I wrote a blog post last week on the reality of achieving status as a thought leader on social media. Specifically, what thought leadership looks like in social media stats. My observation is that most people trying to achieve thought leader status don’t understand what it really means to “lead thought.” These would-be thought leaders often aren’t offering anything new that’s also valuable to their target markets.
People tend to follow those who take them where they want to go. Thought leadership essentially means communicating ideas that are both progressive AND useful to people in achieving their goals.
The Foundation of Thought Leadership is Built on a Clear Brand Position
Whether for a personal brand, or an organizational brand, you must first identify, develop, and communicate your brand position.
What this means for your social media presence is that your profiles on each platform must be developed as if they were advertisements. Because that is just what your social media profiles are: your online advertising space accessible to the world.
How to Create a Well-Developed Brand Position
Determine your target market-centric position: Communicates Your Value
- What is your offering’s impact on lives and/or business outcomes?
- How do you help the target markets?
- What do your target markets need to learn that you know a lot about?
- What problems have you solved?
- Who have you helped?
- How will working with/buying from you help them in the future?
- Eliminate information your target markets do not not care about: Keeps them engaged
Create a target-market centric title and/or brand name: Keeps their attention
Create output-based bios/about sections/offering descriptions: Communicates authority and expertise
Create your call to action with link to get there: Makes it easy to take action
Make Lists of Your Background Strengths and Socially Responsible Activities: Builds trust through affiliation and demonstrated dedication
- Volunteer work
- Socially responsible practices
- Levels of education
- Relevant certifications
- Organizational affiliations
- Recommendations/Positive reviews
Once all of this information is gathered and listed, you will begin to see who you are, what you offer your target markets, and what you have achieved. This information can then be synthesized and simplified into statements that will guide your position on all your messaging across platforms, channels, and mediums. From your bios to your content curation choices, your messaging must be centered on your brand position, which essentially becomes a persona people trust and want to spend time with.
If you want to attract attention, you need to communicate from a position of value. It’s that simple, and that complex.