What is it and does it work?
‘Thought Leadership’ is when you are considered to be knowledgeable about your subject to the extent that you are able to articulate the latest advances in your chosen area of expertise and to, at least some extent, can predict the future.
So how can you put yourself into this position?
Well you firstly do really need to be knowledgeable and it is useful if you can understand how customer or market needs can be satisfied.
Secondly you need to be heard, so speaking at conferences or having your article published will help.
So if you achieve all of this why can it be useful?
In my experience customers are often looking for help to solve a key problem and they want to ask an expert for help. It is far easier for them to trust and believe a perceived expert than it is to trust a sales person from one company. They will therefore be more prepared to engage in open dialogue with you about their problem and they may actually seek you out.
This is then the perfect opportunity to really understand the customers issues and from there you can identify the right solution and then sell it to them!