For many organizations, establishing thought leadership within the business is a top priority. While your individual goals may vary, the basic purpose of creating thought leadership and its incumbent assets is to differentiate yourself from the competition, to gain the trust of your audience, to gain leads and eventually, to monetize what you’ve done. Anyone can create thought leadership content and other assets, but can they drive results? Here is your quick guide to creating thought leadership that helps you meet your ultimate goals.
Going into anything without a strategy is a poor idea and the same goes for your quest to become a thought leader. Align your thought leadership strategy with the growth strategy of your organization. This should include how you position your brand, how you communicate and should integrate the sales process and sales goals. In order to see results, your efforts need to parallel the efforts of the rest of your organization.
Your focus should always be quality over quantity, but should be consistent and continual. Think one month, six months and one year ahead when developing your strategy and decide where you’d like to be and how you’d like to be there. What results would you like to see? Be realistic in recognizing that becoming a thought leader doesn’t happen overnight, but that your consistent effort will help to keep your goals moving forward and drive results.
Content is king when it comes to thought leadership. Not only will you want to deliver new ideas to your audience in order to gain leads, you want to provide them with relevant advice and solutions that will help solidify their trust. A trusting audience is one that is buying your products. Thought leadership assets can also be all-encompassing and create a system of education for your own team, allowing them to be more effective and easily recognize the goals and innovations of the company. They will then go into the sales process more prepared and better able to close a sale.
Establish a consistent publishing process for all of your thought leadership work. As an organization, you will want to put one person or one team in charge of the documentation process for your thought leadership assets. This person should have valid experience in creating and publishing your assets and furthering your organization’s goals. You may also want to get professional help from organizations that provide thought leadership advice, so that you can ensure you are on the right track. Keeping up with the content needs of your organization may be somewhat difficult if writing is not in the skill-set of your team. Hiring a ghost writer is a good solution for ensuring you stay on track with your goals and for having your thoughts expressed in a thoughtful and engaging way.
Aligning with your organization’s strategies, ensure that all of your thought leadership content is shared, using a multi-channel delivery system. You don’t want to just publish on platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook, you also want to share this content with email subscribers and on your other media and sales channels. Getting your content out to the largest and most-relevant audience is the best way to drive results and monetize your goals.
If you found this article interesting, you may also enjoy reading the other articles I’ve recently posted on Executive Outlook about Thought Leadership. Please feel free to share these articles with your network.
Your LinkedIn profile is a great place to build your personal brand and position yourself as a Thought Leader. If you need assistance optimizing your profile or writing content, message me at firstname.lastname@example.org.