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With the rise in digital communication and social media platforms, becoming a thought leader seems easier than ever before. However, as with anything in life, there are also challenges. Thought leaders are not born but made. They are strategists and influencers who know how to articulate their ideas, inspire others, and drive change. There is no doubt that the demand for thought leaders has given rise to many people claiming to be thought leaders. But this does not mean that it’s a less important concept. In fact, with today’s fragmented media landscape, the need for trustworthy sources of information has never been greater. We will explore in this article what thought leadership is and why it matters for your business or organization.

What is thought leadership?

First things first, what is thought leadership? An individual who is considered an authority on a specific topic or industry is referred to as a thought leader. Because their ideas and suggestions are valued and often acknowledged on a global scale, they are considered experts.

A thought leader may provide important direction and insight to those working in a specific field or industry, and they may benefit financially and personally as a result. They are often able to accurately predict what will happen in the future while assessing what is currently taking place.

Growing a career or business is the ultimate goal of thought leadership. Taking time to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry can help you build trust with your customers and establish credibility regarding your services, products, or even work environment.

The importance of thought leadership

Thought leadership is a powerful tool when leveraged correctly. A study released by LinkedIn and Edelman in 2021 states that “65% of management-level professionals said a piece of thought leadership significantly changed their perception of a company for the better, while 64% say thought leadership is a more trustworthy basis for assessing a vendor’s capabilities and competency than marketing materials and product sheets”. This same report tells us “54% of decision-makers say they spend more than 1 hour per week reading and reviewing thought leadership”. It is clear that this tool is strong enough to influence brand perception and buying behavior, which can be translated into numerous benefits to you and your organization.

What are the benefits of thought leadership?

To summarize, the following are the advantages of being a thought leader within your field or industry:

  1. Your brand or company will gain more visibility.
  2. You will build a deeper connection with other professionals in your field.
  3. Being a thought leader will increase your credibility and boost the trust people have in you or your company.
  4. You will build authority and gain respect from people in your industry.
  5. You will be able to increase your business opportunities, and gain access to more clients or prospects.
  6. Thought leadership will result in an increased level of opportunity to speak at events.

Final Thoughts

In a marketplace that gets every time more and more crowded, being a thought leader is a solution to cut through all the noise and speak directly to your target audience. Thought leadership provides long-term value to professionals, strengthening their reputation at the same time they offer guidance and inspire their networks.

Interested in learning more about thought leadership? Make sure to watch our on-demand 3-part webinar series: Embracing Connected Leadership. ‘Part 1: The Fundamentals of Thought Leadership’ is now available, watch it here! Stay tuned for the next parts very soon!