Thought leadership is something needed especially for those who seek to be known as authorities in specific areas of interest, but the ignorance of what it entails has kept so many people in oblivion for too long. For this reason, I desire to share my own view on it.
Being a writer or a speaker is not necessarily what qualifies one to be a thought leader. A thought leader is known by experience, expertise, unique perspective in specific issues and consistency in his/her uniqueness. This is what builds trust & reputation over time. So, being a thought leader is a verb and not a noun. Thought leadership is a tool & not just a title.
Now, let’s look into the art of thought leadership. It simply means being a leading thinker in specific fields to the end that your thoughts proffer novel solutions to certain issues of concern. Anyone can have thoughts, but it takes a strategic thinker to be a thought leader which means leading with your thoughts.
Thoughts are cheap, but mined thoughts are gold. A thought leader doesn’t just dish out stuff to feel good & impress others. A thought leader crafts his message in response to specific issues of concern in the society for which he desires to be known as a solution provider.
Difference between running a business and building a thought leadership system
There is a sharp distinction between running a business and setting up a thought leadership system. While the two can go hand-in-hand, it’s essential we understand how they operate. Building a business requires that you locate a market, create products, build a customer base and gain market share. On the other hand, building a thought leadership system requires that you create a market by being an opinion leader, win the hearts of people to yourself, build a tribe of fans and loyalists, think ahead of others and build a system of sustainable solutions for your tribe.
Therefore, it means if you must bring the two together, it means you’re running a customer-centric business model and you are really after building a tribe of followers and loyalists. As a result, your thought-leadership is what creates the market that your business will dominate.
A quote I love so much says, “no matter how sweet your burger is, if no one is hungry or has need of it, it will still not sell. Thought leaders don’t just entertain thoughts; they check their thoughts against several standards. As a matter of fact, they have more thoughts hidden in the archive than they have on their platforms.
Thought leaders, before dishing out their stuff, always think of the timeliness of their thought, which audience needs it the most, what issue they’re having and what solution it is expected to give them. They put into consideration, the demographics, biases & beliefs of their audience. That’s the art.
So, to get the visibility and reputation you want for your brand, plan your content well. Have a system of criticizing your message and checking it in terms of timeliness, relevance, audience specificity and close connectivity with your products or services. Do you need a brand strategist to help you with your content structure and thought-leadership system for marketing and building a tribe of loyalists around your brand? Click here.
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