You may be a business owner, CEO, or other business professional with a powerful message to share. A message of innovation, a message that will make a difference. Becoming a thought leader is using and sharing your message that will create mini miracles for your business and ultimately your audience. Today’s Thought Hive is highlighting what it means to be a thought leader and how thought leadership will work and benefit your community..
The term thought leader is the highest of compliments, and arguably the hardest moniker to achieve. It’s not enough to be good at what you do; a thought leader is meant to be the greatest form of praise, geared towards someone who is on the absolute cutting edge of their industry or making big enough moves to warrant the distinction.—Lauren Hockenson
Creating Your Community with Engaging Thought Leadership
Developing a community filled with engaging thought leaders should be the goal of any company. These communities are valuable both internally and externally to improve the user experience. Thought leadership is not a strategy or a tactic for better marketing results—rather, it is a way to:
- Attract customers who don't know about you. The more niche-specific your content is, the more impact your brand has in finding those who would most benefit from your product or service.
- Provide a place for engagement and user interaction. Although it can be harsh, customer feedback is an extremely effective way to help you find areas of your organization that could benefit from improvement.
- Obtain higher lifetime customer value. When you give value above and beyond expectation, you build customer loyalty.
You can’t fake community, you can’t force it, either.—Chris Brogan
Because with the information that you hold within your industry, use it to establish yourself as a knowledgeable and trusted voice within your business and with your audience—creating a healthy community around your brand.
However, creating a community around your brand will take time and effort. Let’s face it, any message you want to share with the world needs a bit of marketing. Yet, what better way to do this than using thought leadership in order to develop solid content that will attract and engage your community.
Ultimately, thought leadership is one of the outcomes of a solid content strategy. And content is bigger than marketing. Leaders are everywhere. Expose your thought leaders and you begin the process of becoming a social business—real people with real faces talking to real customers and buyers.—Michael Brenner
Four Golden Tips to Knowledgeable Thought Leadership
With that being said, how does one build a community of engaged, knowledge-seeking members who want to learn about your methods and areas of expertise? Well, here are some golden tips to creating knowledgeable and engaging thought leadership in order to build a community around your brand.
- Start small. Don’t throw your net too far to the point that you lose the fish you already have. Meaning the small community you already have, don’t throw them away by focusing so hard on creating a large community or audience especially like big brand businesses. Be specific on who you target and nurture them to the point that they become the brand ambassadors that you need.
Address a specific audience. Thought leadership only matters if people read it. It is, therefore, created for people—and most people live a life, work in a job, and have very little bandwidth to take in new ideas unless those ideas improve their life or work. Thought leadership, therefore, needs to help people with their life or work.—Daniel W. Rasmus
- Hold yourself accountable. Being a thought leader comes with responsibility. Responsibility to your audience and to the niche in which you are innovating. Being good at what you do is not enough, you have to be the best at what you do, and understand and change the lives of the people who matter most—your audience.
As a recognized thought leader, you will have the power to persuade the status to move things in a new direction, and the clout and authority to implement real progress and widespread innovation. People want to affiliate with those who are well-known and well-informed...Thought leadership is not about being known, it is about being known for making a difference.—Denise Brosseau
- Be clear with your message. Strategizing your journey to thought leadership is just as important as telling the world. If you have a message to spread, it’s a good idea to brainstorm content ideas to confirm your innovation. Create a big picture of what you are best at. All this preparation will help build a road map to thought leadership success.
A good way to start is with a journal. Write every day or as often as you can. Don’t censor yourself. Don’t write as though you care who reads your writing. Just start writing, and see what happens. Little by little, you will open a channel for your ideas and they will start tumbling out.—Liz Ryan
- Provide resolution for your readers. The essence of thought leadership is providing the answers your audience is seeking. So don’t be salesy. Use your message to guide your audience toward effective solutions—creating mini miracles in your audience’s businesses and everyday lives.
If you build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful.—Jeff Bezos
Thought leadership and establishing yourself as a thought leader can leave you with a recipe for success. Becoming a thought leader is a process that requires dedication, hard work, and focus.
A thought leader is true to themselves even when others might laugh, disagree or nay-say. They actually walk their talk. Be an original, share your enthusiasm, educate yourself on your industry, make enough room for others, be open to criticism and don’t get short-sighted.—Jessica Northey
In your thought leadership development process, it is imperative to create content that will engage your readership, encourage community participation, and provide answers to those seeking resolution. But ultimately, be authentic to yourself and always be a strong leader for your community.
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