Thought Leadership for Independent Consultants
One way to build a flourishing consulting practice, particularly if you are seeking to attract clients in Fortune 500 companies, is to position yourself as the go-to person in your area of expertise. When you build a reputation, as well as a following for your ideas, people come to you instead of you chasing them. That sounds good, doesn't it?
How? The key is to codify your knowledge, whenever possible, into replicable modules, frameworks or intellectual property so that you can scale your impact more broadly. Share your expertise through a variety of thought leadership techniques:
create great content (blogs, books, e-books, videos), speak, conduct
educational programs, develop licensed programs, etc. Then, build a community of those who need to know what you know. Need help? Contact us to learn about our services.
I was recently asked to contribute to an MBO Partners* guide, Thought Leadership for Independent Consultants: How to Win Hearts, Minds and More Business.You can access a copy here (sign-up required).
A bit of my advice for consultants from the guide:
How to build thought leadership can be broken down into three broad categories:
1. Things that you do on your own site or social media platforms (LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.)
2. Going where there is already traffic - guest blogging or authoring content on popular sites where your community lives
3. Teaching others to become you - e.g., license or certify others using a train-the-trainer model. This will bring in income and spread your ideas far and wide!
To learn more, you can access a copy of the full 8 page report here. (sign-up required).
* MBO Partners is dedicated to making independent consultants more efficient, effective and better able to work with their clients. While I have no direct affiliation with this organization, I definitely agree with their goals! If you are an independent consultant, I hope you'll check out their services - as far as I can tell, they are the only company of their kind around.
Some Independent Consultant Thought Leaders We Admire
Adrian Ott, Exponential Edge
Adrian is a strategy consultant who showcases her thought leadership through her book, The 24-Hour Customer: New Rules for Winning in a Time-Starved, Always-Connected Economy
(Harper Business, 2010), which was named a Best Business Book of the
Year by USA Book News (2011) and Library Journal (2010). She also writes
an expert blog on Fast Company
, is an active community volunteer, leads CEO best practice sharing groups, speaks and communicates regularly through social media.
Dilip is a career coach who has showcased his thought leadership through five books, a popular blog
through social media. He has played full out on LinkedIn and has been
the #1 rated career coach on the site since they began ranking. He is
also a frequent speaker at industry events and is a very generous
volunteer in the community.
Sarah Miller Caldicott, CEO of Power Patterns
Sarah is an innovation consultant and the great grandniece of Thomas
Edison. She has showcased her thought leadership through two books, Midnight Lunch, The 4 Phases of Team Collaboration Success from Thomas Edison's Lab (Wiley, 2012) and Innovate Like Edison: The Five Step System for Breakthrough Business Success (2008). She also created and launched the Edison Awards to recognize and honor innovation and excellence in the development, marketing and launch of new products and services.