Establish yourself as a thought leader and you’ll never have to worry about generating leads or finding work again.
That’s because when thought leaders share knowledge, people listen, take note, and act upon their advice.
In this article, we’re going to explain how you can become a thought leader and build your audience.
How? Because we’ve done it.
At Viddyoze, we’ve spent the last 6 years creating expert video content about video marketing, software, and business. As a result, we’ve established ourselves as thought leaders within our industry.
Let’s get started.
What Is Meant By Thought Leadership?
Thought leadership is a form of content marketing that’s used to build a personal brand and establish that person’s expertise in their niche.
Unlike traditional marketing, the goal of thought leadership isn’t to sell directly to the client. The real purpose is to build an audience of loyal followers by regularly sharing valuable pieces of information, such as exclusive tips and insights.
This way, when a consumer needs your services, they’ll come to you first because you’ve already demonstrated your knowledge and skill. In the consumer’s mind, this means you come with less risk and a higher likelihood of success.
Thought leadership content is particularly popular with business leaders. In fact, 54% of decision-makers, and 48% of C-Suite senior executives spend more than an hour a week digesting thought-led information, according to LinkedIn and Edelman.
1. Create & Share Video Content
Businesses are finding it harder than ever to make their thought-led content stand out. This is why video is so essential to a good thought leadership program.
Consumers just cannot get enough of video content. In fact, 54% say they want to see more from brands they support, according to research from HubSpot.
Why? Because video is also a great way to cut through the noise.
Videos produce higher information retention rates (95% of a message compared to 10% with text) and higher engagement rates (video generates 1200% more shares than text and image put together).
Just look at the big names in thought leadership. Gary Vaynerchuk. Amy Schmittauer. Tom Bilyeu. Gabby Bernstein. Bill Gates. What do they all have in common? They make tons of videos and their audience loves them for it.
The Importance Of Branding Your Videos
As mentioned above, the best in the world use video to connect with their specific audience because it really works.
But it’s not enough to just make a video. Your videos must be polished, professional, and eye-catching.
Without professional branding, your videos could look cheap and unprofessional. And who’s going to take that seriously? Nobody.
By using branded intros, lower thirds, and high-quality transitions, you can make videos that define you. Video that makes your opinions stand out.
Usually, these types of video effects are hard to make but Viddyoze enables you to create movie grade effects with no technical skills required.
With our vast database of awesome video animations, you can create quality content which will inspire confidence in what you’re saying and make your brand instantly recognizable to your audience.
2. Appear On Industry Podcasts
Podcasting is huge. It’s so big, in fact, that almost half of Americans now listen to one every month. It’s perfect for developing thought leadership.
But starting a podcast yourself can be tough and time-consuming. To establish yourself as a thought leader faster, it makes more sense to appear on established industry podcasts. That way, you can plug straight into a hot, engaged audience.
For example, are you a writer or a content specialist? Copyblogger would be perfect for you. Expert in passive income? Check out the Smart Passive Income Blog. Fitness expert? Think Keeping It Real or Ben Greenfield Fitness.
Search iTunes, Spotify, or YouTube for podcasts that relate to your industry, and get in touch. It’s an easy way to get yourself out there and build your target audience by stealing someone else’s.
For business tips and insight by entrepreneurs who built an 8-figure bootstrapped business, check out the Just 3 Clicks podcast, hosted by the founders of Viddyoze.
3. Partner With Industry Influencers
Just like guesting on a podcast, partnering with an influencer in your industry can help boost your profile and personal brand.
Firstly, make sure you find an influencer who shares the same values, mission, and goals as your business. Next, choose someone with a big enough audience.
While a collab with Kim Kardashian probably isn’t going to happen, a well-known industry influencer with 10,000 followers over less could be huge for your thought leadership strategy. It’s best to elevate the popularity and market size of your niche before ruling out specific influencers based on their follower count.
