Thought leadership in an industry is important to generate inbound leads and have clients come to you. Sales is thought of traditionally as a result of cold-calling or cold-emailing — purely from hard work in developing relationships and pushing for the sale. But the smart marketer or salesperson understands that sales conversions greatly increase when the client is reaching out to you, instead of vice-versa.
A blog of course is a good starting point, but there are so many blogs out on the web now that your voice can easily get lost in all of the noise. Guest posting can be difficult because authors are constantly pitched a guest article that they tend to ignore most requests.
Thought leadership is going to take hard work, dedication, and an understanding of how to best use your time and energy.
1. The effective way to blog for your own site
Stick to the following format and schedule:
- 2 blog posts a week posted on Monday and Thursday
- 1,500 word, detailed and specific articles
To achieve this goal, you’re going to need a virtual assistant and to block out 2 15-minute time slots per week.
Twice a week, record yourself talk about a specific topic in your industry. If you’re a real estate agent, then talk about how interest rates are currently affecting mortgage rates. If you’re an accountant, then talk about the most common opportunities that entrepreneurs miss as a write off.
I’ve found it easiest to record this as a conversation over Skype with a team member. That way, the team member can ask questions during your call that will prompt even more good content. Use ecamm to record a Skype call.
Have your VA transcribe the call and send it to your trusted writer that can write in your voice. I’ve found writers in Elance and Indeed.
Once the post is finished, the VA can schedule it for your blog.
2. The low hanging fruit
It’s important to go to where your target market hangs out. I’ve tested participating in FB, LinkedIn, and Squidoo communities, but the most effective so far has been Quora. Quora is a popular Q&A site that ranks very well on search engines.
To to do well in Quora, do the following:
- Find 5 topics for your VA to follow that are relevant to your industry
- If you’re in the health and fitness industry, then follow the Fitness topic on Quora
You can easily answer 5 questions per week using this method.
3. Guest blogging
Top blogs will only accept content from reputable sources, so it’s important that you establish #1 from above so that a guest author can read your content. Once you have a credible base, it’s time to find relevant blogs to guest blog for.
The easiest place to start is to search for the top blogs in your industry. A simple Google search for “top X blogs” will result in lots of results for blogs. Have your VA go through these blogs and document which accept guest posts and what are their rules and conditions. Once you know which blogs accept guest posts, have your VA go through your FB and LinkedIn to see if you’re connected to any of these blogs — an introduction is a lot better than a cold email.
Make a priority out of the blogs that you can get an introduction to.
If you can’t get an introduction to a blog, then your best bet is to build a relationship through Twitter and guest commenting for the author. If you have good feedback on Twitter and through commenting on their content, then there is a good chance you can build a relationship and get a guest post submitted.
Jun Loayza is the President of Lion Step Media. In his entrepreneurial experience, Jun has sold 2 internet companies and lead social media technology campaigns for Sephora, Whole Foods Market, Levi’s, LG, and Activision.