thought leadership: 4 steps to better content
hen looking for new information and trends in any respective industry, many professionals turn to thought leaders in their field for insights. That is, experts who offer unique perspective and findings to inspire and influence others. Thought leadership can build credibility and help your business become a go-to resource in your field.
Most everyone has a favorite resource person they turn to when researching topics specific to their interests. The Dave Ramsey of finance. The Marie Kondo of organization. The Brené Brown of emotional intelligence. Given that list of names, the concept of being considered a thought leader in your industry may seem daunting. In reality, however, many companies have a lot of untapped knowledge that they may not be sharing. And spreading those insights can be a valuable first step to elevating you and your company to be recognized as THE expert.
You don’t have to reach celebrity status to be a thought leader. You simply need to share content that’s relevant, impactful and interesting. But where do you start?
1. DIRECT YOUR AUDIENCE
Knowing your audience is key in any communication, and thought leadership is no exception. When you talk the talk, make sure your audience is right there with you. So, speak in a language they would understand and appreciate. Once you have an established audience, make sure you remain consistent in tone and content. As a result, your audience will know exactly what to expect when they come to you. Don’t veer too far away from the core topics that your audience comes to you for.
2. WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW
Every business is an expert at something. Whether you’re selling goods or services, you know what you’re doing. Don’t shy away from that. Have the confidence to share your knowledge without ego or selling yourself. Thought leadership requires consistency, however. For this reason, make sure to keep up with creating new content so your audience continues to come back. It may also be helpful to keep a running list of topics handy. You never know when inspiration will strike throughout your day: whether it’s an interesting idea that came to you or a failed attempt at something that would save others the hassle. Let your experiences, failures, findings and ideas be lessons for your audience to take with them.
3. SHARE FOR VALUE
Time, especially these days, is a precious commodity. People want to know that what they’re spending their time reading will provide value, otherwise they won’t stick around. While writing, think about what you’re passionate about, things on which you have big ideas. You don’t have to share your trade secrets. But you’re successful for a reason, and there are surely plenty of findings that you’ve discovered that would help others in your field. For example, did you learn that the old way of doing things isn’t as practical today? Or have you noticed interesting trends in your industry? Write about them. Taking advantage of your unique perspective to provide value to others helping you become a thought leader in your industry.
4. LEARN FROM OTHERS
Pay attention to what others are sharing. What do they do that’s unique and interesting? Just as others are learning from you, make sure you are continuing to learn and stay knowledgeable. To become a thought leader and maintain your excellence you must continually learn and also listen to other experts in your field. For this reason, take your new knowledge and apply it to your own findings to further grow your innovative thoughts and perspective.
Take these tips to develop your path to becoming a thought leader. Just like you don’t have to be world-renowned to be an expert, you also don’t have to be a celebrity to be a thought leader. So, start small and keep your content flowing. You never know how many connections and opportunities will be made when you start to share your expertise with others.