5 steps to becoming a thought-leader, even if there is already one in your field
Today, everyone is talking about the importance of becoming a thought-leader in your field. This is how you establish credibility and build trust with customers. But what if there is already a thought-leader in your industry?
You can’t declare yourself as a thought-leader; it’s an unofficial recognition given and felt by your customers. Still, there are steps you can take to demonstrate your expertise and gain consumer confidence, even if another company has stepped up first. Using these PR tips, you can make your own mark.
- Realize that there’s room for more than one.
Every industry has already-established thought-leaders. Thought-leadership is taking control of the narrative with your own expertise, and there are plenty of conversations to go around. Ultimately, you are trying to position your company as a go-to source and expert. Begin to lay the foundation for your own dialogue.
- Take a different approach.
It’s important to carve your own niche within your industry. You’re probably already doing this to help set your company apart from the competition. Use this distinction to take the lead in thought-leadership as well.
Part of being a thought-leader is driving new ideas, so find some. Explore new principles, find an angle that no one has discussed and refine your personal point of view. This will help you add to the conversation in your own voice and score your own little piece of the pie. You can do this with a book or e-book, a series of videos or podcasts, public speaking opportunities or blogs. Start to build a body of work in your newfound expertise, and people will begin to notice.
- Use the right tools at the right time to share your information.
The best message in the world is useless if no one hears it. You must learn where your target audience is and how they like to get their information. This requires profound knowledge about your customers’ buyer’s persona. You also have to understand social media, news media and other necessary message-delivery options. For example, it’s important to know when and how often you should post to Twitter and how to build relationships with journalists for positive news coverage.
- Be patient.
Thought-leadership doesn’t happen overnight. To drive real value for your company, you will need to continually create and release information until people catch on. Work diligently to solve problems and develop your brand identity.
Learn from mentors and other industry influencers. Build a strong network of followers. It takes time to hone your skills and develop the professional connections you will need to gain thought-leadership credentials.
- Hire a PR agency to help you.
PR professionals are expert communicators. They will help you craft your messages for maximum reach and impact.
Axia Public Relations will work to get your company in the right publications and the best social networks with cutting-edge and innovative content. We will also publicize those efforts for increased visibility and trust. To learn more, contact us or watch our webinar to find the answers to your PR questions.
Lisa Goldsberry is a blogger for Axia Public Relations with more than 15 years of public relations experience. She specializes in business and technology PR. Lisa has worked for Axia since December 2013. Learn more about Lisa Goldsberry. Connect with Axia on Twitter @axiapr or tell us what you think in the comments below.
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