How can you use thought leadership as a way of growing your business, improving your career positioning, or getting a job? Expressing your thought leadership is an excellent way to “show” rather than “tell” those who matter to you what you can do for them and how you do it. It enables you to differentiate yourself and stand out from the competition. It lets you “show your stuff” and solidify your personal brand in the minds of others.
There are many obvious ways of doing this such as writing articles for trade journals, speaking at events, creating your own events, participating in group on-line discussions, participating in professional associations, collaborating, etc. But before you even think about which road you want to take you should do some research and take the following questions and comments into consideration.
1. Who is in your target audience? Who are the people you want to get in front of? Are they decision makers or the ones who influence the decision makers? Which segment of the population are you addressing? The most productive use of your time would be to focus on a concentrated area or demographic and penetrate it more effectively through increased exposure.
2. What are their needs and pain points? How can you help them? Clearly identifying your target audience enables you to pinpoint and address their specific needs. Do the necessary research to find out what keeps them up at night. Provide value and stand out or you will end up being nothing more than white noise – easy to ignore. Stay current and timely, adding a twist or different point of view on information that may already be out there.
3. What do you like doing and what are you good at - speeches, written product, interviews? Focus on what you like doing and you’ll have a better chance of being consistent and constant in your delivery.
4. Where should your thought leadership be showcased? Whether it’s a blog, guest posts, newspapers, seminars, or special events your company develops, blanketing areas where your target audience lives is the best way to attain the visibility and credibility you want. Once you have captured your target audience’s attention and earned their following, your reputation, your brand, will expand beyond this group.
5. Patience and determination go a long way in building your thought leadership. It takes time for people to trust you, your information, and what you have to offer. Constant relevant exposure over a long period of time will help you build a consistent and growing following.
The rest is up to you. Do you have other ways of developing your thought leadership? Let us know what worked for you.
Utilizing her experience of over 25 years Mary Rosenbaum empowers careerists and entrepreneurs to gain greater clarity and more effectively communicate their unique promise of value. Strong leadership means leading with your strengths. Get her free report Top Strategies for Getting Visible and Getting Ahead.
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