If you had told me ten years ago I would be writing about thought leadership and how to be an exceptional biller on the same website I would have thought you were barking mad!
Yet that is exactly what I am doing as we focus on establishing ourselves as thought leaders in our own industry. Confused? Wondering what the heck I am talking about? Let me explain.
Our industry; the recruitment industry, is changing. Like many other businesses in the new economy, if you want to stand out from the noisy crowd you have to do just that; stand out.
The easiest way is to become the recognised expert in your field. As the famous marketing genius Seth Godin says we all want ‘leadership’ demonstrating your expertise is a great way to get the ball rolling. Thought leadership is important in any environment and especially when it comes to B2B ( business to business) ‘selling’.
To put it an easy way, Thought Leadership is simply about becoming an authority on relevant topics that your audience needs answers to. In other words their problems and issues. For instance let’s say you are a retail recruiter. Who do you want to stand out to and how? I would suggest both your candidates and clients. Demonstrating your knowledge of the current retail environment and what is happening brands you as an expert. Sharing ideas and suggestions on influence and personal branding makes you the friend of every nervous candidate.
Let me share an example for you of how this can work. One candidate I know who excels in this sector subscribes to all the latest retail industry blogs and newsletters. She even knows what the current retail sales training trends are. Do you think she has a thriving desk? Correct. She is seen as the go to person in that environment and over 60% of candidates get referred into her. By the way, she has achieved this in less than two years and all she started with was a bucket load of enthusiasm and willingness to learn. Stop press! Just in case you have forgotten this one, clients seem to have a six sense about which consultants have access to the best candidates. So cultivating; Thought Leadership will make a difference for you at so many levels.
One of the reasons Thought Leadership is the buzz word of the moment is because the internet makes it easy. Today’s world is all about engagement and speaking out. With social networking being an easy channel to use and with many recruiter’s having access to a company blog page means it doesn’t take much effort to stand out with some consistent action-hint most people give up after a few weeks.
So how does it work? Well it is all about giving away your knowledge; tweeting, commenting, getting in on the conversation and talking to people-without expecting an immediate return.
Do this consistently and you will start to become visible. Remember, though the movies might try and persuade us otherwise there is no such thing as an overnight sensation. It could take months to establish yourself as the ‘go to’ person in your sector. Be patient because it is so worth the wait. Think of it like training for a marathon or learning a new skill. It will take time.