Once you’ve found your influencer, work together to get your message out there. A webinar is a great idea. For maximum coverage, run it via Facebook Live from your influencer’s account.
This is a great thought leadership framework for developing your own audience and establishing your authority on a subject.
4. Launch A Course
Creating content like a digital course is a great way to establish yourself as an industry thought leader. You already have the expertise. So why not transform your unique point of view into a saleable commodity?
That’s exactly what Viddyoze co-founder Joey Xoto did as part of his thought leadership strategy.
Using his professional videographer knowledge, he launched a series of expert courses, sharing his skills with other businesses and individuals who wanted to harness the power of video.
To do this, there are tons of platforms already out there, including Digital Class, Udemy, and Skillshare. Alternatively, you can make a series of online tutorial videos, and share them yourself.
5. Write Free Informational Content For Your Target Audience
While video is a must-have tool for aspiring leaders, written content marketing is just as important for your content strategy.
Thought leadership articles can take many forms. They can generate leads, target new audiences, and offer valuable insights.
Here are the best types of content marketing for a good thought leadership strategy:
- In-depth social media post: longer social media posts are perfect for showing your personality. Think personal stories, motivational anecdotes, and expert tips and advice.
- Blog post: Deep dive into a specific topic while staying true to your brand. For inspiration, Neil Patel is the king of expert blog content marketing.
- White paper: These longer research reports are a chance to address a major issue or problem within your industry. Once you have a major asset like this, you can send it out through social media, email, and SEO.
6. Build a Social Media Following
It’s thought leadership best practice to build an engaged social media following.
To create a truly engaged following, make sure you reach out regularly and encourage conversation and debate in your area of thought leadership
Ask questions. Take the time to respond to comments. Make polls for social media. Host question and answer sessions on Twitter and Facebook Live.
Social media is your shop window. It’s the first place most people will interact with you. The more open you are, the more people will react to your point of view. And the larger your following, the more business you’ll win.
As your following grows and your brand develops, create content with a personal angle, such as behind-the-scenes videos.
7. Make Media Appearances
While the old saying “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” isn’t exactly true for thought leaders (you do actually need to know your subject), the more useful people in your network, the better.
Growing your network is a great way to expand your reach into other mediums, such as print and TV media.
To begin with, attend industry events and conferences. Not only will this put you in touch with other like-minded experts, but you’ll be able to connect with the many industry journalists who cover these events.
You can also build relationships with relevant journalists directly. Find out who covers your niche and make contact with an email, or phone call.
8. Speak At Industry Events
Remember those industry events we just mentioned? As part of a solid thought leadership framework, these types of speaking opportunities are solid gold.
If you’re just starting out, landing speaking engagements on a prestigious panel may be tough. But there are a couple of things that you can do.
Firstly, make a list of relevant events. Second, highlight those who openly encourage speakers to apply and make a note of deadline dates. Next, connect with the event organizers – let them know who you are and what you can bring to the table.
Finally, let them know you are available way before the event takes place.
9. Write And Publish A Book
You’re an expert – so why not write a book? Even if nobody reads it, it’s one heck of an endorsement to your subject knowledge.
Driven by platforms, such as Amazon, self-publishing has opened the door to tons of would-be thought leaders to write and create their own books.
First, think about the type of thought leadership book you want to write. Is this a general introduction to your opinions? Or will it be a detailed explainer for a problem you know your audience has?
Once you’ve decided on your angle, remember to keep it original, keep it personal, and keep it relevant and relatable.
And remember to hire a good editor. Anyone can write a book but only a good editor can make it readable.
The most successful entrepreneurs in the world are thought leaders. Thought leadership marketing can help you gain credibility in your field, develop your personal brand, get in front of decision-makers, and, ultimately, win business.
With the 9 steps we’ve outlined above, you can begin your journey towards thought leadership today. By using Viddyoze to create your video content, you can establish yourself as a thought leader in your field. Sign up today. Make your opinion heard with Viddyoze.