Doing Thought Leadership means implementing a strategy that allows you to become a thought leader in your niche or industry-the right and most effective way to gain authority and increase demand for your offering.

Some time ago, in this article, I told you about who the Thought Leader and what he or she does: a person recognized as authoritative and expert in his or her field, whose opinion is a point of reference for everyone he or she deals with (not only clients, but also partners and associates).

Why would you want to be a thought leader? Because then your business can only turbocharge!

It's about gaining trust and credibility, setting yourself apart from the competition, building valuable relationships--all to create or increase demand for your offering. In essence, it is the key to unlocking a whole new level of professional and personal fulfillment.

If that tickles your fancy, then the Thought Leadership is the strategy for you as an essential element of effective content marketing.

Well, as a famous song from some time ago says, it is all very interesting...

But I bet you're wondering now: what should I do. concretely to become one? 

Yeah, because theory is one thing, and practice is another.

But don't worry: I'm here to help you.

Becoming a thought leader, an individual who drives innovation and new ideas in a given field, is a valuable path for any professional, but getting there is neither easy nor immediate.

There is no such thing as a "school," a training course complete with a final certificate of recognition. What you need to do is implement a series of strategies based on sharing ideas and valuable content, as well as refining your skills and expanding your professional network.

All of this might seem overwhelming to you, but if you break it down into a series of steps, it is much easier to understand.

Let's see them together!

What is Thought Leadership

The Thought Leadership strategy has a single goal: to make sure that you are recognized as the best in your field, the most authoritative, thereby changing in your favor people's behavior and perception of you and your company.

It obviously also has to do with the brand and its positioning: as I explain at this article on brand positioning, finding one's place in the minds of the public is crucial to swimming in the sea of sharks that is the market and succeeding in one's business.

You can think of thought leadership as a type of content marketing in which you draw on the talent, experience, and passion within your business, or from your community, to consistently answer the biggest questions in the minds of your target audience on a particular topic.

In a nutshell. produce valuable content that highlight your offering and to share innovative ideas that stimulate new ways of thinking, ignite discussions and inspire action. Such content must, of course, be authentic, based on your experience and representative of your brand. From this comes a strong and lasting relationship with your audience, which will result in trust and a predisposition to buy.

How to do Thought Leadership

To be effective, content for Thought Leadership must offer new insights, analyze relevant or emerging trends, provide best practices-in short, it must be original and authentic to stimulate action. Indeed, if it is meager, too generic or promotional, the audience is likely to be dissatisfied.

These can be videos, articles, webinars, presentations, in the form of organic or paid content.

The important thing is that you focus on what conveys value (instead of what sells): in fact, it is critical that you separate Thought Leadership from other content strategies. Typically, content marketing focuses on converting traffic into leads or sales; although thought leadership can contribute to this, it should not have it as its primary purpose.

But back to concrete things: how can you actually implement it?

First, you should consider three types of content:

1. Sector: your perspective on news, trends, and the future;

2. Product: tutorials, how-tos, best practices, strategies;

3. Organization: corporate culture and values, staff development.

If you produce valuable content in these three areas, you will not only create authority status for yourself and your company, but you will gain respectability and trust from leads.

thought leadership

Why is this important? For one simple reason: your customers are not buying your product or service, but your perspective and your way of approaching and solving their problems.

Therein lies the key: only by meeting those needs can you win them over and establish a fruitful and lasting relationship with them.

Best practices

So here are what actions you can take to become a true thought leader.

#Define yourself

Clearly identifying your specific industry and niche allows you to build your brand, establish credibility and optimize your profile. It is the first step toward authority. Thought leadership thus becomes a natural extension of your ability to build your reputation. Start by improving or restructuring your existing social media profiles; curate your personal blog; and start writing regularly.

#Be specific

It is all very well to share your opinion on a wide variety of topics to show that you are a well-rounded professional. However, at the same time, wanting to cover too many topics can be much more difficult to manage and risks creating the impression that you are a bit unfocused. The hallmark of thought leadership is that success comes from focusing on a single specialty: find it and focus all your efforts on it. Remember: you cannot solve all of humanity's problems!

#Keep the pace with the times

Keep up to date with the latest news: Top thought leaders continually stay abreast of what's happening around them, which is especially crucial in the fastest-changing industries, such as technology and digital. This gives you the opportunity to recognize and analyze market patterns and trends, which can inspire strategies to implement business solutions. Knowing the latest industry news can also stimulate unique insight that you can use to benefit your business.

#Collaborate and learn from others

Unafraid to admit what you don't know, if you want to be a Thought Leader you have to make a conscious effort to understand and listen to what others have to say. This is also a smart way to stay in touch with your mentors, colleagues, or other industry influencers and expand your knowledge on a topic. Talk to them about what's on their minds, observe how they run their businesses, what they write on their blogs. Not only that, in addition to harnessing the power of "listening," invite others to do the same-this increases the likelihood that your ideas will be shared.

#Build your network

Continue to work with people you know and trust, but don't be afraid to expand your professional network. Be present and active on various social media platforms, attend events (digital or in-person), and contact new people regularly. The more of them there are in your network, the more your authority will grow, and the more your words will be a real talking point.

#Be dare

At this point, after establishing your authority in the industry, you only have one more step to take: be innovative. Make bold claims, propose new things, make provocative predictions about the future. Promote change and innovation in your business and publicize these efforts. With your authority already established, people will immediately begin to see you as a true thought leader.

Conclusions

So what do you think? 

I'm sure you have all the credentials to implement these small strategies and gain the authority you deserve.

As you have seen, well-crafted content can help you reach and grow your audience, build relationships with them, and enhance your credibility as a leader and influencer in your space. But to achieve these goals, it is important that you develop everything consistently and aligned with respect to your Thought Leadership goal.

Therefore, don't expect to do it all in one day. Developing a personal brand and becoming a thought leader is a process that takes time, even with all the effort and goodwill in the world.

My advice is always to differentiate yourself with your point of view, but most importantly with your consistency, showing yourself as an expert and helping your clients with different types of content, every single day.

Photo by Zac Durant on Unsplash