Thought Leadership Content – the steps you need to take

Thought Leadership as a phrase can sound a bit ‘buzzwordy’ (is THAT even a word?!), or truthfully, rather wanky. These days, it can be a bit of an empty marketing pitch to describe someone with just a few thousand followers on Insta and nothing really valuable to say…
 
BUT, when done right, genuine thought leadership can transform your brand. When you’re seen by others in your industry as offering a new and valid opinion on something established, when you’re viewed as a standout in a particular niche, when your audience hears you saying something unique that’s of value, then doors will open. Opportunities will arise. And those opportunities can fundamentally shift the fortunes of your business.
 
Of course, becoming a ‘thought leader’ doesn’t happen overnight. To become a trusted person of influence requires dedication to your craft, careful thinking and planning of your communications, and involves having conversations with the right people. But it’s all entirely possible when you know how.

Here are 7 ways to build your thought leadership:

1. Understand what you’re an expert in.

You can’t be all things to all people. Know what you’re amazing at and what you’re passionate about, then figure out what your audience wants, and connect the two.

2. Speak in your own voice.

All of your content should sound like you. All of your content should reflect your personality. It MUST sound like you, because you are the leader with the thoughts.

3. Don’t just talk about yourself.

Yes you can share stories, and yes, if you are a sole operator and your business is all about you then you’ll need to talk about yourself sometimes, but don’t flood the marketing airwaves with self-promotion.

4. Be consistent.

You can’t publish content every now and again and expect people to consider you a special and trusted expert. You must be consistent in your contributions.

5. Be seen. On video that is.

You can’t be hidden if you want to be a leader. Short sharp useful video is a great way to build reputation.

6. Publish everywhere, using a variety of formats.

Don’t limit yourself to written content on your own blog; people don’t know what they don’t know, so if they’re unaware of your blog they won’t find you. Offer content to sites and publications that your audience visits and reads, and publish video, written articles, audio, and visual content.

7. Surround yourself with a great team.

Building thought leadership content isn’t fast or easy alone. Having experts around you will be invaluable – designers, editors etc.
Don’t worry about the connotations of the term ‘thought leader’. Rather, concern yourself more with the value you can add to your field of expertise and the followers who support you.  Go ahead and build out a sustainable, interesting and authentic thought leadership strategy and you’ll be amazed at the opportunities that arise when you are seen as a leader with interesting thoughts.
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