Do you follow the trends, or set them? Thought leadership is a buzzword that has inevitably dominated content marketing, as industry players clamber to become a voice of authority in their field. An opportunity to gain exposure, build an audience – and get a pretty substantial ego boost along the way – more and more people are striving for the coveted title of ‘thought leader’.
But how do you rise above the bloggers, publishers and saturated social media feeds, to become a thought leader in your industry? Let’s take a look at the key steps to achieving and maintaining thought leadership.
Draw from experience
You probably have the same tools as your competitors, so what sets you apart from the rest? Experience. You don’t need to have 25 years in the industry to become a thought leader (although it will probably help). Drawing from your experiences, whether they be challenging times, steep learning curves or light bulb moments, will help you put a unique spin on your content.
Be willing to share
Nothing good comes for free, but on the other hand, if you’re not willing to give an inch, your audience won’t take a mile. Share insights and experiences with your network, to show that you’re genuinely happy to help. By offering free advice and expertise, you can build crucial trust and rapport with prospects.
Develop your personal brand
Thought leadership content differs from business blogging in one critical way – it’s personal. While these articles can indeed have a place on your business blog, don’t be afraid to put a first person spin on your article, or at least a more conversational tone of voice. Develop your personal brand on platforms such as LinkedIn, and your business will ultimately benefit.
Get your name out there
Creating insightful content isn’t enough; to gain recognition in your industry, it’s crucial to network and market your brand. Virtual networking has taken off in recent years, as Twitter and LinkedIn make content marketing free and easy. Give your content the exposure it deserves online, and reinforce your message when networking in person.
Perhaps most importantly of all, don’t become complacent. You may be at the top of your game right now, but as your industry evolves and new issues and concepts arise, you don’t want to get left behind. Continue learning and offering new insights and perspectives, to protect your status and keep your audience engaged.
To become a thought leader, you need to be prepared to invest in your reputation. By creating fresh, original and thought-provoking content on a regular basis, you will gain leverage over the competition and an opportunity to market your products and services in a subtle but effective way.
Haven’t got the time to create thought leadership content? We write intelligent, well-researched articles for LinkedIn and other platforms, to propel your personal brand forward. Get in touch to discuss your content requirements today.