What is thought leadership and why is it so important to building a powerful personal brand?
Right now it seems like everyone is either starting a business, changing their business model, or leaving their jobs in search of something better or different. That after so long under COVID restrictions we had the time to reflect on what we want to do when we grow up.
Last year in Australia to June 46 651 new businesses were registered, 2% more than the year before. That’s a huge number of new people who are looking for clients in a potentially similar market to yours, and even during a pandemic with sweeping lockdowns.
Word Of Mouth Is Not Enough
Whilst word of mouth is still a powerful tool to finding new clients who already have some trust in you and your business, we can’t rely on it. There are currently 20.5 million social media users in Australia, you can bet they are checking out your business online before they buy.
We must have an online presence where people can view our virtual shop window, decide if they want to take the next step – click through, fill in a contact form, click ‘buy now’, read a blog and download something – in essence, engage and connect with you.
We need to make it crystal clear why we're better than our competitors for the niche we're in.
Where does thought leadership belong in this picture? (and what is it?)
There are 738 million users on LinkedIn, 2.7billion active monthly users on Facebook just to name a couple of the big guns.
So how do we make decisions about who we trust and want to buy from in such a crowded market?
People need to be able to find you in a Google search, websites need fantastic videography to showcase your products and services, stellar sales copy to draw your website visitors into your marketing ‘funnel’, and you need to be on social media platforms, especially Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
Once we find you, we need to believe you can deliver what your tagline says you can. And fast. People are making decisions even faster now than even a year ago. Our attention spans are even shorter, and our time even more precious.
Enter thought leadership content in the form of articles, blogs, videos and livestreams. The stuff that showcases your expertise, your knowledge and length of time in the industry, the content that sets you apart from the crowd.
How do you implement a thought leadership strategy?
Firstly what are you offering?
Be super clear about your core business proposition and the promise you are making. Several marketers are attributed to the quote: ‘a confused mind says no’
Secondly, who are the people you are creating the content for?
Who are the humans who need the outcome you are promising, who make the click through decisions to interact with your brand online? Having a deep knowledge of their fears and frustrations, what they are planning, celebrating and complaining about is key to building your thought leadership content plan.
Thirdly bring your personality to the party.
Are you going to be in your own videos and images? Be yourself, have confidence in what you bring to the table, and allow us to see and understand your values, your ethos, what you stand for. The less beige the better.
Then bring all those puzzle pieces together into a clear content plan you and your team can consistently implement. Articles, videos and livestreams that showcase your knowledge and understanding of your target audience, as well as what you want us to know.
Where do your target audience hang out?
And lastly check which platforms and technology you need to bring this to market. Where do your target audience hang out? Engage professional videography and photography, but also have a process for in house content creation to compliment that on a daily basis.
How Often Should You Post?
You may be wondering how often you need to post to your social media platforms? This is a ‘how long is a piece of string?’ question. Contrary to popular opinion, you don’t HAVE to post daily. Posting quality, valuable content, with a few personality pieces (like showcasing the team at work, or a behind the scenes story) is fantastic.
Each platform has analytics you can check in the settings, so check your data and then change it up as necessary.
Over to you
Are you sharing your thought leadership on social media? Pick your poison (LinkedIn company page, your Facebook page etc) and answer the questions above to be well on your way to growing a powerful personal brand with thought leadership content.
To get some help creating your thought leadership content plan - you can get in touch with Jenny here: https://talkingdigital.com.au/contact