Dec. 30, 2021

10 Resolutions for Building Thought Leadership in 2022

10 Resolutions for Building Thought Leadership in 2022

Resolutions are being made now for a brand new year. New goals are being set too. Thought leadership can be build systematically with a goal-based approach. Perhaps you are already on the path of building your leadership or perhaps you are just about begining. Wherever you are on your journey, this episode gives you actionable ideas to implement while building your thought leadership.

The 10 points shared in the episode will open up your mind towards different ways one can focus on building their thought leadership.

Hope you enjoy this episode as much as I enjoyed sharing it.

Here are some of the links referenced in the episode

1. Episode 16 on #TMTL podcast -

2. Episode 12 with Graham Brown -

15% discount code : TMTL15

4. Episode 17 with Karthik Nagendra -

00:00:00] Surbhi Dedhia: Hello, welcome to a brand new episode of the making of the Thought Leader podcast. The new year is just three days away from us. New hopes and new resolutions, are being made just now. So I wanted to chime in here and encourage you. To consider resolutions that will help you. On your thought leadership journey.

[00:00:25] Surbhi Dedhia: Resolutions that can help, you know, your audiences better. Resolutions that enable you to add value to others and in-turn grow yourself. But before we get into all of that, I wanted you to go ahead and give a pat on your back for yourself, for all the hard work that you've put in, in 2021 for your businesses, at your job, or of course building your thought leadership. So go on and pat yourself,

[00:00:58] Surbhi Dedhia: go on. Yes, [00:01:00] hooray to you. We know that thought leadership is here to stay. Here to stay for businesses as well as individuals too. Cutting through the digital noise has become increasingly difficult. So today to be heard.

[00:01:17] Surbhi Dedhia: To be followed. And to be trusted seems impossible. Doing what others are doing for their businesses and mirroring what they're seeing. On digital landscape is just not going to cut the mark anymore. Many businesses fall in this loop of quote unquote doing or going with the trend. And thereby falling into the

[00:01:42] no one: resource draining Whirlpool of lackluster

[00:01:44] Surbhi Dedhia: marketing.

[00:01:46] Surbhi Dedhia: Besides the digital cacaphony, we're also dealing with other blown up statistics. Like for example, this year 4.6 billion people who are active internet users. Which makes it [00:02:00] almost 60% of the human races on digital platforms searching, engaging, subscribing, et cetera.

[00:02:09] Surbhi Dedhia: Of all the people using internet. Most of them use it on their phone, which means they are mobile everywhere, anytime. This makes it important for these people to have information accessible in different formats that are mobile friendly. This also means that because of the sheer amount of information available, it becomes confusing for those searching and those waiting to be found. And this is where thought leadership strategy can help businesses shine out. Thought leadership development can help individuals and executives differentiate themselves in the crowded marketplace. The idea that thought leadership is for a select few is a passe. Through the past episodes on the making of the thought leader podcast, [00:03:00] we have been talking about why thought leadership is important for individuals as well as for organizations too.

[00:03:09] Surbhi Dedhia: Every professional must look at building network leadership on the digital platforms. In fact only our thought leadership was described as what people say about you when you are not in the room. And it has now shifted to thought leadership is defined as what people see you do online and engage with audiences online.

[00:03:34] Surbhi Dedhia: With enough evidence that thought leadership is here to stay. And that everyone must begin building their thought leadership, now let's talk about how you can build your thought leadership in the new year.

[00:03:45] Surbhi Dedhia: Not everyone's on the same point in their journey to build thought leadership. So not all resolutions that I'm going to share with you today.

[00:03:57] Surbhi Dedhia: so pick and choose. And here we [00:04:00] go. So resolution one is reflect upon your career journey. If you are just at a starting point. Or beginning your thought leadership journey. Then take some time to reflect upon your journey as a professional, as an entrepreneur. Or as an organization. This reflection time is to get clarity on what is it that you can build your expertise on.

[00:04:27] Surbhi Dedhia: Which are the areas where you can value add. Clearly defining your niche can allow you to filter out the noise. And focus on an area that comes naturally to you or your team and appeals to your audiences. Look around your circle of influence. There will be influencers or thought leaders who talk about a particular topic and are very focused on engaging audiences around them. Around those topics.

