Regardless of what you might think, it’s not too late to start building your brand as a thought leader. In fact, it might be the most valuable thing you do for your business between now and the end of the year.

  • 35% of B2B buyers are spending about 1-3 hours per week reviewing thought leadership content. (source)
  • 47% of CEOs say that thought leadership content had a direct impact on awarding business. (source)
  • Thought leadership has a greater impact of ideas on potential buyers than all other forms of content marketing. (source)

But, if you’re just starting out, the idea of creating thought leadership content for your business can be overwhelming. What type of content should you create? How long should your pieces be? How often should you create content? These are questions we still get on a daily basis from leaders considering how to reach new customers through thought leadership.

4 Keys to Getting Started with Thought Leadership in 2018

Whenever I’m talking with a business about creating a thought leadership strategy, here are four principles we always share:

  • Create content your readers care about. In order to create meaningful thought leadership content, you need to know your readers. The most effective thought leadership strategies put your audience at the center, meeting your customers where they are, and sharing insights that are valuable to them. This is a foundational principle for creating thought leadership that cuts through the noise and actually gets read.
  • Be authentic to your brand. Customers will know when you’re trying to fool them, and they won’t hesitate to call out a piece of content that contradicts your brand promise. Consistency is key to creating a successful thought leadership strategy. This means making sure each piece you create remains true to your company values and aligns with the overall perception people have of your brand.
  • Don’t be afraid to build your strategy as you go. If you wait until you have an elaborate plan for becoming a thought leader in your industry, you’ll never get started. The best part about investing in thought leadership is that you can tweak and improve your strategy as you learn what types of content resonate with your audience.

It’s never too late to make the lives of your potential customers easier through thought leadership content. You may never have millions of blog readers, and you don’t need them. However, investing in thought leadership is still one of the best ways to earn the trust and attention of the people you’re trying to reach, and that’s not going to change anytime soon.