Who Should Use Thought Leadership
Thought leadership is a unique type of marketing, in that you’re not just trying to sell the values of a company or the quality of the product, but the authority and expertise of an individual. But how do you know if you’re a Thought Leader?
The Ideal Thought Leader Candidate
When deciding who at your company is best suited to be a thought leader, you’re going to want to have someone with the following traits.
Expertise in your niche
Blog posts can be ghostwritten and researched, but ideally, your thought leader is still going to want to have some expertise in their area. The reason for this is that there are also smaller interactions that thought leaders should be doing, like social media interaction, that may be a little more off-the-cuff. The same applies for things like podcast appearances or in-person speeches.
Comfort with the public eye
Being a thought leader is different than being a marketing manager in the sense that you are attaching your name to publicized content. In some cases, this may bring questions and controversy that you need to be ready for.
Dedication to the company
Creating a thought leader is a long-term investment, and there’s a reason why founders or CEOs are generally going to be your best choices when it comes to thought leaders. The last thing you want to do is invest time into building someone up only for them to go elsewhere.
Is It Possible To Start From Scratch?
The thought leadership concept originally came from the C-suite, and some of the biggest thought leaders in the world are CEOs and other major figures at major companies. Does this preclude people with small businesses from being able to be thought leaders? Not necessarily. The traits we mentioned before don’t require you to be the head of a major company. However, what you do need to have is reasonable expectations.
Being a thought leader often doesn’t pay off in regards to the bottom line until well after you get started. As a result, it’s not a good marketing match for a company that needs to build that initial customer base, at least not by itself. Ideally, smaller names trying to break into thought marketing will want to use other methods, like email marketing, to bolster their business while working on thought leadership.
When it comes to being a thought leader, no matter where you are starting from or your position, you need to understand that building the authority and presence you need isn’t going to happen overnight. This is why it’s important to know what your audience will respond to, the ways to create effective thought leadership content, and metrics that you need to check to make sure things are working properly. Our full guide on How To Become A Thought Leader covers all of these different questions and other insight that will help you reach your thought leadership goals.