[00:04:58] Surbhi Dedhia: In fact narrow the [00:05:00] niche better than it is for you to develop. Develop your point of view. So, if you are just about getting started on building your thought leadership, Take the time to reflect on your past experience. To see which area comes so naturally to you, where is it that your colleagues come on, come and ask help to you and in an organization context, look at what makes you as an organization very different. A quick hint here is look at your team members, what kind of expertise are they bringing in, the kind of projects you've done as a business so far is a good starting point.

[00:05:40] Surbhi Dedhia: Resolution number two. Know what is your uniqueness quotient. No single human is exactly the same as other. We are all unique. But here, I'm talking about uniqueness that is predominantly [00:06:00] through our thinking capability.

[00:06:02] Surbhi Dedhia: how we think differentiates us by a far measure across situations. Understanding our uniqueness. quotient is essential to bring in the value add for our audiences. Through our experiences and exposure to different aspects. It is how our mind is able to absorb all of it, assimilate them and produce an analytical output, which is something very different for all individuals. In the professional setup our ability to offer solutions helps us get the preference and gets noticed. Similarly for developing thought leadership. Understanding where you can meet your audience with your unique perspectives can help you stand out.

[00:06:49] Surbhi Dedhia: Finding a U Q is not a single step solution. In fact, it takes a lot of time to figure it all out, but being aware of finding [00:07:00] out your U Q will allow you to be alert to know it through your interactions with your colleagues and clients. If you're at the starting point of your thought leadership journey. It may me a good idea to initiate conversations with your audiences based on your expertise. When you interact with your audience, you will have opportunities and feedback from them to know that unique angle in which your experience is helping them out.

[00:07:29] Surbhi Dedhia: If you've been engaging your audiences, for a while, you have an idea of your uniqueness, you know, what is the sweet spot, the value that youare adding to your community. And then you may still want to keep an ideal if your UQ is here to stay or you need to add more to it.

[00:07:48] Surbhi Dedhia: Resolution number three. Know your audience really, well. Knowing your audience is the starting point of building, your thought leadership. The [00:08:00] audiences whom you want to benefit from your unique perspectives, your experiences, the audience whom you want to engage in conversation. You need to know them and know them really, really well.

[00:08:14] Surbhi Dedhia: In episode 15 of the making of a thought leader podcast. I shared ideas on identifying, clarifying and magnifying your audience. So please go listen to that short episode, if you haven't yet had a chance to do so. One of the tools. And I often speak about building audiences and knowing your audiences better is theBuyer Persona.

[00:08:39] Surbhi Dedhia: It is also called as customer avataar. Your ideal client profile, et cetera. Buyer persona is basically a document which captures the demographics, the psychographics of your audiences. Demographics are basically. Eh aspects like their age, their location, their gender where they work, et [00:09:00] cetera. Psychographics capture more behavioral characteristics such as their favorite magazine. The association that they are part of, what are their hobbies? How did they spend their free time, et cetera?

[00:09:13] Surbhi Dedhia: While demographics are dull and boring. Knowing them is a route to get to your audience's psychographics, which in turn helped you in a big way to weave your content. If you have used most of your 2021 building your thought leadership. That's great!. You, and you think that, you know, your target audience, I invite you to download this free buyer persona template and fill it in. Keep the template in front of you for 2022 content planning. And maybe you've used other templates too. And that is absolutely fine, whatever works, but it is important here to re-look at that persona now. Time. And again, And add or modify the information as you go along. [00:10:00]

[00:10:00] Surbhi Dedhia: I personally review buyer persona for my businesses, at least once in six months as by then I have done few campaigns delivered few projects. Or I've interacted with many more. So those are the , new inputs that I get to add onto my buyer personas.

[00:10:19] Surbhi Dedhia: And if you're just starting on today is a great day to go on and download the template to fill in as much as you know about your target audience. Getting started on it is the first step. Also after you downloaded the template, go listen to episode 15. As I was mentioning on the making of thought leader podcast whereI share. How you can use this template to identify, clarify, and magnify. Your target audiences. To make it easy. I'm also going to share all these links that I've spoken about in the show notes below.

[00:10:57] Surbhi Dedhia: So now on to resolution number four. [00:11:00] Quality versus quantity. This resolution seems straightforward. Yet it is a tricky one.

