There’s been a lot of talk about thought leadership recently and I want to take the time to give a little insight on what it actually is, why it’s so important for you, your brand and your business and my top tips on how to use it more effectively to expand your reach.
Western Governors University defines thought leadership this way and I think it’s very accurate:
Thought leadership is the expression of ideas that demonstrate you have expertise in a particular field, area, or topic. Many executives and business leaders strive to become a thought leader in their respective fields. It takes dedication, patience, strategy, and education. Most thought leaders not only have a command of their subject area, they are passionate about it and eager to share their knowledge with others to benefit a company, organization, or cause. Utilizing content marketing, social media, and other means to increase your authority and influence are key for successful thought leadership.
Being a successful thought leader can open up new doors, exciting opportunities, speaking gigs, stage time and more. It also positions you firmly in your area of expertise and allows you to grow almost exponentially in your field.
Here are my top tips to maximize your effectiveness as a thought leader.
Tip 1) Make sure your leadership matches your brand, your business and your priorities.
Dig deep and find out what your brand really means. In your business or company what are your real end goals now and in the future.
Realize that content marketing needs a team. A team completely aligned with your mission and your brand strategy. A disjointed vision can lead to chaos and disorganization throughout your team.
When you create an inspiring, passionate narrative within your brand, your audience will be able to more quickly get the meaning and direction of your brand and business. It allows your team to be more aligned and get far better results.
Tip 2) Define the platforms and strategy you want to use for your thought leadership growth.
Are you super active on LinkedIn? Make it a big part of your strategy to get content in front of the exact audience. Make sure you plan a calendar for your content creation and posting times and dates. This allows your audience to begin to expect content from you on a regular basis and gets them in the habit of consuming what you produce.
Don’t be afraid to use one or two primary platforms to the detriment of others. It might seem counterintuitive to do this, but focusing your time and effort specifically on just a few platforms as opposed to trying to be everything to everyone across all of social media will sap your time and your energy and that of your team. Pick one or two and dominate those.
Tip 3) Figure out up front what your Thought Leadership Goals are.
There are so many different ways to engage your audience these days. Take a good long look at your goals and what you want to really accomplish with your Thought Leadership content within the structure of your company goals and engagement with your audience. These should be in lock step throughout your organization.
Tip 4) Empower everyone in your organization to become their own thought leaders in their respective positions.
You have to learn to be human again online with every interaction. You have to remember that there’s a person on the other end of that screen you’re staring into. Give your team permission and ability to be completely engaged in your thought leadership strategy and content. Encourage them to bring ideas to the table, you might just be surprised at what your team might come to you with.
Especially right now – with the Great Resignation, and the ever changing landscape of working from home or going back to the office, you have to be aware of your team’s time, potential burnout and more. Give your team the motivation and encouragement and real foundational reasons to participate in your Thought Leadership strategy.
Tip 5) Be ready to change gears, change strategy and engage completely.
Let your audience tell you what they really want and then give it to them. Gather the right feedback and use it to modify your Thought Leadership strategy all along. Stay ahead of the trends and use them in your strategy as much as you can.
Thought Leadership is here to stay and can become a huge part of your strategy now and far into the future, if you take the time to implement it correctly and be ready to change with the evolution of the process.
That’s it for the Dopamine Dose for this week!
One more thing –
Don’t forget our upcoming Standout Authority Workshop coming up on Feb 10th – we’re going to cover an amazing amount of ground and when you leave you’ll have several concrete tools in your hand to help you implement and position yourself, your brand and your company as a leader in your space.
See you next time,
Joshua B. Lee