Biz Tips: Considering Thought Leadership? Here Are 5 Reasons Why You Should Absolutely Go For It:

Biz Tips: Considering Thought Leadership? Here Are 5 Reasons Why You Should Absolutely Go For It:

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Considering Thought Leadership? Here Are 5 Reasons Why You Should Absolutely Go For It:

Considering Thought Leadership? Here Are 5 Reasons Why You Should Absolutely Follow Through:

First thing’s first: if you’re a founder or C-level executive and haven’t been publishing valuable first-person content in your industry on a regular basis, you’re not a thought leader.

I wish I didn’t have to explain that, but unfortunately the mainstream ‘definition’ (if you can even call it that) of thought leadership is ill-defined.

Marketers capitalized off of ‘thought leadership’ the buzzword and failed to understand thought leadership the philosophy as a result. PR and marketing teams started labeling ordinary content as #ThoughtLeadership pieces to get clicks, and since, there hasn’t been a concrete definition.

Just to be clear…

Thought Leadership is building relationships at scale, building trust, and starting — as well as contributing to — industry conversations by publishing educational and entertaining first-person content on a regular basis.

If you’ve done ‘thought leadership’ content in the past, and it didn’t work, you may want to check to see if it was done right.

More and more people are starting to see the value in proper thought leadership and are slowly shying away from traditional advertising. It’s certainly the right move—regardless of industry, the fundamental principles of providing value from a first person perspective are pretty universal.

If you aren’t fully convinced, here are 5 reasons why thought leadership content is a smart move:

1. It builds trust.

With 5,000+ marketing campaigns crossing the eyes of the average consumer per day, people have learned to block, ignore, and sift through information.

There’s a huge misconception that the ‘really good’ marketing campaigns that don’t generate a favorable ROI simply got buried in a sea of competing content. It’s an excuse.

The real reason, more often than not, is that the content itself didn’t offer any sort of value. And since people are used to seeing so many ads on a daily basis, real value is the only thing that sticks out anymore.

Thought leadership is how you can grab attention by adding value.

By publishing first-person content on a consistent basis, and offering actionable advice to your audience in each of your content pieces, you can build trust in you, your brand, your company.

Don’t pour money into marketing campaigns that don’t offer any value.

Push out thought leadership content and show people why they can trust you.

2. You get to share your personal story.

This is probably the most under appreciated aspect of thought leadership marketing.

If you’re a founder, CEO, VP of Product, Board Director, or anything of the like, people want to hear directly from YOU. Not from your organization, not in third-person interview, not from your executive team—from Y.O.U.

You know what it’s like to make it to the top of an organization. You know what it takes to get there. You know what it’s like to run a company, manage teams, make the big decisions.

So share that.

Share your personal stories — the good, bad, ugly. Talk about what you struggled with on your journey, and what you continue to struggle with on a daily basis. Talk about some ‘hacks’ you’ve come across, or methods you’ve implemented in your organization.

So many people think all forms of marketing have to drive, drive, drive people right down the pipeline to get them to sign a contract or buy a product as quickly as possible. Not thought leadership.

Market by sharing your personal story.

Not only does it help you build trust with your target audience, but it’s fun, easy, and highly effective.

3. You further establish why you’re an expert.

This goes hand-in-hand with sharing your personal story.

No other form of marketing allows you to flaunt your expertise like thought leadership does. And the best par? You’re not really ‘flaunting’ at all—unlike the grossly redundant and ineffective “Meet The Founder Disrupting a $200 Billion Industry” press pieces.

Instead, you’re sharing your expertise in and educational and entertaining way.

Becoming a thought leader is about being recognized as an expert in your industry by the masses. By establishing your expertise through personal first-person storytelling on a consistent basis, people will inherently start to recognize you as an authority in your space.

Other marketing campaigns are structured a bit differently. Instead of showing why your company is on the cutting edge, it’s a lot of telling. And to the eyes of a consumer, telling is selling—and people hate being sold to.

Thought leadership content is extremely effective in establishing that expertise.

4. It can add to other marketing efforts.

Proper thought leadership is perhaps the most flexible form of marketing.

For example, let’s say you decide to go with written content for your thought leadership marketing efforts—say, 800-word articles. You post to your profile on social platforms conducive to long-form content, like Medium, to build a following.

That content doesn’t just ‘live’ on Medium. It starts there, yes, but one day, one of your pieces really resonates with the editor at a big-time Medium publication with a large following, and they decide to publish your piece.

You’re have your PR team pull quotes from your piece for the company blog, link to your weekly news letter, post to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and soon enough, more opportunities arise.

A few weeks later, an editor at Forbes reaches out to you and asks to republish that very same article. In the mean time, your most recent piece is starting to gain the same sort of traction.

Now when people Google your industry, a well-written

I’ve seen that exact thing happen at Digital Press time and time again.

The ability for thought leadership content to get repurposed or re-shared is massive, effortless and relatively cheap compared to any other form of marketing.

5. Over-time, it’s self-sustaining.

Unlike any other form of marketing, thought leadership content lasts.

It’s not like an ad in the sense that once you stop paying for it, it stops running. It’s content authored and published by you that lives as long as you want it to—and, as mentioned above, wherever you want it to.

Think about it like this: you start publishing four articles per month on a regular basis, speaking from experience about your industry. Six months down the road, you start to generate a big following. Right at the 6-month mark, one of your pieces goes viral—100k views overnight and climbing fast.

Now all of a sudden, the 20+ content pieces you wrote in the previous 6 months start to gain a bunch of traction. One of your first pieces—which had never gotten republished anywhere—makes it’s way into Business Insider.

All of a sudden, you’re flooded hundreds of inbounds from people wanting to work with you, from investors, from people inviting you onto their podcasts—all because you contributed to your industry on a consistent basis.

Thought leadership is a long play.

But once you reach the status of industry leader—and everyone knows it—you’ll wonder why you didn’t start sooner.

Thanks for reading 🙂

Need help with your thought leadership content? Try this.

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