In case you haven’t heard, you are supposed to be a thought leader and your clients are as well. Thought leadership goes by many names — authority, expertise, having a niche, being an expert, etc. But at the end of the day it’s all about having a depth of expertise and sharing it so that others can learn and identify you as a subject matter expert. That’s, unfortunately, the part that many agencies miss the mark. Our content is generic and impersonal. Sure — we’re telling people why they should care about the latest Pantone color of the year or five ways to maximize something vital — but it’s not specifically about our unique expertise and it doesn’t give the reader a sense of who you are as a leader or a person.
If I ask you to think of people that create content that you actually look forward to reading and find value in, my guess is that it’s most often going to be a person (as opposed to a company) and someone who has earned the right to be seen as an expert. Good news — that’s you! You have spent decades honing your craft and earning the right to be respected for what you know. Your content should reflect that.
I wrote an article for Spin Sucks on how marketers get thought leadership wrong and what we can do about it. I absolutely know for a fact that this needs to be a significant strategy in your biz dev efforts. I have seen it work many times for agencies big and small. I’d love to see how you could increase genuine connection, open the door to new relationships, and carve out a path that few of your competitors can match. I know it’s harder than writing generic blog posts that any other agency could slap their logo on and claim as their own — but the payoff is worth it.
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