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shutterstock_154276715.jpgYour business might be running in the black, but that doesn't necessarily mean that your business is successful. 

How can that be? If you're meeting your financial goals, but you're not taking steps to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry, you're not working toward something even more valuable than cash: influence. 

The Power of Influence

You probably know that influence can be key in progressing in your career. It's difficult to advance without understanding the role that influence plays in the business world

This same principle applies to your business. How do you think your business ranks? When industry insiders, as well as potential customers, think about leaders in the industry, is your business at the top of their list? If the answer is no, you've got some work to do.

It's time to build your credibility and prove that your business is qualified to lead the way. How do you do it? Creating content that not only connects with your target audience but also positions you and your company as THE industry authority that offers go-to solutions is the key. Becoming a thought leader is the most efficient path to gaining influence.  

Creating Thought-Leadership Content 

One way to begin to become an influential thought leader in your industry is to create thought-leadership content. Essentially, this is informative content that answers the pain points of your target audience with thought and precision. It dives deep into the subject matter and it is available in your audience's preferred format. 

If you've been focused on creating unusual and unique content rather than content that offers the best answer to your audience's problems, you're looking at content marketing all wrong. Most customers aren't interested in a new experience, but an expedient (and helpful) answer to their question. 

That's where you come in. How do you differentiate yourself from all of the other organizations publishing on the internet? First of all, find out what questions your customers are asking. Create a list of their issues and target one that you're confident you can address with authority. Then, launch a campaign across the platforms on which your audience would be most active in a variety of formats. 

And while it's important to think outside the box, never underestimate the power of the blog. Active blogs that are frequently updated get a lot more traffic, and increase conversions, to boot. 

That brings us to another important point about creating thought-leadership content: while it can enhance your brand, you cannot write with the intent of selling. Your motivation must be to inform, not to sell.

Customers consume a tremendous amount of content on a wide variety of platforms every day and they can smell desperation a mile away. When they feel that you're too eager for them to buy from you, it's a deterrent. However, if they're left with the impression that you are offering information purely to educate your audience, it will enhance their relationship with you and increase their respect for you and your company.  

Benefits of Gaining Influence 

There are several advantages to cultivating your level of influence within your industry. For one, you're not only supporting and assisting your audience, you're offering them valuable content that enables them to further their own business.

This will elevate the esteem in which they hold your business, and when the time comes for them to make a purchase, you'll be their first stop. In other words? Increased influence has a beneficial impact on your cash flow. More influence = more money. 

Increased influence also leads to increased opportunities for you and your business. Have you always wanted to speak at an important conference in your industry? Become a thought leader, and you'll be at the top of their list of dream speakers.

Wish you could get an article published in a leading publication? Bump your influence, and they'll gladly take what you've got to offer. An influencer comes with a built-in audience, which means that organizers will be delighted to include you in their event or publish your words in their pages. 

Here's the bottom line. If you focus solely on bringing in more money, what's going to happen when the money's gone? If you choose to focus on building your reputation— and thus your influence— you'll be building a means of ongoing and consistent new revenue. 

How do you build your industry influence? We'd love to help you create a plan. Get in touch for a free marketing strategy session today. 

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