What Is Thought Leadership in the Digital Environment?
The digital environment that most companies now operate in offers exciting possibilities but it can also seem somewhat intimidating too. This is especially true for companies such as law firms that are perhaps used to a more traditional way of working.
For this reason, phrases such as “thought leadership in the digital environment” can seem like daunting subjects to begin with. It is likely that there are a number of companies that are currently failing to progress simply because the people who should be driving them forward don’t feel comfortable with this concept.
The good news is that this isn’t a particularly complex subject once you get to grips with the basics of it. It certainly isn’t something to be afraid of, although you will want to take the time to ensure that you carry it out in a professional way that gives you a solid base for the future.
What Does It Mean?
We might as well start at the very beginning. Thought leadership is something that shows to the world that you are established, trustworthy experts in a particular subject or industry.
In theory, this means showing the public that you have a solid understanding of what matters and of the changing demands of the industry. In a digital sense, this can mean publishing interesting blog posts on current issues, producing podcasts and releasing other online material that is attractive as well as being of use to the public.
Of course, just about every industry forms part of a crowded market on the internet these days. This means that it is rare to find unique voices that genuinely stand out due to the quality of their content and how it is delivered.
Therefore, thought leadership in this modern setting needs an excellent combination of these two factors; a deep understanding of the subject matter and the ability to make that expertise shine through and really count for something.
How Can It Be Done?
The problem for many people who are genuinely subject matter experts is that they lack the understanding of how to use the digital environment to present their expertise in an appealing, easily digestible way.
If we look at the law firm industry again, it can be difficult for a lawyer to condense a complex subject into an appealing blog post that is of interest to the man in the street. Even those people who have a gift for explaining matters well may not have the time to combine their digital marketing efforts with their day job.
On the other hand, there are plenty of people who are highly proficient in internet marketing but who don’t have enough real-life experience of the subject matter to sound truly authoritative. Knowing how to attract readers is one thing, but if the content lacks quality then the company won’t be fulfilling its desire to be seen as a thought leader in their industry.
As we can see, leaning too far either way on this matter tends to produce uninspiring results. Either you get weighty, educational content that people don’t read or else you get lots of readers for content that doesn’t convey the true depths of knowledge that you want to get across.
Finding the Right Balance and Approach
Bearing in mind the previous points, it is clear that the best approach is to find the right balance. It is in this way that you can hope to convince a large number of people that your company is a leader in its industry.
To this end, it usually makes sense to choose a professional services branding agency that specialises in the industry you are in. This means that you get high quality content that is also delivered in such a way that gets it across to the largest possible audience.
Having done this, it is then possible to decide how hands-on or hands-off you want to be. Maybe there are certain subjects that you would like to cover or perhaps you have your own ideas about how to reach out to possible clients.
However you choose to approach this subject, the end result should be that you get a reputation for being thought leaders that always have something interesting and relevant to say. This means that your online reputation is likely to more closely reflect your actual ability and expertise than might otherwise have been the case.