The concept of thought leadership is not new, but it seems to be emerging rapidly. Thought leaders used to write books and hold seminars before this digital age. While some still do so, many merely blog or vlog. It is only worthwhile if there is a return on investment, regardless of the platform they use.
What’s the purpose?
The topics that thought leaders discuss are those that are important to their audience (customers). All thought leaders have something to sell, whether it is their brand or themselves: there is never any altruism here. Though the ultimate goal is to make more money, thought leaders should avoid coming across as salespeople and litter their content with products. Customers will come to you on their own volition if they like what you have to say.
Effective thought leadership achieves 3 things:
One of which is that by relating to their potential customers’ problems, businesses can drive traffic. Effective thought leadership attempts to captivate people. Therefore it engages readers by inspiring them to find out more about the topic discussed. In addition to this, it also increases customer loyalty which makes them think highly of the brand.
An example of thought leadership
The incredible success of Jeff Bezos can serve as a source of inspiration for any entrepreneur. His success as an entrepreneur led him to found Amazon, an online store that began as a bookstore and soon expanded to sell a wide range of e-commerce products. Known as an ‘everything store,’ the website allowed customers to buy practically anything they wanted. As the world’s largest e-commerce website and with subsidiaries in countries all around the world, Amazon, founded in 1994, is now estimated to be worth $1.7 trillion dollars.
Jeff Bezos is known to be a thought leader that provides excellent achievable advice for entrepreneurs who want to have a business set up in Dubai.
Top 7 tips for your thought leadership strategy:
Your thought leadership strategy should be well strategized in order to get a lasting effect that inspires many and attracts a host of loyal customers.
- Be sure to be confident. People are naturally compelled to listen and believe in a confident (yet humble) person.
- Take the initiative to start a conversation, not just add weight to one.
- Give your customers something they may need and which will add value to their needs by discussing one topic.
- If you don’t have a solution, don’t pretend to have one, honesty is the best policy.
- Engage your audience in finding the solution.
- You should educate your customers, not try to sell to them.
- When the customer reads your article, what do you want them to do afterward? Have a single end-goal.
In the right circumstances, thought leadership can make a valuable contribution to your content strategy, which will contribute to your brand’s story. By personalising your brand, you allow your customers to speak directly to you. In the end, emotional connection has the largest return on investment: sales.