Companies don’t have ideas — people do. And the best ideas don’t always come from the top.
Business leaders, subject matter experts, and yes, even salespeople need to be showing up as thought leaders. Not only will this help humanize your brand, but when thought leadership is encouraged company-wide sales increase and business grows.
The key to thought leadership is high-quality, original content. If no one sees the content, then the content is ineffectual.
Being a thought leader in your industry means that you’re creating, distributing, and sharing content for the purpose of being educational, helpful, and adding value overall to not just potential clients but also to the entire industry as a whole.
5 Benefits of Thought Leadership
When you’re creating and publishing content consistently, you and/or your brand will appear like you are in the arena. You’ll position yourself as a expert, gain exposure, and expand your audiences.
2. Lead Generation
When done well — thought leadership will absolutely drive new leads for your business. This includes in the typical inbound marketing way, through lead gen on your website through great content — but also in ways like someone reaching out on social media because they’ve been watching videos you’ve posted or shared. This stuff really happens — and they’re some of the best kinds of leads to get!
3. Sales Enablement
If you can speak to your own thought leadership during the sales process, it’s going to help you build trust and credibility much earlier.
An example of this — Managing Partner, Matt Sunshine, wrote and published a book on inbound marketing. This automatically elevates his credibility on the topic — and for our agency as a whole — because he literally wrote the book on what we do.
4. Increased Opportunities
Creating great content on a consistent basis will also help you get other opportunities that can contribute to your thought leadership and bottom line. This includes offers to speak at events, be on panels, contribute to blogs and/or books, be interviewed as an expert, and so on.
5. Giving Back
While generating new leads and business is important, there's also a lot of value in being a true expert in your field and giving back to the community. For many, this is one of the biggest benefits — it just feels good to share what we know and help others in their professional journeys.
Two of the biggest indicators for success as a thought leader are a passion for the chosen subject matter and a commitment to do the work required (CEO Magazine).
For more thought leadership guidance, check out these resources: