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5 Effective Thought Leadership Strategies for your Brand

Thought leadership strategies are an essential feature of building a brand either as a B2B(business to business) or as a B2C (business to consumer), as it helps your prospective customer or client to identify you as an authority in that industry or sector who can be trusted. Technology has made it simple and easier for us to conduct business transitions without necessarily seeing each other face to face.

I know you are wondering what’s the whole story behind thought leadership and how you can leverage it for yourself, guess that’s why you are. In this article, I will be sharing with you 5 effective thought leadership strategies for your brand, and I will also share examples of people who have journeyed in this direction.

Thought leadership is a tool that is used to establish authority, and share knowledge and at some point, you get paid or hired for the knowledge. when an employer hires you, he/she is basically paying you for your existing knowledge and experiences and the new ones you will acquire for the benefit of the company. The same applies to you, if you want to hire a new hand, you won’t simply hire because you want the person to just occupy space, you hire them because you need their contribution. That’s the same way people can recommend you for opportunities when they know what you do and have seen your track record. So we can basically say thought leadership is putting yourself out there.

“Thought leadership is when a leader’s thoughts are being used by leaders to lead others.”
― Onyi Anyado

I will also like to add that it takes intentionality and deliberateness to be successful as a thought leader in your field. Having said this, I will;l move on to talk about thought leadership strategies.

Thought Leadership strategies are the process and procedures involved to ensure that your target audience has access to the resources you plan to share with them. It is also a system to identify what you need to set up as a structure to ensure that your goal of becoming a thought leader is not futile and you can get results. If you are not keen on building your personal brand, you may not want to bother about thought leadership.

Thought Leadership Strategies

1.Social media marketing

is the process of using social media platforms and tools to reach your audience, and share your knowledge with them. It is also a medium for you to connect with strangers who have turned out to become your followers. There are a couple of social media platforms you can use, for example;

    1. Facebook
    2. Instgram
    3. Linkedin
    4. Twitter
    5. Reddit
    6. TikTok

As much as this is a list, if you are just starting new, you don’t necessarily have to be everywhere because I’m sure you have many items that require your attention daily, and it will be quite tough maintaining a balance everywhere. Every platform has a peculiar means of communication and content that can be shared. Depending on your personal skills, you may need the help of professionals to ensure that the knowledge you intend to share is attractive to your audience.

You don’t want to write an insightful piece with grammatical errors. A little secret: Linkedin content ranks moe if you attach an attractive image.

2. Email Marketing

This is the process of leveraging emails as a medium of connecting with your audience. Email marketing itself is a marketing strategy where businesses send promotional messages to people in mass quantities. It is typically used to generate sales by sharing promotional offers, nurturing leads, or expanding the impact of content marketing efforts.

So instead of sending in bits, you can send to as many people as you have on your mailing list at the same time and they will get the exact information you are sharing with them.

3. Blogging

Owning a blog is another strategy. A blog is a website where someone regularly records their thoughts or experiences or talks about a subject. Recording on your blog does not necessarily mean videos, it is mostly written content with the goal of sharing your knowledge and experience and also transferring knowledge to your audience.

Like every other strategy I’ve mentioned so far, you have the right to decide what your focus will be. Based on your discretion, you can decide how you want the blog content to look and its effect on your audience.

Examples of blog platforms

  1. Medium
  2. WordPress
  3. Tumblr
  4. etc

4. Book Publishing

Book publishing is the simple act of compiling your thoughts and knowledge and publishing it as a book either e-book or paperback. It sounds simple but it involves so much more than just the idea of being a book author. As an author, you get to decide what you are willing to share with your audience, and you get paid if you want. I said that because people author books and give them out for free.

Either you decide to give it out for free, or there is a price attached to it, it is also a strategy that you can use to establish your authority in that particular sector or industry. The book is evidence that you have built a track record with your experience, and that’s what people will see.

Book publishing helps you to establish authority and also gives you the opportunity to transfer knowledge from one generation to another. Take a look at the textbooks, and novels that have contributed to your intellectual development, how would they have been, if they did not bother to document their learnings and experience, people won’t have access to it and that would be a loss to the world.

Just like on the speaking engagements, You are positioning yourself for the success you desire. If you are looking forward to publishing your first book, hurry now to book a slot here.

5. Speaking Engagements

Have you ever imagined what it takes to stand on the stage with 100+ people paying rapt attention to anything you are saying? If you have never, just close your eyes and imagine it. How did you feel? Seem like what you want and what you can do right? I am here to tell you that you can do this.

You can do anything you set your mind to do, as long as it is legally accepted.

Speaking engagement is another strategy you can leverage to establish authority in your desired industry. Just as you thought, who will invite you to speak at their events? The people who know your skills, and experience will invite you to speak at their events. At the same time, you can volunteer to speak at events for free. That way the people who will be willing to have you speak at their events will see you and verify that you can indeed give them value. I once applied for speaking engagements and I was asked if I had previously spoken at any other events. By volunteering or even accepting to speak for free at events you are on your way to finding yourself in the presence of a global audience.

I forgot to add that an advantage of speaking engagements is that you may meet your next employer or client at that event who will be wowed at your speaking prowess and would gladly do business with you.

Conclusion

All the strategies mentioned, are not the only existing thought leadership strategies, there are many more out there depending on your preferred approach. You can also decide to combine these strategies to achieve your desired goal as a thought leader.

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How To Create Thought Leadership Content in 6 Steps

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.

5. Collaborate

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.

Conclusion

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.

