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Thought Leadership: Don't Hide Your Light Under A Bushel

November 17, 2019EdgeTheory

What Is A Thought Leader?

Thought leaders know what's going on in their world or industry. They're who everyone runs to when an opinion is needed. Tim Cook. Mark Zuckerberg. Beyonce. Your mom. You are inspired by their ideas, words, and innovations every day on social or TV or even in your day to day life.  You trust them. They are innovative thinkers who know how to turn ideas into reality. Thought leaders have an engaged group of friends, fans and followers to help them share their ideas and influence change across industries and groups.

Thought leadership can be hard work though. It isn't an added bonus that comes with an ivy league degree or wealth. It is about having the best and most relevant answers to your customers’ biggest questions.

Thought Leadership Sounds Good, Right?

One of the best ways to establish your authority is to be able to produce well-researched information. You have to present a depth of knowledge that no one else has.

You have to be prepared to define all of your customers challenges and clearly outline the best ways to overcome them. One caution:  this is not an opportunity to talk about your products and how they are better.

Thought leadership is an opportunity to have a real conversation or conversations. Your customers want to know that you hear them. They want to trust that what they need is important to you. As soon as you start promoting yourself, your audience will start to tune out and you will lose the trust you worked so hard to build.

5 Steps to Becoming a Thought Leader

  1. What questions are your customers asking? Research to find the answers to the questions that matter to them. Be prepared to do this for every client. Every day.
  2. Thought leadership is not about "gimme, gimme". You have to give your wisdom/research freely WITHOUT being overly promotional.
  3. Make it compelling. What you say or write or share has to rise above the noisy over-populated pit of super-promotional information.  You want to educate them, but you need to entertain them as well. Tell stories. Use examples.
  4. Invite customers to participate. Make your customers a part of what makes your information so great. Weave their stories into your pitches or your reporting. Make each other better.
  5. Finally - and in opposition to # 2 - Get Soundboard.

What's Soundboard?

Soundboard is a powerful tool that analyzes millions of conversations around the clock. It cuts through all of the noise out there to identify and focus on what matters most to your customers, your business, and you. You'll always know what to say, and more importantly, you'll be ready to engage in relevant and meaningful conversations with your customers.

Once you log in to Soundboard you can search the topics that are relevant to the conversations you need to have. Your search results not only give you insight into what people are saying about any give topic, but Soundboard also shows you related hashtags and conversations that will give you a much deeper understanding on the topics that matter to you and your customers. People appreciate when you take the time to listen and really get to know what matters to them and what impacts their business.

It's important to be in the know on what's happening or changing day-to-day. Soundboard allows you to bookmark conversations for easy review.  Take the pulse on important topics whenever you want and from any device you choose.

It's easy. It's influential. And right now it's free.  Give it a try.


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