If your nonprofit wants to broaden awareness of your work, the secret sauce is to become a “thought leader” in your industry.
By priming your field experts and executive leaders as champions of your cause, thought leadership is an effective way for your organization to build support for your ideas and programs and influence the communities you need to reach — including decision makers, policy makers, and the media, as well as donors and supporters.
Here’s four rules to becoming a thought leader in your field:
Rule 1) Start with your big idea or revealing insights.
Is there a problem your agency is solving in the community? Ask yourself what original, innovative and valuable perspectives your organization brings to the table and sets you apart from other agencies.
Rule 2) Tell a great story.
Concentrate on telling one focused and clear story and communicate it using new and traditional media that your audience relies on.
Tell the story of your expertise – how your programs impact the lives of people in your community and offer FREE tips and resources.
Rule 3) Become a resource.
People don’t like to be sold things, for the most part — even when what you’re selling is a noble cause.
That said, they do buy into solutions, expertise and problem solving.
Share your insights. Spread your idea. Offer guidance and people will follow.
Rule 4) Inspire action.
Give people options on how they can actively support you.
Thought leadership doesn’t end at simply positioning yourself as an expert or educating people about what you do.
Inspire them to get involved as well.
The Takeaway: thought leadership is a commitment — it’s not a campaign.
It’s about sharing your expertise through blogging, conversing with constituents, and educating the community in an ongoing manner. By harnessing the power of your collective insights, your thought leadership can inspire and move your supporters to action.