Business today shouldn’t just be focused on the next sale, the next big social media post, or being the best of the best. For a business to maintain growth and longevity in the current global market, they need to invest resources in creating, maintaining, and building strong, long-lasting relationships. Although there are many new challenges for businesses to deal with, the interconnectedness and collaborative nature of the 21st century global market enables businesses and leaders to exchange ideas and information that can help resolve these issues.
However, the concept of knowledge sharing seems to be undervalued and/or misunderstood by many businesses that instead rely on primarily traditional methods of business growth, such as sales, new products, new markets, new brands, mergers and acquisitions, etc. While these methods are still relevant and useful, businesses and their leaders now have the unique opportunity to cross pollinate knowledge with clients, prospects and partners to enable growth and innovation through the power of thought leadership.
Thought leadership is a core component of driving business growth for many businesses, although definitions of what thought leadership is can vary from leader to leader. My personal definition of thought leadership is adopting a strategy that is designed to go beyond merely selling a product or service, but instead enlightens your stakeholders and audience to a whole new level of thinking they didn’t even know existed. By offering something authentic, innovative and valuable that aligns with your brand/company value, you establish your business as the expert in that field and differentiate yourself from your competitors.
Effective leadership is the cornerstone of a successful business and requires the ability to understand the needs of others, communicate efficiently and effectively, and to hold relationships for years rather than a single event. The key to this is understanding both your own and your audience’s values and visions and in turn having the ability to integrate, initiate, and, model the correct behaviour.
Businesses that adopt a thought leadership mindset take the time to connect with their stakeholders by analysing and sharing their best practices, knowledge-sets, case studies and highly skilled and talented leaders to serve as value-added resources to fuel business growth.
An example of how to adapt your marketing strategies to reflect a leadership mindset, is how you approach your social media strategy. Rather than just posting information about your latest promotion, take the time to create a strategy that helps your audience understand how it will improve their life, help them make better decisions, protect them or even make them feel better.
Having the ability to connect with others is essential to achieving business objectives in todays market. What comes with that is having a positive relationship and clear communication with your client. For example, don’t simply rely on impersonal emails or text messages, but instead focus on personalised contact, such as a handwritten note or phone call.
Taking the extra time and energy doesn’t go unnoticed by your customers and stakeholders. By putting in the effort, you are creating trust and building a deeper connection with your audience, who will in turn, spread positive information about your business to others. This will help to generate a wider circle, while reducing marketing costs, and encourages loyalty with your already existing customers, potential prospects, and current employees.
About the Author:
Jackie Attard, Founder/Managing Director of Acquired Audience and sought-after marketing consultant, works with world-renowned Thought Leaders in a mix of industries including Property, Health, Public Speaking, Jewellery, Business Networking, Marketing and Personal Development. www.acquiredaudience.com.au