We all generally understand the importance of using thought leadership to distinguish our company from the competition and, ultimately, attract the right kind of customers and partners. But there is a considerable amount of data available about just how valuable thought leadership is. Take a look at these stats from a recent Edelman study on B2B Thought Leadership:
- 55% of decision makers use thought leadership as an important way to vet organizations they are considering doing business with.
- 63% agree thought leadership is particularly important to build the reputation of small and new businesses.
- 92% said thought leadership has increased their respect for an organization.
- 58% decided to give business to a company after reading their thought leadership content.
Thought leadership is equally important for individual endeavors — sharing your thought leadership ideas is one of the key actions you can take to position yourself for speaking engagements, a board role, or a new position.
Despite its understood value, when we score executives across the five dimensions of the LinkedIn ProScore assessment, the lowest score is typically in the Thought Leadership category.
So why aren’t people investing in thought leadership like they know they should be? It comes down to a few challenges:
Lack of Time
Executives always have a list of top priorities that have to get done, well, today. Organizing your thoughts and getting those ideas into a well-articulated blog post or video takes planning and time — time a lot of executives just don’t have. So focusing on thought leadership often falls into the “important, but not urgent” category and gets pushed to the back burner.
To create a meaningful blog post, video, or other piece of thought leadership content, you have to slow down — a challenge for on-the-go CEOs and executives who are used to going 60 miles an hour.
Fixating on Perfection
The point of blogging is to share your insights, not necessarily your magnum opus. Still, many executives worry that a thought leadership piece must be perfect. (Spoiler: It doesn’t have to be perfect, just useful and authentic.)
Underestimating the Value of What You Have to Say
This one is especially important. There are plenty of leaders out there who think no one will care to read about what they think. This is not the case! Just look at where you are in your life and your career. You’ve learned so many important things along the way; share those experiences, and you’ll see that more people are paying attention than you expected, or even dreamed would.
At ProResource, we understand the obstacles that keep executives from putting in the time and effort thought leadership requires, but we also know the potential gains make it worth the work. With thought leadership blog posts, you articulate your vision, your insights, your philosophy — how you think. Not only do you impress customers and prospects, you also attract partners, other influencers, future employees, and the media.
Thought leadership consumed in social media needs to be designed for social media. And sometimes the easiest way to get your ideas into the right format is by having an expert do the actual writing for you. It’s your ideas, in your voice, but you spend your time much more efficiently. You spend less than an hour per blog post. You don’t have to slow down or take much time out of your schedule — you can have the conversation with your writer while you’re in the car or at the airport.
All you have to do is spend about 20 minutes talking to your writer over the phone about the topic. They organize your thoughts, draft the post, and work with you to edit and revise the piece before posting to your LinkedIn page. Your post can then be promoted and directly positioned in the newsfeeds of your ideal audience.