What is that one thing you want to be known as a thought leader for? What is that topic you would be happy to write and speak about endlessly?
And when I say ‘one’, I mean one. Trying to be an expert on a multitude of topics is a recipe for disaster. Opt for that one thing and dominate it!
However, the big question is: how do you determine what that one thing might be? Where on earth do you start?
Finding Your Thought Leadership Niche
According to the experts, your thought leadership niche should be:
- That nugget of knowledge you have that others don’t or something you can provide a new perspective on
- An idea or topic you have expertise or experience in and the right qualifications to talk and comment on
- Something you’re passionate and care about and motivates you to get up in the morning
- An area where you can provide enormous value-add
Do keep in mind your niche does not have to be about topics that relate specifically to the business you operate in.It can be about your stance on an issue or something you wish to crusade on.
Once you’ve determined what ‘it’ is, find out who else is talking on that same topic.
If there are others, you should be looking at taking an alternative standpoint or presenting another argument. Basically you need to have something to say that sets you apart from your competitors and other thought leaders out there.
If there are too many players in the large thought leadership niche you are chasing, you may be better off working your way into a smaller niche or sub-niche and dominating that niche.
Once done, you can consider working your way into the bigger niche. Taking this very targetted approach will improve your specialisation and provide a greater guarantee that you really know what you are talking about.
According to the gurus, nothing can destroy your reputation and influencer status faster than getting it wrong and being called out on your error. Remember you want to become known for being a credible source capable of providing accurate information!
Dominate your thought leadership niche
There are several things you can do to dominate your niche.
Start creating content on a regular basis. You should consider even stockpiling a good 20-30 pieces of content before you even start actively promoting that you are creating content. It’s a great idea to always have 3-4 draft posts that are ready to go at any time because there will be times when you find yourself short on content!
To solve the content problem you will need to know your audience and their pain points and the types of content they will find informative and useful. It pays to do a little home work: What questions are people asking that only you can help unpack? What search terms keep cropping up in Google Analytics reports? Where can you be of the greatest service?
To do this effectively, you have to be well read.
You need to understand your industry inside and out, and that kind of experience comes from practice, relationship-building and consistent reading. Get your hands on the books, articles, and online content produced by the influencers you respect and aspire to emulate.
If you are interested in learning more about thought leadership and need help defining your thought leadership niche, Parker Public Relations provides ongoing mentoring and coaching or you can book into one of our regular two-hour workshops.
Let us know if you are interested in coaching or a workshop. To get in touch, click here, or contact Wendy at firstname.lastname@example.org