Every business wants more customers or clients. And most businesses also want more word-of-mouth marketing — the most effective way to drive sales. To get both of these things, what you need is an audience, one that is ever growing.
To get that audience, to keep them interested in you, and then to recruit even more people to join your audience, you need to establish yourself as a likeable authority — someone who offers real value, and also someone whom people like.
The best way to become an authority who’s also accessible and appealing is to set yourself up as a thought leader, someone who’s known as a creative thinker who’s engaged with current trends not just in your own business, but more importantly, in your customers’ lives.
“Being known as a thought leader in your industry is a huge step in the right direction toward increased credibility for your business and its products/services,” writes Pamela Vaughn at HubSpot. “It can also help your business stand out from its competitors. Think about it: are you more likely to trust and purchase from a company whose leaders you recognize as experts in the industry, or a company whose leaders you’ve heard nothing from?”
- Maintain an Active Business Blog
- Contribute Guest Blog Posts
- Publish Long-Form Content
- Launch Your Own Podcast
- Speak at Conferences/Events
- Answer Questions in Social Media
Finally, as you do all these things, Vaughn also reminds us that thought leadership is not a hard sell. “Leave promotion at the door,” she says. It might sound counter-intuitive, but the best marketing these days is actually the least promotional kind, where you’re not pushing your products and services but are instead trying to be helpful to your customers.