Thought leadership is a hot topic in the business world for good reason. A recent study by Edelman found that nearly half of B2B decision makers said that thought leadership influenced their purchasing decisions. The same study found that thought leadership is frequently used to vet a company’s capabilities and the company’s alignment with the potential buyer’s needs.
Thought Leadership Builds Trust and Favor with Potential Buyers
Thought leadership demonstrates that not only do you deliver results for your B2B clients, but you also think critically about issues in your industry, are acutely aware of trends, and can help navigate your clients through these nuances.
Being a thought leader essentially means being considered an expert in your field. Since, at the end of the day, the designation of “thought leader” must come from others, establishing this expertise starts by sharing your knowledge with the world through written content, podcasts, social media posts, and more. To be a great thought leader, you need to earn the trust of your readers and prove yourself to be a reliable source of information.
When potential buyers and current clients perceive you as an expert, they will be more likely to trust your judgment and be more eager to work with you. They may even be willing to pay a premium for your services.
Luckily, you no longer have to rely on news outlets to build reliability. You can start right here, on LinkedIn.
Your B2B Audience Is On LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a great place to start for B2B companies since the majority of LinkedIn profiles belong to individuals who are responsible for making key business decisions. Linked in has also established itself as one of the best social media platforms for lead generation. This is especially true for B2B marketers who report that 80% of their social media leads come from this professional networking platform. Compared to other social media platforms and even online news sites, LinkedIn is considered highly trustworthy, giving your thought leadership an almost automatic increase in its trustworthiness.
Generating Leads Through Thought Leadership
While LinkedIn may be your first foray into thought leadership, there are many other avenues you can pursue, like guest blogging, podcast appearances, and keynote speaking. Regardless of the specific way you choose to build your credibility, use these tips to increase your likelihood of generating leads through your thought leadership.
- Choose a specific topic or two. While you may have knowledge of many topics, thought leadership performs best when you hone in on what you know best and what your ideal client is currently interested in. Discussing too many topics can confuse your followers and dilute your perceived expertise.
- Express your passion and be your authentic self. Because many business professionals use thought leadership to vet companies, it’s important that you speak genuinely and demonstrate who they will be working with if they choose to work with you.
- Keep a beat on trends. If you’re truly an expert, it’s likely that you already have a pulse on recent trends. Your thought leadership should address current trends to show that you have keen industry knowledge. This is especially crucial if you’re in a fast-growing field like fintech, cybersecurity, or SaaS.
- Engage with other thought leaders. There are many other experts in your field. Connect with them and continue to learn. After all, the best thought leaders are able to reflect on their shortcomings and identify how they can improve.
- Prioritize your ideal client. Lastly, but most importantly, your ideal client should be at the forefront of your mind. Think about the problems your clients are trying to solve. How does your expertise guide them to the answers they seek?
Let me know how it goes! Whether you’re an established thought leader or just getting started, I would love to connect with you. Send me a LinkedIn invite and, while you’re at it, send me some links to your thought leadership pieces and I would be happy to take a look. Here’s to being seen as the industry expert you are.
Whitney is a natural leader with a knack for creating something out of nothing. She’s helped dozens of brands gain greater recognition for their causes and products in the digital world. Whitney’s experience doing literally every job Beacon offers, from graphic designer to operations to web developer means she’s not afraid to roll up her sleeves and dig in when it comes to helping Beacon’s clients build the future of business.