How great would it be to get your customers to come to you for important information and advice related to your industry?
Whether you are a writer, marketer, or a small business owner, thought leadership is a great way to position your company as a figure of authority on your business’ niche.
Implementing thought leadership in your blog acts as a useful tool to increase site traffic, increase leads, and create loyal customers that keep coming back.
This blog will go over the ins and outs of thought leadership, including an explanation of why thought leadership is important, how to implement it in your blogs, and how your company can benefit from using it.
History of Thought Leadership
The phrase “thought leadership” was first used in 1887 by American Congregationalist Henry Ward Beecher.
You may be wondering “if it’s been around for that long, why haven’t I heard of it?” Well, it probably has to do with the fact that the meaning of this phrase has changed over time.
The definition of thought leadership had shifted throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries and now meets Joe Kurtzman’s definition below:
“A thought leader is recognized by peers, customers and industry experts as someone who deeply understands the business they are in, the needs of their customers and the broader marketplace in which they operate. They have distinctively original ideas, unique points of view and new insights.”
What is Thought Leadership and Why Does it Matter?
Thought leadership is when a business or an individual is recognized as an authority in a specialized field and when their expertise is sought after and valuable.
Showcasing your knowledge in a particular topic or field, in turn, positions you and your company as the expert that your audience will come to for advice, leading to an increase in web traffic, sales, and leads.
Benefits of Using Thought Leadership
You give your audience added value when you write from the perspective of thought leadership. This added value has a ripple effect, leading to added value in many different sectors of your business.
Here’s how thought leadership will add value to your business:
- Offers a unique and valuable perspective to your customers
- Establishes your business’ credibility in your field
- Boosts your industry presence
- Increases blog traffic
- Increases sales
Investing time into perfecting your thought leadership strategy will open all kinds of doors. A key aspect of a thought leader is exposure.
Showing up in your industry in the relevant ways and sharing these ideas is a critical aspect of thought leadership. Journalists and event organizers can provide great opportunities for business exposure, which in turn may lead to an increase in sales as it creates business awareness. The more people know about your business, the more likely they will seek to purchase your product or service.
What Do You Need to Be Considered A Thought Leader?
Now that you know what thought leadership is and how it benefits your company, you may be wondering how you become a thought leader? Our okwrite team has the answers you’ve been looking for. Here are some common traits of thought leaders.
Experts of a Niche
You need experience in your field if you want to become a recognized thought leader. This experience is not necessarily quantifiable, as it is highly debated in the business world.
However, the key is that you need to have spent the necessary time to fine-tune your expertise. If you don’t feel that you would be comfortable teaching your niche to someone who has absolutely no concept of it, then you may not be cut out to be a thought leader (yet!).
That brings us to our next qualifier of a thought leader—credibility. Credibility is what makes an expert an expert.
Credible business owners and brands that are seen as credible have experience in their field, recognition of achievement in their field, and a good reputation.
This recognition could come in the form of rewards in both business practices and in your niche and one great way to gain a positive reputation is asking your clients and past clients to review your business.
Ongoing Involvement in Your Niche
A key aspect to every thought leader is that they are focused on staying up to date with their niche and are consistently involved in their niche field. As a thought leader, you need to know the latest trends and business news evolving your niche, in order to classify yourself as an expert and effectively contribute to dialogues pertaining to that niche.
A Loyal Audience
A loyal audience puts the word recognized in a recognized thought leader. Forbes writer, Shel Israel explains it simply, stating that “you cannot be a thought leader if others don’t follow.”
Without a loyal audience, your expertise falls on deaf ears. That being said, if you have a small audience, your audience can grow over time with thought leadership as more and more people begin to trust your expertise, and by extension, your brand.
Tips on Becoming A Thought Leader
Still not sure how to become a thought leader? Our content experts at okwrite have put together a list of the best tips.
Tip #1 – Learn From Other Thought Leaders
A great way to become a thought leader is to listen to other experts in your field by attending conferences or continuing your education.
Boost your brand awareness by working with experts in the industry. Consider investing time into a mentorship program.
Tip #2 – Boost Your Industry Presence
Boosting your business presence is one way to create the necessary following to become a thought leader. You can do this in a few different ways:
- Engage in local business networking events
- Interview with local news
- Guest posting with fellow experts in your field
- Create a social media campaign
- Post consistent, high-quality blogs about your niche
Tip #3 – Create a Content Strategy
Creating a content strategy is a great way to work towards becoming a thought leader. By producing consistent, quality blog posts on your area of expertise, your audience will soon begin to associate your business with your niche.
okwrite Can Help
Do you check a lot of the boxes of being a thought leader but are missing the consistent online content? okwrite can help! We provide professionally written content that will bring more brand awareness and help you position yourself as a thought leader.
Plus, it frees up your time, so that you can focus on other aspects of your business. You can feel comfortable knowing that a dedicated team works behind the scenes to help push you closer to achieving your business goals.
To learn more about our content marketing services contact our okwrite team today to get started!