Using a Blog to Become a Thought Leader in Your Industry, Part 1

Thought leadership isn’t just for individuals. It’s for businesses too. The goal of becoming a thought leader is to shape people’s perception of your company and its products–the right way. Companies large and small want to be thought leaders.

This ability to shape people’s perception of your company and its products is critical to your success. “If you can’t fight for your prospect and customers mind, you are not going to go very far in the battle for their wallet.”

In this three-part series I share powerful steps, tips, and techniques for using a blog to become a thought leader in your industry.

Here’s how you can use a blog to become a thought leader in your industry:

  1. Content must have a job. Creating content alone is never enough. Your company must create content that works as marketing. Marketing is telling a story about the value you create for people. There’s no better way today—in a world were it’s more about being found and less about going out and hunting—to tell your story and deliver independent value than with content.
  2. Begin with the end in mind. Create a blog with the goal of it being the premier source of information in your industry. A blog should be thought of in terms of a resource center and positioned as such. A business should add a blog to their site in order to help customers find answers to the problems they seek.
  3. Tribe blogging wins. Have some of the company’s employees (senior leaders, product managers, etc.) contribute to the blog. If you visit the Technorati Top 100 blogs in the world as ranked by Technorati Authority. (The Top 100 is updated once per day.) You’ll notice one thing about the top 10 ranking blogs in the world. Almost all of them are written by groups or teams of people. (Note: For single-person bloggers like myself I substitute this by offering “guest posting.”)
  4. Write for the readers not the calendar. Set the editorial calendar and assign writers but not topics, for the blog. Encourage company employees to write about something they’re personally interested in. If you’re an independent professional I recommend setting monthly themes to write about.
  5. The real act of discovery is not in finding new lands, but in seeing with new eyes. Work with company employees to brainstorm ideas, ask them about things they’re working on. Sometimes it’s from seeing with new eyes that they find compelling and remarkable content. Again if you’re an independent professional talk with your customers and seek information from other industries.
  6. Have daily motivation baths. “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing, that’s why we recommend it daily.” Keep blog contributors motivated. Keep that project top-of-mind by sending out a motivational or inspiring email to blog contributors each week that contains a nugget of information about blogging.

Given our information crowded and cluttered world, providing true thought leadership can be as valuable to a brand as the products or services it sells.

Question: What do you think? Have you used a blog to build the perception of your company as a thought leader in your industry?