Achieve Thought Leadership

Become recognized as a thought leader

With 60% or more of the B2B buyer’s journey now taking place before they even speak with someone, how do you stand a chance? After all, buyers are looking for problem-solving information from experts — thought leaders — not someone they’ve never heard of.

The simplest and most direct solution for this common problem is for you to become a thought leader.

Become recognized as a thought leader

With 60% or more of the B2B buyer’s journey now taking place before they even speak with someone, how do you stand a chance? After all, buyers are looking for problem-solving information from experts — thought leaders — not someone they’ve never heard of.

The simplest and most direct solution for this common problem is for you to become a thought leader.

At first, that may seem farfetched, but it’s actually quite achievable. Think about the essential traits of any type of thought leader, someone whose advice people seek out and value.

  • Recognized in one field or across several fields for specific accomplishments
  • Have a body of work (content) that is easily accessible
  • When they make their advice available for free, people want it
  • They are welcome anywhere

Taken on their own, every one of the above four points is achievable, even if you have done nothing in your career so far that would categorize you as a thought leader. It’s simply a matter of engaging people in the right ways and in the right location.

Top Dog Social Media can help you do all four of these things and become recognized as a thought leader. As a result, you will:

  • Earn the attention of buyers you want to meet
  • Enjoy a faster and speedier sales process
  • Sell more and get paid more

At first, that may seem farfetched, but it’s actually quite achievable. Think about the essential traits of any type of thought leader, someone whose advice people seek out and value.

  • Recognized in one field or across several fields for specific accomplishments
  • Have a body of work (content) that is easily accessible
  • When they make their advice available for free, people want it
  • They are welcome anywhere

Taken on their own, every one of the above four points is achievable, even if you have done nothing in your career so far that would categorize you as a thought leader. It’s simply a matter of engaging people in the right ways and in the right location.

Top Dog Social Media can help you do all four of these things and become recognized as a thought leader. As a result, you will:

  • Earn the attention of buyers you want to meet
  • Enjoy a faster and speedier sales process
  • Sell more and get paid more

You don’t have to be a genius to be a thought leader, you just need to develop your self-promotion toolkit in a way that is more in tune with the modern buyer. Using our Thought Leadership methodology, Top Dog Social Media will ensure that you have all the tools you need to establish yourself as a thought leader.

Let’s take a look at each of the seven elements of the methodology.

Brand story

Also known as your “why” story, this is about cultivating the aspects of how you are different from all the other salespeople buyers will be hearing from. It could be your unique approach to helping clients, the level of accountability you establish for yourself, how you continue to work with your clients after the sale or something completely different. What’s important is that it actually IS different. Because the only thing worth promoting is how you are different, not how you are the same.

Niche

No one serves everybody. Clarify what market(s) you serve and serve well. The more tightly you can clarify your niche, the easier it will be for you to identify your ideal customers and the people who influence them. These are the only people you need to reach, and the only people who need to see you as a thought leader. If you end up publishing a few books and become recognized as the next Guy Kawasaki or Gary Vaynerchuk, that’s terrific. But for now, let’s concentrate on your niche and which people you need to communicate with to lift sales substantially.

Messaging

If buyers are looking for answers, they must be asking question, right? When you know what those questions are you can craft messages that address those questions. This type of message matching helps buyers recognize you as someone who really understands what’s important to them. Using keywords your ideal customers are searching for in your LinkedIn profile (and other social profiles) is an important way to match messages. Matching your buyers’ questions, pain points and needs with your messaging starts you on the path to thought leadership.

Personal branding

Personal branding is not the same as your brand story. Personal branding is how, in seven seconds or less, you make it clear to a prospect that you are someone they want to connect with. It is critically important because in today’s business world, seven seconds is about all the time you’re going to get. A professional LinkedIn profile photo and a headline that helps you stand out are just two ways you begin to establish a personal brand.

Content

Creating the right content for thought leadership is one of the more demanding elements in the toolkit. You need to publish content (on your blog, LinkedIn Publisher, as a guest author) that addresses your buyers’ concerns, questions and pain points without promoting your sales solution. This type of content is frequently referred to as “agnostic,” because it doesn’t recommend a specific solution or favor your solution over another. Why do this? Because it’s what the buyers want. Until they are in the decision-making stage of their process, they are most interested in different approaches and processes that can solve their problem, not a specific product or service. By becoming recognized as a reliable provider of useful agnostic content, you become recognized as a thought leader, and not just someone trying to sell something.

Humanize

So, who is the person behind the thought leadership? Once you start to earn a little web cred as a thought leader, people will want to know more about you. Make sure you remain available and accessible on the different social media platforms where your prospects and clients hang out, not just the ones where they do business. You don’t need to make your life an open book, but don’t be afraid to open up a bit. Video is essential to establishing just who is the person behind the professional.

