Where should I start my thought leadership journey?
Should I write a business book? Should I become a TEDx speaker? Should I start a podcast series? Should I try getting coverage in the media?
These are the all too frequent questions I get from CEOs wanting to become to the ‘go-to’ for their industry or ambitious executives chasing board or other high-profile appointments.
In fact it was only last week that I had these very questions put to me by the former owner of a financial services firm who is contemplating ‘what next’ after selling the business she operated for two decades.
I’ll call her Janice.
She has always been a great proponent of financial education and the need to educate the public about effectively managing their finances. She’s been a constant critic of the financial sector’s need for greater transparency, something that was brought into very sharp focus with the recent Banking Royal Commission.
Given her considerable knowledge and skills, Janice is now looking to thought leadership to raise her profile and provide the platform for her financial literacy crusade. Ultimately she is hoping these activities will provide the springboard for securing future board directorship roles.
However, prior to consulting with me, Janice was unsure of where to start. She’d toyed with the idea of writing a business book but had no idea what she’d write about. She’d also thought of developing a podcast series but doubted she had sufficient material to sustain a series long-term.
Basically she was all at sea.
My advice to Janice was not to jump in head-first but to be more strategic about her thought leadership aspirations … and to get all the basic fundamentals right before tackling anything too ambitious.
Being more strategic meant:
Clarifying what it is that makes her unique, where she can add genuine value and to who.
Defining her thought leadership branding statement.
Understanding which stakeholders she should engage with to achieve her thought leadership goals.
Determining her most effective communications platforms.
Understanding which stories resonate with her key audiences and best position her as a thought leader.
Also rather than going out all guns blazing, my advice to her was to kick off her thought leadership journey in a steady, measured manner.
Sure, Janice can write a business book (and I would strongly encourage it), and develop her podcast series but NOT before she gets her personal branding and online presence sorted.
After that, she can begin blogging and posting, systematically building her confidence before tackling the bigger ticket items.
So if you’re someone like Janice and need help getting started:
Parker Public Relations provides done-for-you thought leadership services for leaders who don’t have the time to manage their thought leadership journey and would prefer Parker Public Relations to take care of all personal branding, strategy, implementation and communications on their behalf.
For more information about our done-for you offerings, click here.