Being in any industry, there always seems to be experts who know a lot about their market. These experts also have a following of people who listen, preach, and theorize the same principles that these experts talk about. These people are called Thought Leaders and we’re going to explain why they are the best salespeople out there.
Thought leadership is a very new term for an old practice. Its the same reason why we buy certain products from specific people. They sell us the knowledge, credibility, and present themselves as experts recommending the product themselves. Thought leadership is the practice of explaining expertise and being exactly what it preaches: a leader in thoughts of a market. Thought leaders have incredible capacity about their markets and can great clout over how information is distributed or how a market shifts.
A great example of this is expert web programmers in the web world. There are a hand full of experts guiding how new web design principles are being introduced, how new coding affects where the market goes, and much more. A few years ago we didn’t have flat web design. Now, flat web design has backing proof that it can convert sales, services, and retain client engagement higher if content is correct. This was a huge change in how designers looked at their websites. We remember going to a web conference and hearing from an extremely reputable source within the design world that responsive coding was the next big thing. That responsive coding was imperative to next steps within the web world and how making users not think about using a website was critical. Sure enough, shortly after this conference, all of the web blogs we follow in house started leaning towards these principles often citing this thought leader. Now, this isn’t to say they are just bullshitting and saying stuff to make certain events happen. Much of what these thought leaders are explaining have backing data, provide extremely well thought out arguments, and often challenge the norm to put pressure on people to give it a shot to reap better results. Hard to argue with someone who is so optimistic!
With any web strategy, providing information on a product or service is important. It does so much more than just be SEO text on the website. It proves that you know what you are talking about and can be trusted. Now, you’re probably saying “Well, I don’t want to give away my information for free! That defeats the purpose of my product/service.” You are correct and wrong. Think of it this way: if someone simply wants the high level information from you on something, are they really worth having as a client or customer? Do you think that they really value your knowledge? We had a difficult time doing this as well however you’ll find that people who truly value what you do will still pay for your service because it is invaluable to sit in the same room with you. The biggest selling point of your service is that you tailor your product/service to the persons individual problem rather than explain a general “cure”. Every business or customer has a unique problem. It is up to you to provide the true expert level knowledge as a thought leader to have people value it enough to pay for your time.