What is thought leadership and how do you become a thought leader?

Thought leadership is about positioning yourself as a ‘go to’ professional, an expert in your field. Advertising and sponsorship won’t do this. Nor will brochures and websites.

Here are 3 practical ways to become a thought leader:

1. Create interesting/practical/easy-to-understand new content

This is more to than just publishing articles on your firm’s website or in your firm’s newsletters. Instead you should be focussing on getting articles published in the trade or local press your clients read.  Or, at the very least, in the newsletters and other marketing material your intermediaries and other professional contacts publish.  And you shouldn’t be paying for this; you are a professional and as such, the publications’ readers will want to hear – or should that be ‘see’?! – what you have to say.

I’d also recommend looking at self-publishing your own special reports and white papers on key issues in your sector or local area.

2. Find speaking slots at the events your clients’ go to

Trade bodies, associations and networks always need speakers and those slots offer the perfect way for you to build your visibility and demonstrate how well you understand a particular sector.   If you are a confident presenter and you can genuinely engage your audience, all you need to remember is to add in some calls-to-action and follow up on the new leads you generate and you WILL win work.

3. Host roundtables involving you and industry experts

The good news is you only need 8-12 people to make this type of event work and, better still, all you need to do is organise the invitations, write the questions then chair on the day.  And if you organise these events in the second half of the afternoon, you can continue the conversation afterwards more informally over a drink.

If you’d like to discuss how you can increase your thought leadership credentials, drop us an email and we can find a time to chat.

Published by sizetenandahalfboots

Douglas is a director of Size 10½ Boots, a specialist business development agency that works solely with the professional services, helping firms grow by winning more new clients and more work from the clients they already have. Although every project is different our work generally falls into one of three camps - strategic marketing support, BD training and 1on1 coaching and independent client research.

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