own blog, but you should also write for other blogs with bigger audiences. Getting your writing out there to as many different publications as possible is the best way to get more reach. Start writing about industry topics and discuss news and events from the perspective of your industry and relevant to your first-hand business experience, and you’ll begin developing a reputation as a go-to source for information.
As an added benefit, try optimizing your blog for search engines by blogging on specific, industry-related keywords to help your posts (and, by extension, your website) ascend in search results.
2) Engage in Social Media
Social media is a great vehicle to promote your blog posts, but it also offers additional opportunities to establish thought leadership. Join industry groups on LinkedIn and participate in relevant discussions to raise the visibility of your expertise and, by extension, your business. Share industry news and analysis on social media outlets, while answering questions and giving tips to succeed at the same time.
Choose your social media outlets carefully. You want to be where your customers are, so while Instagram and Pinterest may work great for visually-based businesses, B2B marketers may prefer the professional surroundings of LinkedIn and Google+.
3) Create Podcasts
This may seem like a lesser-used option, but if you’re looking to take your thought leadership development to the next level, why not start a podcast? A digital, episodic series can be a great way to subtly let your customers know just how much you know about your industry and products available. If you think you lack the expertise or time necessary to start a weekly series, find podcasts in your industry and begin asking if you could appear as a guest. Being a guest on a popular podcast is a great way to break into the network, and immediately raise your credibility in front of your target audience.
4 ) Public Speaking or Live Events
Okay, so you’re saying to yourself, “I’m no writer.” If that’s the case, no worries. There are plenty of opportunities to build thought leadership through public speaking as an additional way to share your expertise. You can speak to people live at an online conference or local event, or via YouTube, Google+ Hangouts or on a TV segment. It’s the same approach. You’ll articulate your unique perspective on the industry, and leverage other online entities that already have an audience to put your face and voice in front of them.
5) Host your own online networking event
Thought leaders not only attend networking events, they also help create them, and host them to foster connections in their larger community to further grow their personal brands, and make more relationships. You can take the initiative and start your own Meetup, Twitter chat, Google+ Hangout series or online conference related to your industry. This will be of value to other members in your community and position you as a thought leader.
Of course, there are many more ways to establish thought leadership; eBooks, white papers, and webinars – among others – offer great ways to establish yourself as a leader in the field. By putting in this additional effort and creativity that others are not, you can easily stand out in the noisy online world.
Are you a thought leader in your field? Comment below so we can check you out!
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