Image courtesy of Death to the Stock Photo
How I do this with my clients
My typical clients are experienced business owners or C-Suite and high-level professionals in management roles, who are already doing things outside of their daily job like giving keynote addresses, sitting on panels or working as directors on boards. A few of my clients are emerging leaders – on their way to building successful businesses or climbing their personal career ladder.
Either way, my clients have clear goals around what they want to achieve professionally, who they want to work with, and the opportunities they want to draw towards them. And whether they are emerging or established in their fields, my clients always want to build their thought leadership image online, by communicating more effectively about what they do and the value they deliver.
Here are some of the ways my clients and I work on building and communicating their thought leadership.
1. Identifying their value proposition.
Spending time clarifying exactly what their work achieves for stakeholders and how this is different from the competition, and putting it in words that speak directly to the target audience, are the crucial first steps in building my clients’ expert profiles
2. Crystallizing what they care about.
Thought leaders care about the work they do and about making a difference in some way. It’s not enough to say you have attention to detail and you work hard. It’s not even enough to say you love helping people. How? By what methods? Why does this matter? These are the questions we explore to clarify the values that connect the thought leader with their perfect audience.
3. Assessing their personal image.
How do things like profile photos, speech, dress, body language, as well as online activity such as social media posts and articles/videos form a picture of this person as a professional? Do each of these elements build or break down trust, and how well do they communicate the personal brand messages we want to create? Looking at each element in detail, both in terms of assessment and development, forms the bulk of our work together.
4. Making a plan to build leadership.
To get noticed, stay top of mind and become a true go-to expert in their fields, my clients work on a specific, targeted and detailed personal digital marketing plan. Refreshing your LinkedIn page and building a flashy website is great, but if they’re just going to sit there, their impact will be limited. Building a name and owning a space takes time and work to create, and the key is in consistency: consistency in brand messages and consistency in how frequently you do things online to get noticed and build your audience.
Sounds like a lot of work? It is – but it needn’t be overwhelming. Having a purpose and a plan, and scheduling time to carry it out, are the keys to success in building your thought leadership.