How To Develop and Execute a Thought Leadership Strategy

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Thought leadership is a powerful way to position your brand as an expert in your field. By developing and executing a thought leadership strategy, you can create content that engages and informs your audience, establishes you as a credible source of information, and helps you reach your business goals. 

In this episode, we will discuss how to develop and execute a thought leadership strategy that will help you stand out from the competition!

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Atiba de Souza: Let's talk about how you develop a thought leader strategy. Hey, everybody. Welcome to Thoughts On thought Leadership. I am your host, Atiba. And today, we're gonna dive into this topic, how do you develop a thought leader strategy? Now, if you've realized, which I hope you have, that your business and your industry needs you to be your thought leader, because your clients are looking for you to be your thought leader and you started creating content, or you are thinking about creating content, you're probably in this place where you are starting to ask yourself this question, how does this work? What's the strategy that I need to use here for this to be effective? Well, I've got three steps that you must follow. Three steps that you must follow in order to develop the proper thought leader strategy.

Now, before we get into all of those, though, I want you to do me a favor, hit that like and subscribe button for me. Okay. So, there are three steps. Now, here's the thing that I want you to understand what I'm going to be talking to you about today, what I'm gonna show you today is what the theory is and what the strategy is behind developing thought leadership strategy.

I'm not about to teach you a tactic. I'm not about to teach you a tip or trick. This isn't a shortcut. Okay. These are some principles that you must follow, that if you adhere to these, you will develop the right strategy for you because the right strategy for you is not the right strategy for me. Okay.

Let's dive in. So number one, you have to define your audience. The most important thing in thought leadership is knowing who you're talking to. The most important thing in creating content is knowing who you are talking to. If you don't have an understanding of who the person on the other side of the video, of the written content is, you're just wasting your time.

Because then you don't really understand what it is that they're looking for. You don't understand the problem that they're having. You don't understand the pain that they're in. And most importantly, you don't understand the questions that they're asking. Now, I wanna be very clear about this. this isn't about you thinking about, "Oh, I think this is the person and I think this is the question." No, it takes research. It takes research to really get to know your customer, to get to know the person who is consuming your content. Now, how do you do that? Well, there are a couple different ways that you can do that. If you've been in business for a little while and you have customers, you can go to your ideal customers— be careful here. Don't go to all your customers. Don't go to just any customers. Go to those customers that you define as your ideal customers and ask them questions, give them a survey, ask them about what they were thinking about what questions they had before they bought your service. Ask them what research they did on your company or on your industry or product before they bought your product to service.

Then ask them about the experience that they had with you and what changed in their life. Ask them what they expected to change and ask them what really actually changed in their life. See, once you get that picture from your existing customers, you'll have what we call the before and the after state. You'll have understanding of where they were before, what questions they had before, and then you'll have an understanding of what answers they were looking for and what they needed after they were a customer of yours. Understanding that gives you such a wealth of insight. A friend of mine, Amara, she calls it the voice of customer research. Yes. Get the voice of customer research. Research your actual customers and their actual words.

This isn't paraphrasing what they say. This is using what they actually say, their actual words. So that's one way that you can really get to know your customer. The other way that you get to know your customer is through research on tools like social media, on Google, you can use these tools to learn a ton about your customer.

Again, if you have ideal customers right now, you can define their characteristics and go to these tools and get information. Okay. I'll give you a perfect example of this, let's say you do that customer survey and you get some information. They tell you, "Here are some of the questions that I asked before I found your company, when I was looking for your type of product or service." You can take one of those questions and put that exact question into Google, the exact wording. And then Google will tell you in their section called people also asked, what are other questions that real people are asking that are related to the question that your ideal customer also asked.

Yeah. You can use these tools to get more data about what real people are asking. So you've gotta do that research. You must do that research and get to know your ideal customer, get to know what they're searching for online, get to know what they're looking for on social media. Okay. So it's important that you understand your audience because once you understand your audience, then you can start to map the questions, the needs, the desires that they have, the information that they want to consume.

To your expertise. Now, this is a very, very crucial point here because when you do the research, you're going to find out that there were questions that are being asked that you're not an expert in. I'll give you a perfect example, we're gonna use me as a perfect example. I know content strategy. I can help your business figure out content strategy.

I can help you as a business owner take that content strategy and record great video. Then I have a team that takes that video and edits the video and publish the video. If you've got questions about the nuances of editing videos, I can't answer 'em for you. I don't know 'em, I just don't. So when I do my research on you and find the questions that you ask, I know that I can answer the questions on strategy, the questions on content, the questions on defining your audience.

