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3 Steps for Small Business Founders to Build a Thought Leadership Strategy

Jonathan Zacks Jonathan Zacks

Most small business owners, freelancers and entrepreneurs find it difficult to build a strong brand reputation, which is key when gaining brand recognition and winning business. When developing a thought leadership strategy, founders should consider these three steps. This is based on my experience building consulting companies and GoReminders appointment scheduling software.

1. Defining Your Unique Position and Voice

A small business owner should define his or her tone of voice. When writing, his or her tone should be authentic and consistent to stand out from the crowd. This means injecting personality into content and overcoming his or her inner critic. If the voice is authentic and unique, the author’s tone will likely resonate with readers.

2. Establish Trust Through Content

Thought Leadership

Establish Trust Through Content

Why should a potential customer trust the entrepreneur and thus have interest in his or her product or service? Thought-leading content should answer that question by proving a founder’s expertise and clarifying his or her position and unique value add. This kind of content helps to build trust, likability and relatability as a small business owner or freelancer develops a brand for himself or herself. It establishes brand awareness and creates differentiation. Don’t just write about your business, expand out to topics that will be helpful to your target market. For example, we don’t just write articles about how we’re the best calendar reminder app for appointment reminders.

3. Strategizing Distribution via Appropriate Channels

Thought Leadership

Strategizing Distribution via Appropriate Channels

Social Media

Social media is one component of an entrepreneur’s marketing strategy, but it shouldn’t be the entire strategy. Social media provides a great opportunity to connect with key audiences and share small bursts of thought-leading content. However, it’s most powerful when promoting long-form content from other sources, such as a business’s blog, LinkedIn or Medium account.

SEO

A thought leadership strategy should also include an SEO plan that drives traffic to a small business owner’s marketing channels. While SEO is a critical piece, long-form content should not be crafted entirely with SEO in mind. Cramming a powerful blog post with buzz words to earn traffic will diminish the quality of the piece and thus the founder’s reputation.

Other Distribution Channels

Every entrepreneur’s distribution strategy will be different, but he or she should consider whether email marketing, guest blogging, PR, paid advertising, public speaking or other forms of marketing will add value to the overall strategy.

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