How to Become a Thought Leader in Your Industry
Becoming a “thought leader” is an elusive goal that many business leaders and executives strive for. While some people may think of it as just another marketing buzzword, the reality of having a positive reputation for helping others with your knowledge and insight is important for every business leader.
We’ve been sharing content on thought leadership for years. The channels might have changed, but the opportunity to become a thought leader in your industry is just as possible today.
Can Anyone Become a Thought Leader?
Before we dive into how to become a thought leader, let’s address a common misconception we hear from people: “I don’t have the time or connections to become a thought leader in the industry.”
While becoming a thought leader takes time and intentionality, the reality is that anyone can become a thought leader in their specific industry or niche. All you need is a willingness to do the work of codifying what you know and have the patience to build momentum over time.
4 Best Practices to Become a Thought Leader in Your Industry
So how do you become a thought leader? Here are a few simple best practices we encourage our clients to consider:
- Stick with Your Message
The most effective thought leaders are known because they stick to a specific message. This makes it easier for people to discern what they do and why they’re doing it. Think about the key message you want to share, one that you would want to maintain as a consistent plumbline over the years. If you’re having trouble determining your unique message, you might want to consider the next point.
- Discern Your Niche
While you’re thinking about your brand, finish this sentence: The kind of presence I want to have when helping others is ____________________. The thought leaders who make the greatest impact are those who are committed to helping others achieve their goals. Think about what makes you unique and how you can leverage that as you develop your platform.
What’s your unique personality? Are you a generous encourager who wants to champion people in their work? Or are you a disrupter of the status quo who loves to challenge assumptions?
Are you better at providing long, drawn-out explanations? Or are you good at creating quick one-liners that get people thinking? Would you be open to speaking in public, or do you shrink at the idea?
Understanding your unique gifts and strengths will help you determine the way you build your thought leadership platform.
- Choose the Right Platform
If you want to get the most out of your thought leadership content, it’s important to consider how your audience consumes what you share. To create the greatest impact, you need to meet your audience on the channels they use (social, email, etc.) with the type of content they prefer (written, audio, video). Don’t be afraid to use a mix of platforms and content types as you’re discerning this. The level of engagement you see can help you discern where your audience is and how they prefer to interact with your brand.
- Share Genuine, Authentic Reflections
The thought leaders we celebrate most aren’t the ones who know it all, but the ones who show us they’re human and that they care. As you consider what to share, don’t be afraid to show your humanity by highlighting mistakes you’ve made and lessons you’ve learned.
- Embrace (Effective) Storytelling
Storytelling should be at the heart of every piece of thought leadership content you create. Telling a story engages your audience by giving them a specific example with measurable stakes. Stories also help your audience understand how your company’s products and services could help them solve a problem. It’s important to tell stories your customers actually want to hear. If your audience can’t see themselves in your brand’s story, it won’t resonate with them.
Position Your Brand as An Industry Leader
When it comes to becoming a thought leader, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. However, these tips will help you develop a strategy you can use to reach more people. Any effort will be worth it as it gives you a chance to help others, build your audience and grow your business. For more help positioning your brand as an industry leader, reach out to us to schedule a strategy session.
Your Guide to a Healthcare Public Relations Strategy
1. Identify Newsworthy ContentInformation is changing rapidly in the healthcare industry. Topics of conversation can sometimes change before you even have time to put out a story. That’s why you must stay on top of what is relevant and timely—because that’s what your audience needs to hear. Preferably, you would be the first to give them this information, allowing them to view you as a leader. Your PR team should always look for the most relevant information to share that will add value to your audience’s lives. Try to identify newsworthy and engaging content that people outside your organization either want or need to know. Make sure that all content fits the following criteria:
- Easy to understand
2. Build Relationships with the Local MediaNetworking is a powerful tool in any type of business, and the media is no exception. Your relationship with local reporters, journalists, and media outlets can skyrocket the effectiveness of your overall PR strategy. When local media professionals know you on a first-name basis and understand the value you bring to the table, they are more likely to reach out to you with questions or to work with you on stories for their outlet.
3. Become a Subject Matter ExpertYou have experience and knowledge in your healthcare specialty that others will find helpful, but you have to find a way to share it outside of your office. One way to do this is to become a subject matter expert (SME) for different channels, such as local media, social platforms, and podcasts. Once you focus on becoming a thought leader in your industry and sharing what you know with those around you, your audience will begin to look to you as their go-to resource for information on that subject. Reach out to those in the media, letting them know what you specialize in and that you are flexible and available when they have questions.
4. Submit to HARO RequestsIf you want to hit the ground running and offer advice now, you can subscribe to receive HARO emails. Each email will be a list of requests from media outlets asking for firsthand experience or thoughtful insight into particular subjects. Review the emails to see if there is an opportunity that you could contribute to and take the time to write to the journalists—submissions are usually fairly quick. When a journalist chooses your insight to feature, they will also cite you as the source and link your business, providing you with valuable backlinks that increase your SEO success.
5. Consider the Channels You Will UseYour healthcare content is only successful if you reach the intended audience. You want them to take action or learn something from your information, right? So, it’s important to consider where your target audience will be most likely to find your content. A few options are:
- Online and print healthcare publications
- Your website
- Social media
- Local or national news
- Billboards or other public displays
Design a Results-Driven PR Strategy with Green AppleCould your healthcare office become a leader in your field? We think so. Contact us today to schedule a consultation. Our team is happy to discuss your goals and how we can help you achieve each and every one of them with PR and comprehensive marketing.
What is Digital PR (And Why Do You Need It)?
What Does a Digital PR Strategy Include?In your digital PR toolkit, you’ll need:
- A customer survey tool to collect positive reviews
- Backlinks in trustworthy publications
- Proactive press releases and connections with the media
- A comprehensive social media strategy
How Do You Put these In Place?
1. A Customer Survey Tool to Collect Positive ReviewsOne of the most important ways to build trust with your customers is through positive reviews. In fact, according to BrightLocal, 91% of customers from the ages of 18 to 34 trust online reviews just as much as personal recommendations. Knowing the power of reviews, it’s imperative that you have a strategy in place to collect them. We recommend that our clients use LoyaltyLoop; however, there are many other tools out there to explore to see what would serve your business best. Here are a few of the top ways to collect reviews:
- A survey tool, such as LoyaltyLoop
- Instructing your team to encourage customers to leave reviews
- Linking to your Google, Yelp, or Facebook pages in your email signature
- Offer your customers an incentive