[00:11:10] Surbhi Dedhia: When you begin to engage your audiences, it is important to offer value. And that's where qualitycomes to play. In fact, the 2021 LinkedIn Edelman impact of the thought leadership study showed. Then while thought leadership content is increasingly important to engage customers. 71% of decision makers think that less than half of all this content.

[00:11:38] Surbhi Dedhia: Thought leadership content they consume gives really gives them any valuable insights. So you'll see while there is so much of content out there. The valuable thought leadership like content. Is not enough.

[00:11:53] Surbhi Dedhia: So as a business, if you're investing in developing your thought leadership decision makers in your target [00:12:00] audience may not find it valuable enough. while striving for quality is important to go down few more clicks into that topic. So this helps audiences gain deeper insights and also helps you stand out. Now here comes the tricky part. Or what I call the point of balance. For building thought. Leadership. It is important to keep showing up for your audience.

[00:12:24] Surbhi Dedhia: Regularly and the different formats of content. How can business ensure that every post is of quality and giving deep insights? Well it is not possible. So instead what we should be looking at or how you navigate this Long form content pieces. That can be sliced and diced in different ways to appease the audience.

[00:12:48] Surbhi Dedhia: The original long form content is something that business must invest. Human resources into. In episode 12. Of this podcast. We had a guest Graham [00:13:00] Brown, who shared how storytelling can be one route of building thought leadership. Having a point of view, having an opinion is something that senior leaders and business owners must definitely spend a lot of time on.

[00:13:16] Surbhi Dedhia: To groom their own thought leadership. Now if you are an executive building, thought leadership in an organization, look at all. What is being said in your network, in your industry circles. Pick your niche reflect on where you can add value and identify your unique quotient, and then start sharing your thoughts with your audience. It can be very tempting. To reiterate some thoughts that have been already shared in the industry in your vertical.

[00:13:51] Surbhi Dedhia: Oh, and getting sucked into that Whirlpool. It is difficult, but if you're aware, you can definitely stay away from it. Instead, [00:14:00] here's what you got to do. Go deeper. In what has been said and voice out your opinion, because that is a way that you can also learn as well as have a unique perspective.

[00:14:13] Surbhi Dedhia: I remember seeing posts about working from home on my LinkedIn feed constantly during the first six months of COVID. Everyone was just talking about that. And before the widespread of pandemic, if you remember, everybody was talking about the digital transformation for businesses. So it definitely got very confusing to distinguish the great thought leadership post. What is a unique, different, clear piece of communication from a non-value based post?

[00:14:44] Surbhi Dedhia: Alright, now let's move to the next resolution, which is keeping up with the latest.

[00:14:52] Surbhi Dedhia: In the hyper accelerated world that we are living in. A lot of it is changing and it is changing fast. So it's very [00:15:00] hard though, for all of us to keep up with the changes and worst even stay focused. So to mitigate that, what I've done is to organize the information sources in a way that I can feed off them when I'm ready. Instead of them constantly notifying me. It is the way that I've organized them is too. Go to it, when I'm ready to consume more information. So let's say that I'm interested to know about what others are talking about thought leadership on social media. Outside of social media and also what businesses are thinking about it. So three areas right on the social media, outside of social media and what are the businesses are thinking about it?

[00:15:45] Surbhi Dedhia: Now there are a lot of free tools today that can help you with information mining. For social media, use something called as is a. Social media mentioned monitoring tool that tracks social media [00:16:00] conversations across the web,blogs and social networks. My favorite favorite oh, what for over 10 years have been using? This is Google alerts. I believe I'm one of the early users of Google alerts. You can type in any keyword that you want to be tracking and it will send you a digest of where all on what all top on what all websites. On articles. your keyword is mentioned on the internet.

[00:16:28] Surbhi Dedhia: Isn't it. Cool. Because then, you know, what is the general trend? What are the people talking about and gives you like the digest? To consume. And, and you know, going to figure out what, where is it that you want to share your unique perspective? I have a bunch of tools that I use for myself and clients. And perhaps a separate episode is on that as really due.

[00:16:50] Surbhi Dedhia: And I'll keep that for the new year. The other tools that I have used are Sum all and keyhole. These two, also provide analytics and [00:17:00] insights into what is popular. Now leveraging want some other smart tools can help you identify the gaps and navigate through the clutter to establish your niche and point of view.

