Being a thought leader in the SaaS space—someone who’s not only an expert in their field but also has both the notoriety and ideas to shape the future of that field—is a benefit to anyone working to grow their brand. It’s good personally. And it’s great for business.
The great thing about people who work in the SaaS space is that they tend to be, by nature, pretty visionary. They see what the rest of us don’t. They see the threads between things and can trace those patterns out back and forward through history.
That’s part of the fun of working with these types of businesses to develop and build out their marketing… we learn as much from them as they do from us.
But, having great ideas does not a thought leader automatically make. There’s a lot of groundwork that needs laid before you can make that jump.
Here are some ideas for beginning to market yourself as a thought leader in the SaaS space:
Figure Out Who You’re Speaking to
You need to know your audience. Specifically, you need to know your ideal listener. We call this your Buyer Persona.
Thought leadership is a game of niches. Gone are the days of the Renaissance authorities—those guys and gals who knew a lot about a lot of stuff. Oddly, now that information is so widely available, “expertise” in general has become far more siloed.
So finding your Buyer Persona is a great way to begin to find and begin developing that niche.
Blog a lot
Thought leaders have ideas. And they communicate them. Best way to start doing that? Blogging.
And doing it a lot.
We find that it’s a good idea to get about 30 written, get them up and promoted on social, and then start putting out a new one at least once a week.
Make a Video About What You Know
Take a blog topic and make a video of you discussing it.
Content begets content begets content.
And video is only getting more popular.
Find a Relevant Podcast to Guest Star in
Podcasts are everywhere these days. The streets are littered with them.
Find one that sits nicely inside your niche, and reach out to the host. Most podcasters would love having their content to come from somewhere that isn’t them. Plus, it gives them a break trying to come up with something new for that week.
Find Relevant Media Opportunities
A good way to set yourself up as an authority on a subject is to get journalists to look to you for your expert opinion. A good way to do this is to sign up for a free account at HelpAReporterOut. com (HARO.) Put in your credentials, and then check your email. If a reporter is doing a story on your niche area, there’s a good chance they’ll reach out to you for a quotation.
Find Your Audience on Social… and Engage
Find some Facebook groups organized around your niche, and then engage. Start conversations, answer questions, propose ideas… just be nice and helpful. People like nice and helpful.
Networking is key. For example:
Network with Existing Thought Leaders
Who’s the thought leader in your industry? Reach out to them and start a conversation. I’ve found that most experts tend to be perfectly willing to share what they know. Just make sure that the relationship, as it develops, is a two-way street. Be helpful.
Nobody likes a lamprey.
No. Bod. Y.
(Even lampreys hate lampreys. You know what the scientific name for the lamprey genus is? Douchous Hugus. Not kidding. Look it up.)
(Actually, don’t. That’s not true.)
(But it might as well be.)
Write a Book (or Have One Ghostwritten)
This is a huge one. Tell someone you’ve written a book, and they automatically take you more seriously.
Writing a book takes a while. The good news is that there are a lot of great ghostwriters out there who are experts at helping you get your book organized, written, and edited.
Speak at Conferences
Find a conference that’s related to your niche. Go to it. Network.
Then figure out who’s organizing the conference and offer your services for next time (or another conference they might be putting together.) Presenting in front of a group of people who are interested in what you’re discussing can go a long way in establishing yourself.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
It seems like a lot of people become thought leaders overnight. But that’s just not true. The thought leaders you look to today have been doing everything listed here for years, at least.
They got there. And so can you.