You may have heard many people and blogs talk about thought leadership—using this tool to attract and engage people to your brand. But what does it really mean to become a thought leader? And more importantly, what does it mean to be a thought leader in the tech industry? With so many innovative minds out there, how can you make your company stand out? But guess what?
You don’t have to worry about these factors especially when it comes to comparing yourself with other companies in your industry. In fact, the greatest thing about thought leadership is its ability to allow you to just be yourself—standing up for your brand’s message and standing out by creating content that nurtures and engages your audience. In today’s Thought Hive, we’ve curated informative quotes, and statistics as well as created tips and click-to-tweets to get you pumped and ready to start becoming a thought leader in your industry and more specifically in the technology space.
1. Become a thought leader through your content.
Even though you know by heart what your brand’s message is, you have to actualize it through your content. Content is the glue between your brand and your audience. In order for people to get excited about your brand, they have to know you and understand where you’re coming from. And the best way to do that is to teach your audience through your content.
Infographics, video, blogging, live streaming, and so much more. There are multiple avenues of content you can create in order for you to provide quality content for your audience. Explore the following list to get you thinking about using content as an avenue to share your message:
- 93% of respondents said high-quality thought leadership content improves their opinion of that consulting firm and 94% said poor content lowers their opinion of the firm.—Association of Management Consulting Firms
- “Quantity matters, but not at the expense of quality.”—Laurianne McLaughlin [tweet this].
- Top three goals of content marketing: Lead Generation (59%); Thought Leadership/Market Education (43%); Brand Awareness (40%).—LinkedIn Technology Marketing Community
- “You can’t make anything viral, but you can make something good.”—Peter Shankman [tweet this].
- Over 50% of marketers that curate content indicate that it has increased their brand visibility, thought leadership, SEO, web traffic and buyer engagement.—Curata
Even in 2016, Paul Rand’s content is still relevant: “Don’t try to be original, just try to be good.”
2. Become a thought leader by knowing your stuff.
Being a thought leader is not necessarily all about creating the new best thing. In fact, it’s basically about knowing your stuff. And let’s be honest here. How are you going to teach other people about your industry and what you do if you do not thoroughly know it yourself?
Tough Love Marketing Tip: In order to teach, practice what you preach.
That’s why thought leaders are always learning, growing and building on their craft and knowledge. Because if you love what you do, the work to do it is easy. Take the time to read up on what other thought leaders are saying, what new technology and strategies are being implemented, or even just go to a conference or class to brush up on your knowledge. To be a thought leader, your thoughts should be knowledgeable. And that knowledge is based on in-depth research, experience and ultimately practice.
Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.—Steve Jobs
3. Become a thought leader by trusting your team to boost your brand message.
Being the owner of a company is one thing but being a part of your company is another thing entirely. Becoming a thought leader amongst your peers should not be used as a bragging tool nor as a tool to belittle or misuse their talents. And especially if you are struggling to understand newer technologies or strategies, trusting your team’s skillset is highly recommended.
Thought leadership isn’t about making the bet early and hoping you’re not wrong; it’s about actively pursuing possibilities and sharing that enthusiasm for exploration with customers and partners.—Daniel W. Rasmus
Allow your team to fully use their skills by inspiring them with your message and company culture. By doing this, you are creating a unified team around brand organically and not forcefully—allowing for more productive and quality results. A unified team is much more productive than a team that’s not. And your goal as the owner of your company is to inspire them and then let them share your message to your audience. The more you allow your team to utilize their skills, the more inspired they will be to share your brand’s message.
“The secret to successful hiring is this: look for the people who want to change the world.”—Marc Benioff
Of course, you should make sure their ideas align with your overall company’s goals. But also allow room for experimentation. One thing about marketing and especially thought leadership marketing is that it’s all about experimentation and seeing in how many ways can you share your brand’s message to your audience. And if you teach and nurture your team towards success, you don’t have to worry if they’re getting your message right or not, because the proof is in the results.
“No matter how brilliant your mind or strategy, if you’re playing a solo game, you’ll always lose out to a team.”—Reid Hoffman
4. Become a thought leader through your engagement with your audience.
It goes without saying that in order to be a leader, you have to have an audience. And your audience is there for you to nurture, teach, and ultimately inspire. But they won’t just come to you automatically. You have to meet them where they are. Whether it’s social media platforms, forums, or even your blog’s comment section, engage with your audience by learning who they are, what they need, and what they’re looking for. Then use that information each time you create content.
Thought leaders realize that followers are the source of their influence. That’s why they always spare time to interact with their followers. Be it through social platforms or comment section, they never shy away from sharing their opinions and building personal relationships. This makes them approachable and hence influential.—Manish Bhalla
5. Become a thought leader by collaborating with like minded thought leaders in your industry.
Lastly, collaborate with other thought leaders. Surrounding and being in collaboration with like-minded people is beneficial in nurturing your own leadership and reach. By joining forces with other leaders, you expose yourself to opportunities of increasing your audience, brand awareness, and brand recognition. For example, if you are a motion capture startup and you collaborate with someone similar to your industry, you are not only getting exposed to that company’s audience but you are also exposing your audience to new concepts and ideas that will help add value to their lives and grow closer to your brand.
With that, here is a list of a couple of tech influencers that you should be following, learning from, and potentially may want to collaborate with in the future at Top 50+ Tech Influencers and Thought Leaders You Should Follow.
For more information on how to do become a thought leader, watch our following In-Sites video:
Don’t be intimidated by the competition so much so that you silence your own message before you can even get started. Become a thought leader in your industry not just for yourself or your brand, but for your team, audience, and other influencers. Just because it’s been said before, doesn’t mean you can’t say it differently. In fact, if you consider yourself a thought leader and have something to share to our audience, send in your insight to our In-Sites Thought Hive, a place to share the buzz and provide answers to the top burning questions in our industry.
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