Regardless of whether your company is a startup or well-established industry leader, being perceived by clients, prospects and media as a thought leader is critically important. By becoming the industry’s “go to” source for expertise and insights, you gain the opportunity to build new relationships and generate leads.
While culling out knowledge from a senior team that is kept busy by the day-to-day can, at times, make it challenging to craft in-depth e-books or pen contributed articles, there is a ready-made opportunity to share thought leadership that is sitting right at their fingertips. What is it, you ask? Talking about trends.
Why trends matter
As one year draws to a close and with a new one fast-approaching, talking about how a service model will shift, how the economic climate will impact your industry, what consumers can expect to see for pricing, or how an industry will grow or change are timely, ready-made opportunities to enhance you company’s expert positioning. Talking about trends shows that your firm is tuned-in to what is happening in the field, that you understand the dynamics between the larger economic/business climate and your specific company and that your firm, as a whole, is forward-thinking.
Who can you talk to about trends?
The audience with whom you can share insights on industry trends is diverse:
- Existing Clients – when you talk to clients about the trends in your industry that will impact their business in the future, you build trust through education. Your clients benefit from having time to adapt to the impending impact of the trends, which can help them to get a step ahead of the competition.
- Prospective Clients – educating prospective clients on trends helps to build trust and drive conversion. Demonstrating that you are looking out for that firm’s best interests and proactively advising them on best practices and next steps is an invaluable component of the relationship-building process.
- Media – talking to the media about trends can provide a third-party “seal of approval” to help validate your expertise. With mainstream and/or trade media, the reach will be broad in terms of geography and/or audience. Further, media coverage that showcases your thought-leadership is content that can be easily adapted for email or social media marketing.
- Referral Sources & Strategic Partners – oftentimes, professional services firms, in particular, will have symbiotic relationships with other service providers. Think accountant and wealth manager or financial planner and estate planning attorney. Educating your referral sources about trends and impending changes to the industry allows them to educate their own clients and further enhance their own expert profile.
When should you talk about trends?
While the end of one year and dawn of another is a great time to talk about trends, it is far from the only window of time during which to do so. So, what other times is it appropriate to talk about trends?
- When new data is released – think quarterly sales reports, industry-specific research, etc.
- When impactful legislation is pending – think changes to tax laws, grants/funding, etc.
- In the face of disruption – disruptive forces change the way industries operate and both pre-disruption insights, as well as those immediately following, are thought leadership opportunities
Talking about industry trends is an opportunity to showcase thought leadership and enhance expert positioning. It is also an opportunity to set your organization – and yourself – apart from the completion. As you look for opportunities to enhance your company’s spot as an industry thought leader in 2018 and beyond, consider how talking about trends can put you a step ahead.