February 1, 2023

Brad Marolf

Business & Finance Wonders

Here’s Why Thought Leadership Is The Boost Your Business Needs

CEO of Agency Management Institute, serving 250+ marketing agencies to help their owners build profitable agencies that evolve and scale.

It takes time and effort to become an established marketing agency. Through dedication and high-quality work, you can earn a roster of high-profile clients and the privilege of being sought after by right-fit clients. And although it can be tempting to keep your nose to the grindstone and stay focused on churning out more good work, it’s also crucial to carve out time to develop your agency’s thought leadership strategy.

The truth is that every single one of you reading this has a depth of expertise and knowledge that your audience—whomever your prospects are—either doesn’t know or needs to be reminded about. You are so close to your subject matter expertise that you might assume, “What do I know? This is obvious; everyone knows this stuff.” But that’s just not true. It’s easy to forget that you also have knowledge, context and personal experience to share.

By establishing your thought leadership, you’re not only helping to educate your customers on important topics, but you’re also positioning yourself as an expert in your industry. That rapport and top-of-mind position will help you maintain a steady flow of new business over time. And it’s why failing to position yourself as a thought leader can be detrimental: If your competitors are constantly putting out fresh, helpful content, prospective customers might think of them first instead of you.

You’ll be relieved to hear that thought leadership doesn’t have to be intimidating. You can start small and scale up over time. The most critical step is to start—right now. Here are a few tips to kick off your thought leadership strategy:

Pick your account executives’ brains.

Your account execs are client-facing, so they’re the perfect people to help inform your content strategy. What questions do they hear from clients most frequently? What resources do they typically share with clients? Use these answers to inform your content. You can also conduct additional industry research as you see fit.

Do some soul-searching.

Where do your passions align with the topics you identified in step one? It’s easy to tell when an author is passionate and knowledgeable about their subject matter. Authentic enthusiasm and passion are infectious. So, pick topics that excite you (or the writer, if it’s not you), and readers will be more likely to keep reading.

Develop a simple editorial calendar.

Map out a simple editorial calendar. If you can only write one or two articles a month, that’s fine, but commit to that schedule. Even if it’s just in an Excel grid, bucket out publish dates, the channels you’ll share content on (i.e., blog and social media pages), working titles, who’s responsible, etc. Then, coordinate with your marketing or communications team to ensure that someone is accountable for follow-ups and execution.

Thought leadership is a straightforward strategy with a significant return on investment. By following the steps listed above, you will be well on your way to establishing your agency’s expertise in your industry, retaining clients and inviting even more new clients through your doors.


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