24 Feb 2012
Over years of deep diving on the topic of thought leadership I have had conversations and interviews with people who not only work and consult in this field but with those who are thought leaders in their own right.
I have distilled the key learnings I have taken from them into seven points.
Here they are:
- Short content is good – people no longer want long reports with a big ‘thump’ factor – that noise the report makes when you drop it on your CEO’s desk.
- Re-use and re-purpose content – a lot of work, resource, time and effort goes into producing your material. You’d better make sure you are leveraging it in every way possible.
- Start small, think big, think new, adapt quickly – don’t start off with a massive production, you are probably biting off more than you can chew. Find something on which you can act nimbly, something relevant to the challenges facing your target audience and then deliver some new insights on these to your audience. Importantly you should make it a long-term play – the best thought leadership I have seen has been running for upwards of five years or longer and it is adapted to change
with the times and issues of the day.
- Make it part of the business culture - if it is not owned from the CEO through to marketing and sales it is not going to gain the traction you want. After all it is about empowering the business and those in it.
- It is the sharpest tool in building eminence – those who are using it well all agree that is the best tool for building eminence for their brand and the best brand differentiator they have.
- Great door opener – it allows you to ‘knock’ on doors and open doors where you have previously struggled to gain traction.
- Enables conversation – you can host conversations that don’t centre on your product or your service – this is important – in fact it is one of David Meerman Scott’s mantras. Your thought leadership material will enable your client facing people from the CEO down to have conversations with your market that focuses on their issues and stuff that is relevant and
interesting to them. In the process you build their trust about your knowledge of their industry.
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