As a marketing tactic, thought leadership is about listening and sharing expert advice to solve challenges facing humanity. A recent Survey Monkey report shows that LinkedIn has over one million people with the "thought leader" tag. Also, the 2020 Edelman-LinkedIn Thought Leadership survey found that 63% of buyers believe thought leadership proves a business truly understands and has solutions to clients' challenges.
These statistics show the immense potential thought leadership has for positioning businesses as solutions to customer problems.
In practice, a "thought leader" is a person with expert knowledge and expertise in their field of specialization and shares this information with their audience in relatable terms, making it easy to comprehend. Thought leaders provide unique insights and inspire innovation in their followers.
Many business executives and leaders strive to become thought leaders. However, they must be ready to pay the price through education, dedication, and patience. You can become a thought leader overnight. The process takes time, dedication, tenacity, and skill.
Since thought leaders are reliable sources of information in their niche, their earned reputation allows them to contribute to meaningful discussions happening in their industry. They can identify trends before they occur and convert this information into tangible business results.
Over time, thought leaders attract a dedicated team of followers in their industry or ecosystem. Also, they influence their fans to transform their ideas into sustainable change. Social media platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn are foundations of building your thought leadership strategy through social networking and positioning yourself as a professional in your niche.
Thought leadership has many advantages for your business. The following are some of the chief benefits of thought leadership.
Thought leaders don't need an introduction in the marketplace. They have already paid the price. Prospective customers seek thought leaders. If you become a person people want to follow, their dollars will follow suit. Additionally, once you're viewed as a thought leader, your sales team will have less work to do because the prospects already have a hint about your company values, products, and services.
By consistently offering valuable and accurate information about their industry, thought leaders earn credibility, trust and build rapport with their audience. Thought leaders act as spokespersons for their businesses and organizations. They add value to their audience by sharing advice, including personal experience. Thought leadership attracts people to you and significantly impacts your personal and business growth. Your customers will choose you over your competitors if you add value to their lives.
Thought leadership is an ideal form of marketing that lets you share your expertise through personalized communication. It establishes you as an expert in your industry. This marketing strategy lets your audience know you and starts early on the consumer journey. It allows you to share valuable information in an educational and fun way. Initiating meaningful conversations about trendy issues in your niche is the best way to position yourself as a thought leader. It's the best way to create fruitful business relationships with prospects and existing customers.
Consumers hate being sold to, but they are very receptive to sharing accurate and valuable information on trending topics in the industry. You become a successful thought leader when the masses in your industry run to you for professional opinions about issues facing them.
Thoughtful leadership promotes forward-thinking. To stand out from other people in your industry, you need to pursue knowledge in your area of specialization vigorously, either via experience or education. This ambition inspires those around you to follow the same path and engage in innovative thinking.
Forward-thinking also helps predict future trends in your industry and make the best of business opportunities that may arise. It's an ideal way to help your company find additional income streams and make significant revenue because of innovative ideas. With forward-thinking, your team members learn from each other and find solutions to your business's challenges.
Today, most businesses are realizing thought leadership is a vital component in building brand awareness and boosting demand generation. Thoughtful leadership directly links all aspects of your sales and marketing strategy.
Lead Gen: Thoughtful content can be gated or free information at each stage of your buyer's journey or content on your website. Such information should include calls to action directing your visitors to your products and services. Thoughtful content makes the buyer's journey easier.
Loyalty: Thoughtful leadership is a rewarding experience that lets you build a loyal audience that becomes your customers and helps boost your business. It opens doors to effective sales calls and differentiates your organization from your competitors. With the right attitude, consistency, and personality, thoughtful leadership can help increase business revenue.