Platform

Building a community of people that know, like and trust you might sound unnecessary for a thought leader. After all, everyone wants to see what you have to say, right? Actually, building your community will likely be the most important element in your thought leadership toolkit. Communities support each other and amplify each other’s messages through liking and sharing. In time, your community will do most of the work for you in maintaining and spreading your reputation as a thought leader.

You don’t have to be a genius to be a thought leader, you just need to develop your self-promotion toolkit in a way that is more in tune with the modern buyer. Using our Thought Leadership methodology, Top Dog Social Media will ensure that you have all the tools you need to establish yourself as a thought leader.

Let’s take a look at each of the seven elements of the methodology.

Brand story

Also known as your “why” story, this is about cultivating the aspects of how you are different from all the other salespeople buyers will be hearing from. It could be your unique approach to helping clients, the level of accountability you establish for yourself, how you continue to work with your clients after the sale or something completely different. What’s important is that it actually IS different. Because the only thing worth promoting is how you are different, not how you are the same.

Niche

No one serves everybody. Clarify what market(s) you serve and serve well. The more tightly you can clarify your niche, the easier it will be for you to identify your ideal customers and the people who influence them. These are the only people you need to reach, and the only people who need to see you as a thought leader. If you end up publishing a few books and become recognized as the next Guy Kawasaki or Gary Vaynerchuk, that’s terrific. But for now, let’s concentrate on your niche and which people you need to communicate with to lift sales substantially.

Messaging

If buyers are looking for answers, they must be asking question, right? When you know what those questions are you can craft messages that address those questions. This type of message matching helps buyers recognize you as someone who really understands what’s important to them. Using keywords your ideal customers are searching for in your LinkedIn profile (and other social profiles) is an important way to match messages. Matching your buyers’ questions, pain points and needs with your messaging starts you on the path to thought leadership.

Personal branding

Personal branding is not the same as your brand story. Personal branding is how, in seven seconds or less, you make it clear to a prospect that you are someone they want to connect with. It is critically important because in today’s business world, seven seconds is about all the time you’re going to get. A professional LinkedIn profile photo and a headline that helps you stand out are just two ways you begin to establish a personal brand.

Content

Creating the right content for thought leadership is one of the more demanding elements in the toolkit. You need to publish content (on your blog, LinkedIn Publisher, as a guest author) that addresses your buyers’ concerns, questions and pain points without promoting your sales solution. This type of content is frequently referred to as “agnostic,” because it doesn’t recommend a specific solution or favor your solution over another. Why do this? Because it’s what the buyers want. Until they are in the decision-making stage of their process, they are most interested in different approaches and processes that can solve their problem, not a specific product or service. By becoming recognized as a reliable provider of useful agnostic content, you become recognized as a thought leader, and not just someone trying to sell something.

Humanize

So, who is the person behind the thought leadership? Once you start to earn a little web cred as a thought leader, people will want to know more about you. Make sure you remain available and accessible on the different social media platforms where your prospects and clients hang out, not just the ones where they do business. You don’t need to make your life an open book, but don’t be afraid to open up a bit. Video is essential to establishing just who is the person behind the professional.

Platform

Building a community of people that know, like and trust you might sound unnecessary for a thought leader. After all, everyone wants to see what you have to say, right? Actually, building your community will likely be the most important element in your thought leadership toolkit. Communities support each other and amplify each other’s messages through liking and sharing. In time, your community will do most of the work for you in maintaining and spreading your reputation as a thought leader.

Once you are recognized as a thought leader

Whether you are a consultant or a seller of a product or service, as a thought leader you will enjoy these benefits.

  • People will want to work with you, because they want to work with experts
  • If you are a consultant, you can charge more, because your advice is more valuable to your clients than that of consultants who have not achieved thought leadership
  • The credibility, recognition, authority and trust you establish will serve as virtual door openers
  • The type of questions you receive during the sales process will change, as what now may be  objections will become a desire to know your opinion

But the biggest benefit of all is that your thought leadership will help you sell more by elevating you from being a stranger to that person clients know, like and trust — the kind of person everyone likes to buy from.

Once you are recognized as a thought leader

Whether you are a consultant or a seller of a product or service, as a thought leader you will enjoy these benefits.

  • People will want to work with you, because they want to work with experts
  • If you are a consultant, you can charge more, because your advice is more valuable to your clients than that of consultants who have not achieved thought leadership
  • The credibility, recognition, authority and trust you establish will serve as virtual door openers
  • The type of questions you receive during the sales process will change, as what now may be  objections will become a desire to know your opinion

But the biggest benefit of all is that your thought leadership will help you sell more by elevating you from being a stranger to that person clients know, like and trust — the kind of person everyone likes to buy from.

Ready to become a thought leader?

You don’t need to put on your thinking cap, just contact Top Dog Social Media and let’s get started.

Ready to become a thought leader?

You don’t need to put on your thinking cap, just contact Top Dog Social Media and let’s get started.

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Copyright © 2018  Top Dog Social Media