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Often, when excited about an idea, many people jump into a tactic to get the word out before actually investing in time to strategize.
Let’s face it: it’s sexier to create a video, or redesign a website, or get an article published in a major magazine. It’s the ‘cool’ stuff, but if not done as part of a larger strategy, it often ends in lackluster results, wasting time and money.
What’s needed is… strategic thought leadership first. Then, you can easily pick the best tactics to get the message out.
To start, ask yourself these questions:
- What are the topics important to us? Often you can find answers when you take a look at your mission and vision. What challenges are you trying to solve?
- What’s our unique perspective on this? Audiences do not want to hear the same thing over and over again. Especially in the age when everyone has and shares an opinion, it’s important to find something different to say. It allows you to position you or your organization and rise above the noise. It’s what differentiates you from other voices. And it’s what your audience will remember.
- Who wants to know this? Determine who are the people who would be interested in helping solve the problem. (Unfortunately no matter how important the matter is to you and others, it won’t be everyone.) Identify who these people are and make a profile/avatar of the typical member of this audience (more on this in a later post). Once you know the audience’s characteristics, it will be easier to determine where and how to reach these people for the best engagement. It will allow you to develop supporting stories that will gain interest.
Finally, when crafting any thought leadership strategy, it’s not enough to just share your opinion. You also need to determine what action you want your audience to take now that they know your position. Thought leadership is more than getting the ideas you want out there, it’s about having others embrace those ideas and work towards the mission alongside you.
Stay tuned for some profiles of some of T4CI’s inspirational thought leaders in the upcoming weeks.
I was working for another organization and decided to become independent and start UAC. I had funding lined up and in order to keep the work going without delays, and to make the funders feel confident in continuing to fund us, I needed a fiscal sponsor. A brand new organization might have been seen as somewhat risky to funders. A colleague recommended TCI - they had a great track record and similar projects working under them.