Thursday, July 25, 2013

Becoming a Thought Leader in Your Industry

Being known as a thought leader within your industry is probably one of the highest, if not highest, compliments that you or your business can achieve, which is most likely what it's one of the hardest monikers to have bestowed upon you. It’s not enough to be good at what you do; a thought leader is meant to be the greatest form of praise, geared towards someone who is on the absolute cutting edge of their industry or making big enough moves to warrant the distinction.

This all then boils down to the question - why in fact is important to become a thought leader? While there are multiple answers to this question, here are some of the more important ones:

  • Grow your business. In general, people like to do business with organizations that have an established name. Think about RC Cola versus Coca-Cola; while many people would find that the two taste very similar, most people would rather buy from Coca-Cola.

    What does this have to do with being a thought leader? Everything! Becoming a thought leader turns your business into a trusted name allowing you to get more leads and closing more business.
  • Higher profits. People who buy well-known brands are willing to spend more for that assurance. By being seen as a leader in your field, your business will be able to charge a premium for its services and products.
  • Good for morale: Employees will like that they work for a company that is seen as a leader.

Do you want your company to be seen as a thought leader in your industry? Here are a few steps that you can take:
Create an Online Presence
Blogs are a great way to show your knowledge and it's good for ranking in search engines (assuming that you're releasing good content) as search engines prize sites that release frequent streams of fresh content. Aside from posting on your own company blog, you'll want to look into opportunities to guest blog on other people's blogs that are in the same niche as your business so that you can bring in additional viewership as well as make friends with other bloggers to create a virtuous, networked circle.
Listen, Engage and Share
It's good to have your eyes and ears everywhere; you don't want to miss out on an opportunity for a relevant convention or networking event. By listening, you can see what the latest trends are and listen to your customers to make sure that they are satisfied with your business. Engage with them, to get them to bonded to your brand. And share your findings and take care to magnanimously elevate those around you.
Be Consistent
Finally, make sure that you're consistent. Whether it's social media or posting on your blog, stick to a schedule and make sure to consistently release new content for your followers to read and engage.