Luke Edward Harper
Thought Leadership Marketing Gives a Big Voice to Small Business
Updated: Jan 23, 2021
A thought leader is an individual recognized for having authority in a certain field of knowledge. They draw on the past, analyze the present, and illuminate the future to create a comprehensive, unique, and impactful view of their area of expertise.
Guess what...You Would Make a Great Thought Leader!
Small business owners are often strong candidates for thought leadership because they’re close to the action. Read on to learn whether your small business services could be showcased through thought leadership marketing techniques.
Quiz: Determine Your Thought Leader Potential!
You probably already engage in some thought leader behaviors as a small business owner. You have deep knowledge, a ton of experience, and some strong opinions.
Use this checklist to see if thought leadership is a good fit:
You Have Insider Knowledge or Special Expertise
You’re quite literally an expert. You’re well-read. You have your finger on the pulse. You have more experience than anyone when it comes to what you do.
You Offer Coaching and Guidance Already
At this point in your career, mentorship is a part of operating your business. And your loyal pupils get more than just hands-on learning; they gain helpful advice and lifelong understanding.
You Have Forward-Thinking Insight on Trends
Since you know the ins and outs of your area of expertise, you have some strong opinions about your field of knowledge and the direction of the industry.
Your Opinion Is Influential in Your Area of Expertise
When you talk, people listen. You might have a successful blog or podcast already. Perhaps you’re constantly speaking at conventions. Maybe your social media gets considerable engagement. Whatever it is, people stay past the sales pitch because your words have power.
You Consciously Act and Inspire Action to Deliver Results
Simply put, you walk the walk. While others discuss and debate, you’re pounding the pavement, knocking down doors, and making a name for yourself as a knowledgeable business owner.
You Express Your Ideas Openly With an Open Mind
Nobody’s perfect. So although you know your stuff, you’re always open to feedback, always actively listening, always taking constructive criticism.
You Are Unique and Engage a Niche Audience
It’s hard to find a voice quite like yours. You have a rare quality for understanding your body of knowledge. When people come to you, it’s because you’re the guru they’ve been hearing about.
So It Turns Out You’re an Exceptional Candidate for Thought Leadership Marketing
The above list of qualities of a thought leader is designed to frame your understanding of your industry in a marketable way. If you’re ready to start honing your special voice through thought leadership, it’s important to start with some grounded perspective.
For instance, there is no certain number of page visits or published works or connections in your network that suddenly justify asserting yourself as a thought leader. David Taylor-Klaus, a Forbes Council member, writes in a Forbes post, you don’t have to have a certain number of accolades or be featured in a certain publication to be a prominent voice.
Capitalize on Being in the Know
If you haven’t already, you should be accumulating intellectual capital, which is an inventory of published works, (blog posts, social media, presentations, web content, white papers, etc.,) that you use to assert your stance on industry topics.
First, unify these works in the same place, preferably a cloud drive. Once your content is all in the same place, reflect on each piece’s value. Write down what each says about what you know, what you believe and/or what you want to know more about.
Being Well Known Versus the One to Know
You don’t have to be famous to be a thought leader. Rather, you need to be known by the right kinds of people. Brainstorm some other powerful minds in your industry and plan to connect with them. The strength of your thought leadership marketing relies heavily on your network.
What are some ways you’ve been a leader in your organization, in the industry, with your contemporaries? Get some feedback on how you’ve performed as a leader. Ask your employees or subordinates to provide anonymous feedback. Ask customers how you’ve helped them beyond providing your product or service. Keep an ear to the ground.
Practical Tasks to Begin Niche Marketing Through Thought Leadership
Take action! It’s time to get started with some activities you can complete in preparation for emerging as an industry thought leader.
Attend events relevant to your area of expertise. Even passively viewing a webinar can allow you to become well-rounded and might connect you to important people in your niche market. Consider investing more time into social media marketing tactics.
Establish several channels and sources for getting your information. Though you need to be focused on your area of expertise, you must be methodical - not sporadic - with how you inform yourself. Study market dynamics especially, and document everything!
Ask to be taught by a carefully selected expert in your network. This is a great bonding exercise as you both expand your knowledge. It will also allow you to stay top of mind when that other professional needs (your) help making a decision.
Create content and look for opportunities to be published in reputable sources, even as a ghostwriter. Forbes published an article on writing thought leader content that you can use to inform your writing. Get started!
Be prepared to invest some time into establishing your online presence. For that, you can rely on social benge to help you capture your audience with expert digital marketing advice and brand management services.
Bring Thought Leadership Marketing to the Forefront of Your Brand
To discover ways that you can construct platforms to establish your credibility as a thought leader, head over to the social benge contact page to get in touch with services to grow your small business online.
We at social benge are committed to designing a valuable online presence for you and your business so you can create lasting impressions as a leader in your industry.