Thought leadership content is a tool that you can use to establish yourself as an authority in your desired sector. I know you are curious and willing to know if truly this is a thing and how you can use it to your advantage as a professional, well, you are in the right place as in this article, I will be sharing all this with you. I will also be including a bonus at the end of this article but you would have to read till the end to get the bonus.
There is no way we can talk about thought leadership content without talking about thought leadership itself, so let’s talk about it.
What is Thought Leadership?
Thought leadership is the expression of ideas, experiences, and thoughts that demonstrate you have expertise in a particular field, industry, sector, area, or topic. Business executives and business leaders strive to become thought leaders in their respective fields.
It takes dedication, patience, strategy, and education. As most thought leaders not only have a command of their subject area, but they are also passionate about it and eager to share their knowledge with others to benefit a company, organization, or cause.
Take a minute to think about why experts are invited to speak at conferences and seminars. How did they end up with many social media followers and why are they getting massive engagements? How did they become influencers in their industry?
The answer is simple, they were willing to share their knowledge with other people to help them expand their thinking capacity and doing capacity. They basically contribute to stretching other people beyond their comfort zone. Looks difficult right, but it’s very easy to achieve.
Take, for example, James Clear, whose book Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Habits has sold over 5 million copies worldwide and currently has 898,000 followers on Instagram. He was able to achieve this feat because he shared his knowledge in a particular field and this knowledge has been proven to help people to solve problems.
It’s not enough that you want to share your knowledge, can it solve the problem of your audience? The truth is, if you can provide solutions to people and they see results, they will go to any length to support you, share your content, pay for your books, coaching classes, and even conferences you organize.
To basically describe, thought leadership is the process of positioning yourself to provide value for your audience through the medium where they are accessible and in the form with which they can understand. This brings us to the definition of thought leadership content.
Thought Leadership Content
This is the process of developing resources or materials which would be shared with your audience as a means of establishing your authority as a thought leader in your field or industry. It can also be seen as a strategy that you use to cement and establish yourself as an authority for the information your audiences consider as value.
It helps build a case for audiences to become leads or customers by showing them that your personal brand is invested and interested in helping them become better at what they do.
This thought leadership content can be in the form of social media write-ups, infographics, videos, podcasts, newsletters, books, etc. As a thought leader, you may not necessarily have to use all these forms to connect with your audience, it’s important that you discover who your audience is and how best you can reach them.
How to Create Thought Leadership Content in 6 Steps
1. Identify your goal as a thought leader
What do you want to achieve? Do you want to simply share your knowledge? Do you want to attach a fee to it? Or do you want to create content just for the sake of it? If you are not passionate about a decision, it will reflect on your actions, and as a thought leader, you didn’t want your audience to see you as a manipulator or as an imposter. Pick your notepad and write out what you want to achieve and the duration you are looking to achieve this goal. It helps to give you foresight into the future.
2. Discover your audience
With your goal outlined, you can go ahead to find out who your audience is. Who are the people who would find your knowledge valuable? Do they exist or do you just have them in your imagination? If they don’t exist you can create them by conducting research to find out if people will see you as valuable. The research doesn’t have to be with a large number of people, you can reach out to people within your network and find out if they will love to learn from your experience.
3. Research the best medium
You have your goal, you have an audience and now select your preferred medium. While I advise that you should look for what suits your audience and what would make the process of reaching them much easier, I also advise that you stick with what you are comfortable with. For you, it could be writing, and for some others, it could be using audio or infographics.
4. Start creating
Start creating this content, you can talk or write about your unique years of experience, conversations happening in your space, and recent reports in your industry. For more engagement, you can draw from industry content and your personal experience to make your content relatable and engaging. Follow existing experts in your field to learn more from them, read books, watch videos, and make yourself familiar with people who are doing the same thing you want to do or you are doing. Not necessarily to copy them but to learn the ropes of creating and interacting with the public.
Depending on your target audience, and your desired platform, you might not have a professional hang of how to successfully carry out your desire, you can outsource those aspects to professionals. Take, for example, if you want to make a video that will capture the attention of your audience and transfer knowledge to them, you may not have the right gadget and even if you do, you may not have the time to sit through editing and all other aspects. The same thing applies to you if you want to write a book, you have the knowledge to share but you may not have the professional capacity to successfully author a book and that is why we are here to handle that for you at ScribeTribe Africa.
6. Monitor results, and identify what does or doesn’t work
It’s important that you monitor the activities as well as results, for you to know what should be reviewed or what should be intensified. Aside from financial commitment, you are also committing resources and you can’t afford to waste your resources without getting any result.
In this article, I have shared the definition of thought leadership, thought leadership content, and 6 steps to creating thought leadership content. If you follow this through, you would get the results you desire.