I often meet business women new to running their own business, that have an extensive level of knowledge and experience in their profession. Going it alone is scary, exciting and a million other feelings. So why can it be good to become a thought leader in your industry?
And what’s the point? (Don’t you have enough to do without adding another thing to the bucket of jobs?)
If I tell you that this year to date the following things have happened that I feel are as a direct result of me becoming known as a thought leader for women in business;
Appearing on BBC Radio Essex with the lovely Dave Monk speaking about how to achieve goals and stay motivated.
In Woman’s Own, a UK national magazine as a inspirational woman and one of their women of 2015.
Gained many new contracts including working with Colchester Business Enterprise Agency (again into 2016!) and Anglia Ruskin University with EU Funding to support Essex Business Owners to greater success (again into 2016!)
Invited to comment on the glass ceiling effect and the difference in pay for women and men in the national press.
Speaking engagements at Colchester Voluntary Services National AGM and Banking on Business Event and Chelmsford County Council Big Business Expo this November.
Requests to write for online publications dedicated to successful marketing strategy and business women’s success.
And of course sales of my Online 6 Week Course For Busy Business Women and my Book Your Daily Dose of Business Woman’s Confidence And Success, (I think that is probably thanks to the business women that have successfully completed them, shouting about the book and course everywhere they go including on line, so thank you ladies!)
These things not only help me grow my business and my success, they create genuine interest in my business and dramatically raise my profile. And that is good for business, so know you know what it can do, how do you make it happen?
- What do you want to get known for? It is no accident that I often say “If it is good for business women, then I want to know about it.” Now let’s look at that for a moment. By sharing other businesses great solutions, ideas and products does it directly assist my success in any way? Of courser not, however my ethos is very much about enjoying the company of competitors. Often this means that I get to work with them on bigger projects, to share ideas and support each other. But we are still at the point where this doesn’t help my business, however it does showcase I mean what I say. “If its good for business women, then I want to now about it.” So what would be the one easy to remember sentence you would say to people that helps them easily remember what you are the expert in? A word of caution here, there are many things you are great at, the important point here is to get known for one of them. If you say too many things, then your message gets diluted and risks not being remembered.
- Get out there, get visual. Seriously visual. So it’s great that you have written a blog aritcle. Please tell me you have written a blog article! And great that you have shared that great content at various times of the day on different social media platforms to enable you to work out who you are successfully engaging with. (that is a top tip for your online marketing thrown in there!) But that still is not enough…
- Network. And that is not just at networking events, so many opportunities present themselves when we are least expecting it. So really understanding what you wish to be known as the thought leader for is important. Being clear and concise and keeping it simple means your expert status can be repeated by others easily. And that is important to remember that it needs to be easy to remember. When networking share useful, relevant and interesting information that showcases you as the expert. Before an event think about what those snippets and top tips could be, so that you can easily share. Being useful and relevant will be nothing unless….
- You are nice. Let’s think about this we like our experts to be self effacing, natural, friendly and forth coming with great ideas without being sneakily sold at. So be nice. Be considerate, appreciate that although this comes easily to you, it doesn’t to others and a smug, know all is not a thought leader.
- Be prepared to rock the boat a bit. Let’s be honest the above top tip is not so obvious, but and its not the easiest to accept that you need to be a people person to be a thought leader is liked, respected and invited back. But that’s the point is it not? That as a thought leader you are prepared to say the things that need saying, that many shy away from staying. But always be nice even with the tough messages.
- Make yourself useful to the local press (as well as the national press) sometimes I help the media with other stories or programmes. Again helping a production company get someone to take part in their programme does not necessarily help me directly, however it does reinforce my message that “If it is good for business women then I want to know about it.” On that note here is the most recent TV opportunity, if it sounds good then get in touch with me on 07989 935556 and I will connect you with the production company;
Shop Well For Less?’ is a brand new prime-time BBC1 series and we are looking for families who would like to save money on their monthly spend. From the makers of BBC1 hit series ‘Eat Well For Less?’, ‘Shop Well…’ is a consumer show that teaches us how to spend without the splurge, whilst maintaining the lifestyle we all want, and will be concerned with everything from fashion to health, home, leisure and travel. During the course of each episode we monitor a family’s spending habits and then with the help of industry experts, we will show them how to make savings to invest in something they desperately want – whether that’s a holiday, a car or that one off designer piece. The show isn’t preachy or patronising, but instead a really fun way to re-educate viewers on a subject which, let’s face it, resonates with us all!
Take every opportunity to get infront of an audience. As scary as that can be and I speak from experience here, I joke often that I would rather my spleen rupture than have to stand up in front of an audience, I used to be that scared! If that is you too help yourself to my Public Speaking Report here;
Remember that when in front of an audience there is no need to use jargon. It is a sure fire way to alienate your audience. And ensure that instead of getting known as a thought leader and expert you risk becoming known as a big head. And that is not going to do anything for your desired thought leader reputation. Another risk to be aware of is not to talk endlessly about your products and services. A true thought leader knows that by sharing and caring and helping others that people will naturally be drawn to wanting to understand how you could help them. Of course mention at the end of a key note that if your audience would like to extend their knowledge of what you do then these are the ways you do. Constantly referring to your book or course throughout a speech will not satisfy your audience.
Lastly know what you want getting known as the thought leader to do for you. Do you want it to bring speaking engagements? Would you like to be working with the media? Obviously you want it to bring more sales, lleads and opportunities. However clearly defining what results you want from becoming a thought leader in your industry is critically important.
And lastly protect your reputation. There are lots of people out there that do what you do, however have they created a reputation and established themselves as a thought leader? This could be a great opportunity for you, your business and your success. So let me know how you get on.