Becoming a Thought Leader

With so many businesses vying for a piece of the pie, how can you make sure that your company stands out above the rest? While there are countless avenues to pursue in this endeavor, one method that is sometimes overlooked is providing thought leadership. Thought leadership is at the center of every business, naturally, why else would you be doing what you are doing if you aren’t an expert? The key is learning how to appropriately tout this expertise? We suggest using case studies and white papers.

In the past, we’ve talked about how to leverage white papers once they are written, but I’d like to revisit that discussion here with some reasons for why you should write a white paper, or case study, in the first place.

1) A scholarly approach. Case studies and white papers allow you to take a unique approach to your company’s services that other marketing materials do not. Because they are free from the typical “marketing language,” case studies and white papers are considered much less biased and therefore more credible when explaining a company’s products, services and solutions.

 2) From the horse’s mouth. Case studies, in particular, tout your customer’s successes as result of your product or services. Even though you are the one writing the case study, your customer’s success is what sells your company. Like a reference, a case study can work as a permanent referral that lives on your website and on the Internet for people to find.

3) The squeaky wheel gets the grease. If you aren’t talking about your company’s solutions, who is going to? It’s important to create discussion around your solutions in order to get the word out to others who may be looking for something you offer. News releases are great ways to do this, but often do not give you the opportunity to show your full expertise. This is where a white paper or case study can come in handy.

4) Thought leadership = Expertise = Trust. If you can craft your white papers and case studies to show your expertise, you will also gain the trust of prospects who may be evaluating your services.

There are a multitude of advantages that stem from using white papers and case studies, and above are only a few of the benefits you can reap from putting one together. Take a moment to sit down and think about your company’s expertise and jot down a few ideas for a white paper. Then think about a few customers you could call on to participate in a case study. Getting started is the hardest part, but once you begin the process you are well on your way to becoming an industry thought leader.

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