In the past, staking a claim would have been good enough. Spice it up with some creative execution and you’ll have a captive audience feeding off your hands. With a less intense competitive environment back then, the effort to convince and convert was less demanding. It’s different today. People are generally more informed. In addition, technology levels the playing fields faster and accessibility to resources, expertise or experience needed to produce something similar or better has improved.
To add, it’s a noisy and cluttered market. Consumers are spoilt for choice. The internet is inundated with offers and promotions. But this has opened the floodgates to strategies and tactics to wow and woo consumers. Some work, others don’t. One that has been gaining momentum in recent years, especially in the B2B space, is thought leadership. At risk of sounding arrogant, it is essentially a badge to affirm your position as a credible authority in a specific field, for example, the accountant for gig economy workers. So, how can you establish your thought leadership positioning?
1. Determine your sphere of influence
It’s got to be unique and focused. Why? Amongst others, it aids memorability. More importantly, you’ll be known for that one specific sphere. Do your research to identify your sphere of influence. It must be a hot topic; it has to have a reasonable market size and it has to be do-able – in other words, you can deliver what is expected of a brand in that thought leadership position.
2. Build your content
Having determined your sphere of influence, you now have to fill it with content. On the assumption that you’ve got the former right, it would not be too difficult to ensure your content is valuable. What will make it valuable you may ask? It has to answer burning questions or concerns the target audience has. When it does, you’ve reached the first milestone in your journey of becoming a thought leader. It is the beginning of a relationship to build trust.
3. Do you have an opinion?
In providing answers to the questions, your content must tick the boxes for authenticity and originality. If you are merely regurgitating or emphasizing what has been said by others, you aren’t likely to make it very far in the journey. To be a leader, you’ll need to state your stand clearly and convincingly. It’s a way of demonstrating your experience and expertise.
4. Be consistent
Rome wasn’t built in a day. Neither will your thought leadership position. Remember, you’re not embarking on a campaign to stake a claim. It’s an effort to nurture your authority and credibility in a specific sphere. Do not expect immediate results.
Establishing thought leadership isn’t a question of the size of the business. Rather it’s the depth of your expertise and experience. To this end, it can be an effective and affordable small business marketing strategy. When well-executed, it will make you look awesome in digital space. Connect with us to learn how you can do it.