It is amazing how our favorite industry experts have an answer to most of our queries. They are always one-step ahead of the rest, they know the cutting edge-tech, they foresee the changes coming towards us, and their following benefits greatly from the content that these leaders share.
But one often fails to see the work that went behind becoming the industry leader. Thought leadership is a complex and long term process with benefits that are worth the time consumed. To become a thought leader, you need to figure out your area of expertise and just dive deep into it. Don’t try to spread yourself thin across all the verticals of your industry. Forget about your business and marketing agendas and focus on learning more in order to perfect your skills. Network with people who are working in the same area as yours, listen to them actively. Expertise isn’t everything, one should have a perspective and be able to draw insights. As a thought leader, you know the past and present of your field so well that you are ahead of the curve and know what to expect in the future. You are a trend-setter, not a follower. This only comes with practice, time, and experience. One can never stop learning.
As important as it is to build your own expertise to be a thought leader, establishing your credibility is as important. What is the point of all the knowledge if it cannot be shared with the world? It will simply fade away from existence.
Share your insights, build a relationship. Let your audience know that you have a lot to offer and they can trust you with all the information they need. If we follow the lingo, 'Share thought leadership content'.
So what does thought leadership content exactly mean?
Imagine coming across a video where your favorite digital marketer talks about how the focus on social media platforms is shifting from content to conversations. He has an incredible amount of experience in the field and you have been following his blogs and YouTube for a very long time. And guess what? When you try to implement the things he talks about, you get results!
There is another executive from the Edtech space. On her LinkedIn, she talks about how Edtech will revolutionize corporate structures by providing easier and affordable means to upskill. She has her own Edtech firm which is one of the leading companies in that space.
In both the examples, as an audience you are bound to follow what these two leaders have to say, you admire them and trust them. They have always helped you with the required knowledge and questions. The content they share is called thought leadership content, because every single information they provide, it contributes to their specialized area. They are the innovators, the ones who are constantly shaping the industry and trying new things. Because of this experimentation, they share what works with their audience and what doesn't.
Imagine having a thought leader present your brand. How impactful can it be? Your brand being represented by a voice which leads the industry. It builds trust amongst the target audience. Not only are they interested in your company, they find value in following you. Using the path of thought leadership gains trust of the target audience like no other marketing method.
As a business, remember that the purpose of thought leadership isn’t to market and promote yourself. A thought leader is bound to have a huge following. The purpose is to show your clients that you know the industry in and out, and you have a lot more to offer.
And as a thought leader, always remember that your value lies in your expertise and experience, so never let these two things become history, and keep on grinding towards your passion!