So what is a thought leader, anyway? A thought leader is deep subject matter expert. One whose views on a subject are taken to be authoritative and influential. Thought leaders are often the people journalists call on to give an opinion or POV on a subject when a crisis or breaking news hits.
We have many prospects that come to us wanting publicity and to work with journalists. The first question we ask is, “Are you a thought leader?” Journalists want to work with the best in their field. They are responsible for delivering credible content. Therefore, they seek out the cream of the crop. If you really want your ideas publicized, you need to consider becoming a thought leader.
There are several benefits to becoming a thought leader, and one obvious perk is media coverage, but there are many more benefits to this role.
- Increased sales and conversion rates. Think of it this way: If you were sick would you go to just any surgeon or the best in the field with a history of breakthrough research. I’m sure you chose the latter. Most of us would. Everyone wants to work with the best.
- Achieved Brand Affinity Thought leadership fosters brand affinity. This level of loyalty happens when consumers are emotionally connected with the brand.
- Increased Community Engagement Conducting research and yielding sufficient data to predict consumer needs and develop key messages will only result in a more penetrating engagement with the communities your brand serves.
Now that we’re clear about the benefits of thought leadership, let’s take a look at the four things you need to brand yourself as a thought leader.
- Compelling brand story Great stories bring your audience to a deeper level of understanding and gives them a perspective of your brand that is unique and relatable.
- Authentic personal brand. Having a personal brand will help define you as a leader and help shape the manner in which you serve your customers.
- Creation of innovative concepts. Thought leaders set themselves apart from by creating new ideas. They are not afraid to take risks and share their findings to change public opinion.
- Content strategy both on and offline Distributing original content in a range of channels can exponentially increase your brand’s visibility. This type of strategy help increase engagement with your audience and spread your concepts to drive profitable behaviors.
So, what other things can help you become a thought leader? I would love to hear from you.