Do your small business customers have what it takes to become thought leaders?

Do your small business customers have what it takes to become thought leaders?

The next time you’re chatting with your small business customers about ways to grow their business, ask them if they’ve considered putting some time into becoming a thought leader within their industry – it’s a great way to boost brand awareness, position themselves as industry experts,  and increase their customer database.

If a small business owner is viewed as an expert in their field, not only can they grow their customer base, but they’re also going to boost their credibility in the eyes of their peers and competition. Their business can be seen as one that has unique and innovative ideas within their industry, which really helps to differentiate their brand.

How to become a thought leader

Turn the discussion around to what makes them unique and what they’re expert at. It’s a great starting point for what they can do to become thought leaders in their industry.

In particular, do they:

  • Approach and solve challenges in a novel way? If they’re creative and innovative when it comes to how they run their business, help them exploit that.
  • Have great leadership skills? Business owners who are confident in how they manage their staff can translate that confidence into becoming an effective speaker, an essential skill for thought leaders.
  • Have a great competitive advantage, one that stands out from the competition?

The best thought leaders are constantly building their business’ brand through events, stories and advertising. In particular, attending industry trade shows, workshops and seminars as a guest speaker or lecturer not only demonstrates their own expertise, but they’re getting their brand out there and keeping it front-of-mind. They become the dominant voice in their area of expertise, and they carry their message on through effective social media use.

Great thought leaders are also those who don’t rest on their laurels. They keep tabs on what’s happening in their industry so that when they’re speaking at conferences, blogging on their website or chatting with their customers via Facebook and Twitter, they’re an authoritative voice on where their industry might be headed.

Here at TSBC, we can offer you great content around helping your small business customers to put together a plan for how they can build a reputation as a thought leader. Contact us to find out more.

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Glen Senior
Glen Senior

CEO Glen Senior has been helping small businesses start and grow since 1989. Along the way, he has published 6 books on small business development and business planning, created training courses, built e-learning platforms, and developed Microsoft USA’s Small Business Plus program which was delivered into 9 countries.Since 2005 Glen has focused on the banking sector and has built up an extensive knowledge of how banks can engage with the small business segment. He has presented at a number of small business banking conferences and is sought out as an opinion leader in this space.