March 4, 2019
10 Things

10 Things I Know About ... Establishing thought leadership

Heather Caouette

10) Credibility. Done effectively, thought leadership builds credibility and trust in your business. It positions you as an authority and go-to person for that topic.

9) Marketing results. Thought leadership fuels compelling content because it offers a clear perspective and has inherent trustworthiness. This drives inbound marketing.

8) Identify goals. Are you looking to drive awareness of an issue? Is the purpose to educate customers, partners or regulators? This will help determine the right audience.

7) Discover what your audience wants to know. Determine the pain points of your target audience and address how to overcome these challenges in an educational way, without mentioning your product. This goes back to building your credibility as a resource.

6) Offer a unique perspective. There is a difference in your approach or offering from others in the field. Take what sets you apart and use it. This is your value proposition, and people want to hear it.

5) Champion a cause. Find a broader issue speaking to a hurdle your customers or partners face and take a stand to help fix it, even if your solution alone does not do the trick.

4) Knowledge surpasses catch phrases. People tend to purchase goods and services from those they believe understand their concerns and can address them. Become that expert, and educate others openly.

3) Be yourself. First instinct is sometimes to control every minor detail, which can make you appear over-rehearsed. Take a deep breath and relax. Readers or viewers prefer your authentic, approachable self. They want to experience getting to know you.

2) Share freely. Start a tweet chat and develop videos, articles or blog posts people can easily access, addressing a particular issue and offering a solution. This shows the transparency of your business.

1) Gift that keeps giving. Thought leadership requires new content, although there is no need to recreate the wheel. Done correctly, you can turn that whitepaper or case study into an article, blog post or infographic to create new avenues to reach your target market.

Heather Caouette is principal of Auburn integrated marketing communications firm RAE Communications. She can be reached at


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