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Marketing Yourself as a Thought Leader

Enjoy this guest post by Savannah Mariea writer and online marketing enthusiast. She is the editor of her blog, Mixios, which focuses on online marketing, social media, and business. 

What is the Thought Leader Model?

Whether you’re a professional, consultant or a small business, you all want to attract top-notch clients on a routine and consistent basis.  But, just how do you do this?  By switching up your game plan.  Instead of having to repeatedly “tell and sell” to earn clients, you should aim to become sought after by clients by becoming an authority in your field. 

Now, what if someone told you there is a business development process proven to be effective with a 400% to 2,000% return on your investment?  You’d want to try it, right?  Well, it turns out there is such a process, and it’s called the Thought Leader Model.  Many of the best professional service and consulting firms use it to accrue masses of high-paying clients.

As you well know, the goal of business is to create a customer.  In order to do this, businesses must be able to answer these three essential questions:  What is our business?  Who is the client?  What does our client value? 

Showcasing your expertise is a critical part of attracting new clients, and there are many different ways you can do this.  Below are some interesting ideas to help you get started:

Start a Blog

Keeping a blog is an excellent way to make yourself known.  If you write posts about timely topics and provide accurate information for readers, you can quickly establish yourself as an expert in the field and therefore, a thought leader.  Make sure to keep your blog updated on a routine basis so readers don’t lose interest.  You should also respond to comments from readers to make them feel appreciated and show that you value their opinions.

Write a Book

Writing a book allows you to be seen as a credible thought leader.  Now that you have the option to go with a traditional publisher, or self –publish your work, getting published has never been easier.  Seth Godin has established himself as a marketing guru and has become one of the most prominent experts in the field of marketing through the publication of his marketing books.  These books include:  All Marketers Tell Stories, Survival is not Enough, Why Smart Companies Abandon Worry and Embrace Change, and Whatcha Gonna Do with That Duck

Pitch Your Content to a Publication

National publications aren’t just for professional writers and reporters anymore.  Now, experienced entrepreneurs can propose a great idea and potentially get published.  If an online editor decides to publish your work, you have the advantage of being associated with a well-known, credible brand.  Even better, if your first few articles get a warm reception from critics, you could possibly land your very own column. 

Create Slideshare Presentations

Maybe writing doesn’t come naturally to you, but you have a knack for conveying ideas clearly through design.  If that sounds like you, you should try creating presentations on Slideshare.  This website, which generates over 70 million views a month, can be an effective tool for promoting yourself and establishing your credibility to potential clients. 

Speak at Conferences

Considering most people fear public speaking more than death, this one isn’t for the faint of heart.  But, if you’re confident speaking in front of a live audience, it can be an excellent way to position yourself as a thought leader.  Better yet, have your company host a conference. Mid Atlantic BX holds an annual Technology & Excellence in Construction Summit where leaders in the industry come to offer insight into the industry.

Whether you’re the primary keynote speaker, hosting a conference, or a virtual speaker for an online conference, public speaking gives you the valuable opportunity to discuss your ideas and experiences with others.  It can also establish your reputation as a credible leader in the industry.  Furthermore, when you go to a conference, you usually generate face-to-face leads that typically convert into actual business much quicker than online leads. 

Host a Podcast

If you ever doubted podcasts as an effective means of communication, consider this: iTunes alone boasts over 1 billion podcast downloads.  With this staggering statistic in mind, it’s clear that podcasts can be a valuable marketing tool.  John Lee Dumas established an extremely profitable business around his popular podcast Entrepreneur on Fire

Marketing yourself as a thought leader is one of the smartest things you can do if you want to stay at the top of your game.  So stop trying to chase down client after client with the same old, tired sales pitch.  Instead, start using these marketing strategies today, and watch as the clients start chasing you!