[00:17:13] Surbhi Dedhia: Social media platforms have become super smart with their algorithms. And so if you follow like, and comment on someone someone you're feed will start showing you their content often. In fact, I heard that you feel participating in polls on LinkedIn. The waythe algorithm is set is that immediately 30% of your feed will be just polls. So you can think about it then how it, except to me, like if you're participating in more polls, all that you will see in your feed is only polls. And now you know that if you don't want to have a collective feed of just polls. You may want to stay away from polls for a bit.

[00:17:57] Surbhi Dedhia: Okay. What you can do is be [00:18:00] disciplined on social media. As I was sharing about algorithms and how smart social media platforms have turned out to be being disciplined about who you follow can be a feedback to the platform of what you want to hear. Also following hashtags is an effective way to listen into the relevant conversations.

[00:18:20] Surbhi Dedhia: Notifications. Turning the relevant ones on and turning the rest off allows me to stay completely focused on my tasks. This strategy has allowed me to get more done and not get distracted with irrelevant news or something, which is not important. I can't stress this enough, turning off the notifications. I'm sure you guys do that as well, but just wanted to put in there too. How I organize listening.

[00:18:45] Surbhi Dedhia: To what is being said. Okay. Resolution number six. Update your digital profile. Here's something I'd like you to do Google your full name and see [00:19:00] what shows up. Are you happy with the correct information showing up. I am satisfied that information that shows up is that equate. And if so, that's great. That in fact is awesome. And it also means that you have spent time updating your digital file.

[00:19:16] Surbhi Dedhia: If you're on the side, that your profile shows up and there's not much info about you there, then this is a good time to promise yourself. Then the first thing that you're doing the new year is to get your profile updated. Be it on your website or LinkedIn. In fact LinkedIn results show up on the page one of Google search..

[00:19:37] Surbhi Dedhia: So it is very important to get your profile updated on LinkedIn. If you're in, in business or your professional. Starting my career in brand communication. A big part of my role was to get all of our employees bio's updated. We are talking about almost one 50 employees. And back then we had a template that we followed as [00:20:00] not all employees were customer facing and also not everything was digital.

[00:20:05] Surbhi Dedhia: So today, the scenario is very different. When pandemic hit. A lot of us were looking at pivoting and make, or being made redundant. So looking for jobs, updating our profile on LinkedIn. Became very important at that point in time. In fact that was a point when I launched my other business, which is called Jo My Bio dot com in March of 2020. To assist my clients and their associates to put their best foot forward and showcase. They're experience on digital landscape. Jot My Bio is a done for you by writing service, which positions. Your experience and your achievements in the best possible way. If you or your team needs a professional bio written up, please do connect with me.

[00:20:54] Surbhi Dedhia: Or visit jot my I'm happy to share the skull. With you in the show [00:21:00] notes to get the new year off. Make sure to check it out.

[00:21:06] Surbhi Dedhia: As an organization building thought leadership. Empowering your team members to update your team. Update the person by. It is an important one. Another important aspect, which companies often overlook is the about section on their website. Who is on your team and the story of how they're achieving their vision can become a powerful narrative while building thought leadership. So remember to update your personal profiles and about section on the website regularly, or at least. After an interval of one year or so.

[00:21:45] Surbhi Dedhia: Before we go on to resolution seven, let's just recap all the resolutions so far, the first one was reflect upon your career journeys. Seek clarity. If you're starting off, it's very important to understand where from [00:22:00] your bountiful of experience. Are you going to pick that one area that you can value add in.

[00:22:05] Surbhi Dedhia: And again, identifying the unique quotient. What is the uniqueness about you? That attracts a lot more people to you. Know your audience really? When. Quality always choose quality versus quantity. Well, a few clicks down, deeper into thought leadership.

[00:22:28] Surbhi Dedhia: Number five was keeping up with the latest what's happening using smart tools. To get insights into what's happening into the industry topic or subject matter. And be updated on the latest. And resolution six was when did you update your profile last? So going on. We will go to resolution number seven.

[00:22:53] Surbhi Dedhia: Which is to commit to communicate, commit to engage with your industry. In the new [00:23:00] year, let's commit to the community that you aren't building by showing up regularly commenting, engaging and encouraging your followers to participate in the digital dialogue. Like other personal resolutions for the new year. This might mean the one which was slip off after the initial ramp up.

