Thought leaders are authoritative members of their industry. Become a leader and reap the rewards.
Thought leadership is a key facet in content marketing and, as 2013 looks to be the year when content evolves even further to become a mainstream marketing method, it is even more important now than ever before that you develop a thought leadership plan for your website and your business. Learn what thought leadership really is and how you can be perceived as a thought leader within your chosen industry.
Before you can hope to become a thought leader you need to know what it really means. To be a thought leader you need to be an authority; somebody that prospects, including individuals and businesses, turn to when they want information or require some form of solution. Authoritative figures are considered thought leaders because they provide insightful content and also because they innovate. You need to do all of this and more.
Why Become A Thought Leader?
There are numerous benefits to becoming a thought leader. Those that follow you will be inclined to share your guru like knowledge with others and they will almost certainly believe the information that you have to offer them. By becoming an authoritative figure it means that you will be able to influence your industry as well as your customers and this is equally true for B2B and B2C leaders.
Write About Current Topics
To be a thought leader you must be current. This means that you should offer insightful information on some of the latest trends and topics that are currently doing the rounds. By covering all of the hottest trending topics in your industry it shows that you have extensive knowledge on that particular topic and this is likely to enable you to be seen as an authority in your field.
Make Accurate Predictions
Ideally, you should not only be seen as being sage-like in your knowledge of current information but you should be able to use this to make accurate predictions regarding the direction of your industry too. Try to determine what effects changes in regulations or advancements in technology will have on your industry and put these across in a suitable format.
One suitable format that you should consider is that of presentations. In the real world, this means attending seminars and exhibitions and standing up to give a speech to a roomful of people with at least a moderate understanding of your industry. Be prepared to field some difficult questions but by doing this you will be seen as being highly authoritative.
The only person more authoritative than the one giving the presentation is the one that arranged it. Arrange your own seminar and consider the digital equivalent. Host video hangouts on Google+ or create a webcast or webinar and invite knowledgeable individuals from your industry to speak to attendees.
Whether you give the presentation or arrange it, whether you provide blog posts or news articles, ensure that you research a topic thoroughly. To be a thought leader your knowledge should extend beyond the content of your articles and speeches so that you can answer any additional questions and provide further information as and when it is needed and requested.
Identify And Answer Questions
With a thorough understanding of your industry comes a deep understanding of those that rely on your information. Determine what questions they will ask and then pre-empt them by providing the answers already. You can do this via your website, during question answer sessions, or in a variety of other meaningful ways.
As well as arranging speeches and presentations there are other ways that you can encourage participation from your peers and potential followers. Conduct expert interviews and use the results, ask for questions from your website visitors and clients. Use the information that is generated in this way and add your own unique take on the topic to really become a leader.
A thought leader needs to know virtually everything about a given industry and they should be able to recall information quickly and easily. You can be perceived as a leader either using your website or through more traditional means; regardless of which method you use to convey your thoughts do make sure that you reap their rewards. Thought leadership may be a buzzword but that doesn’t mean that it is any less viable as a result.