Thought leadership establishes your brand or organisation’s reputation at the forefront of its field, as an experienced leader and unique thinker with plenty to offer. It shows your committed to progression in your industry and solving the emerging challenges of your peers and customers. Right on the pulse, you always keep up to date with the most relevant information and are always on top of exactly what’s happening around you.
58% of respondents read one or more hours of thought leadership per week. But, cementing your influence as a trustworthy source of ideas and solutions isn’t something that happens overnight. It takes time, plenty of experience, and the ability to convincingly convert your audience over to your point of view, plus a carefully executed and well considered content strategy.
So, what are the key considerations when creating effective and convincing thought leadership?
1. It’s not about sales
It’s key to understand that thought leadership is not directly about sales. Instead, it’s about establishing a pioneering reputation in your field, because if you’re successful in achieving that, then you’ll naturally be able to generate a wealthy stream of new customer conversations. While any company worth its salt is always looking to find new leads and customers, it’s vital any content that’s part of your thought leadership strategy avoids a directly ‘salesy’ or self-promotional tone.
First and foremost, thought leaders should always be committed to the growth of their specific industry and exploring emerging trends. Any content lacking depth or revealing an ulterior motive will undermine your credibility and reputation. Remember you’re promoting new ideas here, not sales.
2. It’s built on experience and expertise
As a reliable oracle of information, your content needs to be consistently up to date with the current challenges of the industry you’re in. If your readers are going to believe what you’re saying, they’ll need to be able to relate. Wherever possible, talk about real life pain points, situations and examples from your personal experience, as the more you can ground in reality, the more convincing and trusted your voice will be.
One sure fire way to establish expertise is to bring your subject matter experts onboard and mine their impressive and extensive well of knowledge but remember to keep it engaging.
3. It’s authentic and unique
Illustrating your leadership status is also about offering powerful and original ideas, changing the way your audience thinks about a subject and inspiring them to follow. In this way, thought leadership isn’t about joining the background noise, it’s about adding something meaningful and worthwhile to the wider conversation of your industry. You need to stand out as a distinctive voice.
4. It must be insightful or worthy of your readers’ time
Ultimately, you need to offer valuable insight to make it worthy of your readers’ time. Try to think carefully about the challenges you’re facing in your line of work. If you’re experiencing it, then it’s very likely that others are also struggling with the same or similar challenges.
Do you have an idea or solution to resolve some of their problems? Or a unique and thought provoking experience to contribute? Remember, if you’re repeating the sentiment of something else you’ve read, then you need to ask yourself, am I a leader or a follower?
Become a leader
We have plenty of experience with helping our clients to build their reputation as thought leaders in their industry. If you’d like to find out how we could help you with your unique thought leadership strategy, please get in contact.