How Thought Leadership Can Grow Your Startup

By: Elena Kalodner-Martin and Kendall Leon

Whether you’re in the beginning stages of launching a startup or looking to expand  your customer reach, communicating your company’s value is critical. However, you need to go further than just sharing what you do, or explaining your products and services. You need to convey what makes you different and what makes you special. To really connect with your audience and set yourself apart from competitors, you need to invest in thought leadership.

What is thought leadership?

Thought leadership is the use of strategic messaging to convey your specialized knowledge or unique insights in your field or industry. This messaging might take place through content marketing, social media, or other deliverables, and over time, demonstrates your company’s credibility and expertise. 

Think of it this way: thought leaders don’t just create great solutions to problems. By tapping into your experience, you can connect with audiences, inspire innovation, and create momentum, with you and your startup at the center of the movement. 

How can thought leadership grow my startup?

Thought leadership is good for your startup, but it’s also good for your customers. To get started, you need a robust understanding of two things:

  • Your own skills and expertise
  • Your audience’s needs, goals, and values

Whether your target audience is a customer or an investor, considering what they want can help you hone your message and choose the best tactics and venue for communicating it with them. Getting your target audience on board with your messaging is the first step for expanding your reach and setting your startup up for further growth.

Developing thought leadership content can also shape how you develop your product or services. Because good thought leaders are committed to gaining a holistic understanding of the problem, your insights can help you and your startup continue to refine your solution. While it always helps to stay focused, drawing inspiration from other sources and from feedback ensures a smoother and more effective development and distribution process.

Finally, thought leadership can help you connect to other innovators in your field. Effective leaders have strong networks and multiple sources of information about the issue and potential solutions. By listening and learning to others, you expand your own knowledge and open up opportunities for collaboration and growth. 

How do I develop thought leadership?

Becoming a thought leader — and then learning how to communicate that with your target audience — takes time. You first need to think about what unique knowledge and expertise you have. Then, you need to determine how to clearly and consistently share those insights with others. 

This iterative process can also be a good team-building exercise. By deciding how you and your company will approach developing thought leadership and by planning out how much time you will allocate to this process, you express an organization-wide commitment to the pursuit of sharing your startup’s story. Regardless of your team size, developing a shared vision is the first step to get set up for success.

Untold Content delivers high-impact content strategies and content marketing services by immersing ourselves in the stories of innovative organizations like yours. Our downloadable thought leadership toolkit offers research-driven insights, feature articles, and recommended reading lists for companies looking to get started by learning more.

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Looking to take your thought leadership to the next level? We’d love to connect. Set up a time to meet our team so we can learn more about your needs and goals.

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