Ever thought of yourself as a thought leader? No? I don’t blame you. It’s not necessarily a common aspiration, but perhaps it should be.
What is a thought leader?
Fundamentally, a thought leader is an individual or company that is recognized as an authority in a particular field and sought out for her, his, or its expertise as a result.
Boil it down, and most recognized thought leaders (Brené Brown, Seth Godin, Tim Ferriss, etc.) have:
- high levels of subject-matter knowledge and skill;
- their finger on the pulse on what is happening in their industry; and
- a keen sense of market trends and sentiments.
While they may start out with something as simple as a blog post or a blueprint, these thought leaders become so widely known and respected among their target market that they are able to establish themselves as the ‘go to’ provider for a particular product or service.
If a person or brand successfully establishes their thought leadership in a given niche, it is oftentimes incredibly difficult to displace them.
And this, my friends, is why you should not only care about being a thought leader, but why you should also consider orienting your whole marketing strategy around thought leadership.
Why thought leadership marketing?
Thought leadership is one of the most compelling forms of marketing deployed online today, and it is widely considered to deliver the highest ROI.
With two million new blog posts being published every day and over one billion active websites in existence, it takes so much more than it ever has before to transform a great idea into something meaningful.
Every single day, brands try to make waves in their industries and they fail. Individuals wipe out their savings. Companies spend millions they can’t really afford. And ultimately, they are left with nothing to show for it.
Don’t be that brand.
Whether your brand is personal or corporate, innovative or experience, style or service, make it your mission to be conscious in your disruption.
Temporary Internet fame (‘going viral’) often happens by accident, but thought leadership does not. Thought leadership takes a well-researched, highly structured, and deeply purposeful approach to online marketing.
Is thought leadership starting to sound like a lot of effort?
That’s because it is. But it’s worth it.
Among all providers of goods and services online, thought leaders are the ones with the most organic traffic, the highest levels of engagement on social media, and the best rankings in the search engines.
Visitors to thought leader websites become loyal followers that convert at much higher rates and tend to stay as customers or clients for a much longer period of time.
At the end of the day, thought leaders see marketing ROIs that are in a completely different league to those achieved through any other marketing channel.
If you haven’t thought of yourself as a thought leader yet, right now might be a good time to start.