In 2024, we can anticipate a series of positive market changes and significant global events, some even challenging & critical. Effective leadership will be crucial, and leaders who can help their teams navigate through the transitions with resilience and agility will create the greatest value. In this context, thought leadership can be a powerful tool in achieving this. Let’s explore why & how.
Setting Yourself Apart
With increased competition, businesses have a valuable opportunity to differentiate themselves through a fresh perspective on digital outreach. Many high-level executives are striving to establish themselves as thought leaders in their respective fields. However, many leaders struggle to express their ideas and thoughts accurately.
Becoming a Thought Leader
Thought leadership is original thinking that helps brands engage top decision-makers and support their commercial and marketing goals. It’s about sharing knowledge, insights, and ideas to establish oneself as an expert in a particular field. It can take many forms, including blog posts, articles, podcasts, videos, and social media posts. Beyond expertise, thought leadership can define and position a leader’s overall personality, giving a 360-degree viewpoint that helps viewers connect more.
The Value of Thought Leadership
According to a study by Edelman, 84% of B2B buyers value B2B thought leadership when making purchasing decisions. Additionally, companies with strong thought leadership strategies are 50% more likely to be perceived as market leaders. Thought leadership can help establish a company as an industry leader, build brand awareness, and attract new customers.
Why Startup Founders and Mid-Sized Org Leaders Need to Be the Face of Their Companies
Startup founders and mid-sized org leaders need to be the face of their companies for several reasons:
Customers are more likely to trust a company that has a visible leader.
Being a thought leader can help attract new talent to the company.
Being a thought leader can help raise the company’s profile and attract new customers.
Challenges Faced by Leaders in Presenting Their Expertise
Despite the potential benefits of thought leadership, many leaders struggle to present their expertise effectively. One of the main challenges is finding the time to create content. Leaders are often busy running their businesses and may not have the time to dedicate to creating content. Additionally, many leaders struggle with imposter syndrome, feeling like they are not qualified to be thought leaders.
Another challenge is creating content that resonates with the target audience. Leaders need to understand their customers’ pain points and create content that addresses those issues. Without doing so, the content may not be valuable or relevant to the target audience.
How to become a thought leader?
What is the best formula?
Well, it’s evolving each day.
C-suite professionals and senior decision-makers must be able to communicate their insights and ideas effectively to all stakeholders, both inside and outside their organizations. This is where owning their professional branding comes into play. Business leaders can establish themselves as thought leaders and experts in their fields by developing their personal brands. By consistently providing valuable insights and perspectives, they can become go-to sources of information for their industry and beyond. Building a personal brand requires a commitment to thought leadership and a willingness to share knowledge with others. This means taking the time to research, analyze and interpret data, and then communicating those insights in a clear and compelling way. It also means being open to feedback and refining their messaging and positioning.
Ultimately, owning a personal brand is an investment in themselves and their organizations. By establishing themselves as top leaders and trusted authorities, they can drive innovation, inspire their teams, and create value for all stakeholders. Organizations need a sustained strategy to leverage the benefits of thought leadership, focusing on topics where they have something fresh and compelling to say and building on their expertise over time.
For those who have walked the path, building a position of trust has taken years. Every leader has that opportunity, which may take even less time since there are known recipes for tasted success.