[00:23:20] Surbhi Dedhia: But if thought through very clearly and approachedin an organized way, you will be able to participate or achieve this fully. An efficient way to do this without fail is to know who are the top 10 people in your circle that you want to follow? Carve out 15, 20 minutes out of your day to like comment or share their post. And also sign up for specific groups. On Twitter it's the Twitter lists and add your thoughts to those discussion on them. Because the social media landscape is so vast. It can get very overwhelming to be omnipresent all the time. So dedicating [00:24:00] specific time slots for a specific channel has helped me be more focused.

[00:24:05] Surbhi Dedhia: Contribute to your community. In speed of developing thought leadership businesses and individuals often fall for superficial content. Content that is already available, or that can be easily mirrored. Do not do that. Give your thoughts, content to your community in order to support them. Besides the content part. I often recommend businesses to bring together the community through events online or offline and offer. Platform to a community that comes together. I have seen the benefit of this firsthand in my corporate career. It surely is a win-win.

[00:24:46] Surbhi Dedhia: Number nine. Listening. Building thought leadership is a two way street.

[00:24:52] Surbhi Dedhia: It's not those who are building leadership should communicate only. They must also listen to what the followers are sharing. [00:25:00] One way of achieving active listening is asking the right questions. Another also is to do research. In the last episode. Which is episode 16 of the making of a thought leader podcast.

[00:25:17] Surbhi Dedhia: shared examples of how running the solving. But the audience allow his client. To educate them better on difference between organic and a fully natural product. Check that episode out. And I put the link in the show notes below.

[00:25:35] Surbhi Dedhia: Last resolution number 10. Collaborate. In the new year, look at different individuals and businesses. Or associations that you can collaborate with. To build thought leadership. I heard somewhere, a great conversation can help add new perspectives to your own thoughts. So if you've been working on building your thought leadership through [00:26:00] the years, collaborating with others, from your industry, from even another industry, or from academia, can enhance your point of view. Plus you can even engage with their audience and likewise, your audience also get additional insights. Collaboration definitely is a new way to create larger communities and grow thought leadership.

[00:26:22] Surbhi Dedhia: So now that you have all the 10 resolutions to choose from what you are you going to choose? Or which few are you going to work upon? Resolutions are infamous for not being followed through long enough forget the whole year.

[00:26:41] Surbhi Dedhia: I have found and goal-based approach is an effective way to achieve resolutions. In 2021, for example, I wanted to prioritize health. So I set quarterly goals and broke it down. to month. goals. And then week goals. I did fall off the wagon quite a [00:27:00] few times. Believe me. But having goals written down helped me to get back on in much faster than I expected.

[00:27:08] Surbhi Dedhia: And I'm really happy to save that. This year I participated in a good Guiness World Run run and we did make a record of highest number of people running a 10 kilometer. Track. And also I participated in a three month progressive challenge to. run. It is difficult, but if it is written somewhere You can always go back to it and it gives you like a starting point to restart.

[00:27:32] Surbhi Dedhia: So, if you think any of the resolutions resonated with you today, Take it down, write it down somewhere and add a goal around it and set a timeline to achieve the goal. And the goal is small or like, for example, I will eat before seven o'clock every day for the month of January. And that's a small goal it's timeline-based it's a fixed one. You can easily achieve it.

[00:27:59] Surbhi Dedhia: [00:28:00] So you go for it. First. But if your goal needs to be worked on for a period of time, like mine was over a period of a year. Then break it down, even for the go quarterly. Go weekly. And possibly daily.

[00:28:14] Surbhi Dedhia: The most important aspect is to write it down and stick it on your workspace or wherever you have, you can see it longer. So it remains in your vision. So this year, I decided to do is to actually put some of the goals in the car and exiled. I realize a lot of times I'm driving and that is a time when I have. You know, focused attention I'm going to put some post-it notes on the dashboard as well.

[00:28:43] Surbhi Dedhia: All right. This brings us to the end of this episode. And, and of the last episode for 2021 on the making of the thought leader. Podcast. Thank you so much for tuning in, and I wish you every success in the new year. Happy new year. [00:29:00] And stay safe. See you in the next year.