I believe anyone with deep expertise can be a thought leader.
But with so much noise and competition in the marketplace, it can be challenging to differentiate yourself from the crowd and establish yourself as a true leader in your industry.
This is where podcasting can play a key role.
For many companies, podcasting is a great way to showcase their expertise and position themselves as thought leaders. Podcasts give subject matter experts within an organization a platform to share their knowledge and insights, without the need to stand in front of a large audience at a conference.
Podcasts also allow companies to build a body of work around their point of view, with the ability to present their ideas over a long period of time.
In this blog post, we’ll cover the following:
- The difference between subject matter expertise and thought leadership
- The importance of having an opinion that serves your audience
- The relationship between individual and organizational thought leadership
- How a podcast can help build thought leaders within your organization
- Why a podcast is a great medium to build credibility for your company
Figure out how to build thought leadership for your company
What does it really mean to be a thought leader in B2B? The Notorious Thought Leader is a podcast for B2B marketers who want to generate demand by creating content that builds credibility and thought leadership. In each episode, Erin Balsa helps demystify thought leadership and uncovers how marketing leaders & CEOs are using thought leadership to generate demand.
Subject matter expertise vs. thought leadership: Understanding the difference
Subject matter expertise and thought leadership are two terms often used interchangeably, but they are quite different.
While subject matter expertise refers to a person’s knowledge and understanding of a particular subject or field, thought leadership goes beyond that and involves having unique insights and perspectives that can shape the direction of the industry.
Not every subject matter expert is a thought leader
In an episode of Motion’s Notorious Thought Leader podcast, Christopher Fox, the founder and managing partner of Syncresis, highlights the importance of recognizing the distinction between subject matter expertise and thought leadership. “Not all B2B companies have thought leaders on their bench,” he explains. “Building thought leadership takes a lot of development and coaching of those thought leaders. Yes, they have the subject matter expertise, but subject matter expertise and thought leadership are not synonymous.”
Subject matter expertise and thought leadership are not synonymous.
Founder & Managing Partner
A podcast gives your company’s experts a platform
One of the biggest barriers to being recognized as a thought leader is finding the ability to share ideas consistently. There are a lot of experts in every field, but there are only a select few that break through the noise.
And the primary reason most experts don’t break through is that they don’t have a way to share ideas, spark conversations and engage with their audience. Not every subject matter expert has what it takes to speak to an audience of 1,000 people at a major industry event.
A podcast gives your company’s experts a platform.
A podcast allows your company’s experts to share their knowledge and insights in a more intimate setting — without the pressure of a large live audience. This enables them to connect with the audience and be seen as real thought leaders.
Here are some key points to consider:
- Subject matter expertise is based on knowledge and understanding, while thought leadership is about communicating unique insights and perspectives.
- A podcast can give subject matter experts a platform to share their expertise and, over time, build thought leadership.
- Thought leadership requires ongoing learning, creativity, and the ability to communicate effectively. It takes time to build thought leadership.
- Companies should invest in developing their subject matter experts into thought leaders, providing coaching, training, and opportunities to share their ideas.
- Using a podcast to share their unique perspectives and insights, thought leaders can establish credibility and build a reputation as leaders in their field.
Building leading thoughts: How podcasts help companies establish credibility
By investing in the development of your company’s subject matter experts and using a podcast as a platform to share their ideas, your company can position itself as a leader in the industry.
But how can companies develop these leading thoughts, and how can a podcast help?
To be a thought leader, you have to stand for something
Devin Bramhall, a marketing advisor and former CEO of Animalz, believes that having a clear and compelling point of view is essential for building real thought leadership. In a recent episode of The Notorious Thought Leader, Devin suggests, “Come up with an opinion that can serve people. Come up with a hot take and share that and build your brand on that. Tell me what you’re for. And then now you can have followers.”
A podcast helps build thought leadership over time
To be a thought leader, you need a clear and compelling point of view.
But you also have to share your unique perspectives over a period of time. You can’t post on LinkedIn on Monday and get recognized as a thought leader in your industry on Tuesday.
A podcast can help subject matter experts build a body of work that supports their perspective over a long period of time.
Here are some key points to consider:
- Thought leadership requires a point of view that is clear, compelling, and unique. A conversational-style podcast allows subject matter experts to practice communicating their ideas.
- A podcast can help subject matter experts build thought leadership from a body of work released over an extended period of time. Record a single episode and then reshape/repurpose it in several different ways.
- A podcast encourages dialogue and conversations; messages aren’t delivered in a vacuum. You boost credibility when your company’s subject matter experts engage with other industry leaders.
A clear and compelling point of view is essential for thought leadership.
But you can’t build thought leadership overnight.
A podcast can help spotlight subject matter experts over a long period, building credibility with your best customers.
Individual vs. company thought leadership: How podcasts can help strengthen both
Thought leadership can take many forms, from individuals establishing themselves as experts in their field to companies positioning themselves as leaders in their industry.
A corporate thought leadership initiative involves more than one expert
Steve Watt, the Director of Market Insights at Seismic, explains the relationship between individual and company thought leadership in an episode of the Notorious Thought Leader podcast. “If you have a corporate thought leadership initiative, and then you have several people beneath that who are going deep on certain pieces of it…now I think you’re in a really strong position,” he suggests.
How can a podcast help strengthen both individual and company thought leadership?
A podcast provides individuals a platform to share their expertise and insights, building their personal brand and increasing their credibility and reputation. By consistently producing quality content, individuals can establish themselves as thought leaders, attracting new clients, and increasing their influence in the industry.
For companies, a podcast can help to establish the company as a leader in its industry, attract top talent, build partnerships, and increase brand recognition. By creating a podcast focusing on industry trends and topics, a company can showcase its expertise and unique perspective, demonstrating thought leadership and building credibility with customers and partners.
In both cases, a podcast allows for a deeper, more sustained engagement with the audience than many other forms of content. Podcasts help companies curate unique ideas from internal subject matter experts while creating a dialogue with other industry professionals.
Podcasts: The key to establishing thought leadership and credibility
Your company needs to establish credibility and build a brand. One way to get there is through thought leadership, which involves developing unique insights and perspectives that can help position a company or individual as a leader in their industry.
But many companies struggle to find a forum to share their thoughts. And many subject matter experts don’t have a voice in the industry.
If you want to unlock the expertise within your organization and build thought leadership over time — a podcast can help.
At Motion, we help establish companies as thought leaders by launching and growing podcasts. If you’re interested in learning how your company can produce a podcast to position itself as a thought leader, schedule a call with us.
Written by Tristan Pelligrino
Tristan Pelligrino is the Co-Founder of Motion. He’s a serial entrepreneur who started his career as a consultant with large IT companies such as PwC, IBM and Oracle. After getting his MBA, he started and grew one of the fastest video production companies in the country – which was listed on the Inc. 5000. Tristan now enjoys leading the content marketing strategies of some of the most innovative B2B technology companies in the country. You can find him on LinkedIn and Facebook.