How do you become a thought leader? And what is thought leadership anyway? The world is awash with content. Every day, people and businesses publish articles, opinion pieces, case studies, white papers and blog posts that claim to be relevant, unique and valuable. The truth is that most of it is clickbait that shouts loudly but has little to say that’s worth listening to. Instead, genuine thought leaders create and share inspiring B2B content, a unique perspective on issues within their particular niche that gives readers something worth much more – expertise and wisdom. Like most copywriting, thought leadership copywriting always starts with an idea, or regular pipeline of unique ideas, original insights, fresh perspectives and opinions that shape thoughts and start conversations. Then, you must be able to illustrate that you know who your audience is, understand the challenges and opportunities they face and have the advice and guidance that they’re looking for.
How do you find a topic to write about? New words for old ideas won’t cut it anymore. You can’t spend minimum effort on a thought leadership article or blog post and expect a maximum return. Start by analysing your industry. What problems does everyone have? What questions is no-one asking or answering? What does everyone do that isn’t benefitting them? What does no-one do that would help them? Avoid the middle-of-the-road and say something different, make a bold statement or approach a topic from a different angle based on your experience and insight. Say something original, relevant, that has a purpose, is of interest and adds value – sharing information and expertise with the reader that only you are able to provide. Do a web search based on keywords. What do the top results have in common? What do you think should be in the results but isn’t? What can you add to what’s already been said? Is there anything you disagree with? Why are they wrong?
Thought leaders don’t just have a command of their industry, they are passionate even evangelistic about a particular subject or a new way of doing something. They are able to capture and express those thoughts clearly in such a way that builds trust and establishes them as an authority. They bring thought leadership writing to life by using personal anecdotes and examples to illustrate their point. How did they achieve their goal? How do they continue to discover new insights? How can the reader learn to do the same? Thought leadership isn’t something that can be achieved overnight. Get it right by putting time and effort into it and you become a recognised and trusted name with a loyal following. Your posts drive your brand reputation and increase enquiries and sales without ever having to overtly push your product or service. Get it wrong and you risk joining all the other people that shout loudly but say little.
- Identify your field of expertise
- Find your tone of voice and maintain it
- Decide on the topic and goal of your article
- Identify your reader’s challenges
- Take a stand, say something different
- Build trust by focussing on the reader
- Address your audience’s needs, give them value in what you write
- Establish credibility by using your own experiences
- Provide evidence for your claims
If you have something important and valuable to say and share, and would like kelp in putting it into words, please get in touch.