This is the third in a four-part series of blogs that explore what it takes to become a successful thought leader. To read the previous blog, click here.
Being a thought leader is one thing; many of us have great ideas. Building a narrative around your unique opinions and visions, then communicating that to the right audience is the difference between a thought leader versus a regular business executive.
Thought leadership is, by nature, intimate. It requires you to create a relationship with your followers because, without followers, you can’t be a leader. That relationship depends on how you communicate your ideas.
Put simply, you need to get the right message at the right time to the right person in the right way.
The right message
Developing your message and packaging it for audience consumption is crucial. See our previous blog on creating thought leadership artefacts for more information.
The right time
If your message is about a great new business model that enlists people to provide services previously monopolised by large enterprises through a mobile app, then you’re a little late. Uber, Airbnb, and others have well and truly beaten you to it.
And, if your message predicts that, 50 years from now, we’ll all be driving cars that fly, well, we’ve heard that one too.
You need to make sure your message is timely. That is, it needs to be about something new and immediate. If it’s a future prediction, it should include information on what people should be doing right now to prepare. Get your timing wrong and you’ll fail to strike a chord with your audience.
The right person
Understanding your audience is always a key tenet of communicating, regardless of how visionary or prosaic your content is. Once you know who your audience is, you’ll appreciate that not every channel is relevant.
The right way
There are countless communications channels available to businesses but not every channel will be right for you. The right channel depends on many different factors. However, the common thread is that you need to generate velocity and scale with your message.
For example, if you’re an IT transformation partner, then you don’t need to get your face on the nightly news to get your message out to your target audience. Instead, you need to consider where your audience typically gets IT transformation-related information, then show up in those places.
This can include:
- boardroom events where you can create content once and it use many times over
- webinars to extend your global reach with the same content
- blogs to drive search engine optimisation and fuel social media channels
- social channels with links to your blogs through LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.
- media relations activities that target industry publications
- company newsroom postings and downloadable information.
Elements for success
Being a thought leader demands that you have original thoughts conveyed through unique content.
This includes informed analysis that is well researched and compellingly written.
The information needs to be relevant to your audience, communicated through the right channels, consistently.
Done right, you should be able to create thought leadership content once, then use it many times to reach a broader audience.
For more information on how we can help you execute a successful thought leadership campaign, contact us today or register to attend our thought leadership events in Sydney and Brisbane.