As a Small Business Owner you may wonder whether it is a truly viable venture to market yourself as a thought-leader. But startups and Small Business often fulfill the roles of innovators and take risks, adopt technology that larger companies may be unwilling or unable to do. It is therefore essential that you ensure that your consumers, potential users and investors are aware of your position as a thought leader.
Let’s start with the basics:
What is a thought leader?
According to Forbes, “A thought leader is an individual or firm that prospects, clients, referral sources, intermediaries and even competitors recognize as one of the foremost authorities in selected areas of specialization, resulting in its being the go-to individual or organization for said expertise.”
In this post we will explore how you can position your business through leadership and management to be a thought leader and what benefits you can expect through this strategy for leadership.
What are the benefits of Thought Leadership?
• Your Marketing Strategy stands to become more engaging, targeted and contemporary
• It will help grow your market share and promote your brand as one that consumers trust
• You will be in a better position to hire and retain great industry talent
• Your marketing spends will lead to more sales with higher returns on investments • Your business will be able to attract more investors and through events you will be able to network with other leaders in various industries that could lead to fruitful collaborations.
How to Position Your Business as a Thought Leader
• Dispense with your PR firm: When you hire a Public Relations agency, you look to leverage their relationships with the press to gain publicity. A thought leader needs to build these relationships on their own. Then, when there is a story or article that relates to your field, the press will come directly to you rather than approach a competitor through an agency.
• Go Digital: Social Media is the simplest, cost effective tool through which you can engage with a public by connecting and providing commentary on current issues. Go beyond Facebook and explore business avenues on Twitter, Pinterest, Blogs, Podcasts and more. Your blog is a vital space where you can display your leadership qualities in the industry.
• Book yourself as a Speaker:
Discuss your triumphs and challenges in the industry on public forums and events. This will not only get your company’s name out there but will also allow you to network and collaborate with others that could lead to future partnerships
. • Be Extremely Well-Informed:
A thought leader is not just well versed in his/her niche industry but rather is aware and interested in a large number of topics. To be a thought leader you will need to become a voracious reader who can engage in conversations and comment on a variety of issues.
• Work on a Marketing Strategy rather than a making claims:
Consumers today are vary of pushy marketing campaigns that seek to only promote the benefits of a service without giving much attention to the events of the day.
A true thought leader will be able to cast a wide net and once the consumer is hooked, they will then be able to inform them about the various services your business offers. Follow these simple guidelines to create a reputation of a thought leader for your business and you will discover that leads will flock towards your business based on its reputation.