How can you boost your brand’s reputation and visibility in one fell swoop? The answer is thought leadership. As the owner of a brand, by establishing yourself as a respected and trustworthy leader in your industry, you automatically take your company along for the ride. After all, it’s your ideas behind your products or services. Therefore, your products are physical manifestations of your knowledge and expertise.
If you need an example of some powerful thought leaders, think of Bill Gates or Elon Musk. They regularly contribute to industry publications, engage with social media pertaining to their specialties, and both their products and opinions are sought after. Using thought leadership marketing, they have been able to gain greater visibility and promote their products and ideas.
With that said, it’s important to note that unlike more traditional forms of marketing, thought leadership takes a lot of time and sustained effort. In today’s digital age, it is virtually impossible to become a thought leader without having a massive platform in which to speak from. Thought leaders need large following on social media, as well as the ear of media outlets and industry-specific experts.
To generate an audience, you must create and share engaging, knowledgeable content, whether in the form of social media posts, videos, blogs, or graphics. Additionally, be sure to catch the attention of industry peers by publishing articles and opinion pieces in trade journals, newspapers, and websites like Forbes, Inc., Wall Street Journal, or the New York Times. The more you can get your name out there, as well as the brand and ideas that are attached to it, the better.
If you’re having a difficult time gaining a following, your professional network may come in handy. If you know someone with a large following, you can ask for them to provide you with a little visibility. If they have a successful blog of their own, perhaps you can provide a guest post. If they have a podcast with a lot of listeners, ask to be a guest! The worst they can say is no, and the best they can do is provide you with increased viewership. If you’re uncomfortable asking outright, present it as a business deal so that both parties can walk away happy.
Though it takes time and hard work, thought leadership boosts your brand’s reputation and helps to attract customers (as well as top industry talent!). Additionally, when your personality and expertise is doing the work, you’ll be able to spend more time developing the next big thing and less money and time working on marketing strategies.