The question on how to overcome getting in front of a camera and recording the video. but all of the questions that you want to ask about the nuances of Adobe Premiere or, heck, Canva, I'm clueless. Don't know it, can help you, sorry. And so when you do your audience research and you get the questions and you get the understanding of who your audience is, The next thing is to, number two, is to map it to your expertise, understand your expertise and understand what questions and what information you are an expert at conveying to that audience of yours.

That's what you talk about. You define what you can talk about based on your expertise. Don't go out talking about things that you don't know. And if you do, make sure you say, "Hey, listen, this is not my area of expertise. I'm just gonna tell you a little bit here about this, because this is a pressing question, but if you want more information go to—" and send them to other resources.

Maybe there's somebody else on your team who is an expert in that area. And maybe they produce content on that topic and you can lead people to that content. That's great, but don't pretend to be an expert in things that you're not. Focus on your expertise, what you really know and what you are really great at.

Okay. That's number two, number three, you've got to define a visibility strategy. It's one thing to create content. That's awesome. You've created the content, but if you do nothing with it, and then I'm telling you this, because I was guilty of this for years. For years, I was creating a ton of content and it lived in my Google drive.

It lived in my Dropbox, it lived on my phone and I did nothing with it. Absolutely nothing with it. And then I forgot it even existed. Don't do that. Once you create your content, then we've gotta define your visibility strategy. Now, what do I mean by visibility strategy? I'm saying, how are people gonna find this content?

Did you create a video? Great. Let's put it out on YouTube. Good. That's a good start. And there's things that we can do to help it on YouTube become more visible to your ideal audience, but do we stop just there? Couldn't we take that video? Like a video like this that I'm creating right now. And couldn't we repurpose that video?

Couldn't we take snippets and segments of this video, one minute segment, two minute segments, maybe we can take those segments and then post them on Instagram? Maybe we can post them on LinkedIn. Now, where you post them depends going back to that audience research, and knowing where is your audience?

Are they on Instagram? If they're not don't post on Instagram. Are they on LinkedIn? They are? Great. Go post on LinkedIn. Post a snippet on LinkedIn with a link back to the YouTube video and say, "Hey, go watch the video on YouTube, the full length video." So you take one piece of content and now we're going to cut it up.

We're going to create other types of content with it and distribute it on other platforms to increase our visibility. We want to increase our visibility. It's not okay anymore to just take it and post it on YouTube and hope that people find it. You need to put it in other places and drive them to your YouTube channel.

So what are some of these other places? Again, it depends on your audience and where they consume content. But let me give you some examples. You can create a podcast out of it. You can put it on LinkedIn or Instagram or TikTok or Facebook or Twitter. Okay, cut it up into bite size pieces and distribute it on those platforms.

This video right here that I just created, my team is gonna take this and cut it up into probably 7 to 12 shorter videos that we're gonna put on other platforms. One video, I just created 12 other videos out of it. Okay. Plus it will get turned into, that's right, a podcast. And then it will also even get turned into a blog.

Yes. A blog. Then my graphics team will pick this video up and say, okay, he made three points. Let's turn those three points into and infographic. That infographic we can use as a PDF, we can take an and create an actual image out of it and post it again on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, tons of different places.

And so this is your visibility strategy. Your visibility strategy is based on understanding where your audience wants to consume your information. Where are they, and then taking the content that you produced and repurposing that content. Repurposing that content. The act of cutting it up and turning it into other forms of content and then publishing those.

That's called repurposing that content. Now, if this sounds like a lot, I get it. I do, especially the repurposing piece. You may be able to wrap your brain around interviewing your current customers or doing the research and figuring out what are the questions people are asking, and then answering only the questions that you are an expert in, but this concept of repurposing might be a little bit new to you, and I get that. I completely get that. It's one of the areas that most people struggle with after they've created a content, it's like, okay, "I don't get how we do this whole repurposing thing." So, we've developed something for you. We call it our repurposing tool. Okay. It is a fantastic tool that will help you think about your content that you've already produced and figure out how you can repurpose it.

And then once you've repurposed it, what platforms you can use that content on. It's a completely free tool. All you gotta do is click the link down below. You can grab that tool today. Go create your content and start repurposing your content and becoming the thought leader that your industry and customers need.

Alright, everybody. I'll see you next time. Bye bye.


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