26 Jul 2010
For those of you who have never read My Name is Scott I suggest you do. Scott has some refreshing views on the world particularly when it comes to marketing oneself.
In one of his recent posts entitled the ‘Approachable Leaders Handbook to being heard Vol 2’, http://www.hellomynameisblog.com/2010/07/approachable-leaders-handbook-of-being.html he gives six key tips to how you would go about being heard. The beauty of these tips is that there are some real gems for aspiring and current thought leaders.
Scott makes the point that the world is not waiting to hear what you have to say. And therein is the rub for thought leaders and it is why I constantly go on about thought leadership being a long-term commitment by the business or thought leader. To be successful you need to make it part of your corporate make-up and you need to constantly work on your thought leadership position always looking at ways to share your insights.
Let’s look at what Scott had to say. His five suggestions are as follows:
1. Align your petitions with the self-interest of your audience. Find out what their success seeds are.
Absolutely – in fact one of the critical success factors of any thought leadership campaign is to understand the interests of your target publics. Without these insights you run the risk of missing the boat.
Once you have this understanding, you need to identify how you are going to add value to their current understanding/knowledge. In doing so you should strive constantly to stretch their minds and stimulate new thoughts, views and perspectives.
2. Give clear direction of what you want people to follow. Make the audience your accomplice.
Absolutely. Clear, definitive perspectives or insights about your topic make it a lot easier for your audience. Furthermore if they are involved in the process, the stickiness you create with that target public is enormous – they feel vested in it and thus part of the journey.
3. Build a listening platform. Demonstrate to the people you want to hear that they have been heard first.
The whole idea of thought leadership is to generate discussion and interest in what you have to say. To test whether your thought leadership is being received in the right manner so that you can tweak it if needs be, you should, where possible, have a platform for two-way feedback. This could include: one-on-one or group presentations; feedback forms; independent research; online polls; chat forums on line; feedback mechanisms online; round tables and the like.
4. Create a dialogue that draws people into the cause. Say things you haven’t said elsewhere.
Thought leadership is exactly that – leading with your thoughts. That implies they should be new, fresh and provide interesting insights that no-one else has previously given. To do so, thought leaders need courage, they need to be aware that not everyone will agree with their point of view. But that’s OK because as a thought leader you want to provoke discussion and debate.
5. Invite layers of interpretation around your message. Allow people to add multiple dimensions to your ideas.
The whole idea of thought leadership is to seed an idea, insight, interpretation and then watch and participate as others get involved and share their views. By provoking and promoting healthy discussion and at times heated debate, it serves to air your ideas and spread the conversation across multiple, interested audiences. With the power of the web these ideas are global instantly.
Scott concludes by saying that if you follow this process your voice will be heard. What do you think?
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