How And Why Thought Leadership Is Crucial To Building Trust
As a concept, thought leadership essentially refers to those in business who form well-crafted opinions and represent a valuable source of advice with their trustworthiness. They help others find the motivation to manifest innovative ideas and how to make sure success is continuous.
It’s important to consider the general idea that consumers in business generally are more appealed to with reason rather than action. The best leaders are where they are because their following can understand and relate to their vision. This is what builds trust in a company. Thus, thought leadership is what precedes leadership itself. It is a gradual process that requires commitment and patience that eventually leads to authority and respect.
A handful of key steps to becoming a thought leader:
1. Engaging With a Loyal Community on Social Media
With a strong social media presence, people can get to grips with what your aspirations and visions are. Sharing and engaging with content that appeals to your target audience helps you become more known. However, always be considerate of humility and time will show that you are true to what you say. Think about your audience first: what their needs and wants are.
“Your audience is looking for brands that are genuine and reliable. Thought leadership facilitates credibility and loyalty,” says Mary A. Swain, business writer at Last Minute Writing and Draft Beyond.
2. Make Your Efforts Known
Ubiquity will promote yourself – with the moral guidance of transparency, of course. Having a strong online and offline presence looks like becoming more innovative. Plan a webinar or write for a publication that fits your field, such as PeopleTalk (Send your articles HERE) that you will actually post and promote. Organize a (recorded) talk that you will actually have people attend to and discuss afterwards.
Though relevant here, social media presence could easily form its own step. A professionally composed social media profile can increase engagement prospects by up to 48%. Regular content posting on platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook will find your target audience quickly and help them find you, too. Invest your time in a website that maximizes SEO to refer to constantly and watch your following grow.
On social media, think even beyond SEO. Consider if the content across the various platforms is aligned and similar – in terms of actual content, posting times and words used in comments. Is the narrative of your content too similar to other brands that are promoting products like your own?
3. Original research
With so much recycled information on the internet, the value of originality us severely downplayed. Research that you can call your own is much worthier of people’s attention as they cannot find it elsewhere. Research you can conduct includes case studies, questionnaires and so on.
This is an example of how you can be consistent with the high quality of your published content. Through good quality, your target audience will develop a more trusting relationship with you, as it will improve your credibility. A consistent and original tone speaks directly to your audience. Bring the whole team together to assign research projects to each other to get more original content in quicker.
Thought leadership facilitates both trust and value, keeping brands safe from falling behind others in the same industry. It allows brands to develop a unique perspective in their fields and merge that with their content engagement with their target audiences, as well as serves as a recruiting tool to draw talent to your organization.
Online platforms have influencers and promoters for almost every product you can think of. If you aren’t also promoting online, your brand will be left in the dust of prehistory. Communication theory talks about the honeycomb framework of online communities that was developed for the web 2.0. It has seven key structural points: presence, relationships, reputation, groups, conversations, sharing and identity. All are very valuable to thought leadership online and it would be a brilliant idea to research them some more. Above all, reputation is a very crucial element of online presence.
This is a time where you develop thought leadership as a cornerstone of your business growth and promotion. Be innovative and daring – being creatively different is what will get you noticed.
Nancy, a freelance writer at Lucky Assignments and Gum Essays, aims to improve organizational structures and modernize business practices. She is a keynote speaker for social media marketing and she enjoys exchanging ideas with her audience.
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