It may seem like virtually every niche has been “claimed” online now. But the truth is, there are still plenty of opportunities for willing entrepreneurs to make an impact. If you have a strong brand vision and a passion for your industry, it’s possible to assert your authority and become a thought leader. After all, B2B and B2C customers only want to work with the best. They want to feel like they’re choosing a business or individual that’s time-served and knows what they’re doing. Over time, this can lead to a significant increase in company revenue.
Put it this way. You’d rather buy your next car from Elon Musk than a random guy at the local garage. We value trust, credibility, and digital presence when we’re shopping online. We use signals like social media follower counts, customer testimonials, and brand mentions as a way to validate our decisions before buying. When you become an online thought leader, it’s easier to manipulate social proof in a way that benefits your organization and drives sales.
Below, we’ve rounded up some of the biggest reasons to become an online thought leader.
Become an online thought leader to stand out
In March 2019, there were more than 4.4 million blog posts published a day. In the same period, an eye-watering 409 million people read more than 20 billion pages. Simply put: there is a lot of noise on the internet. Becoming an online thought leader allows you to stand out in a crowded market and demonstrate that your opinions and ideologies are the best.
Whatever your niche, think about the ways that you can differentiate yourself. It could be that you have radical strategies for sales. You might be interested in video blogging and live streaming. You might hone in on a microniche that you can fuel and grow into a million-dollar business. The key is to know your market and make sure your name is associated with it.
Reinforce your brand
Another reason to become a thought leader is to reinforce your brand and increase its presence.
Say you’re able to appear in Forbes Magazine talking about your industry. Getting a brand mention instantly adds value and credibility to your business. It helps you rise above your competitors who aren’t making those connections or putting their knowledge and ideas into the world. This, in turn, will make your brand appear as the authority and drive revenue.
Becoming a thought leader gives you a unique selling proposition. Many businesses eventually reposition themselves based on the success of their CEO’s personal branding. You can offer training courses, coaching, ebooks, and other services. Potential customers will see your online presence and instantly associate it with your business, making your brand attractive in a competitive environment. It might be hard work, but the pay-off’s huge when done properly.
Being an online thought leader increases sales
Let’s get another big one out of the way. Being an online thought leader has a direct impact on sales from day one. Although we’re closer to brands than ever before, people still buy from people. Thought leaders connect to the Average Joe and allow customers to see the benefits of a product or service person-to-person. It cuts out the middleman and reduces the need for sales executives, as a good thought leader can reach thousands of leaders online.
Where thought leadership can become even more effective is when cross-selling. If you’re building a personal brand and offer legal services, you could partner with a marketing firm to cross-promote each other’s offerings. Followers will associate both brands simultaneously with quality and value, and therefore purchase or register their interest more quickly. Tapping into micro-communities for sales is the best way to take full advantage of a personal brand.
Profitability will soar
All businesses want to increase their profit margins and lower their cost per acquisition. It’s true that thought leadership and building an online brand takes time. However, once you’ve managed to build a loyal and dedicated customer base, the results speak for themselves.
One of the reasons why thought leadership inspires profitability is by increasing your margin. If you’re the number-one-rated expert in your industry, you’ll able to command a higher fee for your services. Positioning yourself at the higher end of the scale means you will miss out on some low-paying clients, but it means you’ll reach customers who weren’t first on your radar.
And there’s another reason profits increase: you’ll foster a new work ethos. If you’re making headlines and appearing in quality publications, your staff will be inspired to work harder and achieve more. Standards increase, and thus employee and customer satisfaction will also climb. This cuts absenteeism, employee turnover, and increases client retention.
One of the biggest reasons why small businesses fail or struggle to scale because they undervalue themselves and don’t price accordingly. When you’re an online thought leader, you can feel more confident in your pricing structure and even pitch to higher-paying clients.
Online thought leaders add value to their businesses
Finally, think about thought leadership as an investment in your personal and professional brand. It might require hundreds of hours of interviews, content writing, and pitching, but once you are an established player, you’ll add long-term value to your business.
People will associate your business with quality and transparency, thus increasing the value of your business. When it comes to selling or listing your organization, you can lean on your thought leadership success to push for the highest possible valuation, benefiting your stakeholders.
Making the decision to invest in thought leadership can be overwhelming. There are so many things you need to take into account. From search engine optimization to online PR, the team at Biz Online Marketing is here to help you. Reach out today to discuss your requirements in more detail, and we can talk you through some of the available options.
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