How to Effectively Position Yourself as an Industry Thought Leader

By Taryn Anderson Jul 16, 2019

So you want to become a thought leader. 

Thought leadership is more than just a buzzy phrase. In fact, the influence that comes from being seen as an expert in your industry can take both you and your brand a long way.

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Many top brands prioritize thought leadership content in their marketing strategies — and for good reason. By establishing your brand as an authority, you show current and prospective customers that not only are you to be trusted, but you are the go-to expert or business in your field. This strengthens your brand and, ultimately, brings in more sales and increases revenue.

With purpose-oriented messaging, your content will deeply engage audiences and establish your brand as an industry authority. 

Interested in mastering thought leadership? Here are 4 things to consider when getting started.

1. Understand your niche.

It's essential to have a firm grasp on what your brand excels in and to hone in on this messaging. What types of content can you provide that will be the most valuable to your audience? Does your brand or business honor the same values as the customers you hope to reach? Knowing exactly who your audience consists of and creating personas that match these individuals will help you better understand the best way to reach them.

2. Speak authentically.

Authenticity matters in leadership. Thought leaders are sought after because of not only their knowledge, but their unique voice and true insider perspective. When you’re creating content for your audience, be genuine. Don’t use a voice that is not your own. Let your quirks and personality shine through; this is what will make you relatable and memorable to your audience.

3. Focus on producing valuable content.

Creating meaningful content seems like an obvious priority for aspiring thought leaders. However, many focus their efforts on promotion, spending their time and dollars trying to reach as large of an audience as possible. According to Influence and Co., 79% of online publication editors say the biggest problem they see with contributed content is over-promotion. In order to successfully position yourself as a thought leader, producing compelling, A1 content is imperative.

4. Assemble a winning team.

Especially if you're a busy executive or have a demanding schedule, thought leadership is difficult to achieve all on your own. If you want to be as effective as possible, pull together a team of writers, editors, video producers, and designers that will make the content creation process more efficient, consistent, and powerful. If you don't already have these contacts in your rolodex, Upwork is a great place to source creative talent.

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