Key Takeaway: In his presentation, "Thought Leadership and SEO: The 3 Key Elements and Search Ranking Strategies", Andy Crestodina dives into what it means to be a thought leader, everyone wants to do it, but no one really knows what it is and how it affects search rankings. To be considered a thought leader you must take a stand, have a personal brand and create original research, new ideas, books.
What is Thought Leadership?
There are 3 key aspects of thought leadership: Expert Insights, Taking a Stand, and Personal Brand following Aristotle's 3 modes of persuasion: ethos, logos, pathos.
In order to be considered an expert you should create:
- Original research
- New/novel ideas that are opinion forming
💡 Pro Tip: Don’t reinvent the wheel, track your lifetime body of work in a spreadsheet, identify what you know and what you’ve written and fill the gaps.
The point of any content is to give people something to talk about, don’t be afraid to get controversial. For example when Jason Fried, CEO of Basecamp called out Google Ads on Twitter.
When taking a stand, ask yourself:
- What do you believe most disagree with?
- What do you think will happen in the future that most people will think is unlikely?
- What questions are people in your industry afraid to answer?
Thought leaders have personal brands, you don’t need a large following to build authority, but your followers should be engaged. How are you leveraging your platform of choice?
Tips on becoming a thought leader
Andy offers 15 final tips to be a more visible expert:
- Polish your LI profile
- Google yourself
- Publish deeper, more comprehensive articles
- Conduct a study
- Share more
- Leverage social videos
- Network & collaborate with other experts
- Offer to speak at classes
- Start a mastermind group
- Go to events/host a breakfast
- Start a meetup
- Write for many sites
- Write everyday
- Track your Lifetime Body of Work
All in all, content marketing is a test of generosity, those willing to give it away always win.
“Learn something useful, then teach it to everyone.”