Over 80% of c-suite and business decision-makers say that thought leaders make them want to engage with a brand. Over 41% say that they are more likely to do business with a thought leader and over 50% say that thought leadership is one factor they use when shortlisting vendors they want to work with within their industry. Yet, only 17% of marketers see becoming a thought leader as crucial to gaining new leads. That is a wide gap that is waiting for your business to fill it.
What Is Required to be a Thought Leader?
Being a thought leader requires you to stay knowledgeable about topics affecting your industry and a willingness to share your own experience with struggles you have encountered or successes that have come your way. Furthermore, you must be able to communicate your ideas fluently.
Define Your Target Audience
If you want to capture the market share your competitors are giving away, you must first know your target audience. Take a look at what businesses are working with your brand and discover the factors they share in common. Your current customers may not all fit the same demographics, in which case you will need to divide your business into different segments and become a thought leader in each part.
Ideas to Implement to Become a Thought Leader
Once you have a clear understanding of your target audience and their pain points, you are ready to become a thought leader.
Add Value Through Exclusive Offers
You want to prove that you have the other business’ interest at heart. A great way to do that is to offer exclusive content offers that they will find helpful. Create longer content, such as white papers or e-books, and give it to your website visitors in exchange for their email addresses. As your followers grow, consider hosting events like webinars to further share your influence and expertise.
Use Social Media
In order to build your following as a thought leader, you need to engage with social media. Find out where the executives of businesses in your target group are hanging out, and become a regular participant. LinkedIn groups are a great place to communicate with others about particular topics.
Do not be afraid to engage in industry conversations. There is no need to start topics constantly. Instead, become informed about issues that people are talking about and share your opinions. Spend time listening to what others are saying and support them on their journey to becoming thought leaders. Be sure to keep social media social by engaging with customers who take their time to comment on your posts.
Social media is a great place to repurpose content that you have already created. Play with different formats to see which gets the highest level of engagement. As well as sharing your own content and ideas, use this space to share relevant industry and company news.
Constantly Create Fresh Content
You are passionate about your business, so use your website to share your passion with others. Create an “About Us” page to share more about your business and introduce key people within.
Be consistent in blogging. It often helps to use a keyword finder to come up with ideas to blog about.
Make a list of the questions people ask you most often, and use your blog to answer those questions. Repurpose your blogs onto a frequently asked questions page where your viewers know they can find answers to most of your questions.
There is plenty of room to be a new thought leader within every industry. Apply these tips to get ahead of your competition. Remember that being a thought leader requires you to be bold while still supporting the efforts of others within your industry.