Thought Leadership Marketing

How to Become Top of Mind as a Thought Leader

Our Thought Leadership Development Process follows five key steps. This post will explore step 5: How to Stay Top of Mind as a Thought Leader . 

Step 5 Objective: Consistently stay active in the ongoing topics your customers are talking about so you can become and maintain top of mind for your targeted topics. 

Overview:

Your initial round of thought leadership assets you created serves as a foundation to build up your awareness and trust. Now, to reach the next level where your words have true influence, you need to consistently show up for the right topic at the right time, over and over again. 

The more you show up, the more familiar and trustworthy you become and the more likely customers are to engage with you. That’s what this step is all about.

Best Practices
  • Consistently show up and contribute your perspective and views on the major conversations that unfold in your industry.
  • Provide interesting takes on current events that help your customers navigate events happening in real-time.
  • You are never done and must always work to continue to lead and contribute.
  • Adopt the mindset that you are a guide responsible for the future success of your customers.
  • Never stop learning and growing.
  • Set up Google alerts for select keywords to stay up to date on the most relevant things happening in your space. 
  • Regularly speak with customers to understand the conversations they are most interested in/concerned about. 
  • Take an offensive position and don’t let your competitors help your customers. 

5 Ways to Become (and Stay) Top of Mind

#1: Contribute interesting and unique comments to events happening in your industry.

Create content that helps customers make sense of relevant news, changes, and trends taking place in your industry.

Example: With our cybersecurity client RiskIQ, whenever a major breach occurred, they were there to provide their insights and research to help journalists write their stories. 

#2: Host a podcast where you interview others in your space. 

Host your own podcast where you interview other existing thought leaders and other industry experts to discuss the topic in depth.

Example: With our client WordProof, we launched a podcast focused on the problem of fake news. To date, their CEO who hosts the podcast has interviewed the leading researchers on the problem of fake news and top editors from outlets including Politico, LA Times, and Venture Beat. 

#3: Publish open letters to provide interesting commentary and to advocate for change.

Release an open letter calling for change and taking a stand of some kind for something you believe in.

Example: Back when we had a bitcoin startup in 2014, FINRA released a notice warning investors to essentially avoid Bitcoin. We thought that despite being well intention, the message was wrong. So, we wrote, published, then distributed an open-letter to FINRA which Business Insider and several other outlets included in their stories.

#4: Take the lead on establishing a niche industry association.

Launch your own industry association that brings together others in your industry and creates a place for a community to be developed.

#5: Build and launch your own niche media site. 

Launch your own niche media site that takes a journalistic approach to creating interesting content for your target audience.

Why Staying Top of Mind Matters

Many founders make the mistake of thinking that being featured in one big media story is enough to transform their business.

While that’s a nice fantasy to have, that’s not the reality that most founders experience. Instead, it’s along process with many steps involved. That’s why being top of mind is important. It makes your more familiar which inherently builds trust.

The more familiar you become, the more trust you build with your target audience.

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