How to become a thought leader in the IP market?
When it comes to B2B services, one of the key elements to successful business development is to become a thought leader in the market. While other competitors can only rely on cold calling, an established online presence helps thought leaders enjoy clients who come directly to them. In this article, you'll learn how to become a thought leader and establish a useful and relevant online presence as an IP firm.
Who is a thought leader?
A trusted professional who shares their knowledge on the most pressing and current issues. They are not necessarily the market leaders, but service providers who want to add value to potential prospects. At the same time, they often become market leaders because who do people prefer to look for: a fancy logo and an expensive agency, or the expert they have been following for months on a particular topic?
Is thought leadership synonymous with blogging?
Writing a blog is just one element of being a thought leader - a vital part, but rarely enough on its own. So let us look at what other steps to take if you want to become a sought-after expert in your field.
Intellectual Property is a small and specific part of the legal services market that presents both opportunities and threats when it comes to building a visible online presence. While you do not have to compete with literally millions of service providers (as an e-commerce consultant must) to be heard, your target clients likely are not looking for new service providers often, forcing you to work your way past existing and established partnerships.
The first step is to find out where your clients are - in the IP market, most potential clients are registered on LinkedIn. So not only do you need to build your personal and company profile, but you also need to be active on this social media platform. The key to success on LinkedIn is to share and respond to content that matches the interests of your potential customers' interests. For example, if they want to file their first patents or want to know how to manage their existing portfolio, you can easily step in and provide advice in the comments and write your next blog post on a related topic.
There's a clear line between solving client problems for free and giving advice - while the former should understandably be avoided by all service providers, the latter brings you closer to thought-leader status.
Actionable tips to step up your game
● Tell stories instead of mere numbers. Let others know they are not alone in their challenges.
● Advise in comments, but avoid giving comprehensive advice. If the prospect has several questions, you can answer the most important one in a few short sentences and then offer them a consultation appointment at your office.
● Address real-life problems and challenges with your content. If you can foresee a change in the law that might affect your clients Intellectual Properties, let them know in advance and offer to help them prepare for the upcoming change.
● Vary the form of your content: Instead of relying solely on blog posts, share a video where you address a specific topic and then an image with a short quote. Again, test what works and avoid what does not generate interest.