Does your organization place due emphasis on brand building? If not, it’s high time you reconsidered. Elevating your brand’s visibility and perception by establishing your organization as a thought leader can create an immense impact. In this age of digitization, even the smallest businesses in our community have the potential to reach vast audiences. Utilizing the internet to solidify your thought leadership can be one of the most effective strategies for cultivating a robust audience and enhancing conversions.
What is Thought Leadership?
Thought leaders demonstrate expertise in their field by expressing ideas in unique ways that will keep visitors coming back to their website, blog, or social media feed. Business leaders often strive to achieve the status of thought leaders, but it takes hard work, patience, education and a well-developed strategy. Fortunately, many small business owners and managers already have “education” as experienced business people in your respective fields. So how do you go about becoming a thought leader?
How to Become a Thought Leader
The first step in becoming a thought leader is determining what you want to be an expert in. As a business owner, you might think this is simple—it’s your area of business, right? To a point, this is true, but you might want to narrow it down a little. For example, if you run a shoe shop, you can’t necessarily be an expert on all areas of the shoe business, but you might know what shoes suit particular people or what the upcoming trends in shoes are.
Use Your Own Voice
Once you’ve figured out your niche, you need to create content. However, using an authentic voice that comes over naturally to your readers is essential. The best way to do this is by using your own voice. Your passion for the subject will go over naturally and keep your readers interested. Trying to be too “sales” or fake is obvious to most readers, and they will quickly lose interest.
Using your own voice does not mean talking about yourself or your products all the time. Over-promotion is another big turn-off—79% of editors of online publications say that over-promotion is the biggest problem with contributed content. A better way to connect with your readers is by educating them, providing thoughtful insights, and sharing new ideas.
Produce Content Consistently
As a thought leader, you need people to remember you. If you don’t publish new content regularly, they will forget you; a few strong articles won’t establish you as a thought leader. Remember, it takes perseverance and dedication.
Only publishing posts and articles on your website or LinkedIn profile might gain a small, dedicated readership, but you will need to be more widely recognized. So instead, submit guest posts to other people’s blogs within your field, find out what websites are popular with people in your area, and submit articles to those too. Of course, not everyone will want your articles and guest posts, but you must persevere.
Use Your Team
Thought leaders rarely work alone. People in your business will undoubtedly have ideas and knowledge that will help. Make sure they understand what you’re trying to accomplish, and everyone in the company will benefit from their endeavors. If you’re too busy at times, there will always be someone to take up the slack—always ensuring that the business comes across at all times with the same authentic voice.
Becoming a thought leader can bring tangible benefits to you and your business. As we said earlier, it’s all about dedication, strategy, and perseverance, but it will be worth the effort in the long run.