 

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How To Successfully Launch A Book

If you know how to play your game well, you will successfully launch your book. A book launch shares the same importance to your book as a naming ceremony is to a new baby. Your book is your baby and you need to give it a lot of careful attention before and after its launch. Everyone rejoices at the sight of a new baby because somehow, every baby properly cared for looks attractive. You definitely want everyone to rejoice at the sight of your book and that is a lot of work. Continue reading How To Successfully Launch A Book

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Dear Thought Leader (2): Frequently Asked Questions on Thought Leadership

Always, humans are driven by “what’s in it for me?” Therefore, before going about dishing out content in your area of interest while building your thought leadership portfolio, you must be armed with the knowledge of what your audience members would gain from each piece of content you make available to them.

Think about it this way: when you purchase an item at the supermarket or grocery store, are you doing so just because you are excited about the producer, the packaging or even the store? Not at all! You want to part with your money to own that piece of the item because you already have in mind what use it would be for you. The same goes for your readers – they want to get educated or informed about something they need help with. If you are able to creatively get this done, you can be sure that your journey to thought leadership is gaining grounds.

Since it is really easy to get confused about a popular topic, we have put together key points of concerns that people have about thought leadership. Read on to find out about the frequently asked questions on the topic.

  1. What is thought leadership really about?

Once a concept becomes widely spread and accepted, it can assume even definitions that don’t come close to its true meaning. To begin with, thought leadership isn’t just about coming up with new ideas and concepts that have never been heard of before. You don’t necessarily have to present something totally new or unique but you can be uniquely helpful with what has already been shared by others by using the available concepts to uniquely help your audience.

  1. Are thought leaders simply experts in a field?

Partly yes. Being an expert in a niche is very vital to thought leadership. However, that is only one piece of the puzzle. The components that make a thought leader are highlighted in (4) below to help you further.

  1. Can anyone be a thought leader?

Everyone desires to be successful but not everyone achieves success because the level of commitment differs from person to person. Likewise, despite the fact that almost everyone has something they are passionate about, we all don’t get to put in the needed effort to move the needle on such matters or bring about unique, creative perspectives in our fields and industries.

  1. What are the key factors to consider when starting out as a thought leader?

At Scribe Tribe Africa, we believe in the 6 Ms of thought leadership, which involves having a (1) message to share with a set of proven (2) methods that solve specific problems for the (3) masses (a group/community of people), with the (4) motive of helping them live more authentic, effective and productive lives; here, the thought leader is a willing (5) messenger who creates a (6) movement with his message.

If any of these is missing, thought leadership isn’t what you’re building. Note, however, that you must take a stand and make a move before anything else.

  1. How can a person’s authority in thought leadership be authenticated?

Remember, you can only improve what you start. This means you can’t think of being authenticated if no one hears from you on a particular topic regularly. It might be safe to say that when other intelligent people begin to share your ideas with their communities, no matter how small, your authentication has begun.

  1. Can I sell when putting out content on thought leadership?

One of the great ways of having raving fans and loyal customers is through thought leadership. Therefore, businesses that take the lead in giving creative solutions to their communities can reap great rewards in terms of profit when they use the right strategy in communicating their values and giving calls to action for their products and services.

As always, there are other factors that come to play when one starts out on a journey; the same goes with thought leadership. One thing is sure, though: the process is really worthwhile as it not only benefits the people you are looking at helping but it also develops and rewards you in the long run.

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Dear Thought Leader (1): On Becoming a Thought Leader

Unlike many tend to assume, a thought leader does not throw completely new ideas into the available pool of knowledge in an industry. In fact, thought leadership is not knowing so much and sharing about a subject matter either. However, both factors have a part to play in the concept of thought leadership.

As a senior professional or veteran in your field, if you have ever thought about becoming an authority and multiplying your influence to be recognised as a thought leader and earn profitably from doing so, this weekly series of my articles scripted as personalised letters to you will help you to start and excel in your journey.

I invite you to read, apply, and share these inspiring, insightful, and infectious treatises with your like-minded friends and colleagues.

Who is a Thought Leader?

In simple terms, a thought leader has a systematic approach to bringing fresh perspectives into concepts, especially to address a particular audience’s pressing concerns. Not only do thought leaders provide answers to current nagging questions in the hearts of their audience, but they also give insights into related possible occurrences in the future.

Put simply, a thought leader is a leading authority in his or her area of expertise. What’s more? Thought leaders are deep thinkers themselves. They see trends before they happen — they can keep a pulse on what is happening in their industry today, and offer thought-provoking perspectives on what will happen in the future.

Being a thought leader entails a great deal of self-discovery and self-expansion. Until you see such a challenge as worth the while, you can’t lead others effectively with your ideas and messages.

“How do I go about my quest for becoming a thought leader?” you might ask. The following are questions you need to answer sincerely.

1. What exactly do I care about lending my voice, personality and perspective to which will be of great benefit to my audience or a group of people?

2. Are there people who are truly interested in areas of concern over this issue?

3. Do I care about affecting lives for the better by lending my voice to this cause or am I only focused on the supposed benefits that come with being recognised as a thought leader?

4. When I get criticised or challenged for sharing my point of view, will it invalidate my worth as a person?

5. Do I care about using my ideas and how they are shared to effect positive, lasting changes in those who interact with them?

6. Do I see myself as a know-it-all where my subject matter is concerned or am I open to and willing to incorporate and build on other thought leaders’ work where necessary?

7. Am I willing to continue sharing valuable information in this line even if I don’t get recognised for my contributions for so long?

8. Do I regularly ask for feedback, critique, help and constructive criticism on my work, so I’m continually expanding it in positive ways?

If your answers to the aforementioned questions are positive, you are on a journey of thought leadership.  While it may not happen overnight, consistently putting into action the answers above would get you started.

I’d like to keep this brief so you can ingest the ideas here efficiently and effectively. Expect a sequel next week. Also, please feel free to ask me questions here if you have any.

To your greatness,

Bright UK
